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Breaking the Wedding Colour Rules! Would You Dare?



Planning a wedding is not a walk in the park.
There are so many decisions to be made and so many details to organize.
One of the major wedding decisions is picking colours!
While family members might help to pick colours for your traditional wedding, choosing colours for the white wedding is usually the bride’s decision.

There are several “rules” (we wonder who came up with them) that apply when it comes to choosing colours for the wedding party (bride, groom, bridesmaids, groomsmen etc…)
Today, we explore these “rules”, check out examples of brides who have broken them and YOU let us know if you would join the train and dare to break these wedding colour rules!

Rule 1 – The bride must wear white
Note that in the bridal world, white includes off-white, ivory, soft-ivory etc…
Some brides say yes! While white is the traditional choice for most brides, a growing number of brides are bucking the trend and choosing elegant colours including soft pink and icy blue. Some brides go even bolder with metallics including gold and silver while some go all out with showstopping colours such as red.
Check out Ibiso Giwa‘s beautiful pink dress from her wedding in 2009. Also see Cynthia Bailey from the “Real Housewives of Atlanta” in her amazing silver wedding dress. Finally, this stunning icy blue wedding dress from the recent Elie Saab Couture Show.
Would you dare wear another colour on your wedding day?

Pretty in Pink Bride, Ibiso Giwa

Silver Star bride, Cynthia Bailey

Elie Saab Couture Bride in Blue

Rule 2 – Bridesmaids should wear the same colour
In most cases, the only exception is the maid of honour/chief bridesmaid who might wear a different shade or colour. Well, some brides are taking things to the next level by letting each bridesmaid’s unique personality shine through by letting each lady wear a dress in a unique colour.
Check out the beautiful “jewel box” mix of colours at Zebra Living CEO, Ugoma Adegoke‘s wedding in Jamaica. All dresses are by Zebra!

Ugoma Adegoke's bridemaids in a beautiful mix of jewel colours

Rule 3 – No Black for the ladies
People seem genuinely shocked when a bride drops the “B-Word” – Black that is.
Wedding traditionalists believe that the bride, bridesmaids, mother of the bride, siblings of the bride and even guests should not wear black.

That is totally changing! These days, wedding guests rock black dresses and a few bold brides choose uber-flattering black dresses for their bridesmaids. The ultimate rulebreakers are brides such as actress Sarah Jessica Parker who choose black dresses for her own wedding – yes, some brides wear black! That said, Sarah has publicly stated that she regrets wearing black on her big day and would choose something more traditional if she were to do it all over again.

Check out Lola Abiodun-Ashafa‘s wedding train with their elegant black dresses and Adaeze Yobo at her wedding with her bridesmaids all in unique black dresses.

Adaeze Yobo's bridesmaids in dazzling black

Lola Abiodun-Ashafa's elegant all black train

Rule 4 – The Cardinal Rule! – Only the Bride in White
We have seen several comments on BellaNaija over the years including “If anyone should wear white to my wedding, I will walk them out“…
This is definitely changing!
International Brides such as Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Kim Kardashian have famously broken this rule and have sparked a new wave of guests and bridesmaids in white. Catherine’s sister and sole bridesmaid wore a white dress by Alexander McQueen for the British Royal Wedding earlier this wedding while Kim Kardashian took things a step further by having all her sisters in white plus her guests as well!

Kim Kardashian with her sisters - All dresses in white

Trust Nigerians to be ahead of the trends! The first time we saw a bridal train (bridesmaids) in all white was a few years ago at Idowu Mohammed’s wedding. The beautiful bride wore a stunning white and gold dress while her bridesmaids were all in white.

Idowu Mohammed - Beautiful in Gold & White with bridesmaids in white

So…Would you dare break the wedding colour rules?


  1. taiye

    August 29, 2011 at 8:58 am

    ther’s a wedding u gyz featured some time ago… i really liked the colors of bridesmaid dress. there was purple and black mustrd and black orange and blak. very gorgeous. thats wht i want fr my own wedding so im breaking that rule for sure! the bride had a fringe on? make I go look for am sef

    • lbm

      May 17, 2016 at 7:37 am

      I love the colour effect but what do the groomsmen wear

  2. chisolm

    August 29, 2011 at 9:07 am

    I think it takes away from the wedding, I have never seen a wedding where breaking these traditional rules really worked. Take the all black train in the photo above, they honestly do look like they are in mourning. Also, Kim’s wedding it too the shine away from her the fact that the bridesmaids wore white too! Sarah Jessica Parker said that her greatest fashion regret is getting married in a black dress!!!! You cannot change it once it’s done, it’s done and the photos are there to remind you!!1 I regret the style of dress i chose for my wedding and each time I look at my wedding photos i am reminded!

