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. Oh the insidious trap of "bridal". I showed my fiance pictures of dresses I liked. His response: "That doesn't look like a wedding dress." My response: "If I'm wearing it on my wedding day, then it's an effing wedding dress." That crafty WIC, working on our significant others.

    I did do the whole bridal salon thing, and I looked great in lots of long white dresses. Did any of them feel like me? Hell no. So I decided to go with a custom blue & ivory corset and skirt combo. It's probably the most offbeat thing I'm doing in my wedding. And my mom and grandmother? They both said, "Oh that's cool! I'm so sick of brides wearing white."

    And my fiance? He's totally accepted my choice, because it makes me happy.

  2. I am wearing a silver dress for my wedding. It is a lighter tone, so when it is in the sun it reflects any colour near it. It reflects the bridesmaids dresses so well.

    I can't wait to wear it. It's really up to the bride!

  3. Ignoring the real point of this post, which I get, I feel obligated as somebody who spends a lot of her time in fabric stores to point out that the fabric may actually account for a great amount of the cost difference between these two dresses. Shiny beautiful white fabric that is still shiny, white and beautiful by the time that it was made into a dress and photographed (because cheap fabric does not photograph well) probably cost quite a bit.

  4. I had to get a custom made dress cause I just couldn't find anything that felt right. Half… Well more than half. Like I dunno 3/4ths?(im terrible at math and measurements) is some offwhite color. The bottom is a pastelly rainbow tulley clowd of lovely ness. 😀 :D. I choose white because.well. It goes really good with rainbow haha, I didn't want black(although that would be fucking awsome) and I guess I coulda picked another color. But I also have a vision in my head of a cathedral length pink veil and I didn't want it to get too overwhelming. 🙂 whites just a blank colorless thing. Which is why it worked with me cause everything else(bouquet hair shit. Part time shoes) will be rainbow. Eff em. Tell them to shove it. Look like YOU on your wedding day. Not a 'bride'.

  5. I wore a blue "bridesmaids" dress and rainbow stripy shoes and I still felt "bridal because everyone was looking at US the people getting married!! If people judge you that's their issue, don't waste your precious energy worry about them, do what makes you feel happy!!!

  6. I hate to be "that" person, because I loved this article and all the comments – but the bridal one also has a substantial train.

  7. Ha! I told my mother in law about the dress after we told her that we were engaged, and my FIANCE told them "Well, I've only been to prom once, so I guess it'll be fine." He got it so bad later that night, but once I showed the dress to them, they were a little more supportive. But I told everyone who argued that I needed a white dress flat out that I looked like the michelene man in white, and goddammit I was going to wear my red dress. It was less than $200 bucks, and they could suck it because guess what? It's not THEIR wedding day. It's mine. Most of them have already had their chance.

  8. You won't look like a bridesmaid, because you're going to be the bride! This is crazy! Maybe it's easier for us in France because we don't have wedding parties and prom, so the bride's dress can't really be compared to someone else's, but seriously… You'll be the prettiest, happiest person around that day (except for the person you're marrying), because you're the one getting married, and people won't be able to mistake you for another one, even if they didn't know you. And as some commenters said at the beginning, if you want to be sure to stand out no matter what dress you have, give the guests some clothing guidelines. A friend of mine got married last year in a dark blue dress. She didn't get it from the bride dresses section but the evening dresses one. She was stunning, because it was totally her! And she asked the guests not to wear blue, so that she would stand out, which I thought was perfectly right. She's the one that made me think about how you could get married in any dress and be a beautiful bride. I thought I was going to get married in a big white dress, so I went to try some. But nothing clicked, nothing felt right, I didn't feel like myself. I realized during those sessions that I was the only one would could really decide and whose opinion really mattered (with FH's opinion) because my friends are not me, they didn't feel what I felt and were enthousiastic for things I didn't like so much. It's such a personnal thing! I don't buy my clothes because others like them, but because I find them nice and feel great in them. Your wedding dress shouldn't be any different. You should get married in a dress that makes YOU feel nice and pretty and feels like you. And it will be "bridal enough" just because it will be your wedding dress.

  9. I'm wearing black. Black black black! I say wear what you want because, hell you're getting married not them. And I so agree with the bride thing, you're inviting them! They should know who you are!

