The Definitive Guide to a Black Wedding Dress

By November 16, 2017Advice, Fashion

Who says that you have to wear a white dress on your big day? A classic white wedding dress is lovely, but there’s something sexy and confident in wearing a black wedding dress.

While black wedding dresses can be both chic and stunning, they are not the most frequently picked color. Black is generally saved for cocktail parties, black tie affairs, and—well—funerals. Brides everywhere are breaking this norm, so why can’t you? If you’re feeling bold, then here’s a definitive guide to black wedding dresses for the daring bride.

Think Before You Act

Woman in dark dress

Photo by Laura Gordon,
Gown by Sareh Nouri

So maybe in your head, you have this vision of you in a dark and sultry wedding dress. While that’s perfectly fine, you should try a few different colors to make sure black is the one for you. Slip on a traditional white dress, and then maybe some darker colors like navy, deep green, or even a sequined black dress for an extra sparkle. Make sure you try some other options before taking the plunge into the darkness.

Pick Your Style

Woman in black dress

Dress by OUMA

With any wedding dress, you’ll want to decide which style to wear. Do you want to look like a gothic Cinderella? Or would you like a slinky black number that shows off your curves? Since black wedding dresses aren’t super common, you might have some difficulty in finding a style you like as there could be limitations. Call the bridal boutiques or stores beforehand to discuss their stock of black wedding dresses. This way you’re not left disappointed with only one option to choose from.

Do Your Research

In addition to calling ahead, do your research on bridal shops that carry black wedding dresses. Browse the web for vendors in your area or try exploring some designer options, and see which stores their pieces are in.

Consider Renting or Buying Secondhand

Woman in black dress

Photo by Julie Cate, Dress by Style Unveiled

These should be considerations no matter what color dress you want, but you especially might have more luck with a black one. Black tie events, grand balls, charity galas, and other events frequently require you to look your best. By buying secondhand or renting your attire, you will save yourself money, perhaps find a larger supper of black dresses, and be friendlier to the environment.

The Veil, Hair, and Accessories

Woman in black dress

Dress by Sareh Nouri

The first thing you want to decide on with a blacking wedding dress has a veil. A dark veil will most likely make you look as if you’re in mourning, but a white cover could look out of place. Decide if a veil is important to you and see how you can pair it with your dress. Otherwise, try some beautiful alternatives like a crown of flowers or sparkling hair clips.

Depending on your wedding’s formality, you can simply sweep your hair back into a chic bun or have a more elaborate do to replace your veil.

With any color wedding dress, accessories are inevitable. After picking your dress, you should find jewelry or headpieces that compliment your dark choice. Opt for simple jewelry or make yourself sparkle—the choice is yours!

Wedding Reception

When picking a black wedding dress, it’s important to consider the vision you have for your ceremony and reception. It’s helpful to pick your venue first and get a feel for what the day will be like. Will it be laid back? If so, a backyard wedding under twinkling lights would match your dark attire. Brides are donning this color frequently are throwing an elegant evening wedding, which is a less expensive option, but a classy one to consider. If you’re having a beach or church ceremony, then maybe black isn’t a fitting or appropriate color.

Your Guests

Man and woman

Photo by Jonas Seaman, Dress by Oscar de la Renta

Along with the wedding reception’s style, you have to decide a dress code for your guests. Since black is such a popular color, you could have fifty other women in black dresses along with your husband and the other men in black suits. Are you okay with blending into a sea of black or would you like to stand out? If you choose the latter, then consider setting a dress code on your wedding invitations.

Also, decide what you’d like the wedding party to wear so that you won’t look like another bridesmaid. Since men—and especially the groom and groomsmen—tend to wear black to a wedding this could get tricky. Talk to your partner and see if they have any preferences or ideas to help everything flow together.

Black Wedding Dress Summary

Woman in black dress

Photo by Kristina Lee,
Gown by Custom Rmine

Did you know that in Spain, a black wedding dress symbolizes that the bride will remain faithful until the day she dies? Throughout history, brides used to wear whatever color dress they wanted. It wasn’t until Queen Victoria wore a white, silk wedding dress that the color became associated with purity and therefore set in tradition. Break out of this custom