White is All Right, Black is Beautiful, and You Can Make Up Your Own Mind

CNN’s website recently ran a story on wedding gowns that has many wedding professionals in a bit of a tizzy. The story, entitled Brides Buck Tradition and Ditch the White Dress, written by Stephanie Goldberg, claims that white gowns are on the way out and being replaced by large numbers of women wearing other colors.

In fact, the article includes this quote from a bridal consultant named Susan Rodgers:

“I think they figured out that everyone really didn’t look good in white. … Nobody orders white anymore. It’s kind of a faux pas.”

And the article featured discussion of several individual brides who chose to wear other colors.

Bridal surveys at Bridal Guide, though, would dispute this idea. According to their 2002 survey, 57% of bridal gowns were white, 38% ivory, and the remaining 5% ‘some other color.’ This trend continues much the same in their 2009 survey which found that 58% of bridal gowns were white, 37% ivory, and – you guessed it – 5% in other colors.

The Knot breaks it down a bit further in their 2009 survey. They found that 27% of gowns were stark white, 25% diamond white. That’s 52% white gowns, for those who aren’t quick with their math. They further found that 39% of brides went for ivory, 4% for champagne or rum, and 6% other.

In short, far from being a ‘faux pas’ it would appear that white continues to be the single most popular color for wedding gowns.

Now I’m willing to believe (in fact I do believe) the number of women wearing dresses that are neither white nor ivory is a bit higher than The Knot and Bridal Guide would indicate, since the people who answer their surveys are the sorts of people who would read their more traditional guides to getting married. I’m guessing that there is a certain percentage of brides who would no more dream of wearing a white gown than they would of responding to a survey on The Knot.

So what am I trying to say with all of the statistics and all of the waffling? Just this. It’s not up to the experts or the rebels or the Wedding Industrial Complex or your soon-to-be-mother-in-law what color you wear. It’s up to you.

Whether you feel you look best and most bridal in stark white or lime green, ivory or incandescent orange, choose that color. Don’t let anyone else tell you what you should wear on your wedding day. Be the best, most beautiful you that you can imagine.

4 Responses to “White is All Right, Black is Beautiful, and You Can Make Up Your Own Mind”

  1. Kate says:

    I now feel bad for all those poor girls who’ve dreamt all their lives of a big white dress, who are being told it’s a faux pas! i hope they can see that comment for what it is….

  2. I’m wondering if Susan Rodgers has taken the time to look at lots and lots of photos of recent brides, because a quick tour of wedding photographer’s web sites shows me scores of brides in white and hardly any colored gowns.

  3. White has always been “the color” for the bride and yes, I would second that even I like it traditional.