    Oh and if you look at cheap sites like: http://www.mybridaldress.com/
    there is the option of picking ANY dress in ANY color! It's pretty awesome, same style, different color! Good luck!!!

  10. I personally am probably going to wear something in the white-ish family, but I think it's absurd that it has now become a requirement. My own grandmother was married in 1950 in a very nice little suit-dress style outfit. It looks dark gray in the photos, but I think someone might have told me it was red in person. I should ask her. Anyway, nobody thought that was at all strange at the time. She rocked it with a cute little pillbox hat.

    When we talk about brides in white dresses, it's a Victorian status symbol thing resurrected by marketers under the guise of tradition. Nothing more, nothing less. People can talk about symbols of purity or love all they want, but it's a way to separate people from their money. If you are, like me, willing to be separated from some of that money in the name of having a white-ish dress, that's fine. But there's no reason it should be mandatory for all.

    • Actually the long dress, pouffy sleeves were how Victorians dressed in everyday life. They didn't wear sleeveless, backless or even strapless dresses. Such gowns would been viewed as 'fast' and the bride in question would've been branded a whore. And yes, great marketing ploy!

  11. People who still think wedding dresses must be white are several years behind the curve. Blush dresses have been common for a couple years and I've seen various pastels in collections too. Heck, Vera Wang had straight up smoke and black dresses in her last collection, boy did that cause a stir in the fashion world! So really, having a colored dress these days could just as easily be passed off as being fashion forward. However, there is a line to walk because some dresses can come off as prom-ish in styling. Look for higher end detailing, better fabrics, and heavier construction to avoid that.
    Personally, my dress is white just because I wanted a white dress. I'm sure other colors would look lovely, if not moreso since I'm a proud snowflake guaranteed to be washed out by my dress. I'm creating my own dress so it's not like every detail hasn't been in my complete control. I just want a pretty long sleeve, lacy, sparkly, keyhole-backed, floofy white dress. At least lots of my crystals will be blue!

    • I totally agree! I think cheap looking detailing or fabric look more "prom" to me, than any color. That being said, if you want to look prom, go for it! I think your advice is spot on for those wanting color, but not a prom feel.

  12. I have been married twice. The first time was hurried and I stuck to very traditional things. I have never thought I looked good in any shade of white, but I wore an ivory dress. It washed me out and made me look awful in the pictures.

    I recently remarried and refused to wear white or ivory or anything pale. I have a 5 year old son, so the whole virgin gig is definitely up. Instead, I wore the closest I could find to my husbands favorite colour, a deep indigo gown, which looked great on me, and I put a pale pink shrug over it. Instead of a veil or tiara I had a ribbon headband and wore felt flower in my hair and on my wrist. He wore gray pants a vest, and we both wore converse. I don't know whether or not I looked "bridal" but I did look like myself. No one at the wedding seemed surprised or put off by what I was wearing. As long as you are true to you and own the outfit, you'll be beautiful.

    We did have a couple of people at our hotel that night ask if we were coming from the local prom… they did seem surprised when we told them we had just gotten married, but at the point we were both to happy to care!

  13. Dear Ocelot,
    you ask how others came to their choices and stuck by them. I compromised and I SO regret it.
    do what makes you happy and you will have that amazing aura of joy that brides do so no one will mistake you for anything else.
    then again, if they don't know you're the bride, why are they at your wedding?

  14. I absolutely agree that anyone you're inviting to the wedding should recognize you as the bride without a giant white dress. If not, why are they there?

    Anyways, as for my choice, I don't look good in white. I don't own anything white. And I figured if I'm going to spend a silly amount of money on a dress, why not spend it on something I will look fabulous in and be able to wear again? So I had a local corsetiere friend make me a fantastic black cherry red dress with saffron highlights that was in two pieces (corset and skirt). I felt amazing in it, way better than I would have in something "bridal". I also didn't feel the need to add any accessories that screamed "OMG I'm the bride!". I carried a feather bouquet and wore a matching fascinator (with an octopus pin in it!). No veil, no flowers, no train.

    But I'm pretty sure everyone was easily able to figure out who the bride was! 😉

    (Well, except for the random passer-by who thought that my sister was the bride! She was standing outside the venue during the dancing and was wearing a white wiggle dress with black flowers embroidered on it, and a lady walked by and congratulated her and said she looked lovely!)

