As a modern bride, are you debating what color wedding dress you should wear on your big day? Traditionally, brides wear white wedding dresses in western culture and red in Chinese culture, but these are not the only color options in modern bridal fashion anymore. Colors evoke certain feelings, emotions, and meanings. When choosing the right color for your wedding dress, you might want to learn the meanings behind these colors so you can choose the one that best represents you.
To help our brides find the colors that can best represent their identities and cultures, we’ve rounded up the most popular wedding dress colors and their meanings below.
Summary of Wedding Dress Colors and Their Cultural Meanings
We understand that colors might have different meanings in different cultures. Therefore, we summarized the wedding dress colors and meanings in both Western culture and Chinese culture for our brides to refer to.
Wedding Dress Color
Meaning in Western Culture
Meaning in Chinese Culture
Romance, love, enthusiasm
Happiness, luck, celebration
Condolence, death, mourning
Wealth, nobility, power
Growth, harmony, life
Vitality, hope, harmony
Nobility, magic, royalty
Nobility, royalty, elegance
Love, femininity, caring
Power, death, mystery
Red Wedding Dress Meaning and Tradition
Red, the color of love, symbolizes romance, and enthusiasm in Western culture. Wearing a red wedding dress is going to show the world your passionate and brave personality on your big day.
Moreover, in Chinese culture, red is a traditionally auspicious color that represents joy and celebration. It is widely used in festivals and special events such as weddings. Wearing red wedding dresses has been a Chinese wedding tradition since the Ming Dynasty over 650 years ago. In Chinese culture, the bride wears a red wedding dress such as a Qun Kwa or a cheongsam on her wedding day to celebrate the joy and happiness of the marriage.
If you are holding a Chinese-American wedding, wearing a red wedding dress is going to be an exciting yet classic choice that honors your culture and complements your beauty at the same time. Red wedding dresses come in a variety of different styles from Chinese Qun Kwa dresses, cheongsam dresses, or even western-style wedding gowns.
White Wedding Dress Meaning and Tradition
White wedding dresses are so popular that many brides assume that they have to wear white for their weddings, but do you know why they are so popular in the first place? Knowing the meaning behind white wedding dresses might help you to decide if white is the right color for you.
White wedding dresses symbolize purity and simplicity in Western culture. The tradition of wearing white wedding dresses can be traced back to its Christian root of saving your virginity for marriage. The wearing of white wedding dresses became trendy during Queen’s Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert in 1840. Because of this royal family’s wedding, wearing white wedding dresses also became a recognition of one’s social status.
However, in Chinese culture, white is not as desirable of a color for a wedding dress because it represents death and sadness. Traditionally, people believe that wearing white to a wedding brings bad luck. In spite of its traditional meaning, due to the influence of Western culture, more and more modern brides have embraced the simplicity and purity of white wedding dresses and have chosen to wear them on their wedding day. Today, many brides even consider wearing a white modern Chinese cheongsam to combine their two cultures.
Gold Wedding Dress Meaning
The meaning behind the color gold in weddings is similar between both the Chinese and Western culture: it represents wealth and power. For that reason, gold can be a great choice for Chinese-American weddings! Especially in Chinese culture, wearing gold was a privilege of the royal family in ancient times, which made gold become a symbol of the nobility. That’s why in Chinese weddings, people like to wear gold to represent the wealth and success of their family.
A gold wedding dress can be an extravagant, unique, and dazzling choice. In Chinese weddings, the colors gold and red usually go together for good luck. Therefore, you could consider the combination of gold and red such as a gold dress with red roses or a red dress with gold embroidery.
Blue Wedding Dress Meaning
The color blue brings to mind the image of the sky or ocean, evoking feelings of calmness and stability. In addition to peacefulness, blue in Western culture represents loyalty and trust. In Chinese culture, the color blue also signifies healing and longevity. These meaningful messages conveyed by blue make it a favorable color for wedding dresses. Moreover, in Western wedding traditions, a wedding often needs “something blue”, so why not make it your wedding dress?
Wearing royal blue can exude your elegance and peacefulness at a formal romantic style wedding. Wearing a sea blue wedding dress can bring a refreshing and serene feeling to your beachside or vineyard style wedding. To honor your Chinese roots, you can also choose a blue cheongsam for your modern Chinese wedding.
Green Wedding Dress Meaning
Chinese culture and Western culture both share a similar perception of the color green. It symbolizes vitality, life, harmony, and compassion. Wearing a green wedding dress can showcase your positive energy and represent your beautiful vision of a new stage in life.
Still not sure if green is suitable to wear at a Chinese wedding? While red is the most well-known wedding color in Chinese culture, green is actually one of the traditional Chinese wedding dress colors. In the Tang dynasty, green wedding dresses were the most popular in bridal fashion. Therefore, you can confidently choose green as your wedding dress color! Nowadays, many Chinese dresses such as cheongsams come in many different shades of green for you to choose from.
Purple Wedding Dress Meaning
In both Chinese and Western cultures, purple is the color of nobility and royalty. In ancient China, only authority or the royal family could wear purple to represent their noble status and power. Today, purple also embodies an elegant feeling that hints at romance and magic. Wearing a light purple wedding dress can represent a romantic fairytale love story. A darker shade of purple can bring out your natural grace and elegance.
As with any color wedding dress, you have the opportunity to get creative and personalize it to your style. For example, you can add white lace details to your purple wedding dress, or pair it with a simple white wedding bouquet to create a stunning look.
Pink Wedding Dresses Meaning
The color pink is a mixture of red and white, and so it represents love, romance, and innocence. It also embodies a hint of femininity. Wearing a pink wedding dress will show off your feminine side and your caring spirit.
Pink wedding dresses are perfect for spring or summer weddings since pink signifies blossom and rejuvenation. In addition, pink is very versatile and can be paired with other hues effortlessly to create a gorgeous bridal look. A combination of powder pink, white, and blue reminds people of a subtle floral fragrance and a warm spring breeze. The color pink can also be used in a white or ivory wedding dress. Adding pink elements and detailing can help modernize a traditional wedding dress. If you are interested in incorporating pink to in your cheongsam dress, our pink Amelia Dress could be a good choice for you.
Black Wedding Dress Meaning
Black is traditionally an unconventional color for wedding dresses. In both Western and Chinese cultures, black is associated with death and sadness, which made it a taboo color for traditional weddings. However, more and more modern brides are considering black as a bold option for their wedding dress. Black also can represent power and sophistication. Therefore, black dresses are gaining more popularity. If you worry that a black dress is too dull to stand out, consider adorning your dress with gold or silver sequins to create a stunning look.
The Bottom Line: Choose the Color That Brings Out Your Confidence
You’ve learned the meanings behind the most popular wedding dress colors—now what? With so many wedding dress color options, we understand that it’s not easy to decide what color to wear. We recommend choosing the color and meaning that you identify with. More importantly, choose the one that makes you feel comfortable and confident! After all, your wedding day is all about you!
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- Get more inspiration for wedding dress colors with our post 22 Inspirational Cheongsam Dresses That Are Not Red.