Set the tone

Who says you have to get married in a big white dress? There’s a whole rainbow of stunning colourful gowns to choose from in 2015

Words Sarah Gillespie

A few years ago, if you were asked to think about a pink wedding gown, you might have grimaced and recalled Katie Price’s sizeable, sparkly, souped-up Disney princess dress. Now, if you’re immersed in everything weddings (guilty as charged!), you’ll be able to rattle off a veritable who’s who of A-listers who shunned tradition by falling in love with a colourful wedding dress. Us mere mortals might not have Vera Wang or Valentino on speed dial, but when fashion-forward couture designers speak, the industry listens and now there’s a bridal collection at every price point ‘dyeing’ to keep up with the trend for a splash of colour. So if blue is your hue, or you want pink to make your groom wink, there has never been a better time to dare to be different.

LEFT Style 68073 by Ronald Joyce, stockists include Anne & Bobbie’s and the Marriage Room, Bridal Heaven, Brides Delight, Isabella Bridal, Isabella Jack Bridal Boutique and Lady G and Brides of Scotland. MIDDLE Madrid gown (style 4MC907) by Maggie Sottero, stockists include Anne & Bobbie’s and the Marriage Room, Brides Delight, Sarah Louise Bridal and Lady G and Brides of Scotland. RIGHT Coco Rico gown by Ian Stuart Bride (in pale blue/multi), stockists include Apple Blossom Time and La Novia.

LEFT Style 68073 by Ronald Joyce, stockists include Anne & Bobbie’s and the Marriage Room, Bridal Heaven, Brides Delight, Isabella Bridal, Isabella Jack Bridal Boutique and Lady G and Brides of Scotland. MIDDLE Madrid gown (style 4MC907) by Maggie Sottero, stockists include Anne & Bobbie’s and the Marriage Room, Brides Delight, Sarah Louise Bridal and Lady G and Brides of Scotland. RIGHT Coco Rico gown by Ian Stuart Bride (in pale blue/multi), stockists include Apple Blossom Time and La Novia.

Past times

Ever wondered why we wear white wedding dresses? You have bridal fanatic Queen Victoria to thank for that. (Seriously, try and find one picture of her where she’s not wearing a veil – she was obsessed!) Before her wedding in 1840, wedding dresses were colourful and trimmed in furs and velvets. In the decades that followed, a white wedding dress came to represent purity and innocence, and it was decided that only virgins should get married in white. That’s largely ignored now – I think most parents accept that living together doesn’t mean a nightly game of Scrabble – but light tones such as white and ivory have reigned supreme as the dress colours of choice. “I still favour an ivory dress,” says Maureen Menzies from Amo Sposa. “There are just so many shades and it suits so many girls.”
Expect to see more extra-bright whites coming up too: “We’ve ordered in some diamond-white dresses recently and they’ve been a huge hit with our clients,” says Kavelle Kaur from Kavelle Couture.

Think pink

“There’s some stunning blush-pink and oyster gowns around at the moment,” says Michelle Scott, owner of Kudos Couture. “We really love the softness and warmth of the blush tones that our designers have introduced, and because they are so subtle they don’t step too far away from the traditional white dress concept.” While we’re big fans of blush here at BSW, not everyone feels pretty in pink, so other colours to consider from the 2015 collections are sand, gold, taupe and pale blue.

 LEFT Style HP6413 by Hayley Paige. MIDDLE Style 554 by Martina Liana, stockists include Eleganza Sposa and Kudos Couture RIGHT Lucca dress (style 6314I in blush) by Watters Bridesmaids, stockists include Ivory Whites and Kavelle Couture


LEFT Style HP6413 by Hayley Paige. MIDDLE Style 554 by Martina Liana, stockists include Eleganza Sposa and Kudos Couture. RIGHT Lucca dress (style 6314I in blush) by Watters Bridesmaids, stockists include Ivory Whites and Kavelle Couture

Back to black

From the subtlest blush-pink to the boldest blood-red, wedding dresses come in a mammoth selection of colours. We’ve even seen the likes of Avril Lavigne and Shenae Grimes (of 90210 fame) tie the knot in black gowns. There’s no doubt Avril’s Monique Lhuillier and Shenae’s Vera Wang stood out, but was it for the right reasons? Sarah Jessica Parker, who got married in a black dress in 1997, has since told Harper’s Bazaar that if she were to marry again she would wear white, like she ‘should have’.
Light tones still clearly mark a gown as bridal, while brighter or bolder colours might suggest an extravagant ballgown or prom dress. We’ve spotted some black panelling and detailing in several places since Vera Wang incorporated it in her Spring 2014 collection, but we don’t imagine the monochrome tones will be mixing any time soon – grey wedding dresses feel just a bit too Miss Havisham (see Holly Valance’s widely panned J’Aton Couture dress that looked as if it had been trailed through a puddle).

From subtle blush-pink to the boldest blood-red, wedding gowns these days come in a massive array of colours

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Most bridal jewellery, shoes and headwear tend to favour diamonds, ivory and silver-coloured metals, so a coloured dress might require a rethink. Take veils, for example: “Richard Designs have a great collection of veil colours to match the lovely tones that are out at the moment,” says Fiona Turnbull of Perth boutique Alison Kirk Bridal. The combination of blush and gold looks too good to be ignored, so seek out bridal accessories in yellow gold (rose gold and warm colours like blush/champagne tend to clash). “Ivory & Co have some gorgeous gold hair pieces, especially the Camilla clip,” adds Fiona.
For shoes, braver brides should pick a contrasting colour from their dress, but if you are creating a more traditional look then remember that heels from bridal shoe collections that are white or ivory can often be dyed to match your dress. Rainbow Club is just one brand offering this service.
If you’re considering a tonal gown, the biggest mental hurdle to overcome is the fear that it won’t feel bridal enough. Remember to pick a dress not just on colour, but on shape and style too. When you put on ‘the one’, you’ll know it’s for you, no matter what colour it is. Fingers crossed it’s not a neon-orange one, mind you.

LEFT Viola gown (in champagne) by Karen George. MIDDLE Style F161055 (in gold) by Jasmine, stockists include Isabella Bridal, Sarah Louise Bridal and Special Days Brides. RIGHT Style 2512 (in champagne) by Benjamin Roberts.

LEFT Viola gown (in champagne) by Karen George. MIDDLE Style F161055 (in gold) by Jasmine, stockists include Isabella Bridal, Sarah Louise Bridal and Special Days Brides. RIGHT Style 2512 (in champagne) by Benjamin Roberts.

LEFT Style 8527 by Alfred Angelo, stockists include Apple Blossom Time, Sarah Louise Bridal and Wedding Belles RIGHT Harmony gown by Joyce Young By Storm.

LEFT Style 8527 by Alfred Angelo, stockists include Apple Blossom Time, Sarah Louise Bridal and Wedding Belles RIGHT Harmony gown by Joyce Young By Storm.