  3. efjay

    August 29, 2011 at 9:10 am

    I intend to break a number of those rules, if none else my wedding won’t be pure white

  4. diamond

    August 29, 2011 at 9:20 am

    the most important of all is what suits you. If breaking the rules makes your wedding the dream wedding you intend it to be, by all means go ahead. afterall, it would be your pictures and your memories.

  5. yep!

    August 29, 2011 at 9:32 am

    I wore a peach coloured gown for my wedding. like Eva sang , I done did it!!

  6. samsie

    August 29, 2011 at 9:41 am

    Until then..I musto wear white sha o

  7. Lue

    August 29, 2011 at 10:01 am

    kiki kamanu wore red …………….. maybe i ll try

  8. hauwa

    August 29, 2011 at 10:09 am

    i love that icy blue from ellie saab but i would also totally wear silver

  9. uzor

    August 29, 2011 at 10:26 am

    i surely would. for me my best colour is black, though most times i am ashamed of saying dat. some peeps would think “O she is dirty and all dat” but i just feel comfy and bolde in black.

  10. deegal

    August 29, 2011 at 10:36 am

    totally love the blue wedding dress, for me one’s wedding should reflect one’s personality so if you are not a traditional person stay true to yourself. Am definitely not to be going a traditional bride, in fact some of my ideas are already raising some more conservative family members

  11. deegal

    August 29, 2011 at 10:47 am

    @ Uzor, same here my best colour is black and you should see the looks i get when i tell people that lol. My Mum is pretty superstitious and she hates that most of my clothes are black or grey but i just love my black. Everything always looks Chic in black

  12. Tiki

    August 29, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    @Uzor and Deegal, I’m with you on dat…I love black and grey! I’m not traditional,so ‘m guessing at my weddin, if/whenever that happens, I’ll be rocking something like red or so!

  13. Written

    August 29, 2011 at 12:30 pm

    Definitely! My wedding gown was green and ivory. There wasn’t a negative comment within an earshot (as if anyone would say anything me. lol). Everyone seemed to love it and I was told it was in keeping with my personality, soooooooooooo. I wouldn’t break too many traditons though. I think breaking a couple is just right.

  14. Onyx

    August 29, 2011 at 1:11 pm

    It would depend on whether I was getting married in Naija or not. I can imagine the side eyes my mum/aunts if I wore a black wedding dress and I dont want stress on that day, abeg.

    Like someone said above, buck a few trends but dont break too many traditions. I love champagne and dark ivory for wedding dresses but kitting out bridesmaids in the same colour tends to leave out the spark of adding contrasts to the bride’s dress. I like to see bridesmaids in different colours but not distracting shades… also, keep bridesmaids numbers to a minimum if you want them wearing different colours or else it progresses quickly from wedding to carnival….

  15. pretty me

    August 29, 2011 at 2:33 pm

    i love d different colors for makes dem look unique without havin to compare whose own fits better as dey r in different shades nd styles

  16. lafunky

    August 29, 2011 at 2:49 pm

    Too much black – while sophisticated, it can end up looking like a funeral, rather than a wedding. If you love black, balance it out with a bright colour, or lots of crisp white.hink about what you wear normally in your clothing and the shades you’ve used to decorate your home. These are probably colours you are comfortable around already.

  17. Pjobaby

    August 29, 2011 at 3:31 pm

    I can be quite unconventional, but for my wedding I will wear white or ivory. I hate black and can’t imagine addding black to the dress code on my wedding day!

  18. On point!

    August 29, 2011 at 4:46 pm

    I love kims choice, she very close to her sisters and dats who she is so it’s good she reflected dat by having dem wear almost d same cut as hers, love dem! My rule is stick just a bit close to d traditional color for ur wedding den go all out when renewing ur marital vows in 10 years time, by God’s grace I plan to wear a teal colored wedding gown so go figure!

  19. Rukky

    August 29, 2011 at 5:43 pm

    Definitely not black for the bridesmaids. Especially when there are many bridesmaids, it ends up looking like a funeral.

  20. Stephanie Alvarez

    August 29, 2011 at 6:35 pm

    You can absolutely break these rules! A wedding is a reflection of you and your fiances’ personal style. For my wedding the bridesmaids wore black and no one batted an eye…

  21. Bee

    August 29, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    black is so out of it 4 me…

  22. Pizzazz

    August 29, 2011 at 11:26 pm

    I agree with @On Point, with the go traditional for the wedding and go all out for the renewal of vows sha

  23. Mabel

    August 30, 2011 at 4:12 am

    I appreciate those who are willing to do what pleases them. I think it was Queen Victoria who made the white gown popular by going against the norm of her day. I love individuality, I am so tired of the clone weddings.


