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Wedding Dress Color Meanings (With Images)

Bride looking at her wedding dress

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Although white has become the traditional color for wedding dresses, there’s no reason to stick to white when there’s a range of shades to choose from. Each color carries its own connotations and meaning which can add a layer of symbolism to your overall ensemble.

Here’s a look at 12 wedding dress colors and what they mean.

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1- White Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride sitting on haystack showing her shoes

Let’s start with the most popular wedding dress color – white. The most traditional color for wedding dresses today, white is ideal for a bride who loves tradition. It symbolizes purity, innocence, light, virginity and positivity. It’s the quintessential bridal look. There are many shades of white that wedding dresses come in from stark white to ivory.

In reality, white wedding gowns were made popular by Queen Victoria in the 19th century, not for its symbolism but because it showed wealth and prestige. While white is meant to symbolize virginity and purity, blue used to be the color symbolizing these characteristics (which is why the Virgin Mary is often depicted in blue).

2- Ivory Wedding Dress Meaning

Ivory wedding dress: bride wearing

Classic ivory wedding dress. See it here.

Although it looks different, ivory is often considered a shade of ‘white’ wedding dresses. As such, it holds the same symbolism as white dresses. In the past, some believed that ivory meant that the bride was no longer pure, and therefore couldn’t wear white but this is no longer a view that people subscribe to. Many brides prefer ivory as it’s less contrasting on their skin and tends to suit all skin tones.

3- Red Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride In Red Wedding Dress

While red might come across as a radical choice for the Western bride, in many Eastern cultures like China and India, red is the color of choice for traditional bridal dresses. In the West, red symbolizes passion, love, excitement and energy. It’s a daring color to opt for and not everyone can pull it off. It’s perfect if you’re not afraid to make a statement.

4- Lavender Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing lavender-purple wedding dress

Lavender is a variation of purple, coming on the lighter end of the purple spectrum. While purple represents royalty, lavender represents beauty and sophistication. It’s a graceful, feminine color, ideal for a bride who wants to give the image of a sophisticated, stylish image. While pink is often considered a girlish color, lavender is often viewed as the grown-up version of pink.

5- Orange Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing orange wedding dress

Unique orange wedding dress. See it here.

Orange is not a common color for wedding dresses and that alone makes it a great choice for a striking, statement look. Orange is connected to joy, sunshine, youthful positivity and happiness. It’s a color that radiates energy and a fun-loving nature but isn’t as in-your-face as red. Orange is also associated with the tropics and warmer climes.

6- Peach Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing wedding dress siting on a chair

Peach is the lighter version of orange, with associations of youth, immortality and renewal. It’s a soft, delicate color that would suit a bride who wants to have a slightly off-beat look without being too out there. In Chinese culture, peach symbolizes immortality, perfect for a couple about to start a new chapter.

7- Silver Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing silver-satin wedding dress

Silver is a stylish, sophisticated color that radiates class and gives the bride a calm and confident look. Also, silver isn’t too radical a choice as it can be considered still within the white color palette so it’s perfect if you want your dress to look quietly different. Although silver is connected to history when the metal was highly valued and used in a myriad of ways, it’s also associated with technology and modernity, giving you a cross between the past and the present.

8- Gray Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride sitting on a chair in the forest

Gray hair, old and gray, gray clouds, gray mood… gray is often linked to pessimism, aging and depression. But a gray wedding dress is another matter altogether! It can give the wearer a matured look, but also has a calming, composed appearance. 

9- Blue Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing blue wedding dress

Gorgeous blue wedding dress. See it here.

Whether light blue or navy blue, there’s something about a blue wedding dress that oozes confidence, calm, composure and serenity. The connections of blue to water, sky and sea evokes images of mystery, wonder and peace. Blue also represents virginity and femininity as we mentioned above. Some other meanings of blue include, stability, loyalty and life.

10- Pink Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing dusky pink wedding dress

Classic dusky pink wedding gown. See it here.

Pink comes in a range of hues, from earthy nudes to striking pinks. In general, pink represents youthfulness and innocence. It shows a child-like character yet can also represent a flirtatious personality. Overall, pink has always been symbolic of women and femininity making it the most girlish color on this list. 

11- Green Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing green wedding dress

Stylish and classy. See this green wedding dress here.

For the bride who loves nature and the outdoors, green is an excellent color as it represents the environment. It also symbolizes peace, stability, renewal, growth and endurance. Green is gorgeous on any skin tone making it a versatile dress choice.

12- Black Wedding Dress Meaning

Bride wearing black wedding dress

Gorgeous black wedding dress. See it here.

Black might seem like a strange color for a wedding dress, but it’s gaining popularity among daring, modern brides. If you thought that black represents death and mourning because it’s worn at funerals, don’t forget that in many parts of the world, white is worn at funerals.

Black is a modern, daring color, perfect for the contemporary bride who wants to do it her way. It’s not for the faint-hearted or someone who loves tradition. It’s a classy, elegant look representing power, strength, confidence and wealth.

When You Shop…

If you’re opting for a different color dress, try shopping for a party gown instead of a ‘wedding’ gown. Anything with the word wedding attached to it has what’s known as the ‘wedding tax’, unnecessarily jacked up prices.

You might be able to find a beautiful green party dress that would cost significantly less than a beautiful green wedding dress, although both might look similar.

If you’re having your dress custom made, again, you might want to leave out the bit that it’s for a wedding and save serious dollars.