Although you may tend to lump all shades of white into one colour category, to a bride there is a difference between white and ivory. If a bride prefers the bridal gown and the lace be the traditional virginal white, the different tones in ivory will not do. As many manufactures label white in a variety of methods, ensure you know the difference if this is an important consideration in your colour choice.
The colour white is considered one of the neutral colours and combines well with other colours within a design scheme. A pure colour, white contains no addition or tints of other colours in its chemical make-up. Similar to the colour of milk, white is pristine and will appear brighter than other colour variations of white whether you use it for a wedding gown, lace veil or on your walls. Several variations of white include antique white, cream or ivory.
Ivory is a variation on the colour white and may be referred to as an antique white, which is the colour white lace becomes as it ages. The colour originates from the ivory tusks of the elephant, which gave the colour its name. To get the colour ivory, white must be tinted with a touch of yellow. It is this addition of yellow that turns this white variation into a warm colour.
Other variations of white may show up in manufacturers' clothing, paint colours and furniture design. For example, other white shades for clothing include off-white, which contains a touch of grey; cream, which contains touch of yellow; or winter white, which contains a hint of blue. Names of paint colours for the wall may be Navajo white, sea pearl or cotton ball, all containing some beige, or cove white or stone white. Variations for ivory range from pale to a darker peach colour.
The advantages of white over ivory are few when choosing a bridal gown, with the sole exception of fulfilling the tradition that a bride should wear white. The cool tones of white are not as flattering to the face as the warm tones of ivory, which complement most skin tones. Additionally, a white dress may not showcase the bead work or intricate designs of your dress as well as ivory, where these items would become the focal point on the dress.