It is safe to say that I’m not a traditional or old-fashioned kind of girl. One of the big reasons I have avoided getting married is because I don’t really want a wedding, and one of the big reasons I don’t want a wedding is because the thought of having to wear a poofy white dress really gets me down. Don’t get me wrong, I think traditional wedding gowns are beautiful, but they’re really not my style. On the other hand, I would definitely want my wedding to be special. I wouldn’t want to wear just any old thing.
I was pleasantly surprised a couple of years ago when a friend of mine got married in a luxurious dark red wedding gown. It was the most gorgeous item of clothing I’d seen in my life, and of all the brides I’ve ever known, she’s the one who stands out in my mind, because she’s the one who didn’t look like all the others. Clearly not everyone felt the same way I did; I heard some grumbles from a few people at the reception, especially elderly relatives, and my friend said she had had a couple of pretty heated discussions with her mother about the dress. In the end, though, it was her special day, and I respected her for having the guts to throw one of the big rules out the window and wear whatever she wanted to wear.
These days, colored and even patterned wedding gowns are becoming a lot more common. They used to be relegated to the world of themed or period weddings, but in recent years the non-white wedding dress has gone mainstream. If you flip through any current catalog of gowns, you’re bound to find several selections in red, and perhaps a couple in royal blue, or even black. People are getting used to the idea that the bride may not necessarily be in a a gown that’s white or ivory.
There’s a myth that wearing white is an age-old convention, but really the custom has not been around all that long. It was only after Queen Victoria got married in white that white dresses became a fashion fad for weddings. Up until that time, it was common for a bride simply to wear the nicest dress she had, or the nicest her family could afford to buy for her. Blue was a popular color, but no particular rules were adhered to. Strangely enough, the brides of the past had a lot more freedom in choosing their attire than the brides of the last century have had.
Now we’re starting to break out of the mold again. If you are choosing a dress that’s already made, chances are any major supplier can show you at least a small selection of non-white gowns. If you are having a dress made from scratch, the possibilities are endless, because you can choose your pattern and your fabric separately. If you want something in a mossy green silk brocade, there’s no reason you can’t have it. It may still raise a few eyebrows at the ceremony, but not nearly as many as it would have ten or even five years ago.
Your wedding is the most special day for you and your partner, and you should be able to do it exactly how you want, right down to the last detail. White and ivory gowns are gorgeous, and if that is what you have always dreamed of, then that’s what you should have. If, on the other hand, you’ve always wished you could do something different, now’s your chance. Gown choices are becoming more varied by the day, and the more brides who opt for a non-white dress, the faster people will get used to the idea that it is not only acceptable, but can be as beautiful as any other dress out there.