Do You Really Need to Wear White on Your Wedding Day?

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color wedding dressesThis is one of the more common questions I get asked from time to time – do brides really need to wear white on their wedding day?  It’s definitely a trick question, as we’ve had it pounded into our heads for our entire lives that brides wear white. Luckily, in this day and age, the answer to this question is a resounding ‘no!” 

Today’s brides are no longer saddled by this ancient wedding tradition, and as such now it is perfectly acceptable for a bride to wear any color she chooses on her big day.

History of the White Wedding Dress Tradition

The tradition of a bride wearing white was started by Queen Victoria way back in 1840 when she wore it to her own wedding.  Although it was not the Queen’s intention for this to become a longstanding tradition, that’s exactly what happened as wearing white quickly morphed into a status symbol reflective of purity and innocence.

Today’s Practices

Today, many societies around the world have embraced a philosophy of individualism and personal freedom, and it is this modern mindset that has allowed non-white wedding dresses to become not only acceptable, but hip and stylish as well.  Brides who choose to wear non-white wedding dresses often do so as a way to make their big day more memorable.  It’s a good way to stand out from the plethora of other weddings that we’ve all been to.

Another thing to keep in mind is that this color trend is not limited to full colored gowns.  Even brides who want to retain the white gown tradition often give it a modern flair by accentuating their dresses with subtle hints of color.  Items such as sashes, necklines, gloves, accessories, shoes and inset panels can be embellished with dashes of color, embroidery or beading.

The best way to find your ideal colored wedding dress is to start online.  Do a Google image search for “colored wedding dresses” and peruse the pictures.  Identify a few color and style combinations that you think would look great on you, and then call the bridal stores in your local area to see if they carry similar styles.  If they do, go try them on.  If not, well, then you may need to investigate ordering one online (at a store with a good return policy, that is), expanding your reach, or even checking bridesmaid dresses.


If you’re daring and want to make a bold, memorable statement at your wedding, it’s ok to wear some color! Even if you don’t go the full colored dress route, you can still enhance your look with tinges of color that are subtly and strategically placed. 

To find what might work for you, start by doing some image searching online to identify a few solors and styles that you really like. Then, start pounding the proverbial pavement. The bottom line: be creative, and most importantly, be yourself.  Good luck!

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