Before that, brides simply wore their very best dress, in the colour of their choice.
White is meant to symbolise purity, though there are almost endless variations of 'off-white' colours such as ivory, cream and buttermilk.
The following (rather melodramatic) traditional rhyme explains the meaning of wedding dress colours but offers a narrow choice of colour - according to this, you need to stick to white, blue, pearl, brown or grey if you want to be happy! Married in White, you have chosen right, Married in Blue, your love will always be true, Married in Pearl, you will live in a whirl, Married in Brown, you will live in town, Married in Red, you will wish yourself dead, Married in Yellow, ashamed of your fellow, Married in Green, ashamed to be seen, Married in Pink, your spirit will sink, Married in Grey, you will go far away, Married in Black, you will wish yourself back However, I think we can safely say that these days, any colour goes, and there is currently a great variety available in wedding gowns.
Recent colour trends are pastels such as light, dusty pink, and bold summery colours like yellow.
Prints and patterns are making more of an appearance in wedding gowns too, and details such as flowers, feathers, spirals, gemstones, ribbons and sequins can also add pops of colour to a plain or classic wedding dress.
Be guided by your day-to-day wardrobe - which colours do you wear most often and how do you feel when you wear them? Earthy colours tend to make you feel relaxed and grounded, whereas bold and bright primary colours can provide you with confidence.
Soft muted colours bring an air of calm to your outfit and eye-catching yellows and oranges bring happiness! Of course, you want to reflect your own personality and it's also very important to choose a colour that suits your skin tone, hair and eye colour.
The wrong colour can make you look overly pale, washed out or simply will clash horribly.
Here's a guide to help you find a flattering tone for your wedding gown: For 'deep' complexions (either very pale, olive or dark skin, usually with dark hair and eyes): Go for: black, red, white, dark blues, pinks, turquoise and teal Avoid: beige, pastels, browns, baby blues and orangey-reds For 'cool' complexions (pale or pinkish skin with natural blonde or light brunette hair and pale eyes): Go for: lilac/lavender, pale blues, pastels and pinky/blue neutrals, soft purples and browns Avoid: black, red and orange For 'warm' complexions (mid to dark skin with red and brown tones in the hair and golden brown eyes): Go for: black, red, gold, orange, beige, dark browns and white (so long as you also wear a second contrasting colour with it) Avoid: blues, navy and indigo For 'light' complexions (the classic 'English Rose' complexion - creamy white or peach skin, blonde or strawberry blonde hair, freckles, rosy cheeks and blue or green eyes): Go for: pinks and oranges like peach and coral or pastel shades.
Avoid: black, bright reds.