Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Color Question: White vs. Ivory

Many of the girls who have come into the store recently have asked about the color they should choose for their wedding dress. Traditionalists request strictly white, while others want to experiment with color.

It made me wonder about how the idea for the "white wedding dress" started in the first place. Historians point to the marriage of Queen Victoria to her cousin Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840 as the wedding that set wheels in motion for the tradition marrying in white. Many of the wealthy women in England began to request white to reflect their affluence. The white wedding dress in those days had nothing to do with being virtuous - it was all about wealth. Getting married in a white, extravagant gown was a sign that you could afford to buy a dress that you would never be able to wear again because of its style and color (whites were not easy to clean in those days as they are today!). It was written in Godey’s Lady’s Book, 1849, that “custom has decided, from the earliest ages, that white is the most fitting hue, whatever may be the material. It is an emblem of the purity and innocence of girlhood, and the unsullied heart she now yields to the chosen one," even though the tradition had only started about 10 years prior and the idea of white reflecting virtue was not widely adopted.

Coco Chanel brought the white wedding dress into the 20th century with a new knee-length white wedding dress, complete with extravagant train. During World War I and World War II, many women continued to make do with whatever type of dress they could afford, and this went on for decades. Some women would marry in simple white dresses, which could then be dyed and used as an everyday dress. From the 1950s onwards, as the world watched Hollywood stars, royalty and members of high society get wed in stunning white and ivory gowns, the tradition seemed to be set in stone.However, recently designers have been putting wedding dresses in surprising hues on the runway. Modern brides are choosing the color of their dress based on what looks best against their skin tone, or a color that best reflects their personal style. Personally, I love the way an ivory dress looks on most girls, especially in pictures when the tone looks a bit lighter. But the color debate will surely continue on for years to come!

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Top 10 Advice on finding the DRESS!

  • Number One Rule: Be open minded! What you think reminds you of your grandmother's dress on the hanger, may in fact be the dress of your dreams.
  • Bring someone that knows your style better than their own. I'm sure the groom doesn't want to see you in something that your bestfriend would wear on her wedding day
  • DON'T PURCHASE YOUR DRESS ONLINE! You miss out on the whole experience.
  • Don't worry what the groom will think. If he loves you, he will love what you pick.
  • Have fun! Remember that you have been dreaming of this day since you were five. Don't let the decision put a cloud over your head
  • If you hate the little bow on the dress, ask the consultant if you can order it Chances are you can. Keep in mind (contrary to what the magazines always say) there might be a charge for it. It won't lower the cost of the dress.
  • Price vs. Love: If you love the dress, GO FOR IT! Don't settle for less on what your wearing for your big day. You can always take some of the budget from the centerpieces and so on. No one will know and we won't tell.
  • Research designers online and make a scrap book of styles that you like. Do keep in mind, that it may all change when you start trying on.
  • Save the group shopping for the mall. This should be a personal experience that you should only share with one or two.
  • When you find it, you find it. Don't second guess yourself or you will pick your second favorite.