Advice from a bride who wore a black wedding dress

Guest post by Heather Pistulka
Photo by Heather Pistulka
Photo by Heather Pistulka

What made you decided on a black wedding dress?
I'd originally bought a white dress about a year before the wedding, but every time I tried it on I didn't feel like me and I was uncomfortable.

About three weeks before the wedding I was having breakfast with some friends explaining how I felt and I said “Why can't I wear a black dress?”

I wasn't really considering it but they said, “You can do whatever you want.”

black wedding dress by julia miren on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Black wedding dress by Julia Miren

That got me thinking, so I went to and found other brides in not only black but red, purple, and every other color imaginable.

Aww! Yay, I'm so glad I could help. Where did you find your black wedding dress?
My dress was actually a bridesmaid dress from David's Bridal but I took it to my dry cleaners and they added the lace up back where the zipper had been. I also found the sash at David's Bridal.

Did anyone try to talk to out of wearing a black wedding dress?
Actually, no. I was pretty surprised how supportive everyone was. These days people know that weddings are less and less traditional and that a wedding should absolutely reflect the couple. White was just not something I wear, and people just seemed excited about something different.

Black wedding dress on French Knot by Offbeat Bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Black wedding dress by French Knot

What was your husband's response?
It was a surprise, I let him keep believing that I was wearing white but he knew I was up to something, he was expecting black accents on a white dress or something like that. When I started walking down the aisle he said he was surprised momentarily but he loved the dress. I believe he uses the word “hot” to describe it. ;o)

What about your family?
When I told my mom she wasn't surprised she just said “Ok, I can see that.” When I told my mother-in-law I wasn't sure what to expect, she said “Heather, do people really wear black wedding dresses?” and I said sure and quoted everything I'd read on OBB. After that she was all for it. The thing is, everyone knows me and they know I love black but that I would still keep it elegant so no one was really worried — not even my more conservative friends.

goth wedding dress by sweetcarolinestyles on offbeat bride alternative wedding ideas from Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride)
Black wedding dress by Sweet Caroline Styles

Any advice for other brides considering a black wedding dress?
Do it! It was the best decision I made (other than marrying my husband) because I felt GOOD about myself and I felt LIKE myself so I was able to enjoy the day. Also, try to find a dress that still has that “bridal” feel. That way you won't feel like you're in a cocktail dress.

Want to tons of black wedding dress inspiration?

Check out our massive archive of real brides wearing black wedding dresses!

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Comments on Advice from a bride who wore a black wedding dress

  1. this is my dress too! i can’t wait to wear it, only 18 more days! that’s great that everyone around you was so supportive of being different. both our families are super conservative and everyone hates the idea (except my mom). i’m actually pretty sure my future mother in law hates me now. 😉

    gorgeous pictures!

  2. I thought that dress style looked familiar. I also had this dress from David’s in red (or apple as they call it). Can’t beat a wedding dress for under $200 and it was EXACTLY what I was looking for. I never thought that would be where I would end up getting my dress. But it was so perfect and COMFORTABLE and lovely.

  3. Forget the fact that it’s black, it’s freakin gorgeous! I’m such a fan of the bunched skirt look. Very cool.

  4. I feel exactly the same way she did! I ONLY wear black it’s what makes me feel attractive and comfortable. I was afraid that my mom was gonna die when she found out but suprisingly she supported it. I’m not just wearing black because I am a Halloween bride but because it is truely my shade!

  5. From someone who was at the wedding:

    Heather, you looked absolutely amazing! xoxoxox

  6. I had a similar situation with a white wedding dress. I kept thinking, “It’s NOT me…but it’s a wedding…but I don’t like it….but it’s a wedding…” and finally said, “To hell with it – it’s my wedding – I want red!”

    I wore the same DB dress in red, and I made a red and black sash to match. I think there were a few people at the wedding who were surprised, but everyone was very positive and pointed out that is was very “me.”