  15. Here's my dress story, and I hope it gives you some hope and incites you to stick my your choice!

    I'm doing an Art Nouveau/ mashup 20's wedding, and I knew no matter what ideas, themes or colour schemes I chose for my wedding that I would never be that girl in white. I wear white on occasion, but I am a jewel-toned kind of girl and I've always wanted to have a blue dress. My grandmother got married in a stunning 1950's royal blue suit dress, and she was always wickedly stylish. I went dress shopping recently with my bridesmaids, my brother and my mom. I live in Montreal, and there's a huge traditional, Mediterranean community that pretty much runs the garment industry here. That said, I was extremely nervous to go into these bridal shops and tell them I wanted a colourful dress–I was originally thinking peacock or lavender or turquoise but I was open to any colour, really. I received mostly scalding looks and sarcastic comments from the consultants about how I wasn't being "serious" about my wedding, and I replied to most of these consultants that they weren't being serious about their jobs, seeing as their job is to help me find something I love, so we got the heck outta there. Eventually we got to the last bridal shop on our appointment list, and after convincing the consultant that I would NOT look like a girl in a prom dress because DUH I'm the one in front of everyone saying the vows, she enthusiastically starting picking out ballgowns from the party section of the store. My friends and family also went to town suggesting colours, styles and it ended up being a great day. Eventually, I chose a lavender-grey dress that I felt comfortable, happy and totally glamorous in, which is the point. When you get up and get dressed in the morning, do you opt for clothing that makes you feel awkward or that doesn't suit your personality? Why should you pick a dress that doesn't bring out the best in you? As for courage, it helped me to have supportive people with me on the day of my search; they stuck by my decisions, and never questioned my choice to be a little different, even if they themselves had all been married in white dresses. After I tried the dress on, a sixteen year old girl at the shop also tried it on, for her prom, and that made me laugh.
    Your wedding may or may not be the 'most important day of your life' (maybe the most important party of your life? possibly the most you'll spend on a dress in your life?) so I say, you're the one wearing the damn thing, so you get to choose. Good luck, Ocelot! I can't wait to see what you come up with!

  16. My fiance and I met in a thunder storm. So my gown will be (it's being made) storm cloud gray…and silver and blue. A comment had been made about a white dress and virginity. Seeing as how my fiance and I will have been living together/sharing a bed for 5 years by our wedding day…well…you get it.

  17. I wore a blue dress as my bridal gown and loved it. I did receive those pre-wedding comments of how are they going to be able to tell who the bride – which were just silly. My bridesmaids are awesome, but were determined and united in looking different from me (I gave them dress style freedom) and all chose short dresses versus my long. This wasn't necessary, but it made them all feel better.

    For myself personally, blingy up my dress with crystals, getting fancy hair, make up and accessories and having a unique bouquet gave no one any doubt who the bride was and I felt like a bride too.

    Afterwards, those not at the wedding saw my pics and said your blue dress is fantastic and some were a bit envious too. I only had one person give me attitude about not being in a white dress and that goes to show you can only please yourself.

    Also if you need some convincing I did wedding dress color research and color research. White is really for baptisms, not marriages. Queen Elizabeth was innovator for wearing white lace which she wore for sentimental reasons. The industry just went with it and it has been really good marketing ever since.

    I love blue and it is the color of loyalty and strength. It is traditional for russian and irish women to wear in earlier times for future prosperity in their next life. Other colors have great meaning too, just find which one you feel most in home in.

    Best of luck to you.

  18. I did have one of my future sister-in-law's say to me before the wedding "what should I wear since it's more informal? I mean, what will you be wearing?" I responded "I'll be the one in the wedding dress and known as the bride!"

    Yes, we had a fairly informal wedding but there was still no mistaking me as the bride in my turquoise 1950's cocktail dress and ruby red handknitted shrug. The groom in his full kilt regalia gave it away as the other half of the birdal couple.

