Bridalwear is no longer a whitewash. These days, brides have a choice of practically every color in the rainbow, from pinks that whisper to blues that shout. “I've seen brides in pastels, jewel tones, and even black — and each one had her own unique reason for choosing something other than white,” says Kathryn Storke Grady, founder of the popular bridal blog Snippet & Ink, who herself wore a dove gray gown on her wedding day.
Why do brides choose color? “For some it's a style statement — they love the way color looks, or they want a dress that stands out from every other wedding dress out there, and color is a great way to do that,” says Grady. “And for some brides it's about the symbolism — they want to move away from the meaning of the traditional white wedding dress.” Another common reason behind the choice? For many skin tones, stark white simply isn't flattering.
Which hue should you choose? When shopping for a colored gown, consider these tips on complementing your complexion, courtesy of Lori Conley, senior bridal gown buyer for David’s Bridal. “Cool skin tones look best in colors like dusty gray and pale blue. Warmer skin tones should stick with earthy based colors like blush and champagne.” But, of course, there’s no substitute for trying on!
Here, the top ten hues brides are buying:
Pretty in pink indeed. This taffeta-and-tulle gown is decorated with intricate beading and rivulets of ribbons. Another stunning detail? The matching whisper pink veil. (Watters ‘Soledad’ gown, price upon request, watters.com)
This dusky pink confection has it all: a draped bodice, banded waist and hundreds of tulle ruffles that cascade into a “puddle train.” (Watters ‘Palm Springs’ gown, price upon request, watters.com)
Check out a real-life bride wearing tea rose at her Paris nuptials here.
Inspired by dancers, this feminine peaches-and-cream gown mixes cotton and tulle to balletic effect. (Catherine Deane ‘Tamsin’ gown, $1,600 at bhldn.com)
Go ahead and gild the lily. This halter-neck style from Ivy & Aster’s latest collection looks as amazing in a grand ballroom as it does on the beach. (Ivy & Aster ‘Dusk ‘till Dawn’ gown, price upon request, ivyandaster.com)
Rich shades of champagne and toffee flatter all skintones, but look especially amazing on brunettes. This beauty is embellished with an illusion neckline and petal appliqués. (JS Collections chiffon gown, $240, nordstrom.com)
There’s something so aristocratic and understated about this shade of pale gray. In fact, Grady choose it for her own wedding — but not initially. “My own process was a little embarrassing... I probably went to 10 different places, tried on almost fifty dresses, and bought a beautiful soft white tulle gown, only to realize at my first fitting, just 8 weeks before my wedding, that it really didn't feel right. I kept thinking back to this dove gray dress by Angel Sanchez that I'd tried on earlier, and luckily was able to order it just barely in time to make some alterations. I felt so beautiful on my wedding day in that dress.” (Catherine Deane ‘Vivienne’ gown, $1,800 at bhldn.com)
Minimalists and classicists will swoon over this icy-cool color — shown here in its most elegant incarnation. (Ivy & Aster ‘China Girl’ gown, price upon request, ivyandaster.com)
Beachside brides can eschew tradition and pick a shade of seafoam — and dress their bridesmaids in all white. (Ivy & Aster ‘Flowers in Bloom’ gown, price upon request, ivyandaster.com)
Cue the trumpets! This shade of purple is glamorous, vampy and sophisticated — and the dramatic silhouette is so sexy. (Truly Zac Posen for David’s Bridal fit and flare gown, $899.99 at davidsbridal.com)
The hot bridal hue: Black
Vera Wangs’s line for David’s Bridal has not one, but five, knockout black wedding dresses. Each is a vision of fairytale fantasy — and a look no wedding guest will forget. (White by Vera Wang for David’s Bridal fit and flare gown, $649.99 at davidsbridal.com)