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Do I Have to Wear a White Wedding Dress?

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Being a bride traditionally means wearing a white dress as you walk down the aisle to stand with your husband-to-be. However, this tenet has recently been questioned as wedding ceremonies change.

Do I have to wear a white wedding dress?

No, it’s your wedding, so you can wear whatever you want! There are no rules to weddings, only traditions.

It’s your decision how many customs you want to follow or whether you want to chart a different path.

Of course, many traditions come with outside pressure from family members, friends, photographers, and society in general. It’s easy to say people should shrug off others’ expectations, but harder to actually do it.

Beautiful bride wearing white wedding dress with bouquet of flowers

More and more brides are eschewing traditional white wedding dresses and wearing colors like cream, pink, blue, or gold.

Wedding dresses can be any color you want, just make sure it’s what you really want, and your partner is onboard with your plan.

Here are some options and things to consider if you’re thinking about wearing a wedding dress in a color other than white.

Luxurious pink wedding dress is lying on a grey sofa in a white room

Non-White Dresses Are Popular

Maybe decades ago, it was hard to imagine wearing something other than white as a bride. However, a quick online search reveals that plenty of couples go outside the box when choosing their outfits for their wedding day.

Celebrities started popping up at their weddings in pink dresses and other colors, which helped break through some old-style thinking of white as the only choice.

White wedding dresses are still the most popular, and they’ll likely remain at the top forever.

Some people love the look of pristine white and the formal tone it sets for weddings.

Traditional norms associate white dresses with weddings, and many people enjoy sticking with customs. To them, it represents continuity between generations and a certain level of prestige.

But that doesn’t mean you have to wear white. It’s your wedding, so you get to make the rules.

Bride wearing blue wedding dress and groom holding bouquet dancing

Expanding Your Search

It’s true that you may have some challenges finding wedding dresses in different colors at your local dress boutique.

Most stores only carry white dresses. Available styles will probably be very limited, even if they have different colors.

You’ll need to expand your search if you’re committed to wearing pink, purple, or other non-traditional colors.

You may have to travel to larger cities to visit bigger stores and more of them. You can look online for dressmakers who specialize in colored wedding dresses.

Finally, you can make a bespoke wedding dress with a good tailor who will bring your vision to life.

It will take more work, but the results are usually worth it! You’ll look stunning in a colorful dress to make your wedding truly yours.

Advice on Wearing Colorful Wedding Dresses

Plenty of people want their weddings to look and feel different. The bride’s dress gets a lot of attention on the wedding day, making going outside tradition more challenging.

It can sometimes feel unfair because grooms can get by wearing blue suits, whatever tie they want, etc. They aren’t as bound by customs as brides are regarding what they wear.

If you’re sure that you want to wear different colors, here are some things to consider.

Location and Venue

newly wed having fun by the sea, beach wedding concept, bride wearing light blue wedding dress

It’s easier to wear non-traditional colors in informal settings.

If you’re having a beach wedding or getting married in a park, people will love it when you wear a yellow wedding dress or a lovely outfit you purchased off the rack.

In small, informal ceremonies, people are there to focus more on you. There’s none of the pomp and circumstance involved in a large formal wedding.

On the other hand, wearing non-white wedding dresses typically takes more guts when you’re at a formal venue in front of hundreds of people. You can do it, but you should be prepared to hear others’ opinions about what you wear.

If you are wearing a different color in a formal setting, you may want to make sure it’s a fancy dress that fits the environment.

Wedding Outfit Changes

If you feel bound by tradition, wardrobe changes are the perfect way to express yourself at your wedding through color.

You can wear a white dress and then change into something colorful at your reception. Some brides will make several wardrobe changes throughout their wedding event.

However, changing wedding dresses is great for showing your passion for style. You can wear a peach or blue wedding dress for the ceremony, then change into something different for the reception.

Color Palettes

Many brides plan specific color themes for their weddings. Wearing a dress that fits the theme is a terrific way to highlight your favorite colors and make your wedding a day to remember.

There Are No Wedding Rules

It’s worth repeating that there are no wedding rules.

No one gets to tell you that you have to wear a certain type or color of dress for your ceremony. You get to decide.

Mostly, choosing a colorful dress to wear at your wedding is done out of a sense of personal style or a desire to break with tradition. Before you take the leap, however, remember the following:

Styles Change

groom and bride low angle photo wearing sneakers

The color or the type of wedding dress may be trendy now, but styles change.

There are good reasons why people stick with classic styles. They’ll still look good in their wedding photos decades from now.

Not Everyone Will Agree

Prepare to receive backlash from parents, friends, and other opinionated people. They have the best intentions, but you may have to push back hard against their requests for you to follow customs and wear a white dress.

You May Pay More

woman wearing pink wedding dress and smiling while standing in front of the mirror in bridal shop

Colorful wedding dresses are harder to come by, so you may only find them at higher-end boutiques from expensive designers.

You could end up paying more for a colorful wedding dress than a standard white dress.

Final Thoughts

Above all, have fun with your wedding and your outfit! The day should be happy despite all the stress of planning and hosting a wedding.

What you wear for your wedding should make you feel proud and elated over what’s about to happen. As long as you feel beautiful, that’s all that matters!