The Rise of the Colored Wedding Dress

by George Rene

Regular visitors at weddings lately may have noticed one glaring trend: brides are ditching white dresses in favor of colored ones.

Though these brides great-grandmothers would be turning in their graves at this affront, it’s clear some girls just don't fit the mold society has created for them. The colored wedding dress is for the bride-to-be that is more individual and prefers to march to her own drum beat.

For those daring enough to pull it off, here’s what they need to know about wearing a colored dress on their wedding day.

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From White to Colored: A Gradual But Steady Shift.

From time immemorial, wedding dresses have been based on the popular styles and color of the time with slight shifts as trends change. Brides back then did not shy away from colors, including black.

Interestingly, white wasn’t even the norm until Queen Victoria’s choice of a white gown during her wedding to Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. As a result, white dresses became a popular choice among Western brides. The color became associated with purity and innocence. Now, though traditional wedding dresses remain mainly white, many modern brides are choosing to go colored instead. This could be attributed to expressing their own individuality or having a second wedding, and brides marrying at an older age.

The fashion industry is also fueling this trend. Non-white wedding gowns have continued to rule the runway every season for years now especially from leading designers like Vera Wang and Monique Lhuillier. For instance, in her Spring 2012 show, Vera Wang did not show a single white dress but black and nude dresses.

The most recent fashion shows in New York actually showed more colored wedding dresses than previous years too and brides are taking note.

Portrait of Bride and Groom from Above

The Good Qualities of Brides That Don’t Want a Traditional White wedding Dress.

Deciding not to wear a traditional white dress is a personal choice dictated by the bride’s individuality, style and taste.

But before rushing out to buy a colored dress, below is what some of the more popular colors say about the bride’s qualities:

Black: Once again, thanks to the likes of Vera Wang, black is gradually becoming popular. Black conveys an impression of maturity, elegance and sophistication. For brides that are not afraid to rock the boat or stand out. Black wedding gowns go well with black tie themed weddings.

Red: Red is accepted as the color of love. For brides that want to show warmth, desire, excitement and boldness. The bride who chooses red really wants to make a statement and is not afraid to do so. She most likely doesn’t bother too much about other people’s opinions too. Red is an ideal choice for weddings around Valentine’s Day and Christmas.

Pink: The pink bride is accepting, very loving and compassionate. She is tender and emotional too. Depending on the shade of pink, it can be worn during spring or summer and deeper shades worn during winter months.

Nude/Pastel: This modern color is ideal for more mature brides but can be worn by all ages too. She believes in understated elegance, quality and uniqueness.

Purple: Brides in favor of purple are usually unconventional, dignified and aspire to positions of authority. It’s the color of royalty and can represent mystery, creativity and strength.

Blue: The blue wedding gown is for brides that are youthful, spiritual and at peace with themselves.

Green: This is the color of harmony, fertility and balance. Brides that like green tend to be relaxed, compassionate and frank but loyal.

Silver: Silver is for the sleek, glamorous and calm bride. It symbolizes a distinguished and soothing character.

Gold: The global symbol for wealth, gold will make a bride shine. For the bride that’s bright and cheerful with a touch of extravagance.

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Rising Popularity and Benefits of Nontraditional White Gowns.

Brides that choose to go colored for their wedding gowns are in good company. There is no arguing with color for speaking volumes about a bride’s personal style. Celebrities for example are not left out and are not afraid to alter style rules. Many of them have chosen a colored wedding dress for their special day. Some of them include Gwen Stefani, Reese Witherspoon, Amber Tamblyn, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Biel and probably the most iconic of all, Elizabeth Taylor during her 1964 wedding to Richard Burton.

It’s not all about bucking the trend. Wearing a non-white gown has many benefits like:

A traditional white dress becomes useless (except for sentimental reasons), to the bride after the wedding. With wedding gowns running over tens of thousands of dollars, no one needs that kind of waste in this day and age. With a colored gown, some skilled alterations can convert it into a lovely evening gown.

The added stress of keeping a white dress properly dry-cleaned and stainless till the wedding day and afterwards is an unnecessary distraction.

Not every woman looks good in white. Factors like skin tone and shape can make white a poor choice for some brides.

Brides are getting older, whether for first or second marriages. An older woman would generally have a more specific and defined taste in color other than white.

Overall, brides, and their moms especially, should realize that their comfort and individuality should be most important and will allow for a more enjoyable occasion if they wear whatever color suits their taste best.