“Mom, dad, grandma, grandpa, listen. On my wedding, I’m going to wear… wait for it… pink.”
It wouldn’t be surprising to see your whole family, including your dog, glaring at you for saying this. Tradition suggests (enforces, rather) that every bride must wear white on her wedding day. When asked why, people will instinctively say, “white symbolizes purity of the soul.” But history explains that it is Queen Victoria who should be blamed for starting the whole white wedding dress bandwagon. In 1840, the queen wore a momentous white wedding gown. The wedding pictures were widely published and being a trendsetter during her reign, many other brides opted for white too. The norm has stuck ever since.
Most brides choose to follow, while some brides refuse to let tradition dictate their wedding fashion. If you have a solid style statement, here are some ways you can use a non-traditional wedding dress without taking away the “bridal” feel.
Pastel colors refer to the family of colors with low to intermediate saturation. These soft and soothing hues make great alternatives to sterile white dresses, as they subtly add hints of color without going overboard. The result? A dreamy wedding dress that looks completely taken from a fairytale.
Think of muted tones including blush, pale pink, champagne, mauve, lavender, dusty blue, and mint. Pastels are fresh and feminine, and they add romantic feel without being far away from traditional pure white or ivory on the color wheel.
If you want to make a statement, go daring with bold, sultry shades. Think of jeweled shades of blue, green, violet, pink, and gold. But if your intention is to stun, you can never go wrong with the color of love and passion – red.
The regal color transforms you into a red rosebud, gradually blooming as you walk down the aisle. Top it off with lace, ruffles, and feathers to complete the look. If you’re in doubt, check out some of the celebrities who ditched white for red on their wedding day, including Chrissy Teigen, the wife of singer John Legend. Isn’t she lovely?
In addition, some cultures, including the Indian, Chinese, and Vietnamese culture, actually use traditional red wedding dresses. In the Indian context, red is associated with the rising sun and it symbolizes prosperity and fertility, that’s why brides wear intricate red dresses embellished with lavish jewels.
Want to totally break tradition like a rebel? Go for a black dress – the complete opposite of the “pure” hue.
We know that flowers and weddings go hand in hand, but have you ever considered incorporating blooms in your wedding dress, rather than holding them? Floral print wedding dresses exist and I’m obsessed with how ethereal and romantic they look.
Though floral prints are a go-to choice, you can also think out of the box and consider other patterns that suit your personality.
If you can’t fully commit to ditching white on your big day, perhaps adding pops of color to introduce your style might be a great idea. Consider adding colored belts and embellishments to break the dead “all-white” scheme.
An ombré (or dip-dye) dress is also a thing for ladies seeking an unexpected “wow factor.” Instead of having the entire dress being one color, only the bottom part of the dress is dyed. Ombré ranges from light (or what we call the watercolor effect) to dark and bold. For your inspiration, check out how Gwen Stefani rocked an ombré wedding dress in 2002.
A traditional wedding dress looks like this: a white ballgown or A-line wedding dress that is long enough to touch the floor. If you want to go off the beaten path without ditching white, you can work with a professional tailor (who can be as crazy as you are) to create a custom gown of the hem length and detailing of your choice.
Feeling a little “extra” (and it’s okay for grandma)? Try tweaking your conventional white dress and include high slits, cutouts, and see-through elements. You can also go anything but understated with embellishments such as intricate beading, ruffles, lace, fringes, feathers, and metallics. You can even add cloak or a long train to add drama. Want to wear white pants? Your wedding, your rules.
Author Bio: Carmina Natividad is one of the enthusiastic writers for Jennifer Regan, a shop in Sydney that caters to women who are looking for the perfect bridal dress to wear as they walk down the aisle. Her articles mainly focus on fashion and beauty, which help soon-to-be-brides prepare for their wedding day.