What color wedding dress should I wear? Should I wear a white bridal dress? If you're shopping for your wedding outfit and you're wondering about colors for wedding dresses, then this is for you! Today’s wedding fashion advice is all about wedding dress colors. When it comes to wedding planning, there will be many decisions to make about colors. From the color of your bridesmaids' dresses, to flower choices, and even wedding reception table linen colors. You may not even think about the color of your own bridal dress; you just assume you will be in white as a bride. But, if you're shopping for your dream wedding outfit and you're thinking about color, you're in the right spot. We're going to give you all the advice on what color brides should wear on their wedding day.
It is very traditional for brides to wear white on their wedding day. When you start looking at wedding dresses online or at a bridal shop, you will see wedding dresses labeled with many different color names, from white to ivory to off-white to diamond white to cream and many color names and shades in between. There are even blush, champagne, and pink tones found in wedding dresses. It can start to become overwhelming as you look through all the options in wedding dress colors, but with our insight and advice, we will prepare you to know what to expect when wedding dress shopping and trying on bridal gowns when it comes to color.
Break with Tradition
Traditionally, brides are known to wear white bridal gowns on their wedding day, but these days, many of our brides are not wearing white at all for their wedding outfit. We know that there may be various expectations put onto brides from grandmothers, moms, aunts, friends, whoever it may be, to follow that tradition of wearing white on your wedding day as a bride. It may even be a dream of the bride’s to be in a gorgeous, white wedding dress on her wedding day.
We want to be sure that all our brides are prepared and know what to expect before heading into a bridal shop to try on wedding dresses when it comes to color. Nowadays, the fabric on so many wedding dresses is not going to be considered white, especially that bright, crisp white fabric you’ve seen in the past for wedding dresses.
Most wedding dress designers have shied away from making gowns in a really, really bright traditional white particularly because these stark white wedding dresses don't photograph well. Bright white wedding gowns photograph really washed out and you will lose a lot of the detail of the wedding dress, like lace or beading, on an all-white bridal dress. How a wedding dress looks in photographs is certainly something to keep in mind on your wedding dress shopping trips.
We always encourage our brides to take photos of the wedding dresses they are trying on so they can see their wedding gown from the perspective of a photograph. You will most likely have your photo taken on your wedding day, so before you buy your wedding dress make sure you love how it looks in photos!
Don’t Get Hung Up On Color Names
Our next piece of advice when wedding dress shopping and thinking about color is to not pay too much attention to the color tags and color names on the bridal gowns. Wedding dress designers like to be creative with the names of their wedding dress styles as well as the names of the colors of their bridal gown fabrics.
Each wedding dress designer will have their own version of and name for “white” so you will likely not see a wedding dress labeled as just plain "white." These days, a wedding dress could be ivory, porcelain, alabaster, cream, off-white, diamond white, or even vanilla, and many other color and shade names.
For example, brides should know that an "ivory" wedding dress can vary from bridal dress designer to designer just by using a slightly different fabric. The colors can definitely get confusing, so don’t get too hung up or attached to what the bridal dress tag color says on the wedding dress styles that you're trying on.
Take Color Out of the Equation
Our next color tip to be prepared for wedding dress shopping is about underlays. Many wedding dress styles will have a fabric underlay as the base of the bridal gown and then it will have a top layer that’s going to have the beading or lace detailing. The majority of wedding dress designs these days are going to have a colored underlay. You will see variations of colors here just like there are variations in the shades of white. Generally, these wedding dress underlays are in the nude, champagne, blush, and light pink color family. These wedding dress underlays will then be topped with an ivory or off-white layer.
In the bridal fashion world, you will see most commonly ivory or off-white as color titles or shades to identify the particular fabric you can order your wedding dress in. You can certainly order a “tone on tone” bridal gown, which would be ivory on ivory or off-white on off-white instead of ivory on champagne. This would mean that your wedding dress' underlay would be the same shade as the dress' top layer.
It can get really confusing with the names and the titles of the different wedding dress fabric colors, so we highly recommend that you don't fixate on color. Take color out of the equation and just focus on the wedding dress that you're trying on and what you see. If you like the color of the wedding dress that you see on your body, then that is all that matters.
What You See is What You Get
Some wedding dress styles will be available in multiple color variations. For example, you may try on a sample gown of a wedding dress you love that is ivory on champagne. The same wedding dress may also come in an ivory or an ivory version. This all varies by wedding dress style and by wedding dress designer.
We have seen lately that some bridal dress designers are no longer allowing brides to change the color of the wedding gown that they are ordering. More and more wedding dress designers are making the wedding dress in just one color option, the one that they feel is the most beautiful for the gown and are not offering brides to select a shade at the time of ordering.
We see this as a good thing, and one that can ensure a bride doesn’t have buyer’s remorse when it comes to choosing a wedding dress color. We have had many brides in the past try on a sample bridal gown, and fall in love with the style. But, then decide to order their dream wedding dress in a different color than the sample bridal dress that they just tried on and fell in love with. Once their bridal dress arrives in the store six to eight months (or more!) after ordering, they are disappointed when they come to try on their wedding dress because it is not what they envisioned. They have spent the past handful of months looking at the photos of themselves in the sample wedding gown and have fallen in love with that colored bridal dress and now have a different version of the dress because they ordered it in a different color.
Be sure to keep in mind that when you are placing an order for your wedding dress and are changing the colors of the fabric, it is going to translate differently in photos.
Our last tip when thinking about the colors of wedding dresses may be the most important and helpful one. Always be sure to take a photo of the bridal dresses you are trying on. We mentioned earlier that one reason bridal designers have moved away from the crisp, bright white is because of how those stark, bright white dresses photograph.
Be sure to take a photo of each wedding dress you are trying on in the bridal salon so you can be sure to see how it will photograph. Take notice of how the color of your bridal dress looks in the photo and how the detailing looks in the photos as well. We can promise you that a bridal gown with a champagne or darker colored underlay with ivory on top is going to photograph much lighter than what you are seeing in the mirror.
So many wedding dress designers have incorporated color into their wedding gown styles, because it allows the lace detailing and beading to really be showcased in your wedding photographs. Always make sure to take a photo of your wedding dress so that you can really be sure that it's "the one."
VIDEO: What Color Wedding Dress Should You Wear?
Do you want more color help when it comes to wedding dresses? Be sure to also check out this week's wedding fashion advice video for all the tips you need to help you decide what color wedding dress to wear for your wedding day.
More Dress Shopping Help
We talked quite a bit about colors of wedding dresses today and gave you all of the advice that you need to pick out a dress in the shade that's the best for you. For even more wedding dress shopping advice be sure to read these past posts:
- What Wedding Dress Style & Shape Should You Wear
- How To Determine What Style Wedding Dress You Want
- Wedding Dress Shopping Appointment Checklist
We hope you find all this advice helpful in preparing you to find your dream wedding dress style in whatever shade makes you feel as beautiful and confident as you are!
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.