Published on: Wednesday, August 3, 2016 03:00

How many times have you gone shopping and found what you thought was the perfect outfit, only to discover it truly works better on the hanger than on your person?

Now, imagine how disappointing it would be if that outfit was your wedding gown!  

Wedding dress shopping often begins with a general idea of the style or cut of your fairytale dress but ends in disappointment. Though this may seem like most obvious place to start, your ideal dress might be falling short for another reason: the color.

If the dresses you’ve been trying on feel slightly off and you don’t know why, consider whether the color complements or clashes with your skin tone.

While a white wedding dress may be the natural go-to, the color simply doesn’t work for every bride. Fortunately, there are a number of shades to enhance your individual coloring and make you look even more radiant on your big day. 

Fair-Skinned Brides: Warm Whites 

Dresses (L to R): Maggie Sottero and Sottero and Midgley

The fairer your skin, the more likely it is that stark, bright white will wash you out. You can counterbalance your skin by opting for a dress with a touch of yellow. This adds a warmness that will help you really glow.

We are huge fans of candlelight whites that have a delightful creamy undertone. Named for their ability to appear white when lit by candle, this ivory is an especially elegant choice for evening weddings.

Olive-Skinned Brides: Champagne Whites 

Dresses (L to R): Maggie Bridal and Sottero and Midgley

Champagne color wedding gowns are the toast of olive complexion brides. Their pink undertones can help give your skin a dewy freshness.

Sometimes referred to as rum whites, these boozy shades can look almost colorless in dim light. Still, they’re known for adding a subtle richness that pure whites simply can’t touch.

Medium-Skinned Brides: Creamy Whites

Dresses (L to R): Maggie Sottero and Mori Lee

Medium skin brides often have pink or blue undertones, which they must be mindful of when dress shopping. A creamy ivory with a whisper of beige will counter any redness should you begin to get flushed on the day of your wedding.

Whether you go with a lighter shade of ivory like eggshell or a deeper hue like ecru, be sure to ask your bridal consultant what will work best and test each variation with your eyes.

Dark-Skinned Brides: Stark Whites 

Dresses (L to R): Blu Bridal and Sherri Hill

When it comes to stark white dresses, the darker your skin the brighter the white can be. This inverse relationship produces an especially lovely pairing.

Pure whites practically glow and can easily drain the color from lighter skin. Dark skin brides can wear just about any shade; however, pure whites present a particularly striking contrast with darker skin tones.

Over the last two centuries, the trend of a pure white wedding dress has been engrained in young brides-to-be. However the reality is that it’s a notoriously difficult color to wear successfully. For the majority of brides, stark whites can wash them out, and actually detract from their naturally beautiful skin tones. That’s why it’s so important to be selective when choosing the color of your wedding dress. Done right, an alternate shade of white or cream can keep with tradition while adding an overt freshness to your skin.

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