How to Create a Modern Black Wedding Theme

Focus on these 10 elements to achieve a black wedding theme that puts a twist on the classic color in favor of something a bit more bold and dramatic.

By The Zola Team

How to Create a Modern Black Wedding Theme
Photo by Zola

While a black and white color scheme has always been a timeless choice, the all-black celebration has been gaining steam for brides who aren’t afraid to shy away from the dark side. A black wedding theme puts a twist on the classic color combo in favor of something a bit more bold and dramatic. We are all in favor of this trend and think it will stick around for a long, long time. After all, it transcends all seasons and a variety of styles and is fairly easy to execute.

As with any wedding color scheme, though, it’s important to utilize more than one hue to create contrast and dimension. You can still stay true to your modern black theme and incorporate touches of gold, silver, gray, or white (or all of the above). Pick and choose a few elements you want to truly stand out and dress them in black. Then, complement them with harmonious tones throughout. If you do this, your vision will come together seamlessly and stylishly.

Focus on these 10 elements to create a modern black wedding theme that wows.

Stationery

It all starts with stationery. You’ll have no problem finding a stationery suite to suit a modern black wedding theme. First, settle on the font. Simply decide whether you’d like your names in calligraphy or serif, either of which will look modern and sophisticated in the color palette.

Second, pick the backdrop. Do you prefer the traditional look of black type on white paper or the more modern feel of black paper and metallic foil type? If you can’t make up your mind, have fun with the assortment, and send out a white paper wedding invitation with a black paper response card. Whichever font or style you select, be sure to continue it into your wedding day paper goods—menus, programs, and signage—to ensure the overall look is uniform.

Wedding Party Attire

This is the easy part. Dress your bridesmaids and groomsmen in black to achieve a sleek look for your ceremony lineup and eye-catching wedding party photos. Everyone looks good in black, so your best guys and gals will feel confident and comfortable in the attire. But don’t stop there: Encourage your guests to come dressed in black for a truly dramatic look.

If an all-black wedding party feels a bit too dark for your taste, consider putting some bridesmaids in shades of gray or charcoal to add dimension without taking away from the theme. You can also brighten up the groomsmen’s tuxedos with white shirts and pocket squares or colored ties.

If you really want to shake up the mold, consider wearing black yourself and dressing your wedding party in white. Nowadays, there’s an array of black bridal gowns to choose from that are just as jaw-dropping as their white counterparts.

Seating

Want to make a bold statement in your color of choice? Opt for black ceremony and reception chairs to transform any wedding venue into the moody space for your black wedding. If swapping out chairs isn’t in the budget, consider adding black fabric or slipcovers to existing wedding chairs to achieve a similar look.

You can also invest in black rental furniture, such as lounge chairs and loveseats, for the cocktail hour. The plush seating not only offers an inviting resting spot for older guests, but also sets the mood in a space that doesn’t typically feature much decoration.

Signage

Signage is the first thing guests see when they enter each segment of your venue. From the moment they arrive at the ceremony to the moment they find their seat at the wedding reception, signage should catch the guests’ attention.

Black signage will pop against any backdrop and make a statement at every turn. There are so many iterations of black signs to choose from, and all will give you the modern look you’re going for. A few new and exciting trends include smoky black lucite, thin white calligraphy on black fabric, neon lettering on black plexiglass, white signage framed in black, or block lettering on a blackboard. You can’t go wrong with any of these modern looks.

How to Create a Modern Black Wedding Theme Photo Credit // Victoria Rayburn Photography

Linens

For a modern black wedding theme, you have a couple of options when it comes to linens, the most dramatic of which is dressing every table in a black tablecloth. This choice instantly turns the room dark and moody for a look that’s undeniably striking. If your style is brighter, consider reversing the look and going with white tablecloths instead. Add black napkins, serveware, and table decor to achieve a lighter look without sacrificing the mood. In this case, black chairs will also help tie in the theme.

If you fall somewhere in between dark and moody and light and bright, you can opt for printed table linens. A printed linen in black and gray or black and white will not only break up the space, but will also allow you to show off your style. Think: floral, toile, lace, you name it.

The texture of the linen can also make all the difference in the look of it. Choose from sequins or velvet for an ultra-luxe feel or between tulle and silk for a romantic aura.

Dishes

Selecting dishware may help you decide on linens or vice versa. If you choose white or printed linens, matte black flatware and dishware is a sure way to make your table stand out from the crowd. Even if you decide on black tablecloths, though, you can incorporate black dishes by adding a contrasting charger plate beneath them. Whether you choose black or white plates (or a combination of the two!), metallic flatware and glassware will give each place setting a modern finishing touch.

Florals

If you want to incorporate black florals, poppies, with their black centers, are a great option. It’s also easy to come by flowers and foliage that are spray painted black. While an entire bouquet or centerpiece made up of spray painted varietals may come off unnatural, they can serve as beautiful accent florals to the rest of your arrangements.

Because there aren’t many naturally-occurring black flowers, this may be an area where you incorporate other complementary colors into your wedding. White or neutral wedding flowers and greenery won’t detract from the otherwise black elements, but instead, make them pop. Or, stick to darker tones like deep purple and burgundy for dynamic arrangements that will match a moody atmosphere.

To keep with your color palette, ask your florist to tie off bouquets with black ribbon and use black vases or a combination of black and white and metal vases. With these finishing touches, any arrangements, no matter the color combo, will stay on theme.

Table Decor

There are so many wedding table decoration ideas to tie this theme together. The rule of thumb for table decor at a modern wedding is less is more. However, when having a black-hued wedding, it’s necessary to include a few elements on each table to help break up the monochrome. The essentials include florals, table numbers, and candles. To keep in step with the modern theme, opt for clean lines or simple geometric shapes when selecting vases, votives, and placards.

As we mentioned above, you can execute on your color palette with black linens and dishes, so beware of choosing too many black items to go on the table. Instead, balance them with metallic and/or white decor. The exception? Black candles. They are a sure way to add ambiance to any tabletop, and will truly bring the theme home.

How to Create a Modern Black Wedding Theme Photo Credit // Cabel Noteboom Photography

Draping

Yards of black fabric will transform any space into the optimal venue for a black wedding. Drape just the doors in black fabric for a grand entrance, or embrace floor-to-ceiling draping to transport guests to another place. Just remember: fabric draping will significantly darken the room, so be sure to line the tables in candlelight or add twinkle lights overhead. The combination will create an atmosphere that is both dramatic and romantic.

The Wedding Cake

End the night on a sweet note that stands out. For drama, opt for a three- or four-tiered masterpiece covered in black fondant or frosting. It will look chic and sophisticated as is, but we’ve also seen cake bakers dress up black cakes with printed tiers and florals, too.

If cake isn’t your cup of tea, you can have plenty of fun getting creative with other black deserts. Think a candy bar of assorted black-and-white candies, dark chocolate-dipped strawberries, black-and-white cookies… the list goes on.

With these tips, we hope you’re ready to skillfully select the elements of your wedding day you want to see in black and complement them accordingly. When all is said and done, your modern black wedding will not only be beautiful, but also on-trend and timeless.

Simplify Your Wedding Planning at Zola