What If I Look Terrible In White ? Alternative Wedding Dress Colors

by Cynna



One of the top complaints brides make is wearing the actual color white. Completely aside from any cultural meanings that white can have, many brides object to wearing white. For many brides white washes out their skin tone or makes them feel fat or too busty (too hippy, too noticeable…..). Many brides solve this issue by choosing a shade of white that works for their skin tone. Warmer colors such as ivory or champagne can work for many skin tones. Tinted whites with a touch of peach or pink can also work. There are tons of shades of white, from a blue based tone to subtly rose tinted whites.

Bella Wedding Gown Tattered Roses & Cream

Bella Wedding Gown Tattered Roses & Cream

While this can work for many brides, others find it easier and more delightful to shift to related colors like ecru, buttercream, creme brulee etc. A tonal wedding gown can combine several of these colors in a mix of shades and can be the best of both worlds. This allows some much needed contrast and is often very flattering to many skin tones. Another favorite is skin tone or nude shades, often named blush. These are great on almost every skin tone and look amazing on older brides especially. Shades can vary from peachy tones to pink and rose shades along with flesh tones.

Blush Wedding Dress Island Lace


Ecru Wedding Dress - Ange


Sand and other earthy colors have a similar ability to flatter and are great for figure ‘camouflage’, along with blush and tonal colors like creme brulee and ecru. Basically these colors allow the bride to ‘pop’ just a bit less visually, while still enhancing her face and skin tones and creating a romantic atmospheric color around her. Some recent brides have chosen to wear tonal earth shades like ecru or sand and allow the bridesmaids to wear white…..and it looks beautiful ! Although this may confuse your Aunt Matilda, it really works to make the bride feel a bit less conspicuous and comfortable on her big day.

Linen Wedding Dress  Beach Sand


Island Wedding Dress - Creme Brulee

Brides who are self-conscious about their figures especially may enjoy the reduced contrast of wearing non-white shades. Since you are wearing a long dress, visually you are the biggest thing in the room – and wearing  pure white simply heightens this effect. Toning it down just a shade or two can really reduce the impact of your gown, while still allowing you to shine and have all the attention you are comfortable having.

Creme Brulee Wedding Dress

Earth tones can be especially workable and appropriate for outdoor weddings and wedding in wooded or park like settings. For beach weddings, the sun can glare in photos, making it tough to get great shots in daytime weddings. Toning it down just a few notches with color can make a beach wedding shot so much more flattering for bride and groom. Think a color palette with sand, bleached wood tones, mints and pastels. Photos aside, you may just enjoy feeling more ‘one’ with the scenery around your wedding setting. For woodland weddings, earth tones and colored wedding attire just feels right. Natural colors for attendants like berry and grape tones, deep greens and darks look lovely and fit the scenery.

Tonal wedding gowns are not the only choices beyond whites and shades of white. Many brides choose to celebrate their unions in full on colors. Wedding gowns in red, plum, emerald and sapphire are popular, especially in steampunk and corseted styles. Black is chosen often as well, for both attendants and brides. Pirate, gamer and other romantic fantasy themed weddings often feature dark palettes. Another popular color is ice and pale blue. Pastel wedding gowns in yellow and buttercream shades, pinks and roses, lavender and greys abound. Also favored are neutrals like shades of brown and pewter. Aubergine is another beautiful wedding gown color.

Black Wedding Dress Aubergine


Dark Wedding Dress Midnight

Wedding gowns have altered in their cultural significance and colors have shifted into play more in wedding palettes, allowing brides to ‘change it up’ with their wedding choices, especially the palette of colors they choose for their wedding and for the gowns they wear. What’s important to brides is expressions of their own and their guy’s personalities and loves and their favorites as a couple. Choosing a wedding gown should allow you to be who you are and to express your essence as a bride and a woman. Allow yourself to dream a little about color in your wedding dress !

Ivory Lace Audrey Gown