Take it from us, when it comes to choosing a wedding dress, there are absolutely no rules, so if the idea of wearing a white wedding dress leaves you cold, then why not go for something totally different with a black wedding dress instead.
Black is always a popular choice for evening wear and even celebrities have jumped on board the black wedding gown trend with Sarah Jessica Parker and Selling Sunset's Christine Quinn opting for a moodier hue at their nuptials. It's also a style that has been spotted all over bridal runways and when we asked Hitched users*, one in 10 said they were wearing or considering wearing a black wedding dress.
We spoke to Lucy Roe, director of alternative wedding dress brand Lucy Can't Dance, and Christina Blanchette, VP of Sales and Marketing at Maggie Sotterro, who gave us their top tips on how to style a black wedding dress, plus we've found some of the most beautiful black wedding dresses that will leave you desperate for a darker dress.
From floor-length, celestial-inspired wedding dresses to dramatic ballgowns, we guarantee there are wedding dresses in black here that you'll love!
- Lace Black Wedding Dresses
- Black and White Wedding Dresses
- Black Wedding Dresses with Sleeves
- Simple Black Wedding Dresses
- Unique Black Wedding Dresses
1. Belted Lace Midi Dress - £179, Coast
This belted lace midi dress from Coast is so pretty - especially when worn with a gorgeous pair of wedding heels. The pretty bodice looks so sophisticated in the black colourway and we love the contrasting textures between the lace, pleats and satin.
Pros & Cons: You could easily re-wear this beauty again at future events long after your wedding day making the £179 price tag a bargain buy. The bodice is lined and the back is fully covered so you can wear whatever underwear you are most comfortable in.
2. Olivia Dress - £365, Nadine Merabi
Nadine Merabi is known for her glamorous designs and the Olivia dress doesn't disappoint. It's one of her best-selling styles as the corsetry bodice and full skirt will flatter all figures.
"I bought this dress to wear to a celebration and have honestly never had so many compliments. It’s classy yet a little sexy the perfect balance. It’s comfortable to wear and the quality is unreal!" exclaims one reviewer.
Pros & Cons: It features clever boning in the bodice that will cinch in your waist and enhance curves.
3. Floral Lace Wedding Dress - £POA, Modeca
Modeca have been designing gowns for over 70 years - starting in the Netherlands and now available to shop black wedding dresses in the UK, their latest collection features this fabulous frock. We love how the stunning lace cascades down the bodice to meet a dramatic fishtail skirt. Style with a wedding veil like this model has done to make an even bigger impact!
Pros & Cons: If you find this dress tricky to walk in due to its form-fitting style and fishtail skirt, pair with comfortable wedding shoes.
4. Ursula Three Piece - from £1,800, Lucy Can't Dance
A three-piece like this is ideal if you want to switch up your look throughout the day. The Ursula comes with a luxurious Italian crepe circle skirt, a cute cami top, and a lace overtop of your choice from the huge selection at Lucy Can't Dance.
This style has been rated 4.9/5 by over 50 shoppers, with many saying that, "The bridal separates are so beautiful and different, but also very customisable."
Sizing: Made to Measure
Pros & Cons: It's dramatic, quirky and a really unique look for your big day - perfect for alternative brides. As all of their dresses are handmade from scratch in their studio, you can alter any of the designs to suit your individual style and shape.
5. Floral Wedding Dress - £POA, Marco & Maria
An excellent way to break up a black wedding dress is by incorporating white florals into the design. This dress by Marco & Maria has a gorgeous sweetheart neckline, delicate ruffled sleeves and beautiful white blooms that adorn the entire silhouette.
Pros & Cons: The tulle fabric keeps this look ethereal and light, however a flesh coloured slip will be needed underneath as it is a little transparent in places. You'll find styles to shop now in our wedding underwear edit.
6. Rosella Ruffle Strapless Gown - £550, Needle & Thread
Opting for a black wedding dress doesn't mean your look won't be romantic and pretty. Inspired by Hollywood glamour, this gown from Needle & Thread is crafted from dobby print tulle and features a criss-cross pattern design that is very unique.
Pros & Cons: It features an integrated corset made with ribbon stitching, soft boning and panels of stretch mesh fabric for comfort and security. As this design is busy, keep your accessories minimal.
7. Norvinia Dress - £POA, Maggie Sottero
A black dress doesn't need to be totally black. We adore the statement white underlay that acts as the perfect backdrop for black lace florals this Maggie Sottero dress, Norvinia by Sottero and Midgley. Add in a full skirt and lots of shimmer and you've got a wedding gown no one will ever forget.
"I felt stunning in the dress - it was the perfect balance of dramatic and classy," says one reviewer who opted for this style on her wedding day. "The black bodice really snatched the waist in and made me feel so confident."
