Have you been looking through page after page of traditional white wedding dresses and been completely uninspired?
We completely understand. Wedding style is not only a celebration of love and marriage, but a reflection of your identity as a couple.
For alternative couples, a traditional wedding style might not cut it. Thankfully, the market for gorgeous, one-of-a-kind alternative gowns — including gothic wedding dresses – has never been as popular as it is right now.
In this article, we’ll dive into the fantastic world of gothic wedding dresses and accessories, including a roundup of our favorite gowns and must-have accessories. Need some venue ideas to make your gothic fairytale come to life? We’ve got a few of those too!
Come to the hauntingly beautiful side as we guide you through the gothic wedding style.
Why Choose a Gothic Wedding Dress?
Maybe you’re a little unsure about making such a profound wedding statement. Perhaps you might be afraid that your themed wedding seems kitschy to guests. Banish those fears once and for all! There are several great reasons to have the gothic wedding of your dreams. In addition, there are tons of locations where your gothic originality will look its best.
Celebrate Your Personal Style
If you stick to a cookie-cutter wedding plan, there’s a significant chance you and your guests will be underwhelmed. The best and most memorable weddings are a celebration of the couple’s style and personalities.
Your wedding celebration should say something about you as a couple. Give your guests a chance to celebrate the authentic you by choosing a wedding dress and theme you love. Plus, it gives them a chance to have a little fun with their wedding attire as well!
Perfect For Certain Times of the Year
Is your wedding date in the fall, when brilliant orange and red leaves litter the ground? Or, perhaps your nuptials will be held in the dead of winter, when the gnarled branches are bare and nature is waiting to come to life again.
Both these seasons are the perfect backdrop for a romantic and slightly eerie Gothic wedding. Don’t even get us started on October weddings. Your guests will fall head over heels for a Gothic-themed wedding around Halloween!
Venues Made For Gothic Weddings
Contrary to popular belief, there are many unique wedding venues that are accentuated perfectly by gothic weddings. Imagine sweeping down a spiral staircase in a castle in your gothic wedding dress, or saying your vows in the hushed parlor of a plantation home.
Here are some of our favorite venues for gothic weddings:
- Historical Plantation Homes
- Castles and Manors
- Cemeteries, especially with sprawling crypts and mausoleums
- Outdoor venues in Fall and Winter
- Urban-Industrial Settings (think warehouses, old brick buildings)
Style Elements of a Gothic Wedding Dress
Gothic wedding dresses come in a variety of materials, cuts, and styles. You aren’t limited to looking like Morticia Adams! Some of the most stunning dresses created can even be in white.
One of the most wonderful parts of this theme is that there are tons of ways to express your gothic style. There are several haute-couture designers that play with unusual accents, color schemes, and concepts to deliver a gorgeous gothic bridal gown.
Here are the most common and iconic style elements to look out for:
- Unusual Materials – An alternative wedding dress calls for alternative style! Many gothic wedding dressmakers use romantic materials such as velvet, black lace, and draping bead work to evoke an old-world romance. You’ll also see occasional macabre accents like crow feathers, along with bird or small mammal skulls and bones.
- Rich Colors – Gothic style isn’t all about black, but it doesn’t incorporate neons and bright colors like some punk and steampunk dress styles might. It tends to pull from older periods of dress such as the Victorian period and accentuates this with velvety blacks, jewel tones like ruby red, emerald green and sapphire blue and delicate ivory.
- Varied Silhouettes – Although Gothic style can be evoked from many silhouettes, most often you’ll see variations on tight corsetry or empire waists. Sleeves are varied as well, ranging from form-fitting lace or solids from neck to wrist, or romantic, billowing swathes of material that can even reach the floor!
Completing Your Gothic Look: Accessorize
The enchanting drama of your gothic bridal gown isn’t complete without the right accessories and styling! Here are our favorite gothic wedding accessories and veils for you to try.
Gothic Wedding Veil
The wedding veil is an incredible opportunity to evoke your mysterious style. Black lace is prevalent in gothic wedding veils, as are show-stopping visor veils, blushers and masquerade masks. Roses, black feathers, and jewel ornaments are the perfect accents to your otherworldly look as well. These are some of our favorites.
Black Bridal Veil
Black Lace Bridal Veil
Gothic Wedding Accessories
Dramatic choker necklaces made with lace and beading, cascade earrings dripping with jewels, cuffs and finger-less gloves. These are all sumptuous and elegant accessories to consider when planning your gothic wedding attire.
