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Black Wedding Dress Ideas

By Catalogs Editorial Staff

black wedding gown


Contributed by Info Guru Lindsay Shugerman

Wedding bells are ringing, bridesmaids are walking down the aisle and your groom is waiting at the altar. The doors open, and you start your walk toward your beloved in your beautiful, black wedding gown. Wait! Black? Why not?

More and more brides are choosing wedding dresses in colors far from the traditional white or ivory. Gown designers are starting to catch on, and have been adding pale pinks, blues and yellows to their white gown lines. But a black wedding dress is still hard to find. So it’s time to look beyond the official wedding gown collections.

Here are a few a ideas for finding that perfect ebony dress for your very dramatic nuptials.

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10. Evening gowns with trains

black evening gown with train



Until I started looking for black wedding dress options, I didn’t know that evening gowns were sometimes made with trains. But this lovely mermaid silhouette gown has the glamour of black with a short train that would work perfectly on the stroll down the aisle.

9. Go gothic

black robes



Hmm…black wedding gown. Gothic. Yup, it works. A black wedding dress is a natural for someone who feels at home with the goth look. And what a great opportunity to redefine what a dress means! Instead of the traditional lines, go for a wedding cloak or cape. Add a hood instead of a veil, and you have a wedding look that’s all your own.

8. So sexy

sheer bottom black evening gown


Be darling! After all, you’re the bride, and you’re already opting for black. So why not add in a big dose of sexy, too. A sheer overskirt with a mini underneath is nothing like the layers of white satin or lace in a traditional wedding gown. But that’s okay… you’re not like traditional brides!

7. Shop European designers

black wedding dress


While white and cream still rule among American wedding designers and bridal shops, the wedding world in Europe is far more daring when it comes to color. Black gowns regularly appear on runways and in bridal salons in Italy, France and Spain, along side dresses in red, yellow, green, blue, and yes, white.

If you can’t find the dress of your dreams in American shops, you may need to surf over to smaller European shops to find exactly what you want. Some design houses and shops are willing to work with American wedding stores and ship samples to them. Others may require you to order directly. Do make sure you are clear on costs, exchange rates, customs issues and return policies before you order.

6. Go short and sassy

lace shaper dress


It’s lacy, and that’s the norm for a wedding dress. But it’s black. And that’s anything but standard fare. And it works!

If your wedding is informal, consider a short, sassy lace dress instead of a full on gown. It’s flattering and comfortable, and oh yeah… it looks stunning! Pair it with black pumps and you’re set for your “I do” on your own terms.

5. Vintage gowns

1800s black wedding dress


Take a look at old wedding photos from the late 1800s and into the early 1900s were often married in black wedding dresses. These satin and lace dresses featured full skirts and cinched waists, giving the brides a very feminine silhouette. You can follow in their footsteps with a vintage wedding dress, but it can be almost impossible to find historical clothing that fits our taller and fuller shapes.

An alternative is to have a seamstress make a replica of historical designs in modern proportions. Look at historical images to see which designs appeal to you, then take your choices to a seamstress to begin creating your piece of wedding history.

4. Black wedding accessories

black lace parasol


When you’re planning your black wedding outfit, don’t forget about your accessories. A feminine black lace parasol, a pair of long black gloves, a delicate black lacy shawl, and elegant black pumps will complete your dramatic midnight-hued wedding ensemble.

3. Bohemian elegance

black bell sleeved gown


Combine your love of black wedding dresses with the bohemian comfort of sweeping skirts and bell sleeves for a retro feminine take on the casual wedding dress. 1960s style meets modern black sleek beautifully.

2. Shop couture

black wedding gown


If your budget permits, couture collections are probably your best option for a dramatic all-black wedding gown. Even if the gown isn’t shown in black, custom options are usually available so a dress can be made in any color. Visit a luxury bridal salon in your area to ask about the options.

1. Have a white gown dyed black

fabric dye


If your heart is set on a black wedding dress, and you just can’t find the one you want you can always “take the plunge” and have your perfect white gown dyed black. This is probably not a DIY project because the different materials require different dyes, different techniques. And most over-the-counter dyes require the use of hot water… a no-no when dealing with lace and other gown fabrics.

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Your wedding is going to be beautiful! And who knows…your black wedding dress might just start a trend among your guests. White wedding dresses, step aside.

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