White is the traditional color of bridal dress in both western (European) and Japanese weddings. The ancient Greek started the tradition of white at wedding, which they saw as the bridal symbol of joy and celebration (1). In Japan, the bride wears a pure white kimono known as shiromuku which symbolizes purity as well as a new beginning as the bride is reborn a member of her husband's family (2).
Anne of Brittany wore a white wedding dress or her marriage to Louis XII of France in 1499. But up until the late 19th century, brides wore just about any color for their wedding gown (3).
In 1840, Queen Victoria wore white for her wedding to Prince Albert and started the fashion for wearing white.
Today, a white wedding gown is a MUST have for all weddings. But there are more than 200 shades of white around. How do do pick the right shade of white? Here're some suggestions to help you choose one that complements your skin tone:
For your gown
If you're fair-skinned, look for ivory shades containing yellow undertones.
If you have a pinker complexion, choose creamy undertones.
If you have olive, yellow-based, or dark skin, select champagne or off-white shades.
For your bridal shoes
Ivory dresses tend to go well with gold shades and ivory shoes. You can consider Champagne Belle, Ivory Sophie, Yvette and Jodie.
Truer whites work better with silver tones and of course the white shades. Match it with Silver Belle, White Sophie, Yvette, Jodie and Elsie.
1. Colors for Your Every Mood By Leatrice Eiseman, Robert Hickey