It’s a time-honored tradition – the bride talking down the aisle in a glowing white wedding dress that illuminates her face and alludes to her chastity. However, this tradition is beginning to fade into other colors.
Shades of White
Although a white wedding dress is usually expected for first-time brides, it’s no longer taboo to wear something other than white in your wedding. There are even different shades of “white” that work well with different skin tones. The reason that you try on dress after dress and some look perfect on the hanger but slightly weird when they’re on your body is because of these white variations! Knowing which whites complement your skin tone before you go shopping will save a ton of time.
If you have a fair or medium skin tone, an incredibly bright white dress will simply serve to wash you out. A champagne white has a slightly pink undertone, and if your skin is olive or sallow it will add warmth to your complexion. Ivory is a universally flattering hue for brides, but there are even variations of this shade, and you can test which ones look the best by holding up a swatch of fabric next to your face under the lighting you expect for your wedding.
Time and Place of Your Wedding
If you’re planning an evening wedding, look into a shade known as “candlelight.” This wedding dress will look white under candlelight, but it’s actually a darker shade of ivory with a beige-cream undertone. Ecru is even darker and borders on tan or beige, and is a great option if you want to try something different but don’t want to go too far off the beaten path.
Also consider an outdoor wedding and the surroundings, whether it's right down the street or a destination wedding. On the white beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama or the woodsy and colorful flora of the Birmingham Botanical Gardens, your wedding dress color and your skin tone will look different in different wedding venues.
Coordinate with Bridesmaid’s Dresses
Many designers are offering options to incorporate deep colors into wedding dresses by adding sashes or even an entire skirt overlay. The colors can coordinate with the flowers or bridesmaid’s dresses, or even pop as something totally different yet complementary. Colorful embellishments of beads, sequins and laces are also viable options chosen by many brides.
If you’re uncertain about going with something too bold, especially if you’ve walked down the aisle before and you’re having a simpler ceremony, consider a wedding dress made of pastels and a light fabric. It’ll still feel girly and appropriate, but offers an option away from the traditional wedding dress.
So whether you walk down the aisle in glowing white, champagne, apple green, lilac or mauve, choose a dress that works for you considering the location of your wedding, your skin tone and the time of day. And, oh, don't forget your preferences.
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