A Blushing Bride

Jennifer Leigh DiMarco

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I love seeing the individuality of each of my Brides whether it be reflected in their reception color scheme, their bouquet or yes-even the color of her wedding dress!  According to the Old Farmer’s Almanac, which is for some a long-range planning guide for wedding weather, brides historically wore their best clothes, irrespective of the color, to their wedding. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria chose white for her 1840 wedding to Prince Albert that a white gown became the norm. Elizabeth Taylor famously wore a yellow dress to marry Richard Burton in 1964, after donning green to wed Eddie Fisher in 1959. (She did wear white for her first marriage, to Conrad Hilton, in 1950.) 

David’s Bridal, one of the nation’s largest wedding gown retailers, introduced colored wedding dresses in 2010. Michele von Plato, the senior vice president for design at David’s Bridal, said that sales of colored gowns have doubled every year since then, and that the sector accounts for 4 to 5 percent of all its bridal gown sales.

Brides of all ages and marital statuses are embracing color, Ms. von Plato said. “It comes down to brides wanting to be unique and stand out on their wedding day, and wanting to wear a dress that reflects who they are,” she said.  

Choosing not to wear white can create complications and raise etiquette questions: Should a bride inform her fiancé, and wedding guests, about her choice of color? Can she create a dress code for her guests? And can the bridesmaids wear white, as Pippa Middleton did?

Keija Minor, the editor in chief of Brides magazine, advised against dressing bridesmaids in white. “I would suggest choosing a complementary color for the bridesmaids, but don’t put them in a color that is brighter than the bride’s gown,” said Ms. Minor, who added that a champagne hue is a safe choice. 

But if a bride wants to ensure she’s the only one wearing a particular color on the big day, how does she get the word out to her guests? Ms. Post said: “If a bride chooses to wear pink, she can’t dictate what her guests can wear, but she can request it. But what are you going to do, include a swatch of fabric with your wedding invitation? If you’re taking a risk by not wearing a white wedding dress, you have to accept that some people may be wearing the same color as you.” Ms. Post said that brides can enlist their mother or bridesmaids to spread the word to avoid certain colors, but brides must understand “it’s only a request.”  

here is a website to help. Couples can register their upcoming weddings atdressyourguests.com and invite family and friends to post pictures of their outfits to get visual guidance and inspiration.

“It’s a way to avoid the uncomfortable feeling of walking into an event wearing the wrong thing or making the faux pas of showing up in the same dress as someone else,” said Kate Brennan, a New York City stylist and a co-founder of the site. “We’ve all been there.”

Brides-Did you, will you or would you (if you had the chance to do it again) wear a colored wedding gown instead of the traditional white?