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White is not a single color, but many shades of the same hue, from paper-white to ivory, from antique white to champagne. While the adventurous bride may shun tradition and opt out of white altogether, for most women, it is still the classic symbol of happiness, joy and idealistic love. In the Bible, white represents the color of light and is an emblem of the divine.
The traditional white gown dates back to the 18th century, when white was a symbol of status and wealth. Only a woman of means could wear a white dress and risk getting it dirty. Through the centuries, brides from various countries and cultures have worn blue, red and even green, but the typical bridal boutique in Western countries is a sea of white.
Your choice of white should in part reflect what shade looks best with your complexion. Fair-skinned brides should opt for ivory or antique white. Medium complexions shine in antique white or gold. Dark-skinned brides look radiant in any variation of white, as well as antique gold and blush pink. Olive skin looks wonderful against pure white, off-white or ivory fabrics.
Be sure to ask your stylist for swatches you can take home and hold next to your skin in various lights.
“White is not a mere absence of colour; it is a shining and affirmative thing.”
— G. K. Chesterton