by Lisa Beth Miller
At one time, traditional, stark white was the only real color option for brides. At this point, brides opt for the color that is most flattering to their skin tone, hair color, and eye color. Although designers name their wedding gown colors differently, there are four basic color options for the traditional bride. Here are some general guidelines on these color families:
White: Stark white is a tricky shade to pull off, though it can be extremely flattering to women with cool undertones. (This describes you if you tend to look better in silver than in gold, and if colors like hot pink, blue, and purple flatter you.) If you have very pale skin or yellow undertones, stay away from stark white, and know that stark white fabric with a sheen to it looks even starker!
Ivory: This is a creamier shade of white. It is flattering on most women. Ivory warms up the skin tone and is an especially good choice for women with pale skin. There are many variations of ivory; some have a bit more warmth than others. Some designers call ivory “eggshell.”
Champagne or candlelight: This tone is creamier than ivory, and sometimes has a bit of a beige undertone. It is best on women with warm undertones, and it can look great on both pale and olive skin tones. Its flattering glow and sophistication also make it an excellent choice for older brides.
Pale pink or rum: Depending on the designer, this can mean white with a pink cast or pale pink. It can be flattering on nearly everyone, though women with very olive skin may not care for this tone.
Once you select your gown, ask the bridal consultant to show you swatches of all of the available colors. This should allow you to select a color that flatters your skin tone and makes you look your best!