Tradition: One white bridal gown

Photo courtesy Ely Brothers Photography

Tradition: One white bridal gown

Trends: Colored gowns; a different dress for the reception; re-working a vintage dress

Wedding dress designers are popping this proposal to brides-to-be: Wear a color other than white. And more and more women here are saying yes.

"Many brides are calling to book appointments with us saying 'looking for a gown with some color or that can be ordered in a color,'" said Kristin Cooke, owner of Big Rock Little Rooster. "I have some brides who just do not want to do the traditional white gown. It is her goal to rock out her wedding day look in the unpredictable."

The Short North boutique has sold more colored versions of gowns this year than the past two combined. Pinks and blush versions of gowns by Vera Wang, Badgley Mischka and Romona Keveza are popular, and the store has sold a few dresses in gold, taupe and royal rich blue. Gray and charcoal are gown colors whose stock should rise soon.

"Many ladies know that soft warm colors such as blush pink hues, light lavenders and even pale greens are better on their skin tone then perhaps white or ivory," Cooke said.

Consider the whole day's color palette when selecting a hued gown, she added. Ask the bridal gown consultant for swatches of colors that will complement the gown.

The best complement, though, is confidence.

"Others may question you or seem unenthusiastic," Cooke said, "but the gown is for you and should make you feel your best."

Alexandra Kelley Fox, who wore a sweeping red Monique Lhuillier gown when she married Kevin Fox earlier this year, agreed.

"I've never lived my life according to societal expectations, so why start now?" she said. "Getting married is a profoundly personal experience. Honor yourself and your beliefs, and create your own rules."