Back Button

What Is the Difference Between White & Ivory?

Angelique de la Morreaux

Although you may tend to lump all shades of white into one color 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.

Only the bride decides if she wants white or ivory.

As many manufactures label white in a variety of methods, ensure you know the difference if this is an important consideration in your color choice.


The color white is considered one of the neutral colors and combines well with other colors within a design scheme. A pure color, white contains no addition or tints of other colors in its chemical makeup. Similar to the color of milk, white is pristine and will appear brighter than other color 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 color white and may be referred to as an antique white, which is the color white lace becomes as it ages. The color originates from the ivory tusks of the elephant, which gave the color its name. To get the color ivory, white must be tinted with a touch of yellow. It is this addition of yellow that turns this white variation into a warm color.


Other variations of white may show up in manufacturers’ clothing, paint colors and furniture design. For example, other white shades for clothing include off-white, which contains a touch of gray; cream, which contains touch of yellow; or winter white, which contains a hint of blue. Names of paint colors 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 color.

Bridal Advantages

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.