The Not-So-White Wedding Dress

Every bride knows at least something about their dream dress. The only thing I knew for sure before I went dress shopping was that I wouldn’t be wearing white-white. White just doesn’t do it for my complexion. When choosing the final color for my dress, it was clear I didn’t want white, but to my surprise, I actually had options to choose from!

**Champ, if by some slim chance you’re reading this, please please don’t look closely at the pictures… you might get a peek of my dress!

Obviously, champagne is my favorite! All gowns may not come in these color choices, but this was enough for me. When I tried on dresses, it was obvious that ivory or darker would be the best for me. When the dress was actually photographed, I saw how WHITE ivory looked. Unfortunately, the sample of my dress that I tried on was ivory, so I tried on a different style dress in champagne. At first I was worried that a champagne colored dress would look like I was wearing a previously loved or dirty wedding dress, and that wouldn’t be good!

So here I am in a champagne colored dress. Now as you can tell from my facial expression, the empire waist dress did nothing for my figure. I just wanted to try on this dress to get an idea of the color. My imaginative ability was tested as I had to physically hold the dress to prevent an unexpected boudoir session, but I felt pretty confident that a champagne colored dress would be better than an ivory one.

I also made sure that the champagne dress I tried on was the same designer as the dress I had chosen, a pretty important detail. My dress is satin with a lace overlay, so this was a good example of what the color change would do for me. Here’s a closer look at the champagne color.

And for comparison sake, the champagne dress next to my ivory sample dress… quite the difference!

I ended up ordering my dress in champagne satin with an ivory overlay of lace. That’s always been my favorite combo, and I’m so fortunate to be able to choose my colors! Here are some other brides who have chosen the combo.

Eli Manning’s wife chose this champagne dress with ivory lace at their Spring 2008 wedding, below.

I actually tried this Jim Hjelm dress and loved it, but it just didn’t quite hit me in the right places. So sad.

This gown is by British designer Sassi Holford. Very pretty!

Katharine McPhee also chose a gorgeous lace dress. Another thing I’ll point out here is her mantilla veil. I love it, and more on that later!

Wedding dresses come in so many variations!

What makes your dress unique?


Mrs. Champagne

Wedding Date:
February 2009
Rehearsal Insert?
My Greatest Fear
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  1. Member
    McG 117 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:22 pm

    I was seriously considering a champagne coloured dress (Disney Bridal Jasmine), it was an empire waist and made of chiffon but was too light for a winter wedding. The dress I chose just happened to be the same a family member wore to her wedding. The good news is, she’s not coming to the wedding :) So I guess I’m not so unique.

  2. Member
    MrsFroggy 195 posts, Blushing bee @ 12:31 pm

    It’s definitely important to find a color that fits with your complexion. Champagne looks great on you.
    I talked with various salesperson in bridal shop and they often say that few people can handle the pure snow white tones.

    My dress is special because of the lace, it’s not set in an usual pattern, more like a lace gown while on the bustier. I truly love it, it’s fun and creative.

  3. Guest Icon Guest
    Nicole, Guest @ 12:37 pm

    My dress color is Pronovias “gold”….I am just crazy about it! It is not too far from Ivory but adds a touch of vintage.

  4. Guest Icon Guest
    Nichole, Guest @ 12:44 pm

    My dress is ivory, but it’s dupioni silk, so it’s not as dark as some ivory dresses that I had looked at.

  5. Guest Icon Guest
    Starry-eyed Barefoot Bride, Guest @ 12:49 pm

    My dress is actually blush. When the saleschick said that I went “No thanks! I am not a pink girl. I like color I have on now… (thinking it was ivory).” Turns out – i was wearing hte blush! Its not pink at all and looks like Glowing Ivory. purrdy! Never ever would have guessed I would like something in blush!

  6. Guest Icon Guest
    Jodi, Guest @ 12:59 pm

    My dress is light ivory. It looks good with my complexion yet it looks white-white until you put it next to something that really is white white.

  7. Member
    missx 57 posts, Worker bee @ 1:05 pm

    I also knew that a true white wouldn’t do it for me, and I knew I would not be getting an all satin dress. My dress is ivory and made of crushed organza. I love the texture that the organza brings to it.

  8. misscookie Member
    misscookie 795 posts, Busy bee @ 1:08 pm

    Champagne, how apropos! I love your dress and the color! Perfect!

    I decided to go with an ivory dress. I am paler then pale, and I need a color that didn’t white me out!

  9. Guest Icon Guest
    Honeydew, Guest @ 1:13 pm

    I love the champagne color! Personally I have to say I’m not a fan of the diamond white color. I just feel that it makes a dress look inexpensive.

    So I ended up with a Champagne Dupioni silk dress from Paloma Blanca. I LOVE IT.

  10. avocado Member
    avocado 1538 posts, Bumble bee @ 1:24 pm

    I almost bought a gold dress so I think that champagne isn’t dark at all. Mine is ivory and I couldn’t be happier. Silly people who believe that a wedding dress HAS to be white or else it looks dirty.

  11. Member
    cbkj 78 posts, Worker bee @ 1:28 pm

    I have a champagne silk satin that I love. It is extremely flattering with my skintone and the dress is custom made- so absolutely no one else will have this one.

  12. Member
    emmyleeee 64 posts, Worker bee @ 1:35 pm

    Wow, I had the exact opposite problem – I couldn’t find a dress that was white! The salespeople I talked to all tried to talk me out of it. It’s just not “done” any more. But, I really wanted my white wedding dress, and it looks great on me (but I’m a pasty pink).

