“How about black?” my maid of honor said, as we discussed the color of my bridesmaid dresses during my Las Vegas wedding planning. “Everyone looks great in black,” she said.

“Are you kidding?” I said. “It’s going to be 106 degrees outside.”

“I’m not talking about wearing velvet or anything.” My maid of honor rolled her eyes.

“You think it wouldn’t be as hot if we chose a satin or a silk?”

How do you feel about black bridesmaid dresses?

“Yeah, we’ll pick something light. Besides the wedding ceremony is the only outside part, and that’s not too long. We’ll be inside and air-conditioned for the whole reception.”

“You know, we could get strapless gowns or spaghetti straps to be cooler outside,” I said. “This idea could work.”

“Sweet!” my maid of honor said. “I’ll take a look at the black gowns at some of the wedding dress stores in town.”

“Wait a sec,” I said. “Black is totally one of my favorite colors and all, but you think it’s appropriate for a wedding?”

“The boys will be in black suits.” She shrugged her shoulders.

“Yeah, but doesn’t black sound like a funeral color?” I said. “I mean, you wear a black dress when someone dies. Weddings are definitely on the opposite end of the emotional spectrum. I don’t want anyone thinking my bridesmaids are grieving me getting married.”

“Hmmm, good point,” my maid of honor said.

“It is a pretty color though.”

“Just let me try black dresses.” My maid of honor grinned. “I’ll send you the photos and if you don’t like them, we can get rid of them.”

I opted to be open-minded. After all, black is such a universal color with amazing slimming effects for every bridesmaid’s body type.

Myth #3: Black dresses are for funerals only.

View bridal and bridesmaid bouquets in Inspiration Avenue at Bridal Spectacular.

While black dresses at weddings have been traditionally taboo, this striking color certainly is appropriate for modern weddings. In fact, as I found out at my wedding, black bridesmaid dresses can provide a beautiful contrast to a bride’s white or ivory wedding gown. Also, black bridesmaid dresses blend exceptionally well with groomsmen’s black tuxedos. This structure forms a polished, elegant look for your wedding party, in person and in wedding photographs.

To make my bridesmaids’ black dresses less foreboding and more fun, I added a hint of color. First, I added light-colored sashes to the waists of the black gowns. Also, since it was during a summer month, I gave my bridesmaids vibrant bouquets, including hot pink and bright white flowers, that had ivory ribbons wrapped around the stems.

After reading bridal magazines, I’d also seen photographs of black gowns paired with colorful shoes for a flirty, fun touch that lightened the mood. Then, from chunky necklaces to bold wrist cuffs to dangling earrings, jewelry is also often used to add warmth while wearing black gowns. The gown’s length, fabric, and its straps (or lack thereof) can also lend itself to fit the occasion, from black tie to casual weddings.

Black is definitely a staple of modern wedding décor, and now it’s extended to bridesmaid dresses as well! If your family doesn’t mind a few nontraditional elements and your bridesmaids like this gown color, feel free to embrace black for your Las Vegas wedding’s bridesmaid dresses.

(Author: Allyson Siwajian © 2010)

(Photo Credit: first photo by Jamison Frady of Quiet Art Photography, following photo by Adam Frazier of Artistic Imaging © 2010)