Is this bridal enough?: The great WHITE lie

Updated Oct 12 2015
Guest post by Ocelot

These gowns are both made by Allure. One is the Allure Wedding Dress 8802, and the other is from Allure's prom line Night Moves. Aside from perhaps a difference in belt width, this is the same damn dress — COLOR is the only difference. In white, this dress is about twice as costly because the white one is largely considered a lovely "once in a lifetime" gown and the grey is well… just a dress.

Doesn't that just twist your knickers?

I started off not wanting a lot of the normal wedding trappings, like flowers and so on. But, little by little, I've given into the ideas of some of these things in order to make others happy, or, because alternatives were too difficult or expensive. Somehow, I have latched onto "the dress" as the single thing I would have complete control over. Short of drugging me, one could not force me to wear something I didn't want!

However, I AM feeling the same pressures to "give in" to a gown in the white family, like ivory or eggshell. Maybe not pressure, but a general lack of support which all started with this one nasty sentence: "You don't want to look like a bridesmaid at your OWN wedding, do you?"

I wish I could remember who said it, so I could slap the shit out of her, but it wouldn't matter. I've heard so many variations on that particular cutting remark that I'd probably have a sore slapping hand by now.

A few people are immediately dismissive of a non-white dress, but over time they begin saying things like, "How will we know who the bride is?" and, "You will look like you're going to prom!" and everything in between. It's started to seep into the more doubtful and anxious parts of me and I start to wonder — "Is this BRIDAL enough?"

I don't even know what "bridal" means. Does it mean white and expensive? Because that's all I can find. If it's white, it's automatically bridal, no matter what it is. If it's any other saturated jewel-tone color, I feel I have to add things to ensure that BRIDAL feel — a veil, a train, a pile of flowers. I also feel like I'll have to find a "better" reason than personal preference to divert from white just so that people will understand.

If YOU'RE feeling pressure to "give in" to a white dress, check out these colored dress tags for some inspiration:
Red dresses
Blue dresses
Gold dresses
Pink dresses
Purple dresses
Black dresses

Sometimes I wonder who could be so stupid as to show up at my wedding at my request, and then not remember I'm the fucking bride without a visual cue. Maybe I'll huck the bouquet directly at 'em — that'll jog their memory!

I wish I could be more confident in the choice to go with a non-white dress. I see so many lovely women here with alternative apparel and I am so dazzled. I wish I could borrow their courage and their determination!

I would like to know how people came to their choices and stuck by them. Anyone want to share?

  1. It still comes down to the fact that it's YOUR wedding. Whatever you feel is "bridal" enough for you is in fact "bridal." If you want to wear a hot pink dress then so be it. It's your day not your guests day. They are there to celebrate with you, not to berate you over your gown choice.

    • I've seen, on un-named wedding dress shows, pink dresses featured before – no one laughed at or questioned that bride.
      And besides – Wearing white is a relatively modern tradition – Queen Victoria, I think it was, wore white first – but before then, women just wore a pretty dress, in any colour!

      • I've seen that episode, and her family was a little unsupportive of her pink and leopard print wedding idea. But that girl picked out a beautiful dress that totally was still within her style! Oh, and you're totally right about Queen Victoria starting the white trend, before brides would just wear their best!

      • The whole Queen Victoria wearing white trend didn't even catch on until the post-WWII economic boom. After her, but before that, only extremely wealthy women wore expensive, elaborate white gowns to their wedding that would get dirty easily and that they would never wear again. Both of my grandmothers wore suits to their wedding. My paternal grandmother wore hers until it was threadbare and she had to get rid of it. I still have the outfit my maternal grandmother wore to her wedding. My maternal grandmother wore a grey pinstriped suit with a salmon pink hat and purse. I believe my paternal grandmother's suit was a light blue, but their wedding photo is black and white, so it's hard to tell. Also, as far as I know, Queen Victoria popularized the whole marriage-for-love idea. "Traditional" weddings really aren't – they're 20th century fashion trends.

        • So true. Neither of my grandmothers, nor my mother, or aunts
          (maternal and paternal) , or my sister wore white to their weddings. I can assure you that everyone present knew who the bride and groom were.Most of them wore shades of blue , powder, aqua, royal, navy, and cadet. I think two of them wore shades of brown, tan and camel.

      • Even after Victoria, wealthy women wore white but regular working and middle class women continued to just wear their best dress or a new dress in a style and color they could wear again.

        • Even the very wealthy used their gowns again, white and otherwise. It was not at all uncommon to re-modeled them to wear as evening gowns or cut them down to make christening gowns for first born babies.

