Attire & Accessories Forum

Black wedding dress

Has anyone here worn a black wedding dress? I'm up in the air of whether or not I will feel comfortable wearing a white or ivory gown. I wear black every day and that's the color that I feel most beautiful in. I'm curious to hear thoughts if you wore a black (or another color) wedding gown. Did you know from the beginning it's what you wanted to wear? Did you have any regrets? Did someone respond negatively to it?


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Re: Black wedding dress

  • jenna8984jenna8984 clam bakes & patriots member
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    @phira wore a dark blue one that was awesome....

                                                                     

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    hellohkb
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
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    I wore navy blue, and I have ZERO regrets. Absolutely none at all. I felt absolutely gorgeous and totally badass the whole day. People have commented, but it's all been positive.

    I knew from the beginning that I did not want to wear white/ivory/pastel. Whenever I dreamt about my wedding dress, before I even had met my husband, I dreamt about some particulars: fitted bodice, strapless sweetheart neckline, no veil to go with it. Thanks to offbeatbride.com, when it was time to actually think about what kind of dress I wanted, I was aware that I wouldn't be the only bride to have worn something that wasn't white.

    Some people did respond negatively before I bought my dress, but after I did, no one said anything. The negative comments I got were mostly from old-fashioned family members, although one of my friends was really not on board and kept suggesting white with navy blue accents. However, that friend in particular really wanted to come with me and do a traditional dress shopping thing (we live near Vows, so we could have tried to be on I Found the Gown), and when you're shopping for a non-white dress, you kind of can't have that traditional experience. After I bought the dress, I had nothing except positive comments.

    There are different ways to shop for non-white dresses. If you're interested in black, you're actually going to have an easier time than I did because black wedding dresses are becoming more of a thing. But depending on your budget and your tastes, here are some options I'd recommend:

    Bridesmaids dresses: This was my initial plan, since I could pick one that was the shape and fabric I wanted, and then it would come in whatever color I liked. I also knew I could get one for under $200 very easily. Most of them are relatively plain, though, so if you want something that's more like a classic wedding dress, this might not suit your tastes.

    Custom gowns: There are always custom gowns, so you can have your dress designed to your exact specifications. I know there's a site called Wedding Dress Fantasy that does lots of very fairy-tale-esque ball gowns in whatever color you'd like, and you can customize their offerings or design your own. Obviously, this'll be more expensive, and you'd have to find a website or a seamstress/dress-maker.

    Evening gowns: This is the route I took, based on my cousin's suggestion. I basically did a google search for "evening gowns," opened up the first 20 tabs or so, and began searching. The downside to this method is that you're going to find gowns that are perfect ... but not the right color, and vice versa. I also ran into an irritating issue: the gown I was interested in was only available through authorized dealers, and the only dealer I could get to was a boutique that didn't have a sample of the dress I wanted. I ended up ordering it (non-refundable) without ever trying it on.

    The dress I purchased was the Jovani 3677 evening gown in navy blue. I'm attaching a couple photos (please excuse the hilarious cropping and the watermarks; they're screenshots); one of them gives you a great view of the whole skirt, and the other has the bodice.

    The only thing that's been irritating, honestly, is that people keep saying, "This is so great! You can totally wear it again!" OKAY BUT WHERE? Seriously. I have never been to any event in my entire life where I wouldn't have been out of place in such a formal gown. And I didn't buy a blue dress so I could wear it again--I bought a blue dress because I look terrible in white.
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  • I wore a soft gold Maggie and loved it. I wash out in white and rather look like a witch in black with my black hair. I have seen a few stunners in red, and light and dark blue sapphire colors are gorgeous against many skin and hair colors. But if black is what you like, please yourself unless family will be upset. (some people associate black and death for weddings, even if okay otherwise.)
    hellohkb
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary First Answer
    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.
    hellohkb
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.
    This.  Unlike a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress, a colored dress could blend in with other guests depending on the formality.  You want to stand out in a knock out dress!  
  • phiraphira Bahstin member
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    JoanE2012 said:
    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.
    This.  Unlike a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress, a colored dress could blend in with other guests depending on the formality.  You want to stand out in a knock out dress!  
    Some people don't want to have a really glitzy dress, though. I've seen plenty of beautiful brides in gowns originally designed for bridesmaids--both white dresses and colorful dresses. It's all up to what the OP wants.
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  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
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    phira said:


    JoanE2012 said:



    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.

    This.  Unlike a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress, a colored dress could blend in with other guests depending on the formality.  You want to stand out in a knock out dress!  

    Some people don't want to have a really glitzy dress, though. I've seen plenty of beautiful brides in gowns originally designed for bridesmaids--both white dresses and colorful dresses. It's all up to what the OP wants.

