We catch up with Melissa Nicholson from Kettlewell Colours to talk wow factor wedding colours.
It's tempting when searching for the perfect wedding dress to concentrate purely on the style that best suits your body shape. But just as important is knowing the colour that complements your skin tone – whether it's pure white, oyster, ivory or a subtle variation on these shades, from ballet pink and blush to cream and silver. Get it wrong and your dress could end up making you look washed-out when you naturally want to look your most radiant. Get it right and your eyes will sparkle and your skin will glow (what's more, less-than-flattering features, such as a weak jawline, blotchy skin or under-eye shadows, will look less noticeable).
Given that the cost of a wedding dress can run into thousands, why would you choose to look less than fabulous on your big day? But how exactly does a bride go about discovering that perfect shade, and how can the other star players on the day – the bridesmaids, maids of honour and the mothers-of-the-bride – identify their 'wow colours'? First of all, I'd recommend booking a colour analysis with a trained consultant – a process that determines whether you have a warm or cool skin tone and fall into one of four seasonal palettes: Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. Using a series of precision-dyed drapes of fabric placed around your neck, the consultant will be able to identify the palette of colours that will make you look and feel fantastic (to give you an idea, you can take the Kettlewell Colour Quiz to help you identify your best shades).
A raven-haired, pale-skinned Winter bride, for example, will look striking in pure white, silver and iced colours, while red-headed and brunette Autumns should opt for oyster and cream or gold. Fair-haired Springs will look softer and prettier in ivory, vanilla and shell pink, while Summers look beautiful in blush, soft white and powder pink. Finding a shade that will suit your bridesmaids' different skin tones can be tricky but there are certain universal shades that work for everyone, such as scarlet, turquoise and purple, or softer coral red, soft teal and hyacinth blue. These shades sit in the middle of the colour spectrum and are neither too warm or too cool and, therefore, suit most skin tones.
When it comes to the mother-of-the-bride, the same rules apply. Don't forget that this is a chance to shine in a colour that makes you look and feel a million dollars, whether that's geranium red, olive green, musk rose or cobalt blue. But before hitting the shops in search of that perfect outfit, find out your best colours first, then choose a style that suits you in one of your wow colours. A lot of people make the mistake of choosing a colour that 'wears them' rather than suits them, but you will know you've got it right when people compliment you rather than your dress. Believe me, there is no better feeling!
Melissa Nicholson, founder of Somerset-based Kettlewell Colours
To find a consultant near you and to take a quiz to help find your wow colours, visit www.kettlewellcolours.co.uk
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