Shades of ivory, blush and gold are rising in popularity and erasing the effect of bright-white bridal.
While white bridal gowns will likely never go completely out of style, a new trend is rising to challenge the status quo: colored ensembles that range from soft pastels to bright, bold hues.
At White of Dublin, only two gowns are available in pure white, and with good reason. The shade is difficult to pull off and often takes on a bluish hue. In fact, many brides who enter the store asking for a bright-white gown change their mind, opting instead for an off-white or ivory, when they see the bright-white option, says co-owner Heather DiMasi.
Though many gowns carried at the bridal boutique can be ordered in a pure white, the number of brides who opt for the hue is low—below 5 percent according to co-owner Diane Bond. Taking bright white's place at White of Dublin is a variety of ivories, blushes and golds. In other boutiques, bolder hues—think grays, reds and even black—are joining pastels on the scene.
Bright white's decline in popularity is correlated to the capabilities of popular fabrics, says Bond. The gowns at her boutique are made with silk, a natural material that simply isn't available in pure white.
But White of Dublin isn't an anomaly. Elegant Bride, also in Dublin, carries only two pure-white gowns. Only about half of the store is filled with ivory-hued gowns, with the other half consisting of shades of gold, blush, moscato and darker tones like java and maple. Similarly, Joshua Vietmeier, general manager at Henri's Cloud Nine in Polaris, notes that pure white gowns make up approximately 15 percent of Henri's inventory.
Frankie Murphy, store director at Elegant Bride, has seen the colored trend throughout her 4.5-year tenure. But for Bond, colored gowns have picked up during her time in the industry. It's been on her radar since Angelina Jolie's wedding ensemble hit the spotlight in 2014. Her gown and veil both featured her children's drawings on it—a move that Bond says paved the way for the non-traditional bridal aesthetic.
Murphy notes that another factor behind the colored gown trend is the desire of brides to have a “red carpet moment”—something few of us ever get to experience otherwise. And what better way to turn heads and set yourself apart in the world of bridal than with a bold, eye-catching hue?