    Oh I agree. I just mean for me, I would choose something bold.
  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
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    phira said:
    JoanE2012 said:
    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.
    This.  Unlike a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress, a colored dress could blend in with other guests depending on the formality.  You want to stand out in a knock out dress!  
    Some people don't want to have a really glitzy dress, though. I've seen plenty of beautiful brides in gowns originally designed for bridesmaids--both white dresses and colorful dresses. It's all up to what the OP wants.
    To each their own.  We had some really nice dressed guests at our wedding and if I wore just a colored bridesmaids dress I would've blended right in.  The bride's dress is one area though that doesn't impact guests, so if that's what the bride wants, that's fine!  I just certainly wouldn't do it.
  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    JoanE2012 said:
    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.
    This.  Unlike a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress, a colored dress could blend in with other guests depending on the formality.  You want to stand out in a knock out dress!  

    What if you don't though? Not everyone does want to stand out, honestly.

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  • I am going to speak out and say that a solid black dress is simply not appropriate for a wedding.  Any other color is fine, but black is associated with mourning and funerals in many peoples' minds.  You will offend some older folks.
    Now if you could find a white dress with some black trim, that would be OK.
    Somebody is going to flame me and say "It's your wedding!  Do what ever you want!"  Yes, but there are some traditions, like not wearing a black dress to your own wedding, that should be respected.
    Nothing wrong with navy blue.
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  • jacques27jacques27 member
    Knottie Warrior 500 Love Its 1000 Comments 5 Answers
    edited December 2014
    1.  Don't rule out white or ivory.  Try some on.  You don't have to decide now, but it seems slightly silly to rule it out before even trying them on.

    2.  Despite what I wrote in #1 - I'm actually pro-color.  I will say though that I think to do color, there are a few rules to make it look appropriate. 

    a. Pick a dress designed to be that color or go the custom route instead of just making an existing design in a color.  Most wedding gowns are designed to be in white, ivory, or champagne and I think the detailing that goes into that dress is done intentionally with that in mind.  Personally when I've seen people try to do the same gowns but in a bolder color they've ended up looking like a cheap facsimile or prom dress - it's just something about the how that detailing ends up playing out on the different color/fabric.

    b. If you go with black, accessorize or pick some detailing with color.  I think you need to be extra careful that it doesn't go "goth" (unless that's your thing).  There are some beautiful black wedding gowns out there, but depending on the fabric, style, and detailing it's really easy to go from classy wedding/evening gown to costume or becoming a cariacture. 

    However, I do think CMGragain is right that black is going to be more polarizing than doing any other color, viewing it as the color of mourning in most Western cultures.  There are people who won't even wear black as a guest to weddings, though people are becoming more accepting of that if it's a more formal evening wedding with an appropriate black gown and non-black accessories. 

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  • JoanE2012JoanE2012 Exit 21 (Jersey!) member
    5000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 5 Answers
    amelisha said:
    JoanE2012 said:
    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.
    This.  Unlike a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress, a colored dress could blend in with other guests depending on the formality.  You want to stand out in a knock out dress!  

    What if you don't though? Not everyone does want to stand out, honestly.
    Then don't.  What someone wears has no impact on me.  It's just something to consider for the majority of brides who do want to stand out.
  • CMGragainCMGragain member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited December 2014
    CMGragain said:
    I am going to speak out and say that a solid black dress is simply not appropriate for a wedding.  Any other color is fine, but black is associated with mourning and funerals in many peoples' minds.  You will offend some older folks.
    Now if you could find a white dress with some black trim, that would be OK.
    Somebody is going to flame me and say "It's your wedding!  Do what ever you want!"  Yes, but there are some traditions, like not wearing a black dress to your own wedding, that should be respected.
    Nothing wrong with navy blue.
    And white is the mourning color in many Asian countries, where red is worn by brides. Solid black equating to funeral is IMO as outdated as white equating to bridal. At least, the latter should be. Over a century and a half is quite long enough for one trend to last. I did wear white myself but I didn't feel I had to. Had my parents not offered to buy me a gown, I would quite likely have worn a light blue one I already owned.
    While this is your personal opinion, I can't help feeling that many other people will think a black wedding dress is very odd and inappropriate.
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  • Thank you so much @phira, that was very detailed and helpful. Thanks all for the advice. I have tried on a few white and ivory dresses and it didn't feel like "me", it felt like me playing dress up. Within the next few months I am going to try more on. I will probably wind up with an ivory dress at the end of the day, but I just love the idea of black. 

    I don't really see a problem with "breaking" fashion rules because they do not inconvenience my guests (like a cash bar, etc. does). It's a bit presumptuous to assume that my guests and I are from a culture that wears black only to funerals, also...

    Ideally, if I chose to go the black dress route, I would go with something with off the shoulder details.
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  • phiraphira Bahstin member
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    LOVE the examples. Very classy and gorgeous!