          • all the family christening gowns we have are made from the mother's or grandmother's wedding dress, and we're far from wealthy family background. If I ever get married+have a baby I'd love to include it but possibly a teal green christening gown would be a bit much… might have to borrow my mother's…!

      • Queen Victoria did wear white but her bridal gown was geared towards austerity as the nation was going through tough times & she wanted to empathize with her future subject. Besides that ALL unmarried women (read virgins) wore white & pastels before marriage. I've even read somewhere that many young girls went off balance the day after the wedding & wore hideous colors & styles that were risque as they didn't have enough knowledge to judge fashions.

        And as another commentator said, wealthy women wore white, true, but theirs were ELABORATE. In terms of pearls, gemstones etc sewn on the gown.

        So why in the world are we even dictating to ourselves the color we should wear to our own weddings?

    • You should always wear exactly what you want and what makes you feel special and happy for your most important day. Be yourself. I had a pink sash on my dress three decades ago when only white white white was the only dress you wore. No ivory or champagne or blush or Irish cream. I had to be a little rebel even back then. Who knows what I would even imagine wearing now. Whatever makes you happy, happy, happy.

    • A wedding dress/outfit is defined roughly as what the bride wears when she gets married. So, if you wear it when you get married, it is a wedding dress/outfit and it is bridal because as the person getting married you are the bride so anything you wear becomes bridal by definition. Period.

  2. I am wearing a cobalt blue Victorian style bustle dress. I decided this when I saw a bride wearing the same color on a post here on OBB. I have stood my ground and everyone is super excited to see me in it. My original plan was for my bridesmaids to wear turquoise….but then I decided on white. They are all choosing their own dresses in varying shades of white and pairing them with whatever brown boots they like. <3

  3. Here's a rule of thumb (and this is a rule of thumb that anyone can buck if that's their thing, but this is a rule for people with this sort of nagging feeling that they're not "bridal" enough…:) Be the dressiest person there. Don't want to look like a bridesmaid? Make sure your bridesmaids don't wear flashier dresses than you. And if you've gotten the word out about the tone and mood (and dress code, if that's something you want to dictate) of your wedding, then assume guests will be less flashy than you. Stand confident knowing that now, you look bridal.
    Now. Don't want to dress flashier than anybody? Cool. You know how your guests will know who the bride is? She'll be the one standing at the altar (or stage, or gazebo, or center of the circle or whatever.) Because smartass questions deserve smartass answers.

    For curiosity's sake, I'd love to see a wedding where the couple instructs everyone around them to dress up–like, black tie style–and then shows up in jeans and t-shirts. GUESS WHO THE BRIDE IS NOW.

    • This is what we did. Our dress code was 'semi-formal' with some general hints on what that might mean like nice summer dresses or a nice shirt but skip the tie and jacket. Then I wore a dark blue prom/evening gown and my husband wore a really nice suit (not quite black tie, especially since the actual tie was red, but close).

      I think it made sure we stood out regardless of the colours. Although I'm also firmly in the camp of "if you can't recognise the bride and groom regardless of their clothes what the fuck are you doing at their wedding?"

      • "if you can't recognise the bride and groom regardless of their clothes what the fuck are you doing at their wedding?"
        AMEN! Even if they've never met you they should be able to figure out that the 2 people the ceremony is focused on are the bride and groom! It's your wedding day and you need to feel comfortable and beautiful. If that's not in white then so be it. And a big hint that I learned from this site… If people don't NEED to know what's going on, don't tell them! It saves you a lot of heart ache leading up to it and very few people will have the gaul to say nasty things to you on your wedding day.

    • Yes! Being the snazziest dressed there definitely puts direction as to who is getting married. Then for partying I changed into something more casual.

      I went for white, because that was how I always imagined the dress to be (in those few times I dreamed of getting married). I spiced it up with accessories and a cloak that more represented what I was into and about.

      Also, I knew I didn't want a dress that busted the bank for one day of wear. Got one on craigslist, sewed on some sleeves (strapless is not my thing), and now I plan on putting it back to craiglist at the same price so someone can also get some use.

    • Yes, yes, YES!

      I think that "GUESS WHO THE BRIDE IS NOW?" is a great sarcastic mantra to keep repeating to yourself. I find speaking in all-caps in my head extremely comforting, so its my new wedding meditation visual!

      I was worried I wouldn't look formal enough, so from the beginning I asked my bridesmaids to wear above the knee dresses… that way even if I had found the cotton or silk flowy dress I thought I was looking for, I would still look fancy as long as it hit the ground and theirs didn't. Plus, not only do they save money by buying shorter dresses, but they're are more likely to wear it again without needing to hack off the bottom. Win-win. (Not that length is the ultimate determiner, it's just the strategy I used – I think there's lots of other ways to define fancy-pants-ness.)

