While it’s quite common for today’s brides to shy away from the traditional white and ivory gowns—opting for muted or pastel shades of pink, yellow, and lavender—the black wedding dress is what truly makes a serious statement on your wedding day. The bridal choice of the anti-bride, wearing black is not only one surefire way to break away from the norms of wedding culture, it’s also totally badass—a trend we can always get behind.
According to Katharine Polk, the designer behind edgy bridal line HOUGHTON, the black wedding dress is for the bride who's not afraid to stand out. “I think wearing color means taking a risk, which speaks a lot about the bride and her personality,” she told me. “It says she’s free-spirited, free-thinking, and not afraid of stepping out of the box. She makes her own decisions and doesn’t conform to tradition.” Sounds pretty good to us.
This holds true for the length and silhouette of the dress too. You don’t necessarily have to go all out in a ball gown just because you’re a bride. Shorter lengths, bohemian silhouettes, and more relaxed textures are similarly making their way down the aisle—as are dresses that you can actually wear again. One of our readers, who opted to wear a LBD on her big day, told me, “The idea of wearing a white dress never even crossed my mind. I wanted to spend money on a beautiful dress that I could wear after my wedding, something fancy but only categorized as a ‘wedding dress’ because I was married in it.”
However, once you find The One (well, The One dress that comes after you found The One person), there’s still more to it: accessories. We turned to alt bridal expert Molly Guy, of Stone Fox Bride, for some accessorizing advice. According to her, wedding accessories for a black dress could be a little tricky. “I feel like [wearing black] has the potential to limit you as a bride—it would look strange for her to hold a bouquet or wear flowers in her hair,” she told me. “I would definitely recommend platinum, pearl, diamond accessories—keeping it super stark and minimal.”
All in all, a black wedding dress makes quite the nuptial statement—whether it’s a little bit witchy, a little bit frilly, or your average little black dress. Celebrities like Sarah Jessica Parker and Shenae Grimes opted for dark dresses on their big days, and we think you can too. We picked out some of the pretty black wedding dresses (that aren’t necessarily wedding dresses) out there now to give you some inspiration for your big day. Click through the gallery below to see our picks.
Reformation, Francesca Dress, $488, available at Reformation.
Stone Cold Fox, Friar Gown, $675, available at Stone Cold Fox.
Tadashi Shoji, Lace and Draped Tulle Boatneck Gown, $408, available at Tadashi Shoji.
The Jetset Diaries, Yasmine Maxi Dress, $269, available at The Jetset Diaries.
Houghton, Wilkinson Dress, $3500, available at Houghton.
BCBG, Runway Lourdes Dress, $698, available at BCBG.
Amanda Uprichard, Trixie Maxi Dress, $299, available at Revolve Clothing.
Nastygal, Midnight Hour Maxi Dress, $82, available at Nastygal.
Self-Portrait, Lace Trim Midi Dress in Black, $438, available at Self-Portrait.
ASOS, Petite Midi Lace Skater Dress with Cut Outs, $78, available at ASOS.
Giamba, V-Neck Floral Lace Dress, $2,125.17, available at Farfetch.
Keepsake, Sundream Lace Mini Dress, $210, available at Fashion Bunker.
Simone Rocha, Ruffled Chenille Embroidered Tulle Dress, $3,821, available at Luisa Via Roma.
Zuhair Murad, Embroidered Lace Gown, $8,720, available at FORWARD By Elyse Walker.
Lover, Black Halo Hanky Dress, $1,194, available at Lover.