    I agree that if you need a white dress to mark out the bride then you're pretty dim. My family and friends knew me well enough not to expect white and were probably just relieved that I didn't turn up in some of my more bizarre outfits throughout my fashion past 🙂

  19. I wore a pale gold dress for my wedding. I didn't have any negative comments about it before or during the wedding, so I didn't experience any of the pressure you're describing. But people knew who the bride was because a) we only invited people we were close to, and b) I was the one up at the front taking vows with the groom, remember me? I was also fairly dressed up, the dress was strapless with a full-length big skirt, and I was wearing big earrings. But again, people already knew who I was.
    My money-saver was to try on a prom-type dress and then order it in a pale-gold color. Vastly cheaper than a "bridal" dress, even though some of them were available in the color I wanted. I also didn't want a train, so that was perfect. No matter what color you want to wear, if that's the kind of dress you're into, I'd totally recommend trying on prom dresses. A lot of them are available in tons of colors, even white, so it's a good option for people who want to wear white too. You won't look like you're going to prom because you'll be at a wedding.

  20. "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!" Made me literally laugh out loud at work-Oops! I couldn't agree more though!

  21. I hate the whole "how will people know you're the bride?" argument. How about the fact that most people don't invite random strangers to their weddings? If people don't know you're the bride, why are they at your wedding? I say wear what you want. Looking back at your wedding in 20, 30, or 50 years are you going to remember all the dress nay-sayers? Or will you remember that you felt absolutely beautiful while you married the love of your life? Forget what people say is "normal". Normal is usually boring, and nobody wants that.

  22. Oh my gosh I feel your pain! I have also found myself slowly caving into other people's ideas of what a wedding should look like.

    I was completely against flowers, mainly because I do not have anything even remotely resembling a green thumb, flowers will be dead in a day, and because it seemed that "wedding flowers" were way over priced. Now I am considering incorporating flowers at select locations in our venue and while it is a compromise and I love compromises it does feel a little off… like I gave in.

    As far as the dress, be strong! Go with what feels right, even if it ends up being white!
    I was going back and forth between a white dress and a colorful fun dress. One of my many plans for looking like a bride and not a bridesmaid if I went with a colorful dress was to put the maids in white. Then I would be the beautiful sparkling jewel amongst the fade into the background white dressed ladies.

    What I ended up with is a tea length white wedding dress (in the front) which angles to the floor in the back and creates a train. I plan to bustle it after the ceremony so I'll end up with a tea length dress! I found the dress for under $600 at David's Bridal. I now plan to find some kickass bright colored shoes and a fun shrug to spice things up!

    Good luck and be true to you!

  23. Everybody knows how expensive weddings can be, and it feels insane to tack on hundreds of dollars for a dress you will NEVER WEAR AGAIN – you'd think people would laud you for being a thrifty genius and buying that half-price gray dress! That said, I'm in the very same position of caving to the white steamroller, because apparently my Mom can't even conceive of a wedding in which the bride wears a *gasp* color that's not *gaspgasp!* white. Suddenly I can't remember why we decided against eloping…

  24. another story: both of the moms were terrified about me not wearing white. but since the groom hates suits and especially ties i didn´t want to "make him" wear and we searched for a more comfortable option… we had both our outfits sewn for us, i had a blue/red medieval dress made for me by a seamstress i found on the german version of etsy. it cost me 270 euro, which is a steal. when we told people it´s gonna be non-formel, "more medieval-ish" some people really couldn´t imagine how that´ll go. i love my dress, and everybody loved it and we had a perfect wedding! heck, my maid of honour wore white and nobody cared…

    it is your day and you have to feel good in what you wear. the others will come around! if not, their loss, not yours!!!

  25. Clearly, this is a little too late for you specifically, but for other brides in this situation, just don't tell anyone. Do what you want, then let people be surprised when they get there. I find that most people like to criticize during the planning stages of weddings, but very few people are rude enough to say anything negative to you at the wedding. Not to mention, as many OBBs have said on here, people might not get it when they're told about it ahead of time, but once they see the whole thing together, it makes sense.

  26. I wore a beautiful orange dress that was actually a discontinued bridesmaid/formal dress. I paid $20, ripped the beads off, and added an antique brooch and antique lace capelet. I put the word out early that I would be in orange and noone ever said anything disparaging to my face. I'm sure people though I was crazy and I saw a few raised eyebrows when it was discussed but the comments by those who were there and those who've seen photos since have all been gushes of love and awe. Make it your own. People will respect it and many of them will be envious.

  27. I was asked by my then future Uncle in law why I wasn't wearing white to the wedding at a reception for someone else's wedding.

    I silenced him by saying:

    "Because Nigel I am *not* a virgin"

    I recommend it (despite white for virginity being historically innacurate) it does shut people up.

