This week we are focusing on the ‘black and white’ wedding theme that comes and goes every now and then. I must say my immediate reaction was – “NO; Black wedding dresses are for the Red carpets & fancy dress parties and definitely not for weddings”. What is your first reaction?
Are your immediate thoughts also in the lines of Goths or Rock when hearing ‘a black wedding dress’? If so, then maybe this article may entirely change your vision of this non-traditional bridal choice.
With that being said, when mentioning black wedding dresses, Vera Wang is the first bridal designer to come to mind. Her Fall ‘12 bridal collection were seasons ahead as Vera always knows the latest trend 2 or 3 seasons ahead of time, but it didn’t all start with Vera’s black sachet on pearl-white wedding dresses.
The fact is that history does tend to repeat itself, bringing back old traditions. Prior to the Victorian era, brides were primarily married in the best dress they owned, colour played no role; be it a black, brown or yellow. In Scandinavia, black wedding dresses were especially popular and as far as white was concerned, in the 1500’s white was considered as the colour of mourning for French Queens, (therefore the ‘black is for mourning’ argument was not valid before).
Centuries ago black wedding dresses were worn in different cultures, but this all changed when Queen Victoria wore a white dress to her wedding ceremony in the 1840 and sparked the trend of white wedding gowns. First white dresses were exclusive to the elite, but after WWII the middle class caught up to the trend. Nonetheless, black was still often worn by brides, especially by those who recently lost a love one. Interestingly enough, in Spanish Cultures, Roman Catholic brides wore black to symbolise their devotion to marriage till death.
In the late 1800’s black took on a very negative connotation and people started associating the colour with death and mourning. The mother of the groom or bride didn’t wear black as it was seen as a huge taboo, a symbol of regret to the marriage or choice of spouse. In today’s day and age one can clearly see the symbolic meaning has faded as black is the most elegant and sophisticated shade for women to wear.All brides are different and like different styles and so if they want to hide some non-flattering body curves to look their best on their big day, black works magic while white visually enlarge.
Looking back now, it could have been predicted that it was only a matter of time before the modern bride toppled over the ‘all dresses in white cliché’ and opted for a dress with colour. I love the idea of surprising everyone with a black dress. It would be unexpected, unique and dramatic to say the least. Although… I don’t think black is for my big day.
So, we are definitely going to see more black wedding dresses soon with the likes of Avril Lavigne making a huge fashion statement in her black wedding dress, but it might take a few more centuries before you see the average brides taking the black option. This is mainly because of the negative connection black carries and the fact that society mainly sees the lighter shades as a symbol of purity, beauty and virginity.