      I bought a way more white/traditional looking gown than I thought I would, but I bought it because it met my number one requirement: that I look hot. That's it. I think it was also liberating, because I'm pretty non-traditional so some part of me sort of worried that people would say, "oh that's too bridal for YOU". Actually, people did give me a lot of "you need sometime simple" advice, which actually steered me away from going simple because it felt confining…

      I was really really stressed until I just bought it, and the non-refundable deposit really made the calm economic part of my brain take over. No matter what someone says to me about anything to with the wedding, once there's money down, no one gets to comment unless they're offering to pay for something new.

      Even with my slight worry that someone might actually think my dress is TOO bridal for me, I've come up with the following defense: don't tell anyone. My bridesmaids are also my bodyguards on the day of the wedding. My friends have seen the dress, but I'm telling family who I think might make dumb comments no matter what I wear that it's a secret!

    • A friend of mine did this, He didn't give a dress code, so we assumes suit and tie for the men. He showed up in (very nice) linen cream pants and a cheesecloth shirt. Everyone else was very formal.

  4. Oh, man. What a terrible thing to say to a prospective bride!


    What's funny to me about the whole WHITE DRESS insanity is that it is a relatively recent phenomenon–Queen Victoria started it at her wedding to Albert in 1840. Before that, most women just wore their best dresses (Western culture).

    (Also? The White = Purity thing? Total crap. Blue, specifically the blue associated with icons of the Virgin Mary, was actually symbolic of that)

    Wear what makes you feel most beautiful, Lady Ocelot–black, red, white, sparkly–it truly doesn't matter. 🙂

    • I learned recently that Victoria wore a white lace gown, and her choice was economic! White was expensive and lace-making was a struggling English industry. She hoped (or knew) that by her wearing a dress like that, other (rich) brides would want to as well, and this would help spur the English economy. Oh, the power of fashion…

  5. You should wear whatever makes you happy, of course. Only go for something else if YOU don't feel like its bridal enough.

    I had somewhat the same feelings about my dress: I wanted color, but I also wanted it to look 'bridal' and not 'evening dress'. Eventually I found one that had a typical weddingdress shape and a luxurious fabric. Although it was green, nobody could mistake me for anyone else but the bride.


    • That is the most beautiful green gown I've seen. (the green is not a qualifier, I've looked around for a lot of green dresses)

    • Mine was green, too! I started out knowing I wanted to wear green — and the second I saw this one online, I had to have it. Definitely no mistaking me for anyone but bride, either! (I did fashion some of my grandmother's white, floral clip-on earrings for hair accessories, which I'm sure signified my bridalhood.)

      • And, to the OP:

        I am kind of an odd duck, anyway, so when people (more so acquaintances than anyone close) tried to put in their two cents, I would usually just smirk and say, "Yep! I'm wearing green and I am excited about it!" My closer relations and friends mostly just reacted with a "hmm. Green? I can get behind that." and knew I'm stubborn enough that they didn't want to ask any questions. heh.

        And, as you can see in the link I posted to Millenyum, I definitely looked the part. My sister's maid-of-honor dress was champagne/silver, and no one mistook her for the bride, not even the elderly or deranged.

  6. I felt like I had gotten my dress for a steal because it wasn't a "wedding gown." It was just a regular ball gown I found at Cache. Since it was a champagney color that looked very bridal, the seamstress I brought it to couldn't believe I had paid $250 for it because she had another bride come in with something similar that had paid well into the $1000 range. I didn't really care where it came from, I just knew I had a general idea of what I wanted: something lacey, classy but sassy with a vintagey feel. I wasn't even dress shopping when I stumbled on my dress on a sales rack and I soon as I saw it, I knew that was it. I think that's the key–finding something you love enough that you don't care what other people think. YOU love it and feel comfortable in it and that's all that matters.

    • I stumbled upon my wedding dress at Cache, too! It's white, but has brightly painted flowers on it. I actually bought it a decade earlier, but it was the dress of my dreams (literally, I have been dreaming about a dress with bright flowers on it since I was old enough to know what a wedding was) and still is.

  7. I went through a million choices before I settled on my blue gown made by Viktor Luna (pre Project Runway). I was so in love with Chrissy Wai-Ching dresses, but the cost was high and she was far away.
    Honestly, NO ONE will not know you are the bride on your wedding day. No one. And whatever you wear will automatically seem like a wedding dress, because YOU wear it and because YOU are the bride.
    Be confident. My blue dress was gorgeous and I have worn it twice since. Everyone loved it because they knew it was "me" so my advice is go with what is YOU. Be yourself. Even if yourself is eggshell, be who you are and who you want to be. Wear something that says, "I am Ocelot and I am marry the person of my dreams!!!"
    Good luck. And don't compromise. You are right, the dress is all your decision.

