With white wedding dresses being the most common choice for modern brides, you might be wondering if it’s culturally and socially acceptable to wear black on your special day. In this article, we’ll discuss the different symbolisms attached to the black wedding dress and the best reasons why you might want to consider wearing one.
- Why White Wedding Gowns Became the Norm
- Black Wedding Dress Meanings
- Cultural Implications of Black Bridal Gowns
- Celebrities Who Wore Black Wedding Dresses
- Why You Should Consider a Black Wedding Gown
- Wrapping Up
Why White Wedding Gowns Became the Norm
Queen Victoria popularized the ethereal white bridal gown after her wedding to Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840. Before this, there weren’t any obvious choices for the color of bridal gowns, and most couples simply wore their preferred colors, which usually matched with the motif of the ceremonies.
This means there aren’t any hard and fast rules that brides should wear white for their wedding day. So if you’ve always loved the color black and you think it represents your personality well, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t wear a black wedding dress. In fact, a black bridal gown is an excellent choice considering the symbolism of the color black.
Black Wedding Dress Meanings
Black lace wedding dress by Stylish Bride Accs. See it here.
Black might be an unconventional choice as far as wedding dresses are concerned, but it has always intrigued people because of the interesting symbolic meanings it holds:
- Power – The color black exudes power. While the classic white dress can make you feel dainty and pure on your wedding day, wearing black evokes power and confidence when walking down the aisle.
- Elegance – One of the cardinal rules for women’s fashion is to have at least one black dress ready for any occasion or emergency night-outs. This is because black is classy, dramatic and chic all at once. If you want to feel ever so elegant on your wedding day, a black gown might be the right choice for you.
- Mystery – The color black is also associated with shadows, darkness, and the unknown. While these are concepts usually reserved for Halloween, we know gothic brides would appreciate the connection.
- Death – One of the most morbid connotations of the color black is death. Some people believe it’s bad luck to wear a black dress because it’s the color of mourning.
Cultural Implications of Black Bridal Gowns
Believe it or not, there are some cultures that prefer the color black for bridal gowns. In Spain, Catholic brides traditionally wear black lace wedding dresses, paired with a black wedding veil, which they call mantilla.
Black vintage style mantilla by CC Crafts Plus. See it here.
For the Spanish, this all-black ensemble represents the noble vow a bride makes on her wedding day: to remain by her husband’s side and offer her love and devotion, ‘til death do they part’.
Celebrities Who Wore Black Wedding Dresses
Of Spanish descent or otherwise, there are many celebrities who bucked conventions and showed up at their weddings in elegant black numbers, looking like rockstars.
Leave it to the pop-rock princess to have a goth-themed wedding. For her second trip down the aisle, Lavigne wore a black wedding gown on top of which also had a bouquet of black roses. She completed her wedding look with dark eye make-up that gave her a mysterious, elegant and powerful wedding look.
The 90210 star tied the knot with musician Josh Beech in London wearing a jaw-dropping black number from Vera Wang. The Canadian actress looked magnificent in her striking black gown, complete with a lace bodice and full skirt, proving that you can veer away from the conventional white wedding gown with stellar results.
When Ellen Pompeo got married in 2007, she wore a custom-made, little black wedding dress with a tule skirt from Yves Saint Laurent and looked absolutely gorgeous in it.
Why You Should Consider a Black Wedding Gown
If you’re still not sure whether or not to break tradition and wear something black for your wedding day, here are some of the best reasons to do it:
Black bridal dress by Stled By Vealad. See it here.
If you’ve always looked pretty in black, then don’t deprive yourself of looking your best on your wedding day. Black is a beautiful and classy color. If it makes you feel beautiful, then you should definitely rock it on your special day.
Luxury black bridal gown with tulle skirt by Grace Of Europe. See it here.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a traditional wedding, but switching some things up can actually make it more memorable for you and your guests. You just know your friends will all be gushing about your brave decision to walk down the aisle in a black ensemble.
It makes for wonderful contrast photos.
Gorgeous black bridal gown by Vikas Bridal Boutique. See it here.
Black is extremely flattering in photos, so if you want a unique and gorgeous set of photos on your wedding day, this color is definitely the way to go. This is especially true if you’re shooting your prenup or getting married in the winter. The contrast between your black bridal gown and the white snow will be immaculate.
It suits your personality.
Gothic bridal gown by Chap Dresses. See it here.
One of the best reasons to wear a black wedding dress is if it suits your personality. You shouldn’t have to wear something you don’t like or feel comfortable in just to follow nuptial traditions if you don’t feel like it. After all, it’s your day and it should be just the way you like it.
It’s more practical.
Long sleeve lace wedding dress by A and M Enterprises. See it here.
Lastly, there are some very good practical reasons for choosing a black dress. For starters, they’re not as delicate as white gowns. You’ll be able to enjoy yourself on your wedding day without worrying about ruining your clean, white number. Black dresses are much more resistant to dirt and stains, so you can forget all about it and have the time of your life dancing and socializing with your guests.
There’s also a premium attached to white bridal gowns, which people have dubbed the bride tax. This means you can practically get black a wedding gown with the same design as a white one and not be charged as much.
As you can see, there are perfectly good reasons to choose a black wedding gown for your nuptials. However, at the end of the day, it all boils down to you and what you want to wear. Just bear in mind that you can wear whatever you want for your wedding, may it be a classic white ball gown or a body-hugging, sequined black dress. Follow your heart and you will surely find something that will make you feel confident and gorgeous on your wedding day.
If you’re considering a black dress for your wedding day, check out our detailed guide to black wedding dresses right here.