Wearing colours on your wedding day

Nu Bride blogger Nova shares her thoughts and tips for choosing the colour of your wedding dress

Most of us already know, long before our wedding dress hunt commences, that white is the most unforgiving colour on most skin tones. And body shapes.


So why we are still searching for the perfect ‘Virgin Mary’ white dress is beyond me. Luckily most dress designers offer the chance to wear an off-white or ivory dress, as they are so much more flattering. 

But what about adding some real colour?

If you have a favourite colour, don’t feel you have to ditch it for your wedding day or only feature it in your wedding flowers.

There are some beautiful alternatives to white wedding dresses and wedding fashion choices out there that complement your natural skin tone and reflect your personality.

The meaning behind the white wedding dress has remained fluid for centuries. White was often a fashionable choice and in the Victorian era (which many of us have become accustomed to), white symbolised purity. But it was also affluent brides that often wore colours.

Ian Stuart Bride | Photography Christopher Dadey

Picking the right colour for your skin tone

Our skin tones naturally lend themselves to certain palettes. Having this insight when choosing your wedding dress can make all the difference in finding your perfect match.

To help you pick a wedding dress that complements your skin tone, I’ve rounded up a few of my industry friends to share some tips for adding a splash of colour to your wedding outfit.

“Try on your own wardrobe, evaluating what it is about certain tones that work or don’t, this will really helps guide you in choosing your wedding gown colour,” says Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture

When wanting to choose the perfect colour to wear for a special occasion, the two things that really matter are 1) what colours do you love to wear?  And 2) will those colours love you back?

When trying on wedding dresses, it is really important to consider the quality of light, as sometimes poor lighting can make you look less than fabulous rather than the colour of a dress.

White (and many similarly pale colours) reflects a lot of light, as do fabrics with a high sheen like satin. So if the shade doesn’t really suit you you’ll really notice it, and conversely, if it does suit you, you’ll look more fresh, younger and generally in fine fettle. 

“In contrast, dark colours absorb light, so if they don’t suit you, these colours can really draw light and colour away from your skin and eyes,” says Faith Caton Barber

Ivory, rose coloured tints and pale golds

“Different complexions suit different colours, for example if you have fair skin you will suit warmer colours such as pale golds, rose coloured tones and rich ivories,” says Ian Stuart.

“lvory looks far better than white on fairer skin tones (the underlying blue tone in a white makes a fair complexion look colder). White, in my opinion, suits Mediterranean and darker skin tones, though personally I am not a huge fan of white on anyone,” says Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture

Faith Caton-Barber | EFC Photography

Blue, pale ivory, opaque white, blush pink

“If you have darker skin, cooler shades will suit your complexion best. These include ice blue, pale ivories, opaque whites and blush pink. I always try to experiment and take risks when it comes to colours,” says Ian Stuart.

“Ivory and soft champagne work well on a darker skin tones. These colours really glow and can look fabulous against your skin tone or go a shade or two deeper if you don’t want the colour of the dress to stand out too much,” says Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture.

Coral and bright pink

“Mediterranean and darker skin tones also suit brighter, hot colours. If you wish to be bold with your wedding day colours, coral and pinks are a great example,” says Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture.

Green and Golds

“Do consider alternative colours. Colours that you know look great on you. For example, redheads look amazing in green and gold colours”. Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture

Chantal Mallett Bridal Couture | Photography Veronica Virna

Red, purple and teal

“Colours like red and purple have a shade to suit most people. Teal (in differing shades) suits nearly every skin tone because of its balance of warmth and coolness (yellow and blue),” says Faith Caton Barber

Finishing touches

If you love a colour and it makes you look less than fabulous, you could use it for accent accessories instead, (a belt sash, for example). Or wear it in a pattern mixed with more flattering colours, or simply wear it away from your face.

How about that! Thank you Chantal, Ian and Faith for your great tips.

Will you be following what feels right for you and adding a splash of colour to your wedding fashion this year, or sticking to something traditional and white?


Nova, editor of www.nubride.com