    I was worried about not feeling bride-y enough on the day. I shouldn't have done. It was amazing and that was helped by the fact that I wore a dress I loved (although looking back I could have worn a bin bag and have had just as much of an awesome time).

  28. Two offhand thoughts. Funnily enough, they're related. While I can't believe the extreme price difference that appears once somethjng becomes white, a Small price differencec is justifiable. Pristine white fabric is a real bitch to keep clean. One gust if dusty air hits it and it's all over. Your dress is damaged. Same goes for working on it. Anybody working with expensive white fabric has to be surgery clean before they touch it, or it's soiled before it hits the rack. Now onto the second thought, and, like I said funnily enoughm they're related. One of my crucial criteria for the dress is that I be able to wear it (or parts of it) after the wedding. White cloth, particularly white cloth that can't handle a trip through the "heavy" cycle and a cup and a half of bleach just doesn't have staying power.

  29. I love the idea of getting married in, say, green and having the bridesmaids in white/ivory 🙂 I may be staying a virgin til I marry, but that doesn't stop white from totally washing me out!

  30. It's YOUR wedding day! Wear whatever you like. I wore a black pencil skirt with black tights and knee high boots and a green and blue printed shirt to my wedding. My husband put on his khaki slacks and a blue button up, shoes with no socks cuz he hates them, and we went down to the courthouse with my parents and got hitched. 🙂 Couldn't have been happier and if I had it to do over again I would do the same thing!

  31. Even as someone who is going down in ivory, you got it right on the money in your last paragraph; who is going to your wedding and is unaware that you're the bride? Was the bouquet not hint enough? Your placement in the processional? Your spot during the ceremony? Or how about how likely all of them know you?
    If someone still doesn't know you're the bride, they may need an ambulance.

  32. I think as long as the bride is wearing it then yeah, that's 'Bridal'. It's completely your choice what colour you wear, although most people I know who had coloured wedding dresses (who weren't going very gothy) sort of nodded towards the white tradition. White lace overlays, white bodices with coloured skirts (or vice versa) or (my fave) coloured underskirts that peek from an otherwise white dress. I don't really see the point of an all white dress, its overdone and any embellishments short of glitter won't even show up well.

  33. I am wearing a black dress and have gotten nothing but compliments. It's a very lacy vintage, swing dress. i am a plus size bride and look stunning in black, so i figured that i should just wear a beautiful black dress, everyone is soo supportive and thinks it's a great fit. I have never said i wanted a white dress, even when i was a little girl. lol

  34. I find it interesting that no one worries about being able to tell who the groom is, despite traditionally wearing exactly the same thing as the groomsmen. His outfit might be slightly different, like a different corsage, but nothing else.

    I'm undecided about a white dress or not. Tradition and what people say don't concern me since I might be eloping and will have few guests anyways. But I do like some of the white dresses that I see, and want to wear something special. I don't want to worry too much about being able to wear it again because I likely won't have an occaison to wear something that nice, even if it only costs a few hundred bucks.

  35. I wore silver for our wedding a couple of weeks ago and everyone loved it. I'd not told many people what colour my dress was but suffice to say that I have incredibly pale skin and white did not flatter me in anyway. I always knew it wasn't going to be white for this reason but also because I wouldn't feel "me" in it- go with what you're happy with and what you want- don't worry about everything else. Some decisions affect other people, some decisions affect people other than you less and I think this is one of them- it is a day for the two of you and you should look how you want. You'll probably be surprised about how people feel about it on the day- I was surprised by everyone's positive reactions.

  36. Full-length bridesmaids dresses that come in a huge variety of colors often come in white, champagne, and ivory. I see no reason why they wouldn't make stunning bridal gowns.

  37. Don't give into the white dress craze, be yourself, wear whatever color makes you happy.
    I am also not wanting to wear white. Check out Vera Wang's Fall 2011 Bridal collection, I am saving up for 'Gracie' an awesome Grey Tulle column bridal gown. There are also very cool options in the Spring 2012 collection and even Nude and Black ones in her witchcraft Fall 2012 collection. The only thing that sucks about these amazing non-white bridal gowns is the price. Probably $3K-$10K. Gracie is $3,990.00

  38. Thank you so much for this post. I think it really reflects well on those that deviate from the "norm." I also did not wear white and I wrote about it on this site http://offbeatbride.com/2011/10/what-defines-a-wedding

    People think when you "shun" tradition that you're just trying to be edgy or crazy or cause controversy. They accuse you of not thinking things through. They, however, could not be more wrong. I think when people do things differently they think about it so much more than people who just take a wedding guide and pencil in the same-old, same-old.

