Brides may have cringed in the past when they heard about pink-hued wedding colors, like when Julia Roberts’ character, Shelby, in the 1989 movie, “Steel Magnolias,” declared that her wedding colors would be “blush and bashful.”
Visions of Pepto-Bismol probably danced in their heads.
Emboldened brides of the 21st century, however, are putting their own colorful spin on wedding gowns, including hues such as blush and rose. Some credit actress Reese Witherspoon for putting blush-colored wedding gowns on the fashion map when she wore a strapless pink Monique Lhuillier gown at her wedding last spring. Most recently, Blake Lively’s character in “Gossip Girl” caused quite a stir when she donned a tinted one-shoulder bridal gown by Vera Wang as a maid of honor in the television’s show’s royal wedding episode in January.
“Unwritten rules that have long hemmed in the traditional bride (like wearing white, unless it’s a second wedding) have been jettisoned in favor of statement-making fashion-forward choices that better express a bride’s true personality and tastes,” says Ines Di Santo, a Toronto-based bridal designer who incorporated the color in a silk crinkle taffeta strapless ball gown with a beaded halter neckline in her spring/summer 2012 collection.
The blush interpretations vary. Blush is the prominent hue on the home page of Alita Graham’s website, which features a model in a beaded strapless number. Rivini’s fall 2012 collection includes a chiffon cocktail dress in tea rose. And, Watters is offering a tiered silk mousseline gown in blush.
Some designers are experimenting with blush touches in their fabrics. Vera Wang introduced a floral-print taffeta ball gown for her White by Vera Wang collection at David’s Bridal. Claire Pettibone’s cap-sleeve gown shimmers with gold embroidery inlaid in the rose silk velvet.
“Not only are brides becoming a bit more daring with their color, but I have also found that many are not opposed to patterns,” says Claire Pettibone, who has found design inspiration in tapestries and French toile.
For brides preferring a subtle hint of color, dresses with nude/blush linings under white or ivory lace are strong sellers at Watters, says Maria Prince, vice president of the Dallas-based bridal gown maker.
“The color pairing really lets the lace stand out and take center stage as well as giving the look a vintage feel,” Prince says. “Soft pink/blushes are also popular in soft tulle gowns which lend themselves to a romantic, ethereal look.”
The pretty-in-pink motif also is catching on in accessories, such as Badgley Mischka’s pink satin jewel-encrusted peep-toe pumps or 4-inch-high pink satin sandals. For added froth, consider a pink clutch adorned with flowers and or Rosaline pearl-drop earrings.
If brides don’t want to top off their look with more pink, they can opt for silver or nude shoes, says Rachel Wilkins, manager of b. Hughes, a bridal boutique in Nashville, Tenn., which carries gowns by Vera Wang and Reem Acra. Di Santo suggests keeping ornamentation to a minimum.
“Brides can never go wrong with diamonds on their big day,” she says. “With a bold dress, little jewelry is necessary.”