Contrary to popular belief, you absolutely do not have to wear white on your wedding day! Many brides have abandoned the traditional shade — along with similar ones such as ivory or eggshell — in favor of prints and bright colors. But believe it or not, when it comes to alternative colors, the most popular are black wedding dresses!
A black wedding gown exudes elegance. And given the right silhouette can be just as gorgeous (if not more so) than the expected white wedding dress. While black bridal gowns are sleek, elegant, and unique, there are a number of practical reasons to opt for a black color.
First, the chances that you’ll wear a black gown again are 100%. After all, black is the #1 color for wedding guest attire, which means you can wear it to your own wedding and then to your besties. Second, you won’t notice any of those inevitable wedding day stains that can happen from food, red wine, makeup, or even dancing.
Expanding your search to black versions of wedding gowns also means you’re going to have SO many more options. That’s because you’re no longer stuck looking at traditional wedding dress designers or bridal boutiques. You can start shopping anywhere, including stores like Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue, and even TJ Maxx’s Runway section (our favorite for designer finds at inexpensive prices). After all, you’re just looking for a formal or semi-formal black dress now, and not a wedding dress per se. That means you’re not only going to save time but money, since you’re not paying the wedding dress markup!
If you’re considering a black wedding dress, I’m sure you have a lot of questions. So we’ll start with the ones we’re asked the most:
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Is it OK to wear a black wedding dress?
Yes and YES. While it might have been more taboo 30 years ago to wear black to your own wedding, it’s definitely become more OK to wear one for your bridal look. Just ask celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Pompeo, Tina Turner, and Chloë Sevigny, who all wore black wedding dresses to their nuptials. Kristen Bell went even a step further and wore a black pantsuit for her wedding to Dax Shepard.
It’s all about what you feel most comfortable in and excited about! With that said, you might still have relatives or friends who will question your decision, and that’s OK. My guess is if you’re already reading this and considering a black wedding dress, you are a person who is OK going outside of the box, and those closest to you already know that. As soon as you tell them why you want to wear a non-conventional color, they should respect your decision and encourage you to be YOU.
If you’re somewhere on the fence between wanting to wear a black wedding dress and traditional white, consider mixing the two colors! There are so many beautiful black and white dresses out there that will give you something unique with a nod to the traditional.
Where do you buy black wedding dresses?
The first tip is to make sure you’re not only searching for “wedding dresses.” Because most wedding designers still cater to those brides who want to wear white, you can instead expand your search to “black evening gowns” and “black formal dresses” or “black cocktail dresses,” depending on the level of formality you’re hoping to find. You’ll find black dresses from high-end designers like Jenny Packham, Stella McCartney, and Tom Ford, to budget-friendly brands like David’s Bridal, Cocomelody, BHLDN and REVOLVE. Speaking of affordable dresses, designer Mac Duggal is making some amazing dresses at affordable prices, especially for a unique wedding look.
Whether you’re looking for black lace wedding dresses, tulle, a sweetheart neckline, or long sleeves, we’ve found a selection of beautiful black wedding dresses that are the perfect inspiration for your special day, below.
Black Wedding Dresses FAQ
It wasn’t until Queen Victoria wore a white wedding dress in 1840 that it became a trend. Before that, brides wore dresses of all colors, including black. In fact, Catholic brides in Spain may choose to wear a black wedding dress with a lace black veil (called a mantilla) to represent their devotion until “death do us part.” So while it’s less common for brides to wear black wedding dresses today, it’s not uncommon for brides to break the norm and wear any color they want. And yes, black is the most popular nontraditional “color” brides choose.
The color black is often associated with mystery, power, sophistication, and elegance. However, you don’t have to read too much into it to wear the color if you love it!
Unless you’re getting married in Spain, as mentioned above, a black wedding veil might be a bit too much. Instead, think old Hollywood and opt for accessories such as a fascinator veil, a pearl necklace, velvet cape, and diamond jewelry.
You have just as many color options as you would if you were wearing a white dress (even more so!). You could have them wear black as well, or switch it and have them wear white bridesmaid dresses! Alternatively, you could opt for any other color from your wedding palette, such as blush, coral, burgundy, or grey.