  8. You should wear whatever makes you happy, of course. Only go for something else if YOU don't feel like its bridal enough.

    I had somewhat the same feelings about my dress: I wanted color, but I also wanted it to look 'bridal' and not 'evening dress'. Eventually I found one that had a typical weddingdress shape and a luxurious fabric. Although it was green, nobody could mistake me for anyone else but the bride.

  9. I am wearing red and i am getting a lot of the same comments. even my friends who are supportive are like 'are you sure you aren't going to regret it?' i have never, in my life, coveted the white dress.

    i feel the same as you do. i'll be the one saying vows, carrying a bouquet, making a speech and paying for your meal and drinks. yes, i'm the bride.

    i have twinges of second-thinking, then i look at the scads of other women who got married in NON-white/ivory/champagne/blush/ecru/platinum/whatever dress and dared to wear something else, and they look perfectly lovely and being as they are they ones getting married, yes, they look like brides!

    • I just bought a fairly traditional dress (very simple and elegant, I absolutely love it, and it was exactly what I'd budgeted) but I'm having some second thoughts because my partner wants me to wear a red dress (he spent many years travelling in Asia). Red looks really good on me, and I never wear white, but for this one day I want to be semi-traditional, for a change as much as anything else (also to show that I respect the traditions of the country I'm marrying into). But with so many choices out there, I think it's totally natural to second-guess yourself a bit. Well done for going with what you really want and not letting anyone else's opinion over-ride your choice of dress!

    • Red is a very common bridal color in Asian countries, and I've seen red bridal gowns in bridal magazines. It's becoming practically mainstream.

      • In East Asia what typically happens is that there's a white Western-style weddingy dress that is worn for awhile (the ceremony and reception are very separate events anyway) and for some pictures, and a red dress is changed into midway through the reception. Then there's a going-away dress in a color of the bride's choice (or more often than you'd think. the bride's mother's choice). All three are typically rented, not bought.

        • Heh, this has nothing to do with anything, but that reminds me of a funny story in my family:

          My aunt is of the half-German, half-British, American Euro-mutt variety, but her husband is Japanese, and they were married in Japan.

          So she did a traditional photo session with the fancy (rented) white and red kimonos, the traditionally-styled black wig, and the heavy white makeup; and when the photos came in, the studio asked if they could use her pictures in their ads. Of course, she was very flattered and accepted the offer.

          Some time later, she sees one of the ads, and the copy is to the effect of, "If we can make this white woman look this good, imagine what we can do for you!"

  10. "Sometimes I wonder who could be so stupid as to show up at my wedding at my request, and then not remember I'm the fucking bride without a visual cue. Maybe I'll huck the bouquet directly at 'em — that'll jog their memory!"
    I laughed so hard at this! Perfection. I am getting married in 8 months any every time I included someones opinion they got really pushy. I learned to just listen to your gut. Go try on those dresses you are eying up either alone or with ONE person that you know will be supportive. It's your wedding girl, celebrate your marriage the way you and your partner pleases!

  11. I'm having the same problem! I really want a purple dress… but I still want it to be the same style as a wedding gown. This seems confusing for the sales people at all the bridal shops and for my own mother.

    WHY??? Why do I have to wear white? I don't like white. I don't even own any normal white clothes! I would feel much prettier in a color I like but it seems impossible to find.

    I'm also hesitant to order a dress online without being able to try it on first but I can't find any nice colored gowns in person either 🙁 Waaah!

    • Try Quinceneara dresses! These guys are found in any color under the sun (mostly jewel tones). Once the bridal consultant gets over the fact you're not 15 they might have a better idea of what you want. I'm seriously considering getting one myself.

    • I was told that "purple dresses for brides do NOT exist!!" and wasn't allowed to look in the bridesmaid/prom section whilst trying on wedding dresses. Like it was illegal or something.

      In the end I got my lovely purple pinstripe dress from the prom section. For £80. I had a budget of over £1,000. Their loss, not mine.

      Just don't tell them you want a wedding dress.

      • Purple wedding dresses DO exist, you should have told them to check out Vera Wang, she has a whole collection!

        I decided to go with a simple white top with a full length lace purple skirt… to cover both bases (also made it super cheap). But I won't tell anyone before the wedding (I won't be having bridesmaids so no problems), any if anyone decides to tell a bride ON HER WEDDING DAY they don't like the dress… well they can just rot in a white puffy hell!

