What the colour of your wedding gown means
Kenyan singer and businesswoman Akothee chose a white gown for her recent wedding. She has not given a reason on why she settled on a white gown; however, there are several reasons one would wear white on their wedding day.
Brides traditionally wear white wedding gowns for a number of reasons, primarily stemming from symbolism and historical precedent. Here are some key factors:
Symbolism of purity and innocence: White is often associated with purity, innocence, and virginity. This symbolism dates back to ancient Rome, where brides wore white as a sign of chastity. In some cultures, white is also associated with joy and celebration.
Queen Victoria’s influence: The white wedding gown became popular in the Western world after Queen Victoria of England wore a white dress for her wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. The royal wedding was highly publicized, and many brides began to emulate the queen’s choice of colour. Before this, brides would wear various colours, often choosing their best dress for the occasion.
Societal expectations and tradition: Over time, the white wedding gown has become a deeply ingrained cultural norm and symbol of bridal attire. As a result, many brides continue to choose white gowns to adhere to tradition and societal expectations.
Aesthetic appeal: white wedding gowns have an elegant and timeless appearance, which can contribute to the appeal of the colour choice. Additionally, white is a versatile colour that complements various skin tones, making it a popular choice for many brides.
Of course, not all brides choose to wear white, and wedding dress colours and styles can vary depending on personal preferences, cultural backgrounds, and individual beliefs.
Brides worldwide wear various colours for their wedding attire; each colour has different cultural or symbolic meanings. Here are some popular colours and their associated symbolism:
Red: In many cultures, especially in Asia, red is a popular colour for wedding attire. Red symbolizes good luck, happiness, prosperity, and love. Chinese, Indian, and some Middle Eastern brides often wear red dresses or outfits for their wedding ceremonies.
Gold: Gold is another popular colour for wedding attire, particularly in India and some Middle Eastern cultures. Gold symbolizes wealth, prosperity, and opulence. It is often used as an accent colour on wedding dresses or as the primary colour for bridal outfits.
Blue: In some cultures, blue is associated with fidelity, loyalty, and purity. In Western culture, the phrase “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue” is a popular wedding tradition where the bride incorporates a blue item as a symbol of faithfulness.
Pink: Pink is sometimes chosen for its romantic and feminine connotations. It is often associated with love, tenderness, and happiness. Pink bridal attire can be seen in various cultures, and it is particularly popular in modern Western weddings as an alternative to the traditional white gown.
Green: In some cultures, green is associated with fertility, growth, and renewal. For example, in Irish weddings, green symbolizes the couple’s connection to nature and the earth.
Purple: Purple has long been associated with royalty, nobility, and spirituality. It can be a popular choice for brides who want to convey luxury and elegance.
Black: Though less common in Western weddings, black wedding attire can be seen in some cultures as a symbol of strength, power, and sophistication. It can also be a bold and unconventional choice for brides who want to make a statement.
Ivory: Ivory is a popular alternative to white in wedding gowns. It is a warm, off-white colour representing elegance, sophistication, and a more subtle approach to tradition. Some brides prefer ivory because it can be more flattering to certain skin tones than pure white.
Silver: Silver is often chosen for its association with elegance, sophistication, and modernity. It can be used as an accent or primary colour for a wedding gown. Silver is associated with lunar symbolism and the feminine mystique, representing purity and intuition.
Champagne: Champagne is a soft, pale beige colour with a hint of gold. This colour is associated with celebration, warmth, and luxury. Brides may choose champagne-coloured gowns for their timeless and classic appeal or as an alternative to the starkness of a pure white gown.
Grey: Grey symbolizes balance, neutrality, and sophistication. It can be an unconventional choice for brides who want a more muted and understated look. Grey wedding attire can also be a canvas for more vibrant accent colours or embellishments.
Yellow: In some cultures, yellow is associated with happiness, prosperity, and joy. It is a vibrant and energizing colour that can be a striking choice for brides who want to convey a sense of warmth and positivity.
Orange is a bold, energetic colour that symbolizes creativity, enthusiasm, and warmth. Brides who choose orange for their wedding attire may make a statement about their zest for life and unique personal style.
Teal: Teal, a blend of blue and green, is often associated with tranquillity, depth, and harmony. This colour can be a beautiful choice for brides who want to convey a sense of serenity and balance.