Is this bridal enough?: The great WHITE lie

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?

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Comments on Is this bridal enough?: The great WHITE lie

  1. 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!

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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!

  5. 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!

    • Yes! The honeybadger video is a really really good idea if you’re feeling stressed.

  6. “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!!

  7. 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.
    =

  8. 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?

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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