    August 30, 2011 at 8:57 am

    who even made dis so called “rule”???
    is it a law from d bible or from d laws of d land?
    Well for me, wen it comes to dressin/fashion, der are no rules at all apart from decency or ur host’s desire (i.e. if u wish to pls d host).
    one of my cousins wen she did her weddin, her bridal train wore pack shirts tucked into trousers with a flower pinned to d shirt. i’v seen a weddin wher d bride wore white suits!
    der definitely no rules in d first place, so nothing to break! 😉

  25. Fairy GodSister

    August 30, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Rules are meant to be broken, that’s if they were rules in the first place! I love all the examples of the rules being broken, I’m sure I’ll break a few myself!

  26. TiTi

    August 30, 2011 at 8:59 pm

    was already thinking of black bridesmaid dresses..but looking at these pics..think il change my mind only the groom in black..
    like the ideas so far…

  27. My day

    August 31, 2011 at 12:46 am

    I am breaking rules on my day o, afterall, its meant to b MY day. Dmajor rule? My dress is going to be a short one and not d traditional long dresses

  28. Ayoola

    August 31, 2011 at 12:59 am

    BN, you didn’t even feature anything about Kiki Kamanu-Ekaje’s wedding in this article and she broke aaallllll the rules. And her wedding looked fab!

  29. Demmy

    August 31, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    Rule 3 and 4 are old fashioned but they still stand. No one should wear black to a wedding. It’s not really acceptable because black is often worn to funerals. Sarah Jessica Parker did that on her wedding and she totally regretted it. Only the bride should wear white because it is her day of joy and you wearing white too is upstaging her so that colr should be for the bride only.

  30. JC son

    September 1, 2011 at 5:13 pm

    Heeeyyy Please am i missing anything here….BN please kindly help research this, the whole idea of white wedding is centered around the white wedding dress, and the bride wearing the white wedding dress signifies purity( as in she is still pure) all other colors have their unique significance as well…..I may be wrong though but i read this some where before……..

  31. Flo | Nigerian Recipes

    September 2, 2011 at 11:24 am

    To be honest, Iwouldn’t break “the bride must wear white rule”. It just wouldn’t be so bridal, would it? And the black and white theme? Is that a wedding or a funeral? Ouch!

  32. LR

    September 3, 2011 at 12:24 am

    Hi, how can a bride get featured on bella weddings. Pls reply. Thx! Very urgent!

  33. Kemiismyrealname

    September 4, 2011 at 6:38 pm

    At my wedding 16 years ago, all my bridesmaids wore white.

  34. yetty

    September 5, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    Rules are met to be broken,i can decide on any colour in as much as it suit my taste and it brings out creativity in me

  35. iwalewa

    September 8, 2011 at 7:34 am

    Me,Iwalewa will definitely break d rule.i love to be different.put on wat suits u.the colour dat brings out the happiness in u.

  36. itohow williams

    September 13, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    i like rule 4,check it out at

  37. Faith

    September 14, 2011 at 10:27 pm

    I do agree with all that has being said. After all its your wedding day. If you want to break some rules, go ahead and if you want to hold on to tradition, that is also good. What matters is what the bride to be want.
    Please visit my site for some inspiration .

  38. BE

    September 27, 2011 at 7:23 pm

    That Elie Saab icy blue dress is sooo gorgeous. Perfect for my winter wonderland wedding (icy blue and silver). I would love that as my reception dress. Let me go apply for a second job real quick. 🙂

  39. mims

    September 29, 2011 at 5:08 pm

    so cool…. nice concept….food 4 thought…would u dare break d rules??

  40. jessica

    October 6, 2011 at 1:55 pm

    kind of like the new rule.

  41. vanessa Nwocha

    October 20, 2011 at 6:22 pm

    Different people make different choices during their weddings,I dont believe in breaking any rule because its all about choice.Besides who told BN that their judgement regarding colors is fair?Lets appreciate peoples effort because wedding planning is not a days job!one luv.

  42. casandra

    March 14, 2012 at 8:00 pm


  43. Gabbie

    February 12, 2013 at 8:46 am

    I would prefer a single shade of colour n a deeper shade for d chief bridesmaid, as for my gown I’m not yet sure of d final colour but definitely it won’t be white.

  44. Esther

    January 4, 2017 at 11:21 am

    I am breakinq the rules already…my weddinq qown znt qoin 2 b white…it is lemon colour mixed wit white

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