Larry James' CelebrateIntimateWeddings BLOG

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Must the Bride Wear White?

Filed under: Non-Traditional Ideas,Wedding Dress,Wedding Tips — Larry James @ 7:00 am

White is no longer just for virginal, first-time brides, nor do brides have to wear it at all. “Really, a bride may wear any color she desires on her wedding day,” says Washington, D.C.-based wedding planner and etiquette expert Claudia Lutman. “Before Queen Victoria, who is solely credited as establishing the tradition of the white bridal gown, brides wore their best dresses, despite the color.”

After Queen Victoria’s choice to wear a white wedding dress etiquette books then began to turn the practice into a “tradition” and the white gown soon became a popular symbol of status that also carried “a connotation of innocence and sexual purity.”

polka-dotweddingdress1One way for a bride to stand out from the many other brides-to-be out there and make a statement about her personal style is to choose a colored dress.

Recently, manufacturers are making a lot of stylish wedding dresses with color, in addition to the white dresses they already have in the marketplace. Sure, we know that this is not traditional, but modern brides are getting brave, breaking tradition and wearing what they want to wear. If you want your wedding to be different (memorable) and daring why not wear a wedding dress with color?

Dresses of color also offer many outstanding options for women who want a stunning wedding style. The best gown is one she feels most comfortable wearing, and for many brides, that’s not a stark white dress. Subtle hints of color on a wedding dress have been popular accents for years, and might include choices such as:

• Sashes or bows of color
• Colored hems or necklines
• Colored embroidery
• Contrasting inset panels
• Colored beading

Other accessories such as wedding shoes, gloves, a purse, or a handkerchief. Consider using a complementary shade, or one of a lighter or darker hue, for your accessories. While these delicate details can add a tinge of color to a dress, full colored gowns are also becoming more popular for modern, trendy brides.

Once last thought on breaking tradition: While white is typically “reserved for the bride,” according to nationally recognized etiquette expert Diane Gottsman, other experts see the tides changing on this rule. “As long as guests do not upstage the bride or appear to be in competition with her, a winter white or summer cream dress is now considered okay,” says Claudia Lutman. As Emily Post Etiquette advised New York Times readers in March, what matters most is making sure you’re not “unintentionally calling attention” or “causing offense to the bride.”

What color wedding dress would you wear, if white weren’t an option?

NOTE: Pink Wedding Gown photo courtesy of The Wedding Planning Institute, a division of Lovegevity, Inc.
Ombre (means “shaded” in French or graduated in tone) Bridal Gowns. (Photo left: Wedding dress by Lela Rose via Sunpost Weekly)
Polka-dot wedding dress photo by Bayly & Moore.

Bonus Articles: Colored Wedding Dresses
Your Gown: Choosing the Right White
Wedding Etiquette: 10 Rules You Can Break
Wedding Dress Shopping and Your Entourage

Copyright © 2012 – Larry James. This idea is adapted from Larry’s “romantic” Wedding Website. Larry James is an award winning, non-denominational wedding officiant and performs the most “Romantic” wedding ceremony you will find anywhere! Every wedding ceremony is customized to your complete satisfaction. Call to check availability: 480-998-9411 or Cell: 480-205-3694. Pre-maritial relationship coaching is available and not required. You will find more than 470 pages of Wedding ideas, tips (90 tips and growing), ceremonies, and more at: Something NEW about weddings is posted every 4th day on this Wedding BLOG. Check Larry’s availability.

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  1. This is a very informative article. Most people don’t know that colored gowns used to be common once. Thanks for sharing.


    Comment by Sophia Willaims — Sunday, September 10, 2017 @ 12:49 am | Reply

  2. Great post. Please post more of these posts as I find your articles very interesting to read, however I do like to see brides in white dresses. 🙂


    Comment by abs — Sunday, August 12, 2012 @ 7:25 pm | Reply

    • Something new about Weddings is posted on this Blog every 4th day! You can receive e-mail whenever a new article is posted by subscribing to this Blog. The subscription button in in the right column near the bottom of the page (right under the “Search” button.


      Comment by Larry James — Monday, August 13, 2012 @ 1:04 am | Reply

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