  12. Amen to this.

    I'm considering royal purple for my big day. My ultra pale complexion means I will look rubbish in anything pale or pastel coloured but striking in something like that.

    But I am also lucky that I have no one, as yet, telling me what they think I should be doing and I haven't been telling.

  13. I am having the same problem, and I want a WHITE dress. But since I don't want a long fancy dress with a train, I am somehow being "un-bridal". But I like my tea-length dress, and am excited that it is something I can wear again and again. 🙂

    So far I have gotten very little support from the family/friends section, but FH loves it and loves my reasons behind it so that is enough for me.

  14. I wore sapphire blue on my wedding day and it rocked! No one was really surprised as I've always been the sort to go my own way, but I was still a tad bit nervous about the potential reaction of my more traditional in-laws. Everything was fine. More than fine, actually!

    If the dress makes YOU feel beautiful, sexy, elegant, <insert favorite adjective here) and BRIDAL (no matter the color)… then it's the dress for you!

    And you're right… if they are at YOUR wedding, hopefully they will know who the Bride is in any color!

  15. I too have never dreamt of a white dress. Heck, I worked at David's Bridal for a month when I was in high school, and even then I just couldn't imagine myself wearing any of the dresses there. My mom and I are making my dress, and I decided I wanted a blue dress. So far I've had a lot of positive reactions, mostly to do with my hair (it's red) and how it will be a neat combo.

    Just tell people that for you, feeling "bridal", is ensuring that you feel special on your big day..and wearing the color you chose is just the ticket!

    I've been letting any negative stuff roll off my back. I took some advice I saw elsewhere on OBB – check out the honeybadger video, and you'll see what I mean 🙂 Good luck!

  16. "Sometimes I wonder who could be so stupid as to show up at my wedding at my request, and then not remember I'm the fucking bride without a visual cue"

    LMFAO – so truthy in all truthosity.

    Strut your stuff in whatever color you choose!!

  17. i'm getting married in a short, peacock-blue rhinestone-strapped dress that very well could look like a beautiful dinner dress. but, for me, it's perfect! and i don't give a rat's butt what other people say because it's my day. also – i'm getting married to another woman, on the beach, in a super-short ceremony with a huge-ass party to follow and i WILL be comfortable. besides, if my guests can't figure out who the bride(s) is, they shouldn't have been invited in the first place because i obviously don't know them.

  18. I am NOT doing a white dress, and had to calmly explain to many relatives that if the dress I choose to wear on MY special day didnt suit their pre-concieved notions of what a bride should look like, then maybe they readjust. My dress is emerald green. My engagement ring is an emerald not a diamond- so they were confused about that too. my FH was trying in vain to have me secretly pick a ring in the window but I kept going back to my ring telling him I liked it much better.
    At the end of the day its about what you want, are your friends and family really only going to remember the fact that your dress wasnt white or will it merely become a detail when thinking back on the beautiful day you and the Mr invited them to share with you?

  19. When I was contemplating non-white dresses, people told me the same thing. So I responded with one of my favorite lines from 'Steel Magnolias' "I'll be the one in the veil down front." They shut up about it.

  20. Just remember, it's just like someone telling you they hate your new hat: Let them, it's your hat and they aren't wearing it; at a wedding, no one will be going "she wore this awful non-bride dress," it will be "she looks so beautiful/happy/awesome!" All of those weird traditional things missing get hugely eclipsed by the joy people will feel while you're getting married. Don't worry, happiness is like an infectious disease- if you are happy in your shit on your day, everyone worth their salt will be, too.

  21. It's really about what makes you feel like a bride. I hate shopping for white, my dress was yellow. But what made me feel like a bride was my veil, so i had to have one. You just have to decide what's important to you.

  22. If it's important to you for your dress to feel bridal but unique, and if you're worried about upsetting your family with a dress that isn't white.. consider Justin Alexander 8465. It's got ivory lace, but a beautiful coffee blushy colored skirt. it's not quite pink, not quite nude, or brown. it's my dress and i'm super excited about it. it feels "bridal", "special" but not cookie cutter..and i don't think i'll be "hurting anyones feelings" with it. 🙂

  23. In all honesty, not only do I know exactly know how you feel but I sometimes wish I had that courage as well. I'm beginning to crack through my parents in terms of my dress, but there is so much more that I'd wish they would just let me take over on. I feel like maybe it has to do with them being used to planning things for me instead of just letting me do it. I hope that I find even more courage and eventually my parents will just let me voice my plans without any wincing from them.

