Yeah Weddings
wedding dresses

Ivory vs. White Wedding Dresses

For your wedding day, you will need the essentials: a venue, vendors, bridesmaids by your side, and of course, the perfect wedding dress. Though, picking out that beautiful gown that will turn heads is one of the most stressful processes that a bride could go through. 

If you are shopping for your wedding dress, you probably already know about the huge debate between ivory vs. white dresses. Many brides aren’t sure what the difference between ivory and white actually is.

To help you narrow down your search, here are some tips on which color best matches your complexion.

Bridal Gowns: Ivory or White?

There are many elements that go into the perfect wedding dress. The gown must match the theme of the wedding and compliment the bride’s complexion.

You will already have to worry about the style, fitting, and length of the dress, so the color may make shopping even more complicated. Take note of these useful tips that will point you in the right direction of choosing ivory or white dress.



ivory wedding dress

Ivory has become a growing preference for a bride’s wedding dress. Unlike white, ivory wedding dresses give a warm undertone, often referred to as an “eggshell” color. Many ivory dresses contain a yellow or nude hue, giving a softer feel to the look. 

This tone compliments a fair complexion really well, as white may cause the skin to look washed out. Some of the ivory dresses do not contain this yellow hue as some may believe. There are ivory dresses that resemble a soft-white dress which may result in that same washed-out look. 

When shopping for a wedding gown, take note of the undertones the dress provides. If it has a yellow or nude tint, know that it may clash with certain skin complexions like darker skin tones and yellow skin tones. Also, keep in mind that these yellow undertones tend to disappear in pictures, making it seem that the dress is actually pure white. 

Although this guide may help you choose your perfect dress, the option is solely up to you. Pick a dress that you feel most confident in since ivory is always a great choice for your wedding day. 


Stark White

stark white wedding dress

This is the brightest white you can achieve in a dress, having it bleached to perfection. While this color has been declining over the years, this type of white is still among the favorites for many brides for its expressiveness. 

The stark white compliments darker skin tones or complexions with yellow undertones, giving that beautiful contrast for many brides. However, this color also comes with faults. Photographers have warned brides of the blue tint that these dresses give in pictures. 

For some, this may be an issue. Definitely test the dress in different lightings with a camera to make sure your dress won’t have that metallic hue in your wedding pictures unless that is the look you are hoping to achieve. 

When in doubt, stark white is still a great choice for a wedding dress. It will present a modern look for many styles, including a tight-fit fishtail dress or a glamorous gown. Don’t shy away from this color without giving it a try. 



soft-white wedding dress

Otherwise known as “natural white,” this color is a balance between stark white and ivory. This is the whitest that natural fabrics can achieve. With its soft glow, this white will leave out the blue tint that the photographers warn brides about with stark white. A lot of wedding dresses in this color have even been mistaken for ivory. 

However, depending on the shade, this white can cause a washed-out look for lighter skin tones or a lack of contrast for darker tones. These dresses should be tested in different lightings to understand how the color will complement your tone. 

Worst case scenario, soft-white is the safest option for any bride. With its balance, the color seems to take the strengths from both ivory and stark white to give that elegant bridal dress. 


FAQ About Shades of White

Learn everything you need to know to pick the right shade of white for your wedding gown!


What is the Difference Between White and Ivory Wedding Dresses?

White wedding dresses tend to contain no undertones but can have a metallic feel with their blue hue in certain lightings. On the other hand, ivory can contain a yellow or nude undertone, making the dress seem warmer. 


How to Choose Your Wedding Dress Color

Consider your skin complexion and the lighting of the area where you will take pictures when choosing the color of your wedding dress. White wedding dresses tend to compliment darker skin tones or complexions with yellow undertones. Ivory wedding dresses compliment lighter skin tones that have a pink complexion. 

White can also give a blue tint in the light when photographs are taken. This is important to keep in mind when shopping for your perfect wedding dress. 


The White vs. Ivory Debate: Which is Best for Your Skin Tone?

White compliments darker skin tones or complexions with a yellow undertone. Ivory compliments lighter skin with a pink undertone.



Ivory and white have been the two colors that have been debated about for years. Overall, the two seem to be great choices for any bride.

When all is said and done, it is inevitably up to the bride to make the big decision. Whichever color you feel most confident in should be the color you choose if you’re stuck between ivory vs. white. Keep an open mind when shopping and you will find your perfect dress in no time. 

This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.

Morgan Wilson

Add comment