“Married in black, you will wish yourself back.” So goes the old superstition about getting married in a black wedding dress. Bottom line: We don’t believe in any of these old wives’ tales, and neither should you! Black wedding dresses are a gorgeous and dramatic look for any bride who wants something different from the standard white gown.
You should get married in whatever makes you feel great. Period. A black wedding dress can make for a stunning and elegant look on any bride. Plus, black is flattering for every skin tone and on every body type, meaning you’ll have loads of options to choose from.
Black dresses are also highly versatile. While the concept of wearing a black dress may be a modern one, you can find black wedding gowns in both cutting-edge and traditional styles. From full-skirted princess gowns to elegant slim-fitting sheath dresses and goth-inspired corset wedding dresses, black gowns suit all kinds of personal tastes.
Since black is simple and easy to match, you can also make the most of it when accessorizing. Bold earrings, sparkling necklaces, stunning veils, eye-catching shoes—the options are endless. You’ll also have plenty of choices for embellishments like beadwork or lace. You can go for an all-black wedding, or stand out in your black bridal gown.
Convinced that black wedding dresses are the way to go? Perfect. We’ve rounded up some of the best wedding gowns in this category to help you make your final choice. Read on for an overview of the best black wedding dress ideas.
Bold & Beautiful Black Bridal Gowns
A black wedding dress is anything but boring. With various materials, cuts, and styles available, dark-hued gowns offer all the variety you need. The one thing they all have in common? Classic elegance. Here are some of your options.
Black Long Sleeve Wedding Dresses
Long sleeves make for a more refined wedding look. A long-sleeve black wedding gown is ideal for a more traditional, elegant wedding, such as a classic black-tie event.
If you want to wear long sleeves but ramp up the sultry appeal, look for delicate lace or chiffon that allows some skin to peep through, like this Mac Duggal dress available at Lord & Taylor.
Alternatively, a plunging neckline or backless dress can still allow for some spice if you’re going for full coverage. When wearing long sleeves, it’s best to keep accessories on the lighter side. This dress from Sottero and Midgley speaks for itself!
If you don’t want lace, opt for a simple long-sleeve black dress like this one from WeddingPink, available on Etsy! The high neckline and simple design is stunning for a winter wedding.
Statement earrings or a dazzling broach or hairpiece will help create balance. Steer clear of heavy necklaces or bracelets, which will compete with the fabric for attention.
Black and White Wedding Dresses
Opt for a black-and-white look if you like the elegance of a black wedding dress but don’t want to feel too dark and drab. One fun way to do this is to have a black chiffon or lace overlay with a lighter-colored skirt beneath, like this dress from David’s Bridal.
This is also a great way to show off embellishments like lace and embroidery. You can even go more modern with geometric patterns.
When mixing up black and white, feel free to go for more opulent accessories. A black belt can help create a shape. Black florets are another nice touch. The point is to play up the color contrast through your accessorizing. If you want more white than black, consider the BHLDN Lorne Gown pictured here.
You can also mix black with champagne for less contrast, like this gorgeous gown from Tulle Lux Bridal Crowns & Accessories.
If you’re opting for this duo color combo, stick to a darker-colored veil. White will look jarring against a black backdrop.
Black Wedding Gowns for Alternative Brides
If you’re wearing black to your wedding, you undoubtedly have a bit of an unconventional streak in you. Why not play it up with an alternative black wedding dress?
Have fun with it by taking a traditional wedding style and turning it on its head by making it black. For example, a full-skirt princess gown in black is a stand-out. A black veil is also eye-catching. Consider this full bodied black wedding dress from Flutter Dresses on Etsy!
Don’t be afraid to get experimental with your alternative gown. Look for dresses with unique touches like capes and feathers. This black and white dress has a very unique look and comes in two pieces. You can find it here on Etsy from Stylish Brides Acc.
You can also get creative in terms of materials. Black velour or velvet adds a romantic touch while giving a bit of a gothic vibe. This black boho wedding dress from Flutter Dresses has a velvet body but intricate sleeves
These heavier fabrics are also ideal if you’re getting married in a cool-weather location.
Short Black Wedding Dresses
Since a black wedding dress breaks with tradition in terms of color, why not go all the way and break with tradition in terms of length? A short black wedding dress is perfect for the bride who wants to show off her legs. We love this dramatic short black dress from BHLDN.
Opt for heavier fabrics that won’t get carried away in a breeze. Multi-layered skirts are also a fun way to accentuate your legs.
This short black wedding dress from Dolly Gown was made for second-time brides looking for something different.
When wearing a short dress, you have a unique opportunity to show off your shoes—which are often hidden under longer gowns. Make the most of it! Especially with a black dress, you have the chance to go wild in terms of footwear.
Statement shoes with rhinestones or a pop of color are a great way to add some fun to your bridal look.
Black Lace Wedding Dresses
Take the elegance of a simple black dress to the next level by opting for lace. This can create a dramatic look – this dress from Etsy is extra dramatic with a low back!
