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Which Wedding Dress Shade is Right for Your Skin Tone?

Author: 
Terry Costa

There are as many types of wedding dresses as there are brides. Before you started shopping for yours, you probably never had reason to think so critically about necklines, train lengths, waist types and the like. If you’ve already figured out your wedding dress silhouette preferences – congrats! You’re ahead of the game. 

Let’s say you’re trying on dress after dress that meets your criteria – a romantic satin mermaid cut wedding dress with a sweetheart neckline – but everything you try on misses the mark just slightly. So you switch gears and try on some simple sheath wedding dresses that you think will be perfect for the reception. Still, there’s something you can’t quite put your finger on.

Then it hits you. You’ve been so fixated on finding the perfect fabric and cut that you forgot to consider the right white for your skin tone.

When it comes down to it, picking the right color white for your wedding dress is an important but sometimes overlooked part of wedding dress shopping. Go with a pure white wedding dress and you could end up washed out on your big day. Settle on a traditional ivory wedding dress and it could accentuate your warm undertones to the point of sallow.

Like all blushing brides, you want to look at wedding photos from the happiest day of your life and see sparkly eyes and glowing skin staring back. Selecting the right shade is paramount. The simple process of choosing the right white for your wedding dress starts with your skin. Here’s how to make sure your undertones oversee the picking process.

How to tell if you have warm or cool skin tones?

Your skin tone dictates everything from the shades of white that work best for your wedding dress to the color lipstick and type of jewelry you’ll want to don on your big day!

But before you can choose the most flattering option, you first have to figure out what’s happening below the surface, literally.

Let’s back up a bit. When we say “skin tones” what we really mean is undertones. Choosing a wedding dress shade based on your skin color alone is only part of the picture. What you really want is to figure out if your undertones are warm, cool, or a mixture of both.

To discover your undertones:

You’ll want to have plenty of natural indirect light on which to judge. Standing by a window should suffice.

Next, single out the veins inside your forearm between your wrist and elbow. Here’s where you’ll look to discover it’s subtle color. Some women find it necessary to gently pull their skin taut to get a good look at the color.

●      Green to brown-ish veins indicate warm skin undertones.

●      Blue to purple-ish veins signify cool skin undertones.

●      Dark veins of no particular color suggest you have balanced skin undertones. No matter how light or dark your skin is your undertones can be balanced, although it’s not uncommon for women with an olive complexion to also display balanced undertones.

Think going to the tanning bed will change the undertones in your skin? Think again. The area that determines your undertone is many layers below the superficial part of the skin that tans from beds or sun exposure.

In fact, you and your siblings could share very similar complexion, however, your undertones are so highly individual the vein test could have very different results.

Whatever your coloring, the idea is really to balance your undertones with your wedding dress color. If you have warm undertones, cool, pure whites and neutral white wedding dresses are the way to go. If you have cool undertones, neutrals like champagne white or warm whites like cream or ivory will be perfect.

How Many White Wedding Dress Shades Are There?

Short answer? A lot. Though the shades of white wedding dresses aren’t quite as plentiful as, say, the paint aisle at your local home improvement store, the choices can still feel overwhelming in the moment.

To simplify the process, we’re identifying some of the most common white wedding dress colors in the industry.

Stark White

Also known as bright white, pure white or snow white, these classically white wedding dresses are great for dark skin tones and warm undertones. It can be somewhat of a difficult shade for fair skinned brides. Unless you have very warm undertones, you run the risk of getting washed out.

Diamond White

Down the spectrum a bit is a soft hue that is pretty universally flattering while still appearing very white to the untrained eye. The satin is also great at evenly diffusing lights, making your bridal portraits pop.

Cream White

Cool skin tones look all kinds of milky next to the slight yellow undertones in a cream white dress. If you’re celebrating an outdoor wedding these dresses will shine brilliantly while giving off rich hues once you step inside.

Ivory

Ivory wedding dresses are the go-to for many brides to be – and for good reason. They’re sometimes referred to as eggshell white or candlelight white depending on the variation. In general, pink-ish undertones and fairer complexions get an extra glow from this soft shade.

Champagne White

Talk about romantic, the slight pink and gold tones of a champagne color wedding dress are all kinds of elegant. It adds a rich depth to olive or sallow skin, bringing a nice balance to both warm and cool undertones alike. Some wedding dress boutiques and designers also refer to this shade as Rum White.

Of course, some brides aren’t all about a white wedding, and we totally get that. Two trending wedding dress colors we’re seeing a lot in stores are light gold wedding dresses and blush color wedding dresses.

Let’s take a peek at each:

Light Gold

Light gold wedding gowns are perfect partners for sheer and stain fabrics. They retain their luster and warm glow in all settings, making them perfect for the bride who wants to stay light and airy with a touch of something extra.

Blush

With a whisper of rose the blush wedding dresses are both grounding and ethereal at the same time. The dusting of color adds a lift to the skin, complementing your completion from photos and candlelight.

Whichever dress is your destiny, our bridal consultants are trained to spot undertones in a flash. We’re more than happy to guide you through the world of wedding whites and into your dream dress.

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