8. Illusion Wedding Dress - £POA, Studio Serravalle
Studio Serravalle is a contemporary wedding dress designer who specialise in timelessly elegant and sustainably made pieces. If you're looking for a sexy wedding dress, this design certainly ticks that box, featuring a sultry leg split and illusion white lace strip. It makes a statement, despite its simplicity.
Pros & Cons: You can easily dress this gown up or down depending on how relaxed your wedding day is, and from the ceremony to the reception. We think it would look amazing with a silver bridal clutch bag.
9. Celeste Dress - £3,000, Temperley London
The Celeste dress is simply stunning - featuring bewitching midnight starry sky embellishments, a floaty tulle skirt and dramatic sheer sleeves, it comes alive under glittering lights. More over, it has the most gorgeous silk bow at the nape of the neck which will look stunning swinging as you walk down the aisle.
Discover more celestial wedding dresses here.
Pros & Cons: The long sleeves on this wedding dress won't keep you warm as they are made from tulle, but they create a beautifully ethereal look.
10. Eve Sequin Gown - £490, Needle & Thread
Needle & Thread are one of our favourite brands for fun and flirty gowns, crafted with exquisite embellishments. This stunning sequinned gown is ideal for an elegant evening celebration and as it is adorned with sequins, will shimmer and shine under lights.
Pros & Cons: This dress is available in a mini style, should you prefer a short wedding dress. The layers of tulle in the skirt create gorgeous volume.
11. Sigmund Dress - £278, Reformation
This smock dress has a front split that gives lots of movement to this laidback wedding gown. The fitted bodice is super flattering on larger busts and the little puff sleeves are just another one of the many details that make this simple dress wedding worthy.
Pros & Cons: This versatile design would work for all kinds of weddings - whether you're getting married in a registry office, barn or castle.
12. Tuxedo 556 - £550, Pronovias
This dress screams classic glamour. It's got Old Hollywood red carpet energy with its sculptural shoulders, plunge neckline and dramatic sequinned embroidery. It's a dreamy winter wedding dress if you're on the hunt for a design that'll keep you warm, but still look seriously stylish.
Pros & Cons: If you can't decide between wearing a wedding suit or a dress, this option is the best of both worlds. The side splits give a sexy touch, but they can easily be stitched up if you want less skin to be shown.
13. Zander Dress - £POA, Maggie Sottero
Hello, showstopper! If you're looking for a sexy black wedding dress, your search stops here. Maggie Sottero's Zander dress features contrasting layers of tulle and Chantilly lace and is adorned with 3D floral lace motifs.
It has lots of great reviews, with one person saying, "Zander is a beautiful and extremely flattering dress and I felt confident, beautiful and sexy all in one!" and another commenting, "I felt like an actual princess, with everyone commented on how amazing the dress looked."
Pros & Cons: To ensure the illusion sleeves look their best, choose a size where the sleeves will be fitted against your arms.
14. Cruella Dress - from £1,400, Lucy Can't Dance
If you want a solid black dress, we're huge fans of the Cruella from Lucy Can't Dance - a full black wrap wedding dress made in luxurious Italian crepe. The V-neck front flatters curves, while the split in the skirt shows off a sexy glimpse of your legs.
Sizing: Made to Measure
Pros & Cons: This dress can be made in any colour so if you change your mind from black but you still love the dress design, they can accommodate.
15. Issa Satin Slip Dress - £450, Olivia von Halle
This luxury silk slip dress is utterly timeless. The clean lines are hugely flattering, skimming over curves and falling beautifully. If you'd like a understated yet feminine look, this gown will look sensational paired with gold jewellery.
Pros & Cons: Silk satin is a beautiful fabric but it can tend to crease - keep this dress hung up or bring a steamer with you before wearing on the big day. Find lovely wedding hangers here for inspo!
16. Madison Dress - £159, Ghost
A dress from Ghost is a fail-safe option if you're an indecisive bride as their simple styles can be dressed up or pared down depending on your taste. We adore the classic vibe the Madison dress gives off with three quarter length sleeves and a button-down bodice.
Pros & Cons: This dress is cut from sustainable eco heavy satin, giving it a luxury look and feel.
17. Aleda Black Evening Dress - £699, Rowley Hesselballe
Rowley Hesselballe's off the shoulder evening gown is a modern take on a vintage wedding dress. Pair with killer heels, sultry waves and a bold wedding lipstick for a wedding-ready look that is sure to turn heads.
Pros & Cons: The draped sleeve details add a subtle amount of arm coverage if you don't want a full sleeve. This style of dress is ideal for an evening celebration.
