10 Chic Black Wedding Dresses For the Unconventional Bride

Getty/Edward Berthelot
Getty/Edward Berthelot
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Setting convention aside in favor of new traditions, this season's brides are "searching for non-traditional wedding colors," according to Pinterest. As a result, black and red dresses as well as goth wedding-related inquiries have seen a surge in traffic on the platform, signaling a shift in not just consumer tastes, but also their attitudes. "Gen Z Pinners are driving unconventional wedding themes by shaking things up from dresses to cakes, elaborate themes and beauty inspo," a Pinterest report read.

The symbolic white dress is no longer the go-to choice for brides, as it wasn't for Sarah Jessica Parker when she married Matthew Broderick in a black gown on May 19, 1997. This might have been the beginning of a trend that's gained momentum in recent years, especially as we emerge from a pandemic that has disrupted dress codes across industries. "Selling Sunset" star Christine Quinn followed suit in 2019, marrying Christian Richard in a black strapless corset dress with a voluminous beaded skirt. Chloë Sevigny also went that route in 2020, when she shared images of her city-hall wedding with Siniša Mačković in 2020. Sevigny wore a midlength, long-sleeve black dress on her big day.

More and more bridal designers and retailers are catering to this subset of brides looking to break away from the norm. David's Bridal, for example, has made its most popular wedding dresses available in other colors, including black (they were previously only available for custom orders). As Heather McReynolds, vice president and general merchandising manager at David's Bridal, told POPSUGAR, "This concept of 'traditional' as it relates to weddings and bridal is really evolving and becoming more of a personal experience and preference." Black wedding dresses have remained among the top 10 keyword searches according to David's Bridal Pearl Report. "Black resonates with those brides looking for a chic and dramatic look," McReynolds added.

From ballgowns to streamlined silhouettes, the possibilities of chic black wedding dresses abound. A black wedding dress also makes for a savvy year-round investment as you're likely to rewear it for formal occasions.

Should You Wear a Black Wedding Dress?

The answer is totally up to you! Some brides opt for the traditional white gown, while others experiment with colorful or nonwhite options. There is no right or wrong answer to this, as long as you choose a design you love.

How to Style Your Black Wedding Dress

It all starts with the dress. A strapless silhouette often sets the stage for a major necklace moment, so if this is your preferred style, consider styling it with a pearl or ribbon choker or a crystal chain necklace. If it's designed with a halter-style neck, let your earrings shine by opting for statement studs or pendants. As for footwear, closed-toe or open-toe shoes will depend on the wedding venue or the length of the dress. The key is to ensure you're comfortable, whether you choose pointy slingback pumps, strappy heels, or embellished flats.

If you're looking for a statement-making black bridal dress or browsing for wedding fashion inspiration, keep reading for our edit of the chicest black wedding gowns for every type of bride. From lacy options to corseted silhouettes, you will find a style that fits your taste, body type, and budget.

For the Sheer-Loving Bride: David's Bridal Long Sleeve Lace Appliqued Wedding Dress
davidsbridal.com

For the Sheer-Loving Bride: David's Bridal Long Sleeve Lace Appliqued Wedding Dress

Wow everyone on your special day in this stunning David's Bridal Long Sleeve Lace Appliqued Wedding Dress ($1,399). It features sheer embellished sleeves and a voluminous skirt for maximum visual impact. Keep your jewelry minimal with a dainty chain necklace and drop earrings, and finish with stiletto heels or slingback pumps.

For the Romantic Bride: Fame and Partners High Neck Flared Maxi
fameandpartners.com

For the Romantic Bride: Fame and Partners High Neck Flared Maxi

Inspired by retro slip silhouettes from the 1930s, this Fame and Partners High Neck Flared Maxi ($319) features a romantic halter neckline. The sleeveless silhouette and fitted bodice make it extremely modern. Finish with strappy heels and statement stud earrings.