  24. "Sometimes I wonder who could be so stupid as to show up at my wedding at my request, and then not remember I'm the fucking bride without a visual cue." A-FREAKIN-MEN. That's all I heard when I told certain family members that I wanted to wear pink, and that was my same response: If a guest can't remember I'm the bride, maybe that person isn't close enough to me to be invited?!? The whole thing seriously makes me feel ill. People should feel free to wear whatever they want on the day they get married.

    As for me? I was shopping for pink dresses (or blush or whatever) until I stumbled upon my stunning ivory gown at the Goodwill. So I'm wearing white after all, but my seamstress is adding some pink tulle underneath for me.

  25. I'm right there with you. I've always known I wanted to get married in a red dress. Except that now that me and the boyfriend are about to get engaged (ordered the rings last Saturday!), it turns out that he wants me in a white dress. I know I'll wear a red dress, but it's going to be a loooong journey for us to agree on the wedding, I'm offbeat and he's surprisingly traditional. 😛

    • Hahaha, we're the opposite – I want (and just bought) a cream-coloured dress, he wants me in a red dress. Oh well. We agree on most of the other things, and it's been a good opportunity to work on our disagreement-resolution skillz. Besides, it would be really difficult to find a red dress that doesn't clash horribly with his kilt! If your guy is wearing a suit, you won't have that problem! He'll think you're gorgeous no matter what you wear – it'll be the big smile on your face that he'll be looking at!

  26. I am completely in favor of a dress in any color that you want. This is your wedding, your special day and it should reflect the individual touches that you want to have. I have seen many gorgeous brides in all shades of dresses. One of my favorite elements about weddings is how things are brought together to make a unique ceremony tailored to that couple. There is nothing wrong with listening to the advice of a trusted friend or wedding pro but these should only be taken as small tidbits of info and the bride should go with her heart on such important choices.

  27. For the small, religious ceremony, I actually stuck by my choice to wear a red dress. It was hard though – Red has so many contemporary negative connotations in Western society, that I knew I was in for a long fight. But I didn't give in to the white dress lie for this ceremony because red was important to me, and I felt so far removed from the religious aspects of the ceremony, that I needed the red dress to represent me. I needed to wear it in order to create some meaning for myself. The Result? Everyone complimented me on my dress. Those that didn't give direct compliments merely expressed pleasant surprise. Those who might have felt offended kept it to themselves. So at the end of the day, I realized it wasn't worth worrying about the opinions of people who didn't have the courage to tell me how they really felt anyway.

    • Red is traditionally a "lucky" colour in many Asian cultures. It was also popular in Ancient Greece- but I think that's because they pelted the bride with fruit and nuts after the wedding as a symbol of fertility and red wouldn't stain.

  28. I'd always kind of known I didn't like white dresses but the thing that finally decided it for me was actually looking through bridal magazines. I'd flick though pages and pages of white dresses thinking "Yeah that's ok", "I kind of like the pattern on that one"…then I'd hit a blue or purple dress and instantly think "Wow!". Deciding between an "ok" dress and a "Wow!" dress is a no-brainer to me.

    I did get some of the stupid comments about looking like a bridesmaid, but we solved that one – they wore red. 6 girls in red, one in blue. Which one could possibly be the bride?

  29. I'm getting married in a dress styled to look like the corpse bride dress but with a over dress added to it (I have thistheory that her dress was the slipfrom her wedding gown) I'm designing it myself and I'm adding lavender and blush pink hues to it. I've already heard flack from family and friends but I'm going to be beautiful in MY dress at MY wedding and that's all that truely matters isn't it? My guests are not getting married I am so my wedding should represent my FH and me right?

  30. Reading stories like this makes me feel so lucky that everyone I have had contact with has been really supportive of my decision not to wear white. I have heard so many women who had very traditional weddings say "I wish I'd had the courage to wear that beautiful red/blue/purple dress I tried on for a laugh!".

    It makes me so sad (read – f'ing livid) that some people feel that you should have to dilute your personality just because it's your wedding. It astounds me that people think that it is appropriate to question your choices! At the end of the day, you'll look more beautiful if you're comfortable in what you're wearing.

  31. I'm wearing a dark blue dress for my wedding gown. I went into the bridal shop not even thinking I would pick a colored dress, but tried it on as a joke and fell in love. Really the guests know you are the bride, and the white dress thing has only been around for a small blip on the screen of human history. If it makes you feel like a bride to wear white, do it. Although other peoples' comments might be difficult, you should be happy with what you are wearing on your day.

  32. I love the silver/grey dress in the post! I'm pretty sure I want something silver/grey, or maybe multi-colored for my wedding. I don't wear white normally and I love bright colors so I definitely don't want a white dress. I love silver dresses because they still feel fancy and "bridal" (whatever that means) without looking too much like you're going to a prom.

