Black Wedding Dress Meaning, Symbolisms & More

A wedding dress serves as a means of expression for a variety of feelings the bride has. Whether it be her desires and image as a woman, her stance on the wedding itself, or just her own personality and preferences. All of which can be reflected with the color of her dress, and black can be the perfect color for the occasion.

What’s the black wedding dress meaning? Black is a symbol of elegance, formality. and elite stature; it is also the color of  mystery, death, or even protest. Wearing a black wedding dress presents the bride as a bold, resilient, and sophisticated woman worthy of respect especially from her groom.

Although unpopular outside of 19th century Scandinavia and Spain, black wedding dresses have been around since before the Victorian era. Recently though, black wedding dresses have seen a rise in popularity. Wearing one to a wedding can express what defines the bride as a woman and her true emotions going into the wedding.

Why Color Matters

couple bride black dress

Color in clothing has been used throughout history to interpret and convey a person’s social status, personality, and emotions by simply wearing them. The color of a bride’s wedding dress matters even more due to the nature of the occasion. During her wedding, she will become the center of everyone’s attention and people will build upon their impressions and judgments of her as a woman based on the dress she decides to wear.

The concept of white, cream, ivory and other similarly light-colored wedding dresses was popularized in the west by the late Queen Victoria when she married Prince Albert in 1840. Since then, most of the western culture has copied this practice to the point it became the tradition among most western societies to wear light-colored wedding dresses for the bride.

However, before this trend began, wedding dresses were entirely based upon the culture and religion of the couple being wed. In the 19th century Finland, black was the traditional color of choice for wedding dresses.

Why Black?

In the past. black is the color of choice in clothing among the professional and elite members of  western society to express their illustrious lifestyles. They wore it to depict their formality and prestige on any occasion.

This tradition remains in the present and has been compounded upon with the idea of the black being a color of modernity. Altogether, these aspects define a black wedding dress and the social statement it presents as the bride wears it.


Black is used to show formality and sophistication. Black wedding dresses are capable of giving the impression of being sophisticated and formal all the while remaining elegant in style.


luxurious style black dress

Prestigious members of many past and current societies have usually been depicted in the sleek black clothing they wear. Black wedding dresses are also rarely made therefore unique and signify luxury, which is also a mark of prestige.


Black has recently been used as a sign of modernity. With the color being easy on the eyes and deemed minimalistic, black dresses have become the symbol of  modern society leaving past traditions behind and ushering a new era of wedding fashion.


In some cultures, black is a significant color for occasions such as weddings. For example, in Spain, wearing a black wedding dress symbolizes the bride’s vow of loving her groom until their death.


With it being a neutral color, black can also be paired up with any color without disrupting the main color’s overall theme and atmosphere. A black dress is also quite practical since a black dress can be worn for a multitude of occasions other than the wedding itself.

What’s the Black Wedding Dress Meaning?

woman black dress

In weddings, a black gown for the bride can symbolize her being of equal or greater stature than the groom. But as a color, black usually conveys emotions of sorrow and melancholy which is however not always the case. It can also represent emotions of empowerment and strength.


Notorious for being a color of mystery, black wedding dresses live up to the expectation. Even though being such a covert style, they still are quite eye-catching and leave people intrigued, furthering their attention towards the bride.


It is up to the bride to choose her own individual style and express this personality on her own wedding. From goths, to rock and roll, and many other cultural and social influences, all of which can be better expressed in their own themed black wedding dress.


Black dresses are worn to empower women in breaking traditional marriage norms. Wearing a black dress means the bride does not want to conform with conventional marriage traditions and has the power to defy and goes against the status quo.


The color black can also be worn as a sign of protest or opposition towards aspects of the marriage. This disagreement can be shown by the bride wearing a black dress to represent her contempt.

Usually being the color for death and mourning, a black wedding dress can also  symbolize the bride’s grief caused by the loss of her freedom caused by the marriage.

Final Thoughts

Black wedding dresses give off an impression of sophistication and luxury all while retaining the bride’s freedom to express her own individuality during one of the most important moments of her life. In light of modernity, wearing black for their wedding to defy traditional norms just might be what women are looking for in order to make a statement for themselves.