The “wedding season” is fast approaching. As June nears, wedding planning picks up, and many brides-to-be are choosing their wedding gowns in preparation for the “big day.” And, even though white is the traditional color for a wedding dress, some women are wondering if they really have to wear a white wedding dress for their nuptials.
The answer? Of course not. Your wedding day is your day. While precedence since Queen Victoria’s marriage in 1840 has been given to the white wedding dress, there is nothing that says a bridal gown has to be that color. And, even though white has come to be associated with virginity, the original color for chastity and purity was blue. Many medieval and Renaissance wedding dresses were blue, or incorporated blue. (Not Mary Queen of Scots, though. Her 16th Century wedding dress was one of the first white bridal gowns.)
Some brides-to-be find that they don’t like the color white. Others think it is too bland, too traditional or too patriarchal. Instead, if white isn’t your thing, you can look for a colored wedding dress. You will probably have to special order it, even though most bridal boutiques can help you find what you are looking for, and in any color. Another good place to start looking is the Internet. You can find nearly anything you are looking for on the Internet, and that includes gowns of many different sorts. And, if you order what you want in a timely fashion, you will have plenty of time to have it altered as needed to fit properly for the big day.
Colors that you might consider come from wedding dresses in other cultures. Traditionally, Chinese brides wear red (although some are adopting the Western tradition of wearing white). Red symbolizes luck, and it is considered an auspicious start to the marriage for the bride to wear red. In some parts of India, a red colored wedding dress is also an invitation to a marriage blessed by good luck. In northern India, green can also be worn by the bride. It is a color that symbolizes fertility.
But you don’t have to wear colors that have special meanings. Some brides choose a colored wedding gown that matches the seasons. Pastel colors in the spring can even be so close to white that guests won’t mind your choice of color (not that your wedding is for them, anyway!), and they can lend a light feeling to the wedding without being bland. Darker summer colors (bright yellows, pinks, purples and greens) can be a vibrant accent to your summertime wedding. Autumn colors include gold, rust, dark blue and tan or light brown. But perhaps my favorite are winter colors. Can you imagine an elegant wedding dress in forest green or burgundy? And trimming your wedding gown with faux fur can add a wintery touch.
Color can be a part of your wedding gown, even if you don’t completely abandon tradition and go with a colored wedding dress. A colored sash, bow, beads, or fanciful embroidery can allow you to add a personal touch of color.