Plus, you’ll find lace gowns available in a full range of silhouettes to suit every body type, including mermaid, A-line, princess, and beyond. Lace dresses are also versatile in terms of sleeves. You can keep it simple with spaghetti straps or go for long sleeves, like this gown from WedBoomStore on Etsy.
If you don’t have the money for head-to-toe lace, you might incorporate small lace portions around the hem, sleeves, or neckline. This dress from BHLDN has a lace bodice and a tulle skirt.
When wearing lace, keep the focus on the stunning material itself and go easy on the accessories. Some simple earrings or a sparkling barrette should be sufficient.
Simple Black Wedding Dresses
Part of the appeal of a black wedding dress is its simplicity. Run with it. You don’t have to go for mountains of tulle or complicated lace embellishments. This simple, elegant gown from Designer Dulianytska is available on Etsy and will have you looking effortlessly beautiful.
A basic sheath dress in all black can make for a stunning bridal look. For simple black wedding dresses, focus on high-quality fabrics that will flatter your figure, like silk. This silk dress from BHLDN is perfect for a laid-back bride in black.
One of the benefits of a simple black wedding gown is that you can go wild with accessories. A basic A-line spaghetti strap dress will easily support loads of sparkling jewelry, including a necklace, earrings, and bracelets.
This gorgeous black gown from Bridalgarden Studio on Etsy has extra fabric, but still offers a simple and timeless look.
Complement the simple dress with simple hair, such as a low-slung chignon at the base of the neck.
Gothic Wedding Dresses
Black is traditionally considered a “goth” style color. Play into it by opting for a goth style. A full skirt, bell sleeves, and a tightly fitted bodice are a few elements of goth style. We love the sleeves on this gothic wedding gown from KatrinFAVOR Boutique on Etsy!
Look for chiffon, velour, velvet, or brocade fabrics to further play into this look. Lace embellishments are another suitable option. We love the lace sleeves and chiffon second skirt on this dress from Goth Mall!
When going gothic, don’t limit yourself to black alone. For example, if you want to maximize this look, you might consider incorporating some dark red. A dark red underlay with a black lace overlay is a one-of-a-kind look. This black and red gown is as dramatic as it gets.
You can also opt for red accessories—for example, by carrying red roses as your bridal bouquet. It’s a Tim Burton fairytale come to life!
Vintage Black Bridal Gowns
They say that on your wedding day, you should wear “Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue.” Make your dress the “something old” by opting for a vintage black bridal gown, like this one available on Etsy from Lily Wedding Dress.
Vintage gowns tend to show less skin, making them an excellent pick for a more conservative bride. We love this 1920s style gown from Gatsby Lady on Etsy!
A vintage gown can be the perfect pick for a classic evening wedding. When shopping for vintage looks, take care to choose quality fabrics and check craftsmanship details, like beading and stitching. If you can’t find an actual vintage gown, consider a vintage look like this gorgeous ballgown from David’s Bridal:
An off-the-shoulder dress has a classic vintage look to it!
A genuine vintage gown may need some sprucing up before it’s ready to wear. But the effort will be well worth it, as your dress will be utterly unique.
Corset Black Wedding Dresses
Finally, opt for a corset if you want to ramp up the alternative factor of a black wedding dress. This will cinch your waist, creating a fantastic hourglass shape that flatters every figure. We love this corseted dress from WOMANBrandbyKira, available on Etsy.
You can decide how obvious or subtle you want the corset to be. For example, a strapless corset dress will be more voluptuous than one with sleeves. This tulle corset gown from BCBGMAXAZRIA offers a unique bridal look.
For a more formal and almost Victorian look, consider this classically romantic corseted look from SHERBON Clothing.
Pro tip: If you wear a corset gown, take it for a test run first. Spend at least a couple of hours in your corset, walking, eating, and talking in it. While a corset dress can look amazing, you don’t want to be uncomfortable on your big day. Trying out this style in advance is advisable, ensuring you can enjoy your nuptials.
As you can see, you have no shortage of choices when it comes to black wedding dress ideas. Whether you want something simple and elegant or something that pushes the envelope, you’ll find a black dress that fits your wishes.
As a color that flatters all skin tones and body types, black opens the door to many wedding gown options. You’ll find a variety of styles, including long and short sleeves, full-bodied and slim-fit skirts, fitted and flowing bodices, and more. There are also embellishments of every type, from embroidery to lace, rhinestones, beadwork, and beyond.
The point is: Choosing the perfect black wedding gown is ultimately about selecting the style that suits you personally. You don’t have to compromise your personality. The dress should fit you; you shouldn’t have to fit yourself to the dress in terms of aesthetics or size.
Whatever black dress you choose, you can be sure it will be classic, pretty, and elegant. This makes dark hues perfect for upscale weddings, such as black-tie evening nuptials. That said, you can also work a black gown for a daytime wedding or even as a dramatic beach wedding dress. When it comes to black wedding dresses, no rules apply!
Find other wedding dress styles like bohemian wedding gowns and more here on Yeah Weddings!
This page may contain affiliate links. If you click through and make a purchase, we'll earn a small commission, at no additional cost to you.