    I can’t wait to see pictures of your dress!! :)

  13. Member
    suzanno 2683 posts, Sugar bee @ 1:54 pm

    Mine was Diamond White which turns out to be about the color of really good vanilla ice cream. So basically ivory but without any yellow undertone.

  14. Guest Icon Guest
    Mary, Guest @ 2:01 pm

    Speaking of “looking dirty” – the tux guy at MW tux said that my beau and his men should all wear ivory shirts (instead of the normal white tuxedo shirts) so that my ivory dress does not “look dirty.” I have been questioning this ever since our meeting with him as I hoping to go for the crisp clean look of a black tux with a white shirt underneath (my beau is also getting an ivory vest)…any opinions on the white vs. ivory shirts for the men if you are wearing an ivory dress?

  15. Member
    haliwood 106 posts, Blushing bee @ 2:51 pm

    I second the question about matching ivory/champagne dresses against white shirts on the men…I suppose if white and ivory are both available and equally priced (in the case of renting tuxes, etc) then it’s no biggie, you go with whatever you like best. But if white is all that’s available, does it work well with ivory/champagne or does it make the dress look….off? Anyone?

  16. Guest Icon Guest
    katya, Guest @ 2:52 pm

    I also had a champagne dress. Of every color that exists, pure white is the worst on my super pale complexion.

    I listened to advice from The Knot boards on the color of the groomsmen’s shirts and they were totally right. They suggested white shirts for the guys, and for the groom, an ivory tie. We found the perfect tie with a nice striped ivory pattern.

  17. mschampagne Member
    mschampagne 1337 posts, Bumble bee @ 2:58 pm

    I completely agree with the white shirts. Ivory doesn’t make a huge difference and to be honest, nobody will be looking that close! As long as your hubby’s tie isn’t white, you’re golden…er, champagne…er, ivory. Whatever. Sounds like you’re close to the big day~congrats!

  18. Guest Icon Guest
    Getmarried4Less, Guest @ 3:56 pm

    the champagne looks great on you!

    i wanted champagne, but the dress i fell for only came in ivory. it looked very white in the store but when it shipped, it was darker. i’m glad.

    what makes my dress unique? ack! i dont think its unique….its An A-line corset style with pick up skirt… half the dresses out there honestly, lol….

  19. mspomegranate Member
    mspomegranate 961 posts, Busy bee @ 4:42 pm

    GORGEOUS. You look beautiful in the champagne color – how fitting!

  20. Guest Icon Guest
    Jen, Guest @ 6:02 pm

    I had the same problem with white and my complexion. My dress is Melissa Sweet “Gitta” in champagne and I couldn’t be happier! It’s unique because it’s all satin and very flowy.

  21. margarita Member
    margarita 369 posts, Helper bee @ 6:40 pm

    Gorgeous! I am wearing a champagne color too :)

  22. Guest Icon Guest
    Littlefoot, Guest @ 7:41 pm

    I call mine a ‘dark cream’ color…not quite champagne, but darker than ivory. Another thing that makes it different is the dark red sash that hits closer to my chest (kinda empire style) and does the fit and flare thing at the end…can’t wait to rock it! Only 6 days left!

  23. Guest Icon Guest
    Lindsay K, Guest @ 8:56 pm

    i tried both of those dresses on! i loved the ivory but the baby doll won’t flatter anyone, I’m convinced!

    I ended up choosing a lace gown from that same designer in ivory- I am VERY happy with the dress and color

    it is very possible we might have the same dress!

  24. Guest Icon Guest
    Lindsay K, Guest @ 8:57 pm

    i tried both of those dresses on! i loved the ivory but the baby doll won’t flatter anyone, I’m convinced!

    I ended up choosing a lace gown from that same designer in ivory- I am VERY happy with the dress and color

    it is very possible we might have the same dress!

  25. espresso Member
    espresso 1308 posts, Bumble bee @ 10:56 pm

    The champagne looks great on you. And as Pom said- it’s so perfect for you

  26. Guest Icon Guest
    Another Dress Weekend and The “One”! » Weddingbee » The Wedding Blog, Guest @ 3:51 pm

    […] Now remember, it’ll be champagne with ivory lace… […]

  27. Guest Icon Guest
    Beans, Guest @ 6:58 am

    We just tried on tuxes and I also have an deeper ivory dress. The ivory shirts didn’t really match with the vests we wanted which were a cooler tone to match my bridesmaids. We’re going white for the shirts.

  28. Guest Icon Guest
    Kristen, Guest @ 9:20 pm

    Is that the casablanca 1900? How did the lace on that one compare to the one you are getting? Do you have any more pictures of you in the champagne?


  29. Guest Icon Guest
    Jules, Guest @ 1:47 am

    I am so glad I stumbled upon your thoughts tonight!! I was starting to doubt the champagne dress with ivory lace overlay I ordered for my wedding this coming summer – should I go for the puffy stark white dress?? Should I make myself into the Barbie doll I always see in other wedding pictures?? **Sigh of relief** NO! I can’t wait to get my dress in now and rock it like the Ol’ Hollywood vintage look I have been dreaming of. Thank you so much for sharing.

  30. Guest Icon Guest
    sonja-cicinnati, Guest @ 10:55 am

    hello…. what is so funny is I was having trouble finding a picture of the dress that I had picked out but you are wearing it…lol its lovely and Im even more sure now that it is the one I want … I had tried it on and fell in love with it… thanks for sharing…

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