If you never dreamed of walking down the aisle wearing a stark white dress, there’s no need start now. Color is in and brides are embracing the trend.

“Color is a perfect choice for a bride who isn’t shy about making a bold style statement,” says Kpoene’ Kofi-Nicklin, owner of Mignonette Bridal in Chicago, Ill. “Imagine floating down the aisle in a pale green gown that is perfect for a wedding in Cape Cod, or a delicately structured blush gown tailor-made for an elegant springtime garden ceremony.”

Choosing Allover Color

Next to ivory, the popular choice for bridal gowns is a light blush shade, says Leanne Marshall, bridal designer and winner of Project Runway season five. “I like a peachy-hued blush, not quite orange, but definitely not a pink shade blush. A true champagne color,” she says. “If you have the right undertones in your skin, champagne tones with a little bit of gold in them can be very flattering and beautiful.”

Many designers are expanding their color options to include gentler hues, such as nude, petal and peony. Blues are also a popular choice, adds Marshall. “It’s that something blue that has that kind of catchiness for the bride. Blues also enhance a lot of skin tones more than ivory and whites do, which can be too much of a contrast for those who are pale. A color like blue can bring out their natural glow.”

Greys are also catching the eyes of brides. “Very light and neutral muted shades of grey read well as bridal and work for a variety of skin tones. They’re nice and refreshing for brides who have seen every imaginable ivory dress and are gravitating towards embracing color,” says Marshall.

Finding the Right Accessories

If you’re going with a colored dress, Kofi-Nicklin advises keeping the rest of your look simple and classic. “You want all the accessories to blend and not pop too much,” she says.

Marshall agrees. “It’s never a good idea to pile on too many bold statement things especially if you’re embracing color in your dress. Less is more. That old rule of putting on your accessories and looking in the mirror before you leave, then removing one or two accessories is still generally a good rule because you never want to overdo it,” Marshall says.

She adds that a great way to incorporate color to your wedding look is to do so in subtle ways. “For brides who aren’t 100 percent sure if they want to go with a color gown, something like an accessory, removable top or sash that coordinates with your wedding colors is a great way to add color,” says Marshall. “We sell a lot of lace tops, and sometimes we’ll have a bride ask us to dye it in a muted shade of aqua or blush or beige. This way it’s not a full commitment to having the whole dress in color.”

Pick What You Love

Marshalls warns against choosing a wedding gown color solely based on what’s trending at the moment. “If it’s something you absolutely love, go for it. You won’t regret it. But if you’re deciding on a dress color because it’s the trendy color of the moment or the 2016 Pantone Color of the Year, I don’t think you should gravitate toward it. Your wedding pictures are going to last you a life time, and you’re going to look back at those and probably wonder why you did that,” she says.

Both Marshall and Kofi-Nicklin also suggest sticking with a classic silhouette if you’re adding color. “We tell brides not to worry about having to go too over-the-top with your gown,” Kofi-Nicklin says. “There are plenty of gowns out there with enough traditional detailing to keep the look just this side of edgy. A classic silhouette like a ball gown or trumpet shape can be transformed through a pop of unexpected color.”

Photo courtesy of Leanne Marshall

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