    I missed a few choice comments, so:

    A wedding dress is literally a dress you wear when you get married. It can be whatever color the person wearing it wants it to be. White wedding dresses are a recent Western tradition. Black being a mourning color is not universal. And given that the color of a dress has zero impact on guests, there's really no reason why anyone should care what guests will think about the color. Full stop, end of fucking story.

    And I think we need to let go of the idea that everyone should try white/ivory/off-white before they decide not to wear it for their wedding. I've been wearing clothes for a long time, so I know what I like to wear and what I think looks good on me. I don't need to try on a yellow outfit to know I will hate how I look in it. I don't need to try on a red dress to know that I don't want to wear it for my wedding. So, I don't need to try on a white dress or an ivory dress to know that white's just not my color.

    And even if I do look great in white or ivory, it's irrelevant; I wanted to wear blue. No regrets.

    So, OP says, "I want to wear black--any advice?" Saying that black is inappropriate, or that she should try white anyway isn't terribly helpful.
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  • @hellohkb, those are fab and do not read funereal in any way, shape, or form.
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  • It's not as if you were wanting this anyway:

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    Also, semi-related, my parents are going to a wedding Christmas Eve where the bride will be wearing purple. Can't wait to see what you end up with!
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    hellohkb
  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
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    I love the examples you posted!

    hellohkb
  • fwtx5815fwtx5815 cowboys nation member
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    I saw an episode of SYTTD where the bride tried on a black gown and it was STUNNING. I don't have the balls to do it and I did want an ivory dress, but man. those dresses you posted are killer.

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  • misshart00misshart00 Oklahoma member
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    Back in the day, before the wedding industry, my great grandmother wore a navy dress. Maybe she was in mourning too.
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  • classicalandedgyclassicalandedgy Connecticut member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    My dress while not all black has black embroidered roses on the tulle overlay and a black leather strap T-back.  No reason not to wear what you are comfortable in and feel good and gorgeous.   If all black is what makes you feel that way, I say go for it. 

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    hellohkb
  • classicalandedgyclassicalandedgy Connecticut member
    Knottie Warrior 100 Love Its 100 Comments Name Dropper
    This is my dress for reference, it is much lovelier in person lol, I also am wearing it with red shoes and a cage veil.  Definitely not your typical dress but in my opinion, in todays wedding culture we are deviating from the "norm" and allowing ourselves to have more weddings and dresses that are representative of who we truly are, not the ideal that people have of what a bride is supposed to look like. 

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  • flantasticflantastic The Midwest member
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    hellohkb said:
    Thank you so much @phira, that was very detailed and helpful. Thanks all for the advice. I have tried on a few white and ivory dresses and it didn't feel like "me", it felt like me playing dress up. Within the next few months I am going to try more on. I will probably wind up with an ivory dress at the end of the day, but I just love the idea of black. 

    I don't really see a problem with "breaking" fashion rules because they do not inconvenience my guests (like a cash bar, etc. does). It's a bit presumptuous to assume that my guests and I are from a culture that wears black only to funerals, also...

    Ideally, if I chose to go the black dress route, I would go with something with off the shoulder details.
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    These are the sort of dresses that I need an excuse to wear but never have because I'm not in a black-tie social circle. They're all gorgeous. If you're not feeling the white/ivory bridal look, TAKE ADVANTAGE, GIRL. WEAR IT.
    beethery said:
    Laura Ingalls-Wilder wore black for her wedding (in 1885) and she was awesome. So, there you go.
    And QFT.
    hellohkb
  • chibiyuichibiyui The Boring Part of MD member
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    beethery said:
    Laura Ingalls-Wilder wore black for her wedding (in 1885) and she was awesome. So, there you go.
    I was just going to post this. 

    And the only person who said shit about it was her mother, and her mother was kinda crazy.
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  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
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    JoanE2012 said:
    amelisha said:
    JoanE2012 said:
    I didn't have a colored or black dress. However, if I did, I would pick something fabulous, not just a black bridesmaid dress. Phira's dress is stunning! I like the custom or very formal evening gown route.
    This.  Unlike a traditional white (or ivory) wedding dress, a colored dress could blend in with other guests depending on the formality.  You want to stand out in a knock out dress!  

    What if you don't though? Not everyone does want to stand out, honestly.
    Then don't.  What someone wears has no impact on me.  It's just something to consider for the majority of brides who do want to stand out.

    You're the one who said "You want to...", presumably as the general "you". I just pointed out that no, not everyone DOES want to.

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  • What a wonderful day for buzzfeed to post this article about brides in black dresses:
    http://www.buzzfeed.com/mackenziekruvant/black-wedding-dresses

    Also, I'm wearing like a dusty rose-ish color to my wedding, not white. You do you and be proud :)
    hellohkb
  • I don't think anyone would wear those example dresses to a funeral or think anything other than "stunning." You do you and if anyone on this board or in your family has a problem with it, they can clutch their pearls and move on with their lives.
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