A Blush of Color
The easiest way to instill a hint of color while still remaining traditional is to go with an off-white dress. Many brides select ivory, beige or a very light yellow for a gentle hint of color.
An off-white dress can be a great compromise, as it will please the more traditional guests and make you happy, too.
Soft and Subtle
Pastels are another subtle choice for your wedding gown. A soft, sumptuous peach or powder blue lends a romantic feel to your dress. Pastels won't overpower most brides' coloring, either.
One word of caution: Pastels aren't as stark as the traditional white, but they aren't strong enough to stand out by themselves, either. Unless you're wearing white or off-white, make sure you dress your wedding party in lighter colors than you.
Bold and Vibrant
On the other hand, if you're the dramatic, make-a-statement type, you can go for a deeper color. Try "gem" colors: emerald, ruby or cobalt blue. These colors tend to look best on an evening wear-type gown, such as a strapless number. Add elbow length opera gloves to complete the effect.
Consider Your Own Coloring
Try a variety of colors on in the store to see which suit your coloring best. Most skin has one of two basic undertones: pink or yellow.
Pink skin tones look good in:
- true reds
- true blues
- deep green
Yellow skin is complimented by:
- earth tones
- forest green
Subtle patterns can add interest to your gown. Polka dots in a slightly lighter or darker color than the background are a fun choice. Pin-striping is another interesting option.
If your gown is a solid color, add details such as seed pearls or lace.
Don't match your bridesmaids' dresses exactly to your wedding dress color. Instead, go for either a few shades lighter or darker or for a complimenting color. For example, if your dress is emerald green, you can dress your bridesmaids in lime.
Another dramatic effect is to wear a colored wedding dress, but have your bridesmaids wear long black gowns. Have the ushers wear a boutonniere in your dress color.
Breaking it to Mom
Be aware that some people might be surprised by or even disapprove of your decision not to wear white. The most likely candidate for this attitude is your own mother. Your mom may have dreamed of seeing her little girl walk down the aisle "all dressed in white" from the time she brought you home from the hospital.
Be gentle but firm. Explain to your mother that you know she'd rather you wear white, but that you are expressing your individuality this way. You can also make her feel better by allowing her a hand in selecting your dress. Take her along for the ride and listen to her input. You don't have to do exactly as she says; just giving her a part in the process is likely to make her feel she counts in your book.