Alternative Wedding Dresses: Black Gowns for a Daring Bride

by AbbyFitz

They're not just for Goths anymore. Discover the meaning and history of black wedding dresses and buy yours today.

Brides desiring to buck tradition are flocking to the little black wedding dress. However, these gowns can be hard to find and very expensive.

Black wedding gowns may seem like a new trend in the wedding world, but in reality they’ve been worn throughout history and by different cultures.

Brides donning black even have a heartfelt meaning in one country. It’s so meaningful, you may choose to wear a black bridal gown just for that reason.

Black didn’t always represent mourning. In fact, white was the appropriate color to be worn to a funeral, and still is in certain parts of the world today.

Learn about the history and meaning of the black wedding gown while you browse these beautiful wedding dresses that are all under $300.

Black Ball Gown Wedding Dresses

Black Becomes You

Historically, wealthier brides dressed in the most expensive fabrics and styles to show off their family's elevated status. Black was a popular color among the aristocracy because the dye was so expensive.

There were even laws passed that restricted the lower classes from wearing certain colors and fabrics. Black was one of the colors only the nobility were allowed to wear.

Black has been considered a power color since the Middle Ages. Before that time, royalty preferred wearing deep purples and reds. By the 16th century, black was the color of choice of every monarch in Europe.

Why Everyone Thinks a White Dress is Tradition

Queen Victoria's wedding to Prince Albert was an event that has had an impact on what brides wear to this very day.

In earlier times, white was not a common wedding color. Lower class and poorer women who could not afford a special dress just for a wedding wore whatever color their best dress happened to be.

If a bride made her own wedding dress, it would typically be the latest style and in her favorite color. Her wedding dress would become her best dress for the next several years.

After the royal wedding of 1840, brides were enamored with copying the Queen. The tradition of wearing a white bridal gown took on a life of its own.

Thus, being the Victorian Era, virginity came to be associated with the bride wearing white.

Black Mermaid Style Wedding Dresses

Black Wedding Dress Meaning

If your fiance is against you wearing a black dress, tell him this little fact and maybe he'll change his mind.

Spanish brides wouldn't consider wearing anything but black for their wedding.

In Spain, black holds a special meaning for a bride. A woman wearing a black dress for her wedding symbolizes that she will be faithful to her husband until death.

Walking down the aisle in black isn't only a Spanish tradition.

Before Queen Victoria made white wedding gowns the color to be wearing, brides in Scandinavia actually preferred the color black.

Black Birdcage Wedding Veils


Slimming Black Wedding Dresses

Black is an Acceptable Color for a Wedding Dress

A woman shouldn’t feel she should conform to society and tradition because others believe that brides should wear white and black is bad and unlucky.

But, really, how can black be considered bad or unlucky at a wedding when the groom and groomsmen almost always wear black suits or tuxes?

A wedding is the ultimate expression of love between two people. How the bride and groom choose to celebrate their union is their choice, even if it includes a black dress.

Black is sophisticated. Black is sleek and stylish. More importantly, black is slimming. It's every bride's wish to look thin on her wedding day.

White: The Color of....Mourning?

Perhaps people balk most at a bride wearing black because they are under the impression that white is meant to convey a bride's purity and virginity.

But In years past, colors were symbolic and had meaning. These meanings have been changed, or forgotten altogether.

For instance, black didn't always mean mourning. Several hundred years ago, white was the appropriate color to be worn at funerals.

During the Renaissance, white was the color widows would wear while mourning their dead husbands.

In that period of history, a bride would have been foolish to wear a white wedding gown. A Renaissance bride would be faced with the same opposition that brides meet today when choosing to walk down the aisle in a black gown.

In present times, white is still the preferred mourning color in Africa and parts of Asia.

A Black and Red Wedding Dress For a Bride that Dares to be Different

Black Wedding Veils

Should I Wear a Black Wedding Dress?

As a bride to be, you shouldn't be limited to only wearing certain colors at your wedding.

Throughout history, black has time and time again been the preferred color choice for brides of wealth and of different cultures. Black even represents a bride's devotion to her betrothed.

You may choose to wear black because you want to be unique and stand out. You may also choose black because you want to reject what society considers "normal."

Whatever the reason, you should choose the gown that speaks to you and fits your personality. Remember, you're the bride and it's your big day.

Celebrate your individuality with a beautiful black wedding gown. 

Would You Consider a Black Dress for Your Wedding?

Updated: 03/11/2015, AbbyFitz
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AbbyFitz on 11/10/2014

It's definitely shocking, but it's totally worth it if it's what you want!

Flawrence on 11/10/2014

I am getting married next year, my fiance and I have totally went with a black wedding. We always dare to be different. Can't wait to see some of the guest face that's stuck in that traditional box, lol

AbbyFitz on 05/28/2013

Thank you. I think it takes a bold person to wear one. I'm not sure i could do it myself

GeorgiaRose on 05/28/2013

Beautiful dresses! The first wedding dress I picked out was white with black detailing. It was really beautiful and classy. I didn't get that one though, as I wanted something cheaper. I ended up going with a white dress. I don't know if I could do all black. They're pretty, just a little too "dark" for me. :) Hope you have a wonderful night~

AbbyFitz on 05/15/2013

Thank you Hollie! I think they're beautiful but I don't know if I'd be brave enough to wear one

HollieT on 05/15/2013

I think these dresses are stunning, certainly unique. You've provided a valuable resource for all those women who want to wear black on their wedding day, not white. Well done! :)

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