I was not surprised to read the trend of brides wearing black wedding dresses. After all, I’d worn a $200 off-the-shelf black floor number at my own ceremony in 1996. That was a year before “Sex and the City’s” Sarah Jessica Parker donned a dress. ruffled onyx ball gown at her New York celebration when she married Matthew Broderick.
Since weddings are back in full force after the coronavirus crisis forced the cancellation of indoor events, brides are making their own rules. And what rules is black.
“It’s our hottest trend,” said Laura McKeever, Pennsylvania-based public relations manager for David’s Bridal, America’s largest wedding dress chain, with 300 stores nationwide.
Hundreds of requests from brides prompted their merchandise team to turn their best-selling $999 white dresses — ball gowns, mermaids, sleek silhouettes — into black options as well, McKeever said. While they were only personalized, the style is so popular that they will hit stores soon so brides can try them on first.
“Fashion is a way to express your individuality and a wedding dress is no different. For women who have suffered losses during the pandemic and had to postpone their wedding, there is a feeling that they don’t want don’t wait. Now is the time. Life is too short,” McKeever said. “And they want their day to be the way they want it, wearing what’s most comfortable and beautiful. Aside from looking dramatic, chic and unexpected, black can be more flattering – and practical. If you’re spending a lot for a dress, you want to put it back.”
Small traders see the same thing.
“We’ve had about 15 calls for black dresses recently,” said Maria Valentina Talamo, who works at Pronovias, a luxury wedding draper on Manhattan’s Park Avenue, with dresses costing between $2,000 and $20,000.
THE CHANGE STARTED IN 2020
The change started with popular black dresses in 2020, she recalled.
“So many brides have had to postpone everything during the pandemic. Now they want to break tradition, stand out, be unique and make a statement.”
When I said “yes” all those moons ago, I definitely did.
After many painful breakups, I felt blessed to find my love for life. Yet, as a broke 35-year-old freelance writer who paid the bills while teaching, I had no money to waste on a white garment that I would only use once, let alone storage costs. and dry cleaning. The darker shade was less likely to smudge and also thin. Plus, as a loudmouth with two jobs and three brothers, I prided myself on being a tough-talking city guy. I banished the word “obey” from our vows and rejected the white dress which pushed back against archaic notions of feminine innocence, chastity, modesty and modesty.
It was Queen Victoria’s white silk and lace gown for her 1840 nuptials to Prince Albert that put milky gowns on the map for American brides, Rebecca Mead wrote in her 2003 New Yorker article ” You’re Getting Married: The Wal-Martization of the Bridal Enterprise.”
“Custom from time immemorial has chosen white as an appropriate hue emblematic of the freshness and purity of youth,” asserted an 1849 article in Godey’s Lady’s Book, according to Marlise Schoeny, curator of Ohio. State University Historic Costume & Textiles. Collection. In “Why do brides wear white?” she explains that “a grand, traditional wedding with the bride wearing a princess-style white wedding dress has become a symbol of the American dream. From World War II through the late 20th century, the white dress symbolized prosperity, virginity and a lifetime commitment to a person.For most people today, these meanings have disappeared.
NOT EVERYONE APPLIED
In effect. My hilarious screenwriter husband laughed at my dark dress, but not everyone applauded my sartorial statement.
“If you don’t wear white to your wedding, then I am,” said my kind Jewish mother from Michigan. And she did.
After my wedding, I happily took my black wedding dress to a tailor to have it shortened. Still in my closet, I’ve worn it often over the years.
Not too long ago while surfing the channel I came across the TLC reality show “Say Yes to the Dress” and was happy to see a bride from Brooklyn in a sparkly black ballgown which sold for the incredible sum of $5,170. I was annoyed when she pivoted to a pale vintage. I felt the same way when Sarah Jessica Parker said she regretted wearing black, telling Martha Stewart Weddings she should have chosen a white taffeta or satin dress instead.
Then again, after announcing that I was walking down the aisle in Morticia Addams mode, my mother was hurt. She was orphaned without a mother at her own wedding, and I was her only child — so her only shot at the mother of the bride, she told Us. What she wanted was to have a second wedding in Michigan her own way – with her rabbi, her cantor, her chuppah and her Midwestern crowd, where I would put on a pearl-colored dress she had chosen for a evening. (It was later given to her best friend’s daughter, for good karma.)
After an emergency session with my shrink, I found myself in Michigan dressed in white. I said “yes” twice in two different cities to the same man, realizing that no matter what material I had, only that I was lucky to be surrounded by love.