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A wedding all in white: Color pales by comparison

Table decor using mostly white reflects a trend among brides. This image originally appeared in Martha Stewart Weddings.

Courtesy of Raymond Ham

Table decor using mostly white reflects a trend among brides. This image originally appeared in Martha Stewart Weddings.

Is it all right to go all white?

Of course, white is the traditional color for brides, but many of them are surrounding themselves with white beyond head-to-toe. It's more like floor to ceiling, and everything in between.

"I do love an all-white wedding," says fashion designer Amsale Aberra, who uses her first name as her label. "I think it can be very beautiful."

But in the next breath, Aberra says the look leaves room for error, with white-wearing bridesmaids and flower girls, white flowers, white tablecloths and white candles all potentially stealing the bride's thunder. "You don't want to need to wear the veil the whole day just to be identified as the bride," she says.

It takes a woman with a strong personality and sense of self to remain the belle of the ball, and she needs to embrace little tools to help her shine — things like a beaded waistband on her gown or a dress that's just a slightly different shade of white from everyone else's, says celebrity wedding planner David Tutera.

Kate Middleton pulled it off at the big British royal wedding last year, Tutera said, but even so, her sister, Pippa Middleton, got her fair share of attention in her white cowl-neck gown.

"I think the royal wedding will have an influence on brides for years, even decades, to come, and Pippa Middleton's white Alexander McQueen bridesmaid dress will most certainly be credited with sparking a trend," says Darcy Miller, editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings. She notes, however, that it's a longtime tradition in Britain to have the wedding party wear white.

"It's very striking," Miller adds, noting that Beyonce and the briefly married Kim Kardashian also opted for the color — or noncolor — scheme.

"The classic look of an all-white wedding is thought of as very traditional, but the clean, sophisticated palette can easily be transformed for modern venues so it is suitable for all types of brides," Miller says. "Whether you are getting married on the beach, at a country club, at a ski lodge or on a city rooftop, the look will translate, so you really can't go wrong."

Tutera, who hosts WeTV's My Fair Wedding, still isn't fully sold. But when white is done right, there's nothing better, he says.

There are hundreds of shades of white, from bright, blueish diamond to creamy, yellow eggshell, he notes. The color scheme of the white wedding should be in the same family, although not 100 percent matching.

Aberra encourages the warmer, richer shades, perhaps eggshell, ivory or champagne.

Seems like a lot of detail for a bride to keep track of, but Manhattan photographer Christian Oth says the results can be worth it.

He'd much rather see the parade of white coming at him than the bridal parties of a few decades ago, with the bridesmaids in pouffy-sleeved, fuchsia dresses and the groomsmen wearing ties to match.

Still, a little hint of contrast color does work well; Oth suggests white floral bouquets that have visible green stems.

Miller finds the small details are key. Fabrics and textures will create the depth, she says.

The one place a bride and groom shouldn't see white — unless they specifically request it — is in the guests' clothing, the experts agree, with Miller saying the "common consensus" is that only the bride, or bridal party, wears white unless the invitation says otherwise.

A wedding all in white: Color pales by comparison 01/28/12 [Last modified: Saturday, January 28, 2012 3:30am]

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