When people talk about wedding ideas and motifs, black seldom makes the shortlist. Many modern brides looking for new ideas, however, are starting to notice photos of black-and-white wedding cakes, decorative tokens made with dark, matte foil, and tables with black lace runners and placemats online.

Although black as a wedding color motif is unconventional, numerous photos on Pinterest and Instagram show that it can make a wedding look classy, refined, and memorable.

Those from bridal couture say the trend started in 2012 when Vera Wang first unveiled all-black wedding gowns in her autumn 2012 bridal collection. Regardless of its origin, using black accents at weddings is clearly gaining momentum.

Black in Wedding Couture

During the 2017 New York Fashion Week, one of the more noticeable trends was the inclusion of black fabrics and details in wedding gowns. Bridal collections by Marchesa, Reem Acra, Elizabeth Filmore, and Carolina Herrera all featured traditional white gowns with black ribbons, ruffles, gloves, beads, and other accents.

The following are some of the common black accents used in their wedding gowns:

  • Bows – From large, statement satin bows to flowing, long-tailed ribbons, these black accents became popular last year
  • Piping – Thin, black piping emphasizes the cut and lines of wedding gowns. They’re also a stark contrast when used as lining for skirt ruffles
  • Tulle and Lace – These two take the cake as far as wedding dress accents go. Depending on how they are handled, black tulle or lace overlay on white tulle can look frothy and ethereal or totally edgy

White and ivory will remain the standard, but it’s clear that brides today are considering adding color, not only to their gowns but also in other aspects of their wedding.

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Black in Wedding Decor

The darkest hue in the color wheel seems out-of-place in a wedding, but stylists have proven skeptics wrong. Photos of receptions featuring a black motif circulate in Pinterest and Instagram, and they show that combining black works really well in indoor or outdoor settings.

Black chairs and tables may be paired with white plate sets, placeholders, candles, and table napkins. It could also be the other way around: white chairs and tables with black dinnerware and table accents. Colorful flowers can add extra splashes of color to this black-and-white palette.

It bears mentioning that the black motif is better-suited for intimate weddings. Going mostly black and/or white in a vast ballroom could be boring whereas in a smaller setting, like a barn wedding or restaurant reception, it’s easier to manage the black, so it’s neither overwhelming nor underutilized.

In intimate wedding receptions, stylists can add tiny details that everyone can appreciate, like special tokens that belong to the couple and arts and crafts that their children or younger siblings and relatives made.

Themes that Match Black Color Motif

Couples who want a themed wedding can also incorporate black into their styling. Here are examples of wedding themes that make black a sensible color choice:

  • 1920s or the Flapper Era
  • Old Hollywood Glam
  • Rock ‘n Roll
  • Ebony and Ivory

At the end of the day, it’s up to the bride and groom to decide if they’ll go traditional on all aspects of their wedding or explore alternative choices — even if it means choosing black as their color motif.