Wednesday, 28 November 2012

I think I want a White Dress!

There are always a myriad of colour choices that will work in any situation, as long as the tonal value is appropriate. 

Gaye Adams- teacher and painter

Whilst shopping this weekend I was looking for a bag, anything that would carry all my worldly possessions; whilst not being too big and bulbous or small and ridiculous, it also had so be the right shape, size and colour.  Who would have thought it was so difficult! 
As I traipsed up and down the shops with my reusable supermarket shopping bag looking for that perfect brown leather number that would fit wonderfully to all my imaginary occasions and my personal image of what a bag should be, I came to thinking it is not so different from my brides who go on the tireless journey to find  which 'White' would suit their dress best! 

Benedict Morgan Photography
White is not just White, there are endless tones ranging from snow white through Ivories and into the creamier Oyster.  When presented with this question I have systems in place to help our new brides-to-be.  There are important factors that I feel must not be ignored when faced with this conundrum.  It is true you should be able to  wear whatever you want but there are sometimes barriers that are in place that stop you from wearing a tone that will ultimately make your chosen gown look like it was designed and made for another, or even that you may have picked it up in a blind panic just moments before your wedding day. 

Benedict Morgan Photography

Each skin tone has a certain amount of pigment that will be highlighted by the types of dyes used when making 'White'.  If you are pale in complexion with alabaster skin it may not suit you to go with 'bright white' as this may simply highlight the cooler elements of your skin tone resulting in you looking washed out, heading more for a 'magnolia white' or cream with its hints of yellow could on the other hand make you look positively unwell.  Adding a slightly warmer white, a soft ivory or natural for instance, which generally have a red dye within them, will help draw out the colour that is hidden in your complexion making you look warmer and healthier. 

Colour Wheel - Bridal Whites

You may have a darker complexion; Olive skin tones wear Brighter Whites , Ivories and Creams really well, the yellow, blue and green tones found in the brighter whites can add a freshness to a gown on darker complexions.   Now it is quite hard to explain all of this without meeting the individual, the 'systems' I referred to earlier is simply this; holding up swatches of white against the skin! 

At beautiful bird we are lucky enough to have a full Colour wheel of 'white' samples.  I go about holding them against the skin of each bride and seeing which one suits their complexion best.  It is amazing to see how a very slight difference in the shade of white creates a world of difference to the complexion.  

Penny - Personal Photographs
The trick is to hold a decent sized piece of fabric under the chin and over the shoulder, as it is the reflection on the face and neck that really give the clues on the best choice.  Once you do this you will see the subtle dye colours in the whites highlight your natural complexion .  For example you may see more yellow in the fabric making it seem acidic and cold or it could look dull and lifeless as a blue/green shade works against your natural highlights. This can be worrying for those who may be buying a manufactured gown, however, you can always do your own research by using this same process in a fabric shop and purchase samples of the 'white' that works with you best, this can then be passed on to the makers to ensure you get the correct tone of 'white'.  If this is what you are thinking of doing, always look in a mirror while colour draping as the reflection helps you see the change in tone clearly (remember it is only subtle).

Adele - Personal Photographs

I believe that it's these small details that make all the difference to your gown and how you feel on your big day, it's also extremely fascinating to see how your body reacts to different dye tones in a fabric, this also works when choosing bright colours.  For as with White; Red, Blue and even Black (to mention just a few), all have many different tonal ranges and your body chooses what suits you best.  

Danae - Personal Photographs

As with perfume and as I recently found out, handbags, they belong to different people in many different ways.  Is it strange that actually it is your body that gets to decide? ...

Goodness, thinking about it, it has so much look after it (and treat it to a new hand bag every now and then)!

Chat next week! 

For more images of Brides we have worked with in this way, please visit

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