  33. To me, it doesn't matter what a bride wears. You can always tell which one's the bride by the look on her face. That kind of beauty just takes over somehow.
    I will be rocking an antique-y gold gown ballgown with mauve accents. I tried finding a "traditional" ivory elopement dress, but I wear Hime Lolita all the time. I wouldn't feel special in a short frilly dress similar to what I already wear. If people scowl at our wedding photos, oh well. :\ I'll still feel beautiful.

  34. You can do it!

    I wore a deep purple for my wedding dress – had SO many comments exactly the same as you "how will people know who the bride is?"
    a) The girl up the front getting MARRIED!
    b) if you don't know who I am, you're not invited!!

    Ridiculous! People were even trying to convince me to wear a pastel purple colour "because it's closer to white" – screw that. I wore my favourite colour and I looked and felt awesome – and that would not have happened if I wore white.

    Stick to your guns! Say it's important to you – that's all that should count!

  35. Oh honey 🙁 I feel ya.
    Lucky for me, the one thing I was adamant about since I was 16 was that IF I were to ever get married (and I wasn't fussed about that part) I would be wearing red… so lots of people had plenty of forewarning.

    Saying that, when I got engaged, my dress colour was only told to those on a need-to-know basis, or my "yes-men" (which I think Ariel or someone has referred to in previous posts).

    Anyone else found out on the day, because…well. No-one is going to say shit about your choices on YOUR day, and if they do, they deserve to be kicked the fuck out of your reception/ceremony/tribal hippy dancing party.

    Do what you want and be proud for being you.

    If your guests are anything like mine, they may be a little shocked at your choice of non-white dress, but they'll all go on about how amazing it was that you were proud enough to be you, despite tradition. Luck!

  36. Friends should support you and your choices. After all it's YOUR wedding day and I agree with all the comments of if someone doesn't know it's your wedding then they shouldn't be there.
    You should be able to wear whatever you want and feel comfortable in. It should be "you", not what other people think you should do.
    I'm going to wear a purple dress and I have actually had people say "I can't imagine you wearing a white dress", too bad if I actually wanted to wear one.. It seems we can't win!

  37. Apoligies if this has been posted already, a funny video about "wedding flowers" vs "ordinary Flowers"

    I didn't wear white to my own wedding but I did remember sitting next to my husbands aunt at his sisters wedding 3 months before our own wedding day.

    This aunt used to work for a big hotel that catered for lots of weddings and she said that she couldn't tell one white dress from another. I remember cheekily telling her that "I think you'll remember my dress"

  38. I wore a quinceanera dress for my wedding. I wanted a white dress but couldn't stomach the price of wedding dresses – enter my dress for $250!

    That being said- wear what makes you comfortable. Plus, since you are the one kissing the groom at the end of ceremony, there shouldn't be too much confusion on who the bride is. 🙂

  39. Aah. I loved reading this and the comments.

    I just bought dress #2. Back up, dress #1 was a beautiful white with lace one purchased off of craigslist. I just didn't feel comfortable. Dress #2 is a pretty earth, blush pink chiffon dress. I loved how I felt in it.

    My mother, who I now realize is my WIC, is the first person who said "you need to wear white, brides wear white". The wedding industry must love my mom because she markets and advertises to me for them every day.

    I'm sticking with Dress #2.

  40. If I recall, correctly, the average bride of yester years wore their "best" dress on their wedding day. Basically they chose something out of their closet they already own. You can thank Queen Victory for starting the trend of buying, creating and wearing a white dress on your wedding day. She wanted to wear a white dress because the color meant something to her. So if your going to follow in Queen Victory's footsteps. Pick a color, style for your own dress that is special to you. Its your day go sky clad [naked] if you want. 😉

  41. I knew I never wanted to wear white. In the first place, I just don't go in for that 'purity' symbolism & secondly, I don't see myself looking good in it. My partner is of Welsh heritage, so he'll be wearing a kilt. I wanted something to reflect my Scottish heritage, so I searched around & found a grey tweed dress designed by an independent craftswoman in Edinburgh. I teach in England in the summer, so last year I made a trip to Edinburgh, had a fitting, & brought the dress back! The dress is beautiful & while strangers raise an eyebrow, everyone who knows me is just happy to see me happy!

    • I'm from Wales and I've never heard of a Welsh kilt before! Will it be in a similar style to a Scottish kilt? I'm sure your dress will be stunning.

  42. This one sentence is my MANTRA and will be up until the day of!
    "Sometimes I wonder who could be so stupid as to show up at my wedding at my request, and then not remember I'm the fucking bride without a visual cue. "
    I have always vowed that IF I ever were to get married I'd die before I wore white. And now it's a constant battle reminding myself that white doesn't make the bride…the other partner does!

