• Blackbird

I love black. I wear black all day, every day. It means that all your clothes look fantastic together, so there's no guilt when splashing out on a wear-one-time item. Black also pulls you together, and brings an air of maturity and dangerous sensuality to girly things. Maybe it's my inner thirteen-year-old goth trying to get back out, but I've been looking at all-black themes lately, and I'm mesmerised!

So, is it really possible to have an all-black wedding without guests feeling like they're partying the night away in Dracula's castle? I'm warming up the darkness with a palette that strays from a sleek monochromatic spread, and in fact doesn't include much white at all. Gold, champagne and warm nude set off the black in a way that's welcoming, bright and elegant. 
Touches of soft colour can be anywhere - gilded glasses, napkins and candles on a black table cloth will soften its effect. 

This theme is chic. Save it for a lush boutique hotel, or create a delightfully fresh and intimate atmosphere by hosting the wedding in somebody's home. Black and gold benefit from a cosy setting with plenty of light, and keeping things small will prevent your wedding from feeling too cold.

Chalkboards and black paper are an ever-popular choice for the order of events, seating plan, or just for beautiful decorative quotes; why not make them extra special with metallic paint? Spray the frames gold for a perfect finishing touch.

The dress: prepare yourself. White or ivory is an ancient tradition, and despite the times having very firmly moved on, a majority of guests will still expect you to walk down the aisle looking, ahem, virginal. Some of us just don't feel that way! You should be wearing whatever makes you feel comfortable, and if you're just not up to wearing something as simple as an age-old tradition, then break the boundaries and slip into a black dress.

For this theme, I actually picked out a few dresses that were even more unusual than head-to-toe black. Soft netting can reveal a multitude of complimentary shades, such as the nude skirts on these. A touch more feminine, these can help instill confidence if you're worried about the opinions of others (even though you should absolutely be ignoring most as long as you're happy!). Interestingly enough, black is commonplace for the groom, and a light gold or champagne jacket may be a welcome change. These dresses would be at harmony with his choice.

Be aware of your fabric and cut - lace is beautiful in black, but too much and your look could be a little too Neo-Victorian, and unless it's a Steampunk wedding, probably best to avoid these elements in your dress in order to stray away from the austere and keep it opulent. Asymmetric or strapless styles, rather than full sleeves, steer a black dress away from visions of funeral parlours.

Bridesmaids also have the opportunity to look especially classy in a nude or oyster dress with black details.

A final detail... the cake. You might have been waiting for this, thinking, surely not a black cake?! Well, yes! It's possible to have a cake as black as the night sky and have it still look appetising. Who doesn't love a Brooklyn blackout cake? In fact, any flourless chocolate cake will provide you with a dark, dense slice, and black or rich brown buttercream, finished with dark forest fruits, will create a memorable display. I also love the idea of gold leaf to add a hint of glamour to an otherwise rather robust and rustic cake.

I hope you've been inspired by this theme - researching certainly enthralled me. You could say that I've definitely been tempted by the dark side. It's a contemporary theme with the opportunity for lots of exciting details, so if you're thinking of going back to black, make sure you're prepared to be creative. For both the naughty and the nice, a black wedding means more chic than Satanic these days, so get busy!


Hannah Elizabeth

(No photos are mine unless otherwise stated.)

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