18. Ball Gown Wedding Dress - £POA, Demetrios
Demetrios design wedding dresses for all kinds of tastes - including this gown in a darker hue. The dramatic silhouette and moody colourway create a mesmerising statement that is both unique and fun at the same time. We love the addition of the dark wedding bouquet, too.
Pros & Cons: This dress will look sensational at your ceremony - just imagine the entrance you can make in it! If it feels a little too much for the reception, or you want to slip into something more comfortable, discover second wedding dresses here.
19. The Black Edit Dress - £POA, Halfpenny London
Halfpenny London have an entire collection of black wedding dresses and this satin and feather skirt ensemble really stands out. Pair with a red lip like this model has done for the perfect combination of sexy and sophisticated. This feather wedding dress is giving 'Black Swan' vibes!
Pros & Cons: This wedding dress has it all - feathers, sequins, satins and bows.
20. Stella Black Dress - £495, Nadine Merabi
For a dress that screams 'all eyes on me', consider the Stella dress from Nadine Merabi. This exquisite gown is hand cut from sheer mesh and beautifully detailed with black sequin embellished leaves to give a barely there illusion.
"I'm so obsessed with this dress, I have never felt so incredible in my life! It's such a standout piece, the quality is amazing and it fits like a glove," says one reviewer.
Pros & Cons: Although parts of this dress are sheer, the leaves have been carefully hand placed to great the illusion and still cover up. It also has s a fully lined bodysuit providing full coverage so you don't have to search for a slip.
21. Margo Dress - £499, Rowley Hesselballe
If you thought the front of the Margo dress was sensational, just wait until you see the back! Featuring two trains of sequined fabric it will look fabulous as you walk down the aisle. Make sure you let your wedding photographer know beforehand that you want some snaps from the back.
Pros & Cons: This design is timeless so despite it's fun and unusual feature, you'll have no regrets looking back on your choice.
Can You Wear a Black Wedding Dress to a Wedding?
"Yes of course you can wear a black dress for your wedding! Your wedding dress should show off your individual style and personality," says Lucy Roe, Director of Lucy Can't Dance. "Remember you don’t have to follow all of the wedding traditions. If you are someone that wears black a lot and can’t see yourself in a white dress then don’t wear one!"
Keep in mind that it is your special day and your wedding dress should make you feel like the very best version of yourself: "Don’t let anyone tell you it won’t make you look like a bride. They may just not be able to picture it themselves but once they see all your wedding styling and décor they will be stunned. It’s your wedding day so you can do what you want!" shares Lucy.
Christina Blanchette, VP of Sales and Marketing at Maggie Sotterro agrees, saying, "We love the black wedding gown trend! Many brides who opt for a black wedding dress look to break traditions and make a statement. Black gowns offer a unique and dramatic look that is incredibly stunning. Additionally, black wedding dresses provide an aesthetic appeal that fits a lot of themes, such as fairy-tale, minimalism, vintage, and gothic."
How to Accessorise a Black Dress for a Wedding?
As black is such a versatile colour there are many ways you can style a black wedding dress - the best part is you can't really go wrong. "You could style with black accessories, or we love gold," suggests Lucy.
"Jewellery is a great way to add sparkle and glamour to a black wedding dress, depending on the style of the neckline and sleeve length. Adding a body chain on top of a gown can also be a sexy element!" shares Christina.
A veil or headpiece is also a classic way to add to a look and can be traditional, modern, and vary in length. A clutch or purse is a practical way to store your essentials but is also a great way to accessorize a black wedding dress."
Not a fan of a wedding veil? Lucy says that, "If you aren’t a fan of veils then you could also go for a gold or crystal crown. We’ve used a lot of crowns from The Lucky Sixpence - they are stunning and really complete the look."
What Colour Shoes to Wear With a Black Wedding Dress to a Wedding?
"When it comes to styling shoes with a black wedding dress, there are many options depending on the look the bride is trying to achieve. Classic black shoes match and give a sleek and polished look, metallic shoes can add glamour and sparkle to compliment the dress.
"A bold colour, like ruby red or royal blue, creates a stark contrast that adds a lot of personality. Nude shoes are always a safe choice and can give the illusion of longer legs. Lastly, if the bride wants to add some texture, wearing shoes with detailing such as beading, lace, or embroidery can add visual interest and tie in any embellishments also featured on the gown," explains Christina.
Flat wedding shoes can also work wonderfully with a black wedding dress (and your feet will thank you): "We’ve seen brides wear platforms, Dr. Martens and trainers with our black dresses," shares Lucy.
Perhaps you aren’t sold on a black dress and that’s fine – it’s not for everybody! But if you are inspired to go for something a little different, check out our round-up of the most fabulous feathered wedding dresses.
*Instagram poll of 446 Hitched followers on 19/04/2023