White wedding dresses are rife with symbolism: purity, virginity, what have you. Clearly today these symbols are less relevant in our society. Nevertheless, the white dress persists! Why? Is it that brides tend to glow in white? Is it that guests assume the bride will wear white therefore no other woman will wear it, rendering the bride a visible beacon amongst her guests? Maybe it's because many weddings tend to be in the summer and white looks so nice outdoors in the sunlight.
Whatever the reason, the vast majority of wedding dresses are still in shades of white and ivory. Some more intrepid brides have chosen other colors, such as a gold wedding dresses or even pink!
Despite white being the default choice in many brides' minds, not everyone can pull it off. White compliments very dark skin tones and the lightest skin tones best. Olive-skinned women should steer towards a richer color. If you have a tendency to tan in golden tones white will also look great on you. Brides with yellow undertones to their skin will look better in a diamond white rather than a gleaming white.
How do you know an ivory wedding dresses is the right color for you? Can it be more than a "middle of the road" between pure white and champagne tones? Absolutely. To answer the first question, think of how pearls look against your skin. Have you always liked the effect? Don't think of the style of pearls, which might be too conservative for you: rather, think of the tone itself. Chances are you'll be saying a resounding "yes" if you have olive or creamy skin. Also in the resounding "yes" category: dark-skinned women, especially those with rich brown tones. In this case you may want to consider a rich ivory color, or a gold wedding dresses. Creamy skin also looks nice in ivory, especially a paler shade of ivory.
If you have very fair skin you'll probably want to avoid ivory in favor of white. This way your dress will be lighter than your skin tone, which is the goal.
There are many shades of ivory with varying levels of color, and varying levels of yellow. If you're shopping for a dress in person, the best way to judge the color is against your skin, and preferably in daylight. If this is not possible in the store, ask for a fabric sample that you can take home. Shopping online? Take the time to request a fabric sample. It's well worth the minor cost if you're serious about the wedding dresses in question. Not only for the color, but to judge the texture, shine and overall fabric quality.
Whatever your choice, make sure you don't compromise your fabric for the color you want. The fabric of your dress is incredibly important and needs to "stand on it's own". Don't be afraid to ask for a fabric sample to be really sure. This goes for a white dress too. Happy shopping!