For the Classic Bride: David's Bridal Sheer Lace and Tulle Wedding Dress
davidsbridal.com

For the Classic Bride: David's Bridal Sheer Lace and Tulle Wedding Dress

It doesn't get any more timeless than a strapless ballgown like this sophisticated David's Bridal Sheer Lace and Tulle Wedding Dress ($999). The semisheer bodice and lace appliqués are so bridal, and the construction gives it an ethereal appearance.

For the Designer Bride: Huishan Zhang Margherita Crepe Gown

For the Designer Bride: Huishan Zhang Margherita Crepe Gown

Drawing from the opulent locale of Villa Arconati in Italy, this Huishan Zhang Margherita Crepe Gown ($3,860) conveys a stately look for weddings and formal occasions. It is embellished with light-catching crystals and features a cape for added drama. Keep your neck bare and match the details with crystal earrings.

For the Princess Bride: Vera Wang Bride Diane Sleeveless Fit & Flare Gown
saksfifthavenue.com

For the Princess Bride: Vera Wang Bride Diane Sleeveless Fit & Flare Gown

The Vera Wang Bride Diane Sleeveless Fit & Flare Gown ($495) delivers in sophistication and impeccable construction. It features a plunging scoop back and a Victorian ball skirt finished with a trailing hem for a jaw-dropping entrance. As it grazes the floor, your footwear isn't the focus, but you can still take things up a notch with pointy slingback heels.

For the Lace-Loving Bride: David's Bridal Floral Applique Beaded Strap Wedding Dress
davidsbridal.com

For the Lace-Loving Bride: David's Bridal Floral Applique Beaded Strap Wedding Dress

Wearing this David's Bridal Floral Appliqué Beaded Strap Wedding Dress ($1,899) will ensure that you make a head-turning entrance. Crafted with 11 different types of lace and 4,500 hand-beaded embellishments, it's an unforgettable wedding ensemble. With the dramatic tulle skirt and embellished belt, you will sparkle all night long.

For the Off-Shoulder Bride: Pamella Roland Mixed-Media Embellished Off-the-Shoulder Gown
bergdorfgoodman.com

For the Off-Shoulder Bride: Pamella Roland Mixed-Media Embellished Off-the-Shoulder Gown

Striking the balance between minimalist and maximalist, this Pamella Roland Mixed-Media Embellished Off-the-Shoulder Gown ($5,610) is embellished with beads at the top and flows into a simple black trumped skirt. The off-shoulder silhouette and plunging neckline bring a modern sensibility; all that's missing is a sleek silver necklace.

For the Vintage Bride: Jason Wu Collection Draped Twist Halter Gown
bergdorfgoodman.com

For the Vintage Bride: Jason Wu Collection Draped Twist Halter Gown

For a twist on a typical halter neckline, look no further than this Jason Wu Collection Draped Twist Halter Gown ($2,495). The fluid silhouette will enable you to move around with ease and look quite chic while you're at it.

For the Minimalist Bride: Reem Acra Scallop Crystal-Embellished Trumpet Crepe Gown
bergdorfgoodman.com

For the Minimalist Bride: Reem Acra Scallop Crystal-Embellished Trumpet Crepe Gown

This isn't your average little black dress. The Reem Acra Scallop Crystal-Embellished Trumpet Crepe Gown ($2,995) will make for a jaw-dropping photo moment with its curved neckline trimmed with light-reflecting crystals. It will move beautifully as you walk down the aisle.

For the Unconventionally Conventional Bride: Lela Rose Off-the-Shoulder Two-Tone Gown
bergdorfgoodman.com

For the Unconventionally Conventional Bride: Lela Rose Off-the-Shoulder Two-Tone Gown

For a two-tone style, opt for this elegant Lela Rose Off-the-Shoulder Two-Tone Gown ($2,990). Layer a diamond or pearl necklace to amp up the allure, and style your hair into a low bun or short curly waves to allow the look and accessories to shine.