45 Black-and-White Wedding Ideas to Help You Pull Off the Classic Palette

No pairing is more chic than black and white.
Hannah Nowack The Knot Weddings Editor
by Hannah Nowack
Hannah Nowack The Knot Weddings Editor
Hannah Nowack
Editor, Real Weddings
  • Hannah writes and edits articles for The Knot Worldwide, with a focus on real wedding coverage.
  • Hannah oversees engagement content on The Knot's partner brand How They Asked.
  • Prior to The Knot Worldwide, Hannah was the Social Media Editor at Martha Stewart Weddings.
Updated Nov 04, 2021

Black and white are a timeless pairing that would fit in seamlessly with just about any theme, wedding venue or aesthetic. From a tented vineyard destination wedding with white draping and black bentwood chairs to an uber-luxe rooftop event with a custom black-and-dance floor and black acrylic signage, the classic wedding color coupling is one no to-be-wed should overlook while sourcing wedding inspiration.

With minimal color palettes, it can be easy to feel worried the event may end up flat and one-note. That is why we're sharing must-know advice and plenty of inspiration to demonstrate how to effectively pull off a black-and-white wedding everyone will be talking about even after the big day is long since past. As you get to work planning all your wedding details alongside your wedding vendors, from fashion and florals to stationery and desserts, keep these black-and-white wedding ideas nearby to inspire your fresh, of-the-moment nuptials.

In this story:

Black-and-White Wedding Attire Ideas

While a black-tie dress code clearly lends itself well to a black-and-white wedding, the color palette can work with attire at any formality level, from glam formal weddings to casual DIY rustic weddings and everything in-between. From patterned black-and-white wedding dresses to all-black wedding gowns or even bridesmaid dresses and mother-of-the-bride dresses, that are black, white, or some shade of grey, monochrome attire is sure to look chic. Beyond white-and-black color palettes, many couples have started dressing their wedding parties, and asking all their attendees, to stick to certain color palettes so the wedding photos look cohesive. Since you've spent so much time investing in on-palette florals and decorations, it's a no-brainer to also keep everyone's attire on-palette.

What to Wear to a Black and White Wedding

As a guest, you may feel timid about being asked to wear white or black to a wedding. After all, wedding white is generally known to be off-limits, and until recently many considered black a wedding style no-no as well. However, if the to-be-weds handling the wedding planning ask you to dress in line with their white-and-black color scheme, go for it!

1. Wedding Party in Black Bridesmaid Dresses

For this wedding in Connecticut, the bride wore white but outfit her attendants in black dresses.

2. Black Groomsmen Tuxes and Black Bridesmaid Dresses

The entire wedding party at this Chicago wedding was dressed in formal black attire.

3. Groom Wearing Black-and-White Tuxedo With Gray Watch

This Texas groom's tuxedo was mostly white but featured a dramatic contrasting black shawl collar.

4. White Flower Girl Dress and Black Flower Girl Basket

As a contrast to her white flower girl dress, this young attendant carried a woven black basket filled with flower petals.

5. White Bridesmaid Getting-Ready Robes

When it comes to wedding day attire, don't overlook the getting-ready outfits.

6. Black Bridesmaid Dresses for Beach Wedding

These attendants are proof that a black-and-white wedding theme even works for a beach wedding.

7. Bride in Black Jumpsuit With Bride in White Wedding Dress

This couple split the black-and-white color palette between the two of them—one to-be-wed donned white while the other rocked black.

8. Groom in Black-and-White Tux With Bride in Black Wedding Dress

Both of these to-be-weds were dressed to the nines—the bride slipped on a dramatic black wedding dress while the groom sported a tuxedo with ornate detailing.

9. Black-and-White Wedding Heels

Even this pair of shoes got the black-and-white memo. Pearl details decked out these strappy black heels.

10. Black-and-White Mother-of-the-Bride Dress

This mother-of-the-bride sported a patterned black-and-white dress that complemented the father-of-the-bride's classic black tux.

11. Groom in Black-and-White Shawl Collar Tuxedo

A black shawl collar and black bow tie brought dramatic contrast to this two-tone tux.

12. Groom in Black-and-White Jacquard Tux

Ornate jacquard fabric gave this tux a glam vibe.

Black-and-White Wedding Invitation and Stationery Ideas

Introducing your chosen color palette from the get-go with on-scheme wedding invitations is a must. This sets the tone for your entire wedding design and gives guests a feel for what wedding ideas they can expect to see at the wedding. Minimalist couples planning a modern wedding, maybe consider hinting at your wedding's vibe with a white invitation suite printed with a sleek sans-serif font—and when it comes to sourcing those black-and-white invitations, The Knot Invitations is a great option to peruse. Meanwhile, to-be-weds planning an elegant wedding, ask your stationer to address black envelopes in romantic calligraphy with white ink as a fun departure from the norm.