    Our photographer and our officiant both LOVED the dress. They both told us that it was awesome to be able to work with a couple that did things different.

    Heather – you look awesome!

  7. Yeah, I’m going through the same thing. I bought a dress at davids bridal the first time around, and didn’t like it and brought it back. Well it sucks because they only do exchanges equal or greater value! So i exchanged it for another dress… now I’m regretting getting this one, and now it’s discontinued. I don’t know what to do! my sweet fiance even designed me a wedding dress! Where would be a good place to sell a dress, or what would your suggest for me in this situation?

  8. “It was the best decision I made (other than marrying my husband) because I felt GOOD about myself and I felt LIKE myself so I was able to enjoy the day.” This is exactly how I felt in my black wedding dress!!

  9. My wedding dress is white mermaid with black embroidery & beading from head to toe. It sooooo me! My grandparents are going to roll their eyes but I’m in love with it & it is VERY me.

  10. hi i love your dress and im getting married in march wear can i get it i live in australia

  11. I was in the same situation… I started out with a white gown, then got a hold of a red wedding gown. But then wanted to wear my black with pink " prom " gown, so ended up wearing the red gown but wished I had wore the black gown simply because my red gown had a longer train than I thought to deal with at a simple park wedding. At least everyone that was there ( ten people showed up) said that I looked great anyway! I Loved your black gown it looks great ! Congrats …Did you get your gown at davidsbridal or at a local wedding shop ?

  12. Thank you!!!! Thank you so much for posting this! I have a dress in my closet for my February wedding and I hate it. I NEVER wear white – or other light colors for that matter. I just found a really retro and wonderful black lace cocktail dress that I fell in love with and this is totally giving me the reinforcement I need to go for it. I know my fiance will love whatever I wear (because he's just that awesome) and I'm sick of caring what my family thinks. They all think I'm odd anyway so I guess I shouldn't disappoint them 🙂

  13. thanks 🙂 i never thought of it that way. everyone tells me i should be wearing a white dress on my wedding day and it just gets so aggervating because MY wedding should be exactly as its said MY wedding. so i finally told my family that im gonna wear black and red because thats what i like to wear. and i found the perfect dress! thank you so much!

  14. You looked so great in that dress! I’m getting married for the second time around and he and I both agree, why should I wear white? Besides, we’re unique individuals. : ) I can’t wait to go find my dress, definitely going to skip on the white. Congrats to you Heather!

  15. It was tradition to wear black silk in Spain:P and in Asian countries white is a mourning color so that is the same as wearing black over here. You wore white to symbolize being sad over leaving your family. When Queen Victoria wore white it was just a fashion statement and everybody copied her. I don’t see why it is such a big deal what color the dress is. Other wedding traditions are way older. Whether you want to wear a color for fashion or symbolism it should be your choice.

  16. My mum always wanted a black edwardian style wedding dress and 30 years later she still talks about it and how much she regretted being made to wear white instead.

    The upside of this is I always knew she’d support me wearing what I wanted. I was actually suprised when I didn’t go for a black dress (although midnight blue isn’t far off) because most of what I own is black and I think it’s a wonderful colour.

    I want to encorage a new tradition where everyone gets married in their favourite colour!

  17. this has REALLY helped me. i am 5 weeks from my wedding and in the exact same situation. i bought a (cheap) white dress and i keep thinking why didnt i get a black dress? i always saw myself in a black wedding dress…. SO i just bought one and it arrives in three weeks!


  18. To me it looks like a bridesmaid dress maybe because I wore that exact dress for my friends wedding. But as long as she is happy that is all that matters. It’s her day not mine!

  19. I’m so glad more people are deciding to wear wedding dresses that feel like *them*. I’m getting married in six weeks and my dress is predominately black (you can see some champagne color through the black lace mesh underneath). I bought it at Neiman Marcus for a fraction of the price I would have spent on a traditional white gown and it’s absolutely stunning. So far I’ve found the less “wedding” items you buy for your wedding, the cheaper it ends up being.

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