    And really, it'd all be so much easier if we could do the damned thing naked 😉
    All in a day of battling WIC I suppose.

    THANKS for this post!!!

  43. "Sometimes I wonder who could be so stupid as to show up at my wedding at my request, and then not remember I'm the fucking bride without a visual cue. Maybe I'll huck the bouquet directly at 'em — that'll jog their memory!" BAHAHAHAHAHA that's priceless

    • This is a fantastic reason to wear a white dress!

      I have to admit I sometimes envy women who can pull it off because it can look stunning. Unfortunately it just makes me look washed out and kind of ill.

  44. It's kind of amazing how much brides will spend on wedding apparel and accessories. I don't blame 'em for wanting a pretty white dress… but $400 for a cubic zirconium necklace or $300 for a rhinestone headband made in china? Sometime when I see some of the price tags on bridal merch I think "no one in their right mind would spend that for THAT!" And then I am shocked. Because they d.

  45. I got a good chuckle out of this one because I'm going through the exact process right now. I'm going to be wearing a green dress and I have heard all the same questions and remarks. I am determined not to stray though. I will have my green dress dammit! I have come a long way recently in trying to stand up for myself and I find that the more comments I get about this choice the more I really want to do it. Don't get me wrong- I still have plenty of days that I get thoroughly bummed out because it seems like so many people can't seem to be happy/excited for your wedding if it doesn't follow the traditional format. Like, oh, you're not having a color theme? Nevermind- good luck with your 'wedding' *laughs hysterically behind your back*
    When it comes down the wire, think about how you'd feel after your wedding. Would you regret the choices you settled on? Or is it something that doesn't matter all that much to you. If you fear that you'll regret your decision to go traditional I say find just a couple of close friends that have your back and run with it! If people can't be supportive of what makes you happy, they should not be at your wedding. It's supposed to be a celebration of a milestone in your life and you ought to call the shots. Good luck. I hope you find some support here that you definitely need- don't feel ashamed of wanting to be happy in your own way! We all love you here no matter what your wedding choices are.

  46. There's one other difference between those pictures. The model in the "bridal" dress is either a lot thinner, or has been photoshopped. Likely the latter – never have I seen worse photoshopping than in wedding dress catalog shots.

    Anyway. I wore a jewel tone dress. It did not look like a bridesmaid dress (I was featured on OBB about a year ago so you can even go find pictures if you want). I did not have a veil or flowers, and while there was a train, it wasn't what you'd expect.

    I still looked like a bride, because I was a bride and who looks more like a bride than an ACTUAL BRIDE? I think I looked more like a bride – because I WAS one – than some wedding magazine model in a white dress. Nobody wondered who the bride was.

    Yes, I got pushback from family over my choice of color, but when they saw the actual dress they thought it was great. It literally took until I could send them pictures of the finished product for them to come around, but come around they did.

    In the meantime, don't give in. It's worth it to allow a bunch of stuff you didn't really want or care about (for me it was corsages and boutonnieres and a first dance, for you it could be flowers or whatever) to make others happy sometimes, but hold strong on your choice of dress. Either they'll come around, or they lack the grace and tact (which doesn't mean they're bad people) to just shut up and love you for who you are. And their lack of grace and tact is not your problem, even when they are immediate family.

    • Models in bridal magazines also tend to look either angry or in pain recently. I've seen a lot that are kind of hunched forward with this miserable expression…they look like they're having bad menstrual cramps. I'm not sure if this is exclusive to wedding magazines or a fasion trend generally but I'm a bit lost on how it's supposed to help sell anything.

      Also I love your comment about no one looking more bridal than an actual bride. It reminds me of a conversation I had about Kate Middleton. My friend kept going on about how she needed to look like a princess and they'd better go all out to dress her like a princess…

      My argument was that she could be in jeans and a t-shirt and, after the ceremony at least, she would look like a princess. Whatever she happened to look like that is what a princess looks like. (And funnily enough there's tons of other people who look nothing like her and yet also look like princesses.)

  47. i would recommend a few things…
    1. keep the party informal and close- not too many people and only the ones you love-that might take a bit of pressure off
    2. make an inspiration board for your wedding, see where your dress fits into that. it is also something physical you can show people so that they begin to understand your vision (including the dress). maybe you can make your dress'es color one of the "wedding colors" and your bridesmaid's the other color- that way it will look very put together and you will have a bit of conceptual support behind your dress's color. oh! also-maybe have the groom wear a matching tie.

    for the record-i am having much more fun picking out colored dresses- i got bored of the white ones.

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