Black Wedding Dresses

Updated December 19, 2018
Man Putting Ring In Woman Hand

The black wedding dress is back! History, even wedding dress history, tends to repeat itself, as the old saying goes. Black is becoming a trendy wedding color in the 21st century, from guest attire to bridesmaids to accents and now, even bridal gowns, just as it was prior to 1840.

Black Wedding Dress Designers and Gowns

Wedding shops and salons may not carry any black dresses. You may need to visit a specialty bridal boutique to find the right dress. European designers and couture collections may offer something beyond the popular dresses offered by many United States shops.

Tiered Black Gown

This incredible black lace tiered wedding gown by White by Vera Wang is available at David's bridal for just under $1400. It's done in an elegant style with a strapless design and full skirt, and has a unique jeweled waistband that draws the eye in at the waist and adds interest. There is also a black floral accent at the waist for added style, and the combination of the black lace bodice and elegantly striped skirt are a modern combination for contemproary brides. Find it in sizes zero through eight.

Long-Sleeved Style

If you'd prefer a mermaid silhouette, there's another Sareh Nouri option with long sleeves you may love from It's an off-the-shoulder style with long lace sleeves, open back, and, of course, that trumpet-style skirt. It's available in size 2 through 24W (custom sizing is also available) for under $200. Hourglass shapes who love flaunting their curves will like this style.

Short Black Wedding Dress

If you are having an informal, beach, or summer wedding, a short black wedding dress can be a great option. Not only is it elegant, but it's also cool and comfortable to you can enjoy your wedding and reception with ease. This Alfred Sung style has an elgant appearance that is sleek and appealing, with a strapless bodice and slightly flared skirt that adds just the right amount of style. It comes in zero through 18 plus for under $100 from Amazon.

Alfred Sung Dessy Women's Cocktail Length Strapless Peau De Soie Dress with Draped Detail

Black Lace Wedding Ball Gown

This beautiful ball-style black wedding gown from Etsy features a beautiful black lace bodice and complementary skirt without sleeves and pretty lace details. It has a full skirt and a dress design that pulls in at the waist for a gown that offers a pleasing hour-glass figure look.This lovely gown is available in sizes two through 26W for about $400 to $440, depending on size and specifications.

Gorgeous Gothic Style

This gorgeous distressed tulle and organza black wedding dress has gothic influences, but could work for any bride looking for a unique black wedding dress. It features a lovely fitted bodice with an eleganlt dipping neckline and a very full skirt with beautiful layers of tulle. Standard size are zero to 26, but you can also get it made to measure for an additional fee. Prices start at about $3100.

Simple and Sophisticated

For the woman looking for a simple, sophisticated and alluring gown, the Xscape Emebsllished gown available at Macy's could be a potential option. It creates a long, beautiful line with it sleek design, and is slimming with it's plunging neckline and very slightly flared skirt design. It's ideal for the bride who wants something beautiful and elegant, but not over the top. It comes in standard sizes two through ten or plus sizes 14W through 22W for under $300.

XSCAPE - Embellished Cutout Gown

Embellished Sleeveless Style

This beautiful Jovani dress features just the righ amount of embellishment from the modest neckline down to the bottom of the skirt. The sides are the skirt are a solid, elegant black, and it exudes sophistication with its streamlined design that features a modest front panel and sleeveless and backless style. You can find it at a local Jovani store, as ask your local store to order it for about $1300. It is available in sizes two through 24.

Bold Brides Wear Black

Not every woman dreams of the fluffy white fairy-tale wedding. The choice to wear a wedding dress in black is a very personal one. You must be comfortable and confident enough to wear the gown despite any protests from friends and family.

Black Bridal Dress Meanings

If you're considering wearing black as a bride, you may wonder if it holds any special significance. Historically, brides didn't wear white wedding dresses. Brides in Europe originally wore a color of their choice; the white wedding dress tradition began in 1840 when Queen Victoria donned a white gown to marry Prince Albert. Some cultures, however had a tradition of black wedding dresses. In Spain, a black wedding dress and mantilla were traditional and symbolized a bride's devotion to her husband until death parts them. The Zhou Dynasty (1045-221 BC) was also symbolized by black and red, and brides and grooms wore black wedding robes with red trim. Modern brides today may have a number of reasons for choosing a black wedding dress, including:

  • Non-traditional: Black gowns are out of the norm, so a bride might wear one to represent her unique sense of style.

