When it comes to selecting the right colour for the wedding outfit, the bride is not only bound by her own sense of what suits her, but the perceptions of others.

Many colours are avoided not necessarily because they are unattractive, but because they are loaded with certain meanings. For example, gray was never a particular favourite because of its association with the station it represented. In Victorian novels, the governess or other lowly worker at the big house, most likely dressed in gray.

Pink, while in itself a great favourite, for the wedding seemed somewhat frivolous and girlish. You could get away with a bit of pink trimming, but a pink bride was too much of a lollipop. Red, of course, was always a taboo colour, having always been associated with the red-light districts.

Now that the Celtic weddings are with us, we see that some colours are associated with nature itself, and can understand why they tended to be either chosen or avoided. Brown, for example, is evocative of the soil, and while a brown wedding dress might be all right for a girl on the land, for an upwardly mobile bride, brown would definitely be out.

Another colour, quite attractive in itself which has been avoided in the past, is green. There is a superstition that it's the colour of the fairies, and you don't want to annoy the fairies by wearing it on your weddin day. Why fairies should object to having their colour used for weddings, is difficult to understand, but, of course, they never were a reasonable lot. However, now and then, the contemporary bride who sees the green as a colour of growth, is thumbing her nose at the fairies and saying hello to the green.

One of the happier colours that were often used by brides in the past was blue. Apart from the fact that to the onlookers the colour blue denoted that the bride had been a good girl and was all a bride should be, there was an added bonus to the colour. It was suggested that a bride who wore blue, would have a husband who would be faithful to her for the rest of both their lives. What more could a bride ask for?