There is still a strong feeling that the traditional wedding dress of white or cream is the way to go, but probably for very different reasons than in the past.
Of course traditionally the color white or cream signified purity and great value was placed on the state of purity for a bride both in religious and moral terms.
This is not so much the case these days. It is much more widely accepted that there will be sex before marriage and very often couples live together before getting married. In these circumstances, it is no longer thought of as hypocritical to marry in white and choice of color has become more about fashion choice and less about a statement of lifestyle choice.
Conversely, it used to be that if you were married for a second time, you were expected not to wear white because you obviously could not be pure if you had been married before. This is another 'rule' that has pretty much gone by the way side. Nearly as many second time brides wear white as do first time brides, proportionally speaking.
So given that society is far less judicialal now about the color of your wedding dress and in many cases the style of your dress, how do you decide whether traditional is best.
I have been married twice and my first wedding dress was traditional white and although a bit flouncy (Princess Diana style), it has pretty much stood the test of time – I do not cringe when I look back at the photographs. The bridesmaid's dresses on the other hand make me feel ill every time I look at them. They were very much in the fashion of the time – blue silk covered in little white flowers with high necks and pouffe sleeves.
Second time around – and this was only 5 years ago I went for a red silk skirt and Basque top. Whilst I still love the fantastic color and texture of the material – I can already see that in a few years time this dress will be outdated. The bridesmaid's dresses on the other hand were very simple cream, floaty, ballerina dresses with stoles. Very timeless and will always look fantastic.
So when making your decision, you need to think about how you will feel when looking back on your wedding photos 10 years from now – will you still be as enamored with the style of the day or an over the top statement dress or would you prefer to go for timeless and elegant?
Think hard – those photo's last a long long time!