  • Contemporary edge: Today wedding dresses may be done in modern styles in black or with black accents. Choosing one can showcase bride's love of contemporary style.

  • Personal preference: Brides have a lot of other reasons for choosing a gown - it might be because it's a second wedding, because it represents class and sophistication, or just because they prefer the look.

Themed Wedding Gown Option

A black gown can also be a good choice for couples who have a themed wedding but do not want to dress in costume. A Halloween wedding is one theme where a black dress would work perfectly. A black dress can also look great at a red and black Las Vegas/casino themed wedding or a Gothic wedding.

Consider the Groom

Although you may feel beautiful in a black dress, you should also keep in mind what your future husband will think of the color. While ultimately the dress is your decision, you may want to find out if he is okay with attire that is somewhat outside the box.

Tips for Wearing Dark Dresses

Dark wedding dresses can create a dramatic look for your wedding day. Follow these tips to help you make the most of your dream dress:

  • Black and white weddings can be stunning, but so is a pop of color against a black dress. Bright red, vibrant fuchsia, and sunset orange flowers, accessories and accents will stand out in a black themed wedding.
  • Mix up tradition when you wear a black dress by having the groom wear an all-white tuxedo.
    A couple in formal attire in a medieval castle
  • Bring your entire look together with tiaras, combs and jewelry with black stones.
  • To avoid looking like a vampire bride, avoid a red lip and black cat-eye makeup combination. Make sure your foundation matches your skin tone and use bronzer for a healthy glow.
  • Black dresses can also make some women look washed out, so depending on your coloring and skin tone, you may need to include a richer shade of blush or bronzer in your bridal makeup kit.
  • Choose bridesmaid dresses with a black sash or wrap.
  • Sequins and rhinestones can add interest to a plain black dress. Sew them onto the neckline or around a ribbon that will be tied on your waist.
  • Dye your wedding veil black to match your dress, or skip the veil entirely.
  • If you are choosing a partially black wedding dress, consider one with details designed to make the most of your figure. For example, black waist accents can work well if you are trying to minimize your waist, while a black or black-accented skirt with white or light bodice can help make your top half appear larger (if you are small busted).
  • Consider having bridesmaides wear black and white or colored bridesmaid dresses so there is more variety to the overall wedding apparel.
  • Bold-colored flowers look beautiful against a black dress - consider used rich or bold colors in your bouquet if you are planning on wearing a compltely black dress.
  • Black can be extemely slimming, but it's still important to choose a dress style that is most flattering for your body type. Consider what your best assets are, and choose a dress design that shows them in their best light.
Glamour girl in black dress
  • If you have a thin or athletic build, consider choosing a more voluminous dress type. A dark color and sleek silhouette can be too minimizing if you already have a slim build, so you may want to go with a dress that has ruching, ruffles, tulle or other elements that create the illusion of curves.
    Woman In Black Gown Standing Against Wall
  • Choose your dress length to match the season and formality of your wedding. A short black dress could be perfectly appropriate for an informal or summer wedding, while a full-length gown is ideal for a more upscale wedding.
    Woman In Evening Gown
  • A modern option is to consider a nuder tulle underlay or nude-colored accents or appliques. This lightens up the overall look, so it's ideal for brides who are concerned with a completely black gown looking too heavy.
    Woman In black dress
  • There are dozens of options in edgy black wedding dresses, from high-lo hemlines to cut-out dress styles, so if you want a very contemporary look, ther is a black gown out there to suit you and your style.
Man in suit dancing with blond woman in black evening gown on a sandy beach

Wearing black on your wedding day does not mean your entire dress has to be black. Instead, opt for a white, ivory or cream dress with black accents. Add black accessories like hair pieces, gloves, shoes and jewelry to bring the look together.

Reflect Your Personality and Taste

Your wedding day is one that you will remember forever. Choose a dress that reflects your personality and taste. Do not feel obligated to wear a Cinderella-style wedding dress because you think that is what you are supposed to do as a bride. Instead, you can wear the dress of your dreams in a flattering style in black!

Black Wedding Dresses