You are currently viewing What Is Behind the Trend of Black Wedding Dresses?

Recently, we have seen a lot of black wedding dresses in bridal stores. Read what is behind this trend, and why brides consider wearing black at their nuptial.


  1. A Little Girl’s Dream: A Black Wedding Dress
  2. VIPs Who Wore a Black Dress at their Nuptials
  3. Why Did White Bridal Gowns Become in Fashion?
  4. Brief History of Black Wedding Gowns
    • What Did Women Wear at their Wedding Prior to Mass Production of Clothes?
    • The Dawn of the White Wedding Gown
    • Why Did the White Wedding Gown become into Fashion?
  5. How to Style Black Wedding Dresses (Video tutorial)?
  6. Why to Opt for Black for Your Nuptials?
  7. Where to Find Affordable, High Quality Black Wedding Dresses?


Disclosure: Ad. The gown is a sample of my choice from Ever Pretty. The post is not endorsed by them. I wrote it myself and it represents my own 100% honest opinion. This post contains affiliate links.


A Little Girl’s Dream: A Black Wedding Dress

In my childhood, whenever I saw a bride, I said that I want to marry in a black gown. This statement upset the adults because Germans associate black with evil, grim, sins, solemn rituals, darkness, death, and funerals. Nevertheless, I continued to dream up the attire as a black midi length V-neck lace gown like this  Ever Pretty dress with black patent leather high heel pumps with plateau sole, and a flower headband.

In my mind, a black dress would express my personal values. I always was confident in my ability to achieve what I really wanted. Independence, courage, devotion, loyalty, thoughtfulness, and individuality were very important to me. Furthermore, I loved the elegance and mystery of the color since I was a toddler.


VIPs Who Wore a Black Dress at their Nuptials

Shenae Beech née Grimes, Cheryl Cole, Avril Lavigne, Sarah Jessica Parker, Ellen Pompeo, Tina Turner, Chloë Sevigny, and the list goes on. They all have in common a strong personality, confidence, great personal styles, and no fear of being different.


lace bodice and satin skirt midi bridal attire with sandals and fascinator
A black wedding dress looks best when styled simple and sophisticated. This minimalist look features statement earrings, Hipstik pantyhose, Very Fine Dancesport Sandals, a watch c/o Nordgreen, and an bridal gown c/o Ever Pretty



Brief History of Black Wedding Gowns

About 3000 years ago, during the Zhou Dynasty in China, rulers set norms for attire, among other, black wedding robes with red trim over a visible, white undergarment for both brides and grooms. Like the European sumptuary laws, the norms prescribed what individuals could wear depending on their socio-economic status, gender, and the occasion as well as which colors to wear during which season. These laws remained during the Han Dynasty, until they slowly fell apart during the Tangs Dynasty.

In the 14th century Europe, creation of black fabrics required high-quality, expensive dye. Consequently, the Rich and Aristocrats reserved black for themselves to document their wealth. The black wedding dress most likely stems from Spain where brides wore a black gown with a veil – the mantilla. The black attire represented the bride’s loyalty and devotion to her husband until death.


What Did Women Wear at their Wedding Prior to Mass Production of Clothes?

In the early 19th Century, a wedding gown could have any color. Clothing was expensive. Therefore, buying a dress to wear it just one time was not an option. Furthermore, dark clothes stayed clean longer than white clothes in the dirty cities of the beginning industrialization. Therefore, only the Rich could afford wearing white in summer. Consequently, at the end of the century, Jane Doe wore her Sunday’s Best, often black, when getting married.


The Dawn of the White Gown

In the Old World, the earliest mention of a white dress was the 1406 wedding of the English Princess Philippa to the Scandinavian King Eric. In 1558, Mary Queen of Scots married the soon-to-be King of France in her favorite color white despite it was the color of mourning for French queens.


Why Did White Bridal Gowns Become in Fashion?

After Queen Victoria married Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha in a white Honiton lace dress, white dresses became a trend – first for the Rich, and over time also for the middle and lower classes.

While Queen Victoria wore her dress repeatedly, in the 20th century, the low prices due to the industrial mass production, permitted brides to wear theirs just once. Today, we associate values like innocence, virginity, chastity, and purity with the white color.


How to Style Black Wedding Dresses (Video Tutorial)

Think of the concept of the “Little Black Dress” introduced by Coco Chanel. The goal is to feature the beauty and elegance of the black garment. Here less is more! Keep it simple and sophisticated. Pearls or fake diamond costume jewelry make the dark color stand out. Go with the vibe of the cut and fabric when picking your accessories, shoes, and flowers. Watch the video for explained examples.


Video tutorial with styling ideas



Why to Opt for Black for Your Nuptials?


  • Black is easier to keep clean than white.
  • It is sustainable. You can wear a gown to the opera, at a formal wedding of someone else, at a military ball, or as a LBD.
  • Black is more photogenic than white  – especially in Alaska.
  • Typically, black gowns are cheaper than white wedding dresses.
  • Your personal style is Dramatic, Gothic or Steampunk.


front view of Ever Pretty black bridal garment with V-neck and cap sleeves
Front view of simple sophisticated look with the Ever Pretty garment


Where to Find Affordable, High Quality Black Wedding Dresses?

You can find affordable, high quality black wedding dresses like the one styled in this post at Ever Pretty. Browse their collection now.


Photos: G. Kramm
Video: N. Mölders

© 2013-2022 Nicole Mölders | All Rights reserved

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This Post Has 7 Comments

  1. A black marriage dress would clearly make a statement and could look stunning. I ’d say to anyone thinking of it – just go for it. Btw, I wore a grandiloquent dress for my marriage!

  2. Thank you for the detailed feedback on my post. Glad you liked it.

  3. I like that you decided to give the readers some historical context about why a lot of brides choose black for their wedding dresses. It was interesting, and it made me want to look more into the topic. I also liked that you gave some personal perspective about why your childhood statements about black wedding gowns might have been true. I also liked the way you tied in the importance of the dress and its values, which is something that I’ve always been interested in.

  4. That’s a stunning color on you! Great choice.

  5. A black wedding dress would certainly make a statement and could look stunning. I’d say to anyone thinking of it – just go for it. Btw, I wore a purple dress for my wedding!