• 08/19/2022

Gothic Glamour With Dark Wedding Themes (2023)

Dark Wedding Themes

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Weddings have a distinct look and feel. Everyone knows to expect a bride in a white dress, a three-tiered white cake and lots of pretty pastel flowers everywhere. Brides who prefer dark wedding themes can confidently overcome traditional wedding planning ideas and use these tips to create the perfect big day.

What Are Dark Wedding Themes?

Dark wedding themes throw out the idea of a white dress and soft colors. They’re bold events with striking color palettes that guests will rarely see anywhere else.

These weddings are best for brides who don’t want to align with ceremonial traditions or expected bridal styles. They would otherwise clash with your personality on the day that’s supposed to showcase who you are. Embrace your love for darker colors and look into the following tips to start planning your big day.

Two bridesmaids in dark red dresses hold sparklers.

If you want a dark and moody wedding, here are some perfect theme ideas:


For a gothic wedding theme, go all out with black elements. Think vampire-inspired looks and haunting decor. Really lean into the “Til death do us part” line in your vows with a dark gothic wedding theme.

A black wedding gown will really make a statement, but if you still want the traditional white, go for lace and black accessories. For decor, candlesticks, lace table settings and dried flowers will set the tone for a haunting affair.


You don’t have to hold your ceremony at midnight to channel the vibe. However, a midnight photoshoot with your partner will be unforgettable.

Choose deep navy tones for bridesmaid and groomsmen attire for a midnight-themed wedding. Star and moon-inspired decor, like a twinkle light backdrop, will give your venue an enchanting atmosphere.

Vintage Noir

Travel back in time with a Vintage Noir theme, drawing inspiration from the glamor of the 1920s and film noir. Go for a black and white color palate with touches of gold or silver. Incorporate vintage details like art deco patterns, antique candelabras and Gatsby-style accessories. Think about a classic black and white wedding cake and encourage guests to stick to a vintage dress code.


Combine the industrial elegance of steampunk with a dark aesthetic. Add metallic elements like copper and brass alongside dark colors like brown and black. Think Victorian-inspired attire with a steampunk twist, gears and cogs as decor elements and vintage keys as wedding favors. Create an atmosphere that fuses the mysterious with the mechanical for wedding that’s both edgy and elegant.

Masquerade Ball

Create an air of mystery and sophistication with a Masquerade Ball theme. Deep purples, blacks and golds set the tone for an elegant evening. Encourage guests to wear masks and provide an assortment of masks as wedding favors. Incorporate dramatic drapery and candlelight. A grand entrance with a mask-covered arch and a masked ballroom dance can be a unique wedding theme.

Dark Academia

If you loved this fashion trend, draw inspiration from it in your wedding. Dark academic refers to collegiate-inspired elements in a dark color scheme, like browns, navies and deep greens.

Dark brown suits, forest green florals and book-themed decor are perfect for this aesthetic.

Enchanted Forest

If you’re planning an outdoor wedding, a forested location works well for a dark vibe. Pine trees serve as a beautiful backdrop for a dark earthy color scheme.

Decorate your space with soft, moody lighting, wildflowers and natural elements like wood or stone.

What Are Your Color Options?

Picking wedding colors is one of the most flexible parts of the planning process. You might already be in love with a theme that invokes a fun carnival atmosphere or a winter daydream vibe. Keep your initial idea and merge it with dark wedding colors like:

  • Black
  • Gray
  • Deep purple
  • Blood red
  • Midnight navy

You’ll find almost anything for a wedding in your specific color palette, so don’t be afraid to go bold with your shades. You could sit with local artists to craft what you need or find deals online when it’s time to order supplies.

An engagement ring and wedding band sit in a bouquet of dark wedding flowers.

What Will Be Your Decor?

Flowers come in all colors, so you don’t have to sacrifice your favorite floral hairstyle just to keep your wedding theme intact. The same goes for tablecloths, candles and anything else you need for your venue.

You can also dive into your dark wedding theme by drawing inspiration from skull shapes, animal prints, Lovecraftian imagery or your favorite horror media like Tim Burton’s work. Use your colors to personalize your wedding more than any other ceremony.

How Does Theme Affect Menu Choices?

Your reception food doesn’t have to match the rest of your wedding visually, but it can if you want a cohesive theme. Look into foods that are naturally black or showcase your chosen colors, like:

  • Blackberries
  • Caviar
  • Black potatoes
  • Black spaghetti
  • Chia seeds
  • Chocolate
A slice of chocolate cake with blackberries on top sits next to a bowl of strawberries.

You could even serve a brownie cake creation but swap the milk chocolate with black cocoa for a more dramatic appearance. No matter which dark foods make your reception menu, don’t forget — they have to please your guests’ tastebuds even more than your photographer.

Your loved ones may not enjoy the flavor or texture of the dark mushrooms imported from overseas for your salads. Their kids may also throw fits if they have to sit down to any foods they don’t recognize. The easiest way to merge your wedding vision with a popular menu is to work with a caterer who knows how to do both.

Elevate the menu even further by crafting signature cocktails or mocktails that blend with your chosen aesthetic. Serve drinks like a “Blackberry Elixir,” a concoction of muddled blackberries, elderflower liqueur and a splash of champagne. Or perhaps a “Galaxy Mule” with activated charcoal, ginger beer and a twist of lime.

Additionally, transport your guests to the roaring twenties with a classic “Dark Manhattan.” This cocktail, featuring bourbon, sweet vermouth and a dash of black cherry syrup, exudes old-world glamour with a modern twist.

Browse Dark Wedding Theme Ideas

Many brides plan traditional ceremonies and wear white dresses, but you aren’t alone if you’re more interested in dark wedding themes. Think about these aspects of your wedding planning process to find the best colors, decor and food for your big day.

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