Obviously in times past we humans may not have had the choice of anything but brown: indigenous Americans probably wore buckskin accessorised with… buckskin; perhaps in a natty knee length deerskin skirt with a strip of wampum about the forehead and nothing much else. Perhaps that lack of choice is why for hundreds of years, brown has been avoided but now we do have a choice, many choices.
But why would one choose brown? Perhaps to match one’s eyes? Colour actually works at a very deep level in our subconscious so superficially, brown dresses and bridal accessories may be chosen to accentuate ones natural colouring, but it means more, so much more, so let me guide you through the psychology of colour.
For brides all shades of white or cream will be imbued with a hundred years or so of social memory; ever since Queen Victoria decided to wear white so that she could incorporate some lace she owned into her dress. But for long before that brides have been encouraged to stay ‘pure’ before their marriage and in the last century white has come to symbolise this. It was only in the nineteen sixties that this attitude began to change. White can also be the perfect background to dark hair or skin, and ivory or cream will add a seriousness that comes from associations with antiquity.
At the other extreme to gentle white is stern black, usually seen as the colour of authority which is why men have stuck with black business suits for generations. It is usually perceived as too ‘heavy’ for brides with too many immediate visual references to Dracula etc. Which is why perhaps it is de rigueur for Goth weddings.
Grey has replaced black in men’s suits. It is also more of a unisex colour for business or wedding outfits, some greys being softer, yet still speaking of reliability even when worn by young people. It is also a perfect ground colour for brighter accessories.
But if you want to make your partner’s heart beat faster, red is the colour for you. It is the colour of all the passions, not only love. So if you see one too many fights breaking out at your reception dinner you may have over done the red just a little. In China though, it is the colour of luck and life so Chinese brides would traditionally choose red.
Blue on the other hand makes our bodies produce chemicals that are calming but also enhances sports. I wonder if that means men in blue rooms talk more about football? The wrong blue though is cold and uninviting.
Another calming colour is green, every shade from dark forest green to light spring shades. It is the colour of growth, nature and …money, also good luck, fertility and envy.
Yellow is another colour that makes us release brain serotonin making us feel happier and more optimistic. It is generally attractive and helps creativity but if overdone can cause temper to flare.
Orange, being a combination of red and yellow, is a flamboyant, happy colour associated with fun and new beginnings. Some people have to wear sunglasses around this colour, perhaps because their personalities find it too ‘loud’.
Purple is the colour of royalty, wealth, sophistication and high brain activity.
Why then would one choose brown for ones wedding dress or bridal accessories? In India it is the colour of mourning but in the West it is the colour of Mother Earth: reliable, the best of friends and completely natural.
Bridal accessories from The Wedding Boutique.
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