    It does take courage. It also takes the support of people who love you and who will stand up for you. When I was hesitant about my blue dress because of what people might think, my awesome sister said "If the most shocking thing people ever see in their lives is a bride in a blue dress then they need to get a life." Seriously we have so many bigger problems in the world.

    I tried to like white dresses. I really did. I tried ones with splashes of color, ones that had feathers and ones that were mini style. I really wanted to find that white dress and make it "me" but in the end the dress that would ultimately be "me" would never be a white one.

    I agree with all the posters that say you would be happiest on that day being you. I am over the moon that I can look at my pictures and show them to people and know i stood my ground. Those feelings will last so much longer than a few glimpses of fear or anxiety. Your wedding is forever, not people's reactions to it!

    STAY STRONG SISTER!!!! People like you make me know life is worth living on our own standards!

    And for the record, I never heard one disparaging remark. I heard what every other bride hears, "You look amazing."

    • Alexandra, I read your article when it was posted on the blog front page and I loved it. Especially the Dawkins quote, which I felt summed up my feelings on a lot of things exactly. I've shown your post to people saying "If you love me, you'll read and understand this." A bit dramatic but sometimes a gal needs to be!
      It's difficult to be 'different' in a sea of white taffeta and people putting pressure on me. If it weren't for Offbeat Bride, and people like you, I'd have gone straight nutter-butters by now. Thank you. Thank everyone. Thanks for the encouragement!

  39. I think that a bride should feel free to wear whatever color she wants, for whatever reason; if you like another color better, or find a dream dress in another color. On the flip side a bride should feel free to wear white even though the wedding industry has made it into a ridiculously expensive purchase and most practical wonen such as yourself Just dont want any part of feeling like they've Bedn had.
    Don't let the cost difference be your deciding factor. There's a lot of ways to purchase a beautiful gown in your price range ( white ivory or otherwise) without feeling like you've made an impractical choice.if you're starting to lean toward more traditional (as I found myself doing when it came to the dress) because you just like the vision of yourself wearing white on your wedding day then go for it. Or for another color for that matter But truly make the decision based on your gut not because you are trying to defy your family conventions and yucky comments, not because you're defying the Wedding Industrial Complex, because there are plenty, plenty of ways to do that. First step: be true to yourself. Second step: get out there and start trying on dresses! Bridal salons, department stores, consignment shops, sample sales, online stores with a friendly return policy, just start trying on white and other colors and see where your preference is. How do you feel in the dress? Let that be your guide (along with your budget- be true to your budget! No need to sell out).

  40. Don't feel like you have to 'give in' and get married in a white dress. It is you day and you must wear what you like! I am getting married in 2 months and my sparkly purple wedding dress with fairy wings is getting made as we speak 🙂

  41. I went with a pink dress. I didn't intend to go the non-traditional color route, but when I tried it on, it was just perfect. Then I just built the colors of everything else around the dress, so it wouldn't clash (we were originally going to use orange as an accent color, but switched to lavender.) I think when you find the right dress, you won't care what anyone thinks about the color. If you feel good in it, go with it.

  42. I wore a blue calf-length bridesmaid's dress for my wedding – solved the problem of looking like a bridesmaid by having just a flowergirl and no maids.

    I wondered, for about 0.1 of a second, if I might regret not going for the big white dress but then I remembered a) I can't move well at all in full-length formal wear, I look like an idiot and b) I wanted to look like *me* getting married, not like 'a bride' and 'me' doesn't do white (unflattering on my pale skin, easily stained by my messy eating) or big.

