What black brides really want to wear on their big day!

Wedding dress designer Cynthia Grafton-Holt of Oui Madam Bridal Atelier gives a firsthand view of the wedding styles favoured by black brides


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It goes without saying – writing as a bridal gown designer – that every black bride goes all out to slay on her wedding day.  After all, this is her chance to shine, her spotlight moment, and nobody and nothing is going to get in her way.

I personally, love the enthusiasm, energy, passion and creativity that she brings to the process; together with her knowledge of fashion and trends – particularly celebrity trends.  I think that historically, where culture has taught us to embrace and value “love above all things” – together with the institution of [/four_fifth_last]marriage, her approach to strong friendships and partners who affirm the black woman, is to celebrate the occasion and the day with gratitude and style.

Trumpet mermaid dress

A strong favourite wedding dress style among black brides, is the trumpet mermaid dress – with lots of inspiration from old Hollywood divas like Josephine Baker and jazz singer Billy Holiday. It is without doubt one of the sexiest silhouettes to flatter and celebrate the curves of the female body, whether she’s a size 8 or 18.

Gold lurex and feathers

Favourite fabrics among black brides, especially my African brides, tends to be contemporary 3D laces and tulles, embellished with beadwork, feathers, crystals, rhinestones and diamanté.

Princess ballgown with detachable train

Black brides do vary hugely when it comes to taste and diversity, but one thing they all have in common, is their love of ‘WoW’ factor dresses. Her dress must make a statement… it has to be up there with red carpet dressing – whatever her preferences. For some brides, it is the ‘understated wow’, with a tendency for more classic styles such as the princess ballgown, column or A-line, with elaborate trains that are often removable, allowing them to change up their style for the evening without changing dresses.

Illusion bodice with sleeve detailing

Popular shifting trends for 2019 and 2020 bridalwear is the return to voluminous billowing sleeves, power shoulders, illusion low back dresses and lots of sleeve detailing to imitate the tattooed sleeve.

Dresses by Oui Madam Bridal Atelier – www.ouimadam.com
Facebook – OuiMadamBridal
Instagram – OuiMadam1
Illusion bodices – Yinka Alli
Photography CC – jessypapasavvaphotography.com


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  2. by Juanita Williams on 09/08/2020  6:52 AM Reply

    I was fortunate enough to wear a bespoke silk gown designed by Cynthia. She later altered it for me to wear again. She knew exactly what would suit my shape, size and style, I felt a million dollars! And I'm blessed to call her a friend. Biased? Absolutely!

  3. by Matilda Boakye on 18/07/2019  2:53 PM Reply

    Love the bridal look. Very simple yet gorgeous!

  4. by Shirley Arthurs on 24/03/2019  6:33 AM Reply

    Amazing bridal wear, simply gorgeous

  5. by Yvonne Rose on 23/03/2019  5:40 PM Reply

    Great article, Cynthia. I truly appreciate your uniqueness and passion for what you do; it definitely resonates in your pieces as well as your words. This article is long overdue.... I am truly anxious to see what else you have in store for us. Keep it coming!!! What if someone lives in the US, can you assist?

    • by Cynthia on 29/06/2019  2:33 PM Reply

      Hi Yvonne, thank you so much for your lovely comments. I have brides from all over the world who either drop in to see me when in London or, the UK. Equally, I would be more than happy to drop in on brides across the pond...
      Kindest regards

  6. by Yvonne Rose on 23/03/2019  5:33 PM Reply

    Great article, Cynthia. This is truly long overdue and much needed at this time. I truly appreciate your uniqueness and attention to detail; It’s the little things that matter the most. I am eager to see more from you.

  7. by Natasha Grant on 20/03/2019  6:48 AM Reply

    It's so great to read this helpful advice and see the range of beautiful dress styles that are available for black brides. Thank you.

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