Gothic Choker Necklace
Black Bridal Cape
Shoulder Necklace Link
Gothic Bridal Bouquet
8 Fatally Attractive Gothic Wedding Dresses
Not all goths are made alike. In fact there are quite a few different styles to choose from. We’ve rounded up 8 beautiful gowns fit for the Romantic Goths, Victorian Goths, Steampunk Goths, as well as the brides who are goths but need to tone it down to make grandma happy!
Romantic Gothic Wedding Dress
When it comes to romance, it’s all about the lace! Romantic goths absolutely love lace and are known for sporting elegant lacey dresses, including long flowing gowns, corsets and frock coats. The key take away though is flowing. The more a gown can swirl, the better. Although the go-to color for romantic goths is black, it isn’t uncommon to see additional hues of deep reds, purple, orange, blue and green to the ensemble.
As for accessories, they tend to accessorise with black or deep colored jewelry and lace chokers. Goths tend to focus beauty and dark things in life, roses, both red, purple and black, are a common motif found on bracelets, necklaces or even in the hair. Romantic goths do sometimes look to Victorian goth for influence when they accessorise.
1. Black Wedding Dress with Tulle Skirt
Having deep blue and black hughs to the tulle the gown is appropriately named “Twilight.” Although there is no lace on this gown, the flowiness and romantic factors are definitely high!
2. Offbeat Black Wedding Dress
Move over Elvira, there is a new modern Mistress of Darkness in town.
Gothic or not, this gown has romance written all over it. Although not necessarily flowy, it checks off all the boxes for being black, dramatic, and having loads of gorgeous lace.
3. Black Lace Wedding Dress with Tiered Horsehair
This White by Vera Wang gown oozes romance with it gorgeous black lace skirt and its’ light layers of tulle, sheer organza and chantilly lace. The gown is perfect for a modern fashion-forward bride or a Romantic Goth at heart!
4. Black Wedding Dress with Bright Ombre Colors
For the Romantic goth who wants to add a bit of color to their ensemble, this stunning black ombre chiffon gown will most certainly fit the bill.
Victorian Gothic Wedding Dress
When it comes to the Victorian goth, its all about the refined Victorian era. Victorian goths like black and symbols of the occult, however unlike other goths they are drawn to the ideas of a high society lifestyle, surrounding themselves with theater, tea parties, masquerades, literature and poetry.
If you are going to be a Victorian goth bride, you will want to incorporate the following to your ensemble; ruffles, bustle skirts, parasols, lace gloves and maybe even a top hat. Complete your look by heading to the local antique market to look for gem-encrusted jewels, chokers or skeleton-shaped lockets.
5. Victorian Goth Bridal Gown
This Victorian style mermaid gown with cream silk and black detailing will emulate a high society lady to perfection. The artistic gathering of the lace bustle in the back is sure to make a statement. And we love that the corset is designed to give the wearer a soft silhouette and not meant for dramatic shaping. Meaning you can achieve the perfect Victorian shape with the cinch but still breath during your big day.
Steampunk Gothic Wedding Dress
When it comes to Steampunk (we’ve written about dress styles here before) remember the style is inspired by tech and exploration, entwined with Victorian era and a sci-fi twist. Brides should try and incorporate a gown with a corset, a frilly skirt, and perhaps a parasols for the day of. Look for gowns that include strappy belts in colors of gold, brass and brown. When it comes to accessorising, the more the merrier. Look for antique keys and gem encrusted brass earrings.
6. Steampunk Goth Red Wedding Dress
This opulent red and black taffeta Steampunk inspired ball gown is a great example of what one could wear for their wedding day. It has Victorian flare with its frilly skirt including corset with touches of Steampunk style with the buckle front.
Gothic Black and White Wedding Dresses
Now perhaps your personal style is Gothic, but you know grandma might have heart failure if you walk down the aisle in anything other than white. I am all for doing what you want on your wedding day, but if it is going to be a bone of contention, maybe meet halfway with a tradition gown that incorporates tasteful black Gothic touches. Here are a couple of dresses to inspire you.
7. White Wedding Dress with Black Lace
8. Black and White Non-Traditional Bridal Gown
We hope we’ve inspired you to take a look at daring dark dresses from various gothic styles. Whatever dress you choose, we know you will look absolutely fabulous on your wedding day!!