  43. i had ideas at first about dresses, showed them to my intended, who was underwhelmed (i think she was imagining something slightly less casual). then, i showed my next round of dress ideas to my best friend, who said, "we're gonna get you something much more special than that to wear to your wedding!" the dresses were all bridesmaid dresses, but essentially the same cuts as bridal gowns, but in colors i would actually wear.

    now, i'm starting to look at ivory dresses, and the price tag keeps creeping up. i felt bad for being influenced by other people, but a) i still might get that casual, purple dress, and b) my dress ideal is to feel beautiful, and that will ultimately be something i decide. period. i know that in the moment, my partner will love how i look, especially if i feel gorgeous, because that's when i look radiant.

    i made the decision to do my first round of serious dress shopping in the company of two college friends who share my aesthetic and are very kindred spirits. having them there will keep me focused on who i am, and keep me true to that.

    now, to stop hearing that friend's comment in my head as i evaluate dresses…

  44. I know this blog is a bit old but I have just found it when googling "anything but white" and loved it as I am in exactly the same position. The usual response I get when I say I don't want to wear white though is "Oh so what do you think you will go for? Ivory or champagne?". I have tried saying no I want a colour but they just don't get it! I am certainly not backing down though and I love all the 'quirky' touches me and my OH are adding to our day.

    • Go for the color! I am wearing red to my wedding. If white is not for you, then do what makes you happy!

  45. I am wearing a red wedding dress to my wedding. Personally, I want to stand and not look like every other girl who has worn white to her wedding. I an in the entertainment industry and have seen a LOT of wedding dresses, and after a while they all start to look the same. So, to me personally, white is overdone and boring, not how I want to be on my wedding day. But red totally fits my personality, and I have gotten a lot of positive feedback when I tell people I am wearing red. If people don't like it, that is their problem. It is not their wedding. Do whatever you feel comfortable in, what you feel beautiful in,and what you feel like yourself in.

  46. I never thought much about a wedding dress (how I hate all that 'every woman has dreamed about her wedding day since she was a little girl' crap) but once, in my teens, I saw a picture in a magazine of someone getting married in a coloured dress and a cool headpiece and that stayed with me as my choice when the day came.

    In the end I got a mid-calf length sapphire blue bridesmaid dress – we were having a country wedding in a barn and a full-length dress wouldn't be appropriate, plus they don't suit me anyway as I'm only just 1.6m tall, plus I don't know how to move in them and would have looked and felt uncomfortable.

    Some people, like my sister, look naturally stunning and elegant in a long white gown, but I am not one of them!

    I had a custom-made hat and shoes, but my outfit still cost less than half the price of a regular wedding dress alone.

    I did occasionally worry it might not look bridal enough, but then I remembered I didn't want to look like a bride- I wanted to looked like 'me getting married'.

  47. Ocelot,
    First of all, I'm sorry you had so much trouble with that, it's just awful! It's your wedding, and people need to respect that.
    I recently have experienced a similar thing, not in color, bus length of the dress. The more and more I tried to search for the right dress, I found myself loving the slightly vintage inspired just above the knee type frocks. More and more, I was looking longingly at cute little white wears that would leave me room to dance and wear converse.
    Moral of the story (and due to the date on this, you've probably already figured it out, but here's my piece) is that it is your day. A day for you and your partner to celebrate your love. You should seek what makes you feel happy and beautiful and joyful. If you're happy with your choice, it'll show 🙂
    Stay strong tribe sister! 😀

  48. In response to "How will we know who the bride is?" – if they dont know who you are than why are they at the wedding in the first place. A Wedding is the celebration of a relationship and if you want to celebrate that by rocking in a red and black stripped dress – all power to you. The only thing that should make you reconsider your wedding choices are the opinions of your future husband.

    Its probably too late since you wrote this a while ago but Good Luck finding a wedding dress that YOU love!!

  49. Perfect post for me to read today! I was browsing white dresses again, anxious that my navy blue dress wouldn't look "bridal enough". Whatever that means.

    For me it isn't about me vs. other people. Almost nobody else knows my plans. It's about what I want vs. what is just pressure I'm feeling to conform to some supposed social norm.

    Reading this post made me see that much of my "not-feeling-bridal-enough" is fear of being judged, not just by others, but also by some future me.

    Screw that. I'm wearing my kickass navy blue dress and not stressing another minute about it. I'll get something spiffy for my hair because that will be fun. Done and done.

  50. THIS! I'm wearing a rainbow dress so I'm feeling the pressure to get a white one. Or I have to have some amazing reason for wanting a rainbow dress outside of "Because I like it." Or I have to have a bunch of white accessories. Why does everyone think white=bride? I don't get it. I don't feel like a bride a white. Thank you Offbeat Bride! If it wasn't for this site I probably would have given into the pressure.

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