Buying a coloured wedding dress

Have the confidence to wear a colour on your wedding day with YYW's guide...

Versailles, by Ian Stuart




  • Brunettes with darker skin
  • Can also warm up paler skin tones

“There are no hard and fast rules as each bride needs to be looked at as an individual,” says Paul at Johanna Hehir. “Hair colour as well as skin tone can make quite a difference. But as a general guide, blondes look better in silver tones, whereas brunettes suit golds, caramel and cappuccino.”

“Cappuccino/caramel coloured dresses look fantastic on any complexion. I’ve seen all kinds of brides in these colours and it really does work,” says designer Charlotte Balbier. “If you have a darker skin, these colours really complement the darker tones. If you have a pale skin and colouring, then the warmth of the cappuccino and caramel warm the skin tone and really look fabulous.”



  • Depends on the shade of silver but can work on blondes and brunettes

“Silver is probably the hardest colour to wear, I think,” says Charlotte Balbier. “It’s not very forgiving as a colour and can drain you. If it’s the right shade of silver on the right bride, then it has the potential to look amazing and be really gorgeous. I personally like silver on dark hair and darker skin.”



  • Most colourings. Blondes can look great in soft golds
  • Brunettes
  • Red heads

“Gold shades look amazing on redheads and I love the combination of flame red hair and gold, it can look stunning,” says Charlotte Balbier.

Top tips for all skin tones

“Ivory is the most popular and flattering colour as I rarely ever get a girl that it doesn’t suit,” says Elizabeth Todd. “I think this is a good all-rounder. Next to this we find a pale blush pink is also very flattering as it suits an English rose, tanned skins and dark skins. This has been very popular for us this year.”

“If you are really stuck and don’t want to go for ivory, blush is a really good colour,” says Sarah Arnett. “If you go for a really pale warm blush it’s a very flattering alternative to cream.“

“Ivory is generally flattering on most brides but white can look absolutely stunning on the right olive or tanned complexions,” says Paul at Johanna Hehir.

“For a colour that’s universally flattering I like a soft gold/cappuccino or a very rich ivory like a double cream,” says Charlotte Balbier. “I also just love soft blush pink, it is so pretty and works well on all skin tones.”


“You’ve got to be quite confident to wear a colour. Pale blues and pinks are quite bridal but bright red really makes a statement. We once made a Cadbury purple dress, which was amazing. The bride has a huge personality and she always wears bright colours, so people knew she’d wear something vibrant. It fitted her personality perfectly,” says Suzanne Neville.



“If you want to introduce a second colour into your dress – for example, red – go for a scattering of red crystals on the dress, rather than introducing it into the fabric. You could have a wrap made in the red on one side and ivory on the other. For a more subtle approach to match your colour scheme, have a red ribbon around the hem of your petticoat – a really elegant way of giving a flash of colour,” says Ian Stuart.