13. Black Wedding Invitation Envelopes With White Calligraphy

When guests received these wedding invitations in the mail they were greeted with dramatic black envelopes and elegant white calligraphy.

14. Wedding Invitation With Black-and-White Floral Patterned Envelope Liner

15. Minimal Black Escort Cards

Simple black cards with sans-serif text guided attendees at this wedding to their seats.

16. Black-and-White Escort Card Display

A bold black wall served as the backdrop to this display of white escort cards with gold wax seals.

17. Modern Black-and-White Wedding Welcome Sign

This minimal sign greeted attendees upon arrival and hinted at the aesthetic of the impending wedding.

18. Black-and-White Acrylic Welcome Sign

This acrylic display is a great reminder that signage doesn't have to be made from paper.

19. Black-and-White Place Setting With Black-and-Gold Wedding Menu

Black menu cards with gold foil printing polished off the place settings at this reception.

20. Black-and-White Linen Seating Chart

A linen sign printed with on-theme illustrations and guest table assignments acted as the seating chart at this tropical celebration.

Black-and-White Wedding Decor

Decor, especially wedding reception decor, is a great place to highlight your black-and-white wedding theme. Whether you deck out a tablescape with white table linens, matte black place settings and black vases or you fill your centerpieces with a mix of white roses and anemones, honing in on a black-and-white palette for all your unique wedding day decorations is a must.

21. Cocktail Tables With Black-and-White Table Linens

An eye-catching leaf pattern on the black-and-white table linens beckoned guests into this cocktail hour space.

22. Lounge Area With Black-and-White Ottomans

Patterned black-and-white poufs, which matched the sofa's throw pillow placed, provided extra seating as part of this reception's lounge setup.

23. Glam Black-and-White Wedding Reception With Pink-and-Gold Accents

Even if black and white are anchoring your decor, that doesn't mean that all other colors need to be entirely avoided. This tablescape was predominantly black and white, but included accents of gold and pink.

24. Tented Wedding Reception With Black Chairs

Black chairs brought an air of elegance to this tented wedding reception with white table linens.

25. Black-and-White Place Setting

Black dishware, paired with silver flatware and crystal glassware, popped visually against a classic white table cloth.

26. Black, White and Gray Tablescape

Gray linens, black candlesticks and white taper candles worked harmoniously in his tablescape design.

27. Ballroom Wedding Reception With Black Table Linens

Round tables were covered with black linens before being paired with white Chiavari chairs at this ballroom wedding reception.

28. Glam Wedding Reception With Monogrammed Black-and-White Dance Floor

A custom black-and-white monogram dance floor wrap added to the glam vibe at this chandelier-covered wedding reception.

29. Patterned Black-and-White Band Stage Backdrop

A dramatic stage design ensured the live band was the center of attention while performing at this wedding reception.

30. Modern Black, White and Gold Plates

Patterned black-and-white plates with gold rims brought a modern edge to these place settings.

31. White Place Setting With Calligraphed Menu Card

Black calligraphy stood out on the menu card that finished off this mostly white place setting.

32. Black-and-White Table Number

White decked-edge paper was calligraphed in black for the table number design at this wedding reception.

33. Calligraphed Black-and-White Wall

Especially at private estate venues, it can be hard to elegantly hide unsightly parts of the space. For this wedding, the couple commissioned a dramatic wall, that bore the phrase "Eat, Drink and Be Merry," to do just that.

34. Whimsical Wedding Reception With White Tolix Chairs and Black Taper Candles

White Tolix chairs added an industrial vibe to this otherwise whimsical wedding reception.

35. Black Reception Structure With White Draping

For couples looking for a trending reception idea, skip the tent and opt for an open-air structure decked out with fabric draping.

Black-and-White Flower Arrangements

Anemones are the simplest flower choice when it comes to adding black and white to everything from your wedding bouquets to wedding centerpieces, but that's not the only way to add the palette into your wedding day floral designs. Maybe you have your florist wrap the bouquets in black ribbon finished off with a black bow. Or maybe you mix dark flowers like scabiosa or dark calla lilies into your centerpieces to give the entire wedding table setting an elegant black-and-white look. Whatever you choose, there are plenty of options when it comes to filling your flowers with pops of white and black. You could even ask your florist to add painted black flowers for a modern black look since there's a limited number of botanicals that come in the dark hue.

36. Wedding Bouquet With White Roses and Astilbe

White roses and astilbe, accented with greenery, filled this wedding bouquet.

37. Wedding Bouquet With Anemones and Astilbe

Anemones are a great option for coupes with black-and-white palettes because their white petals and black centers fit the bill perfectly.

38. Bouquets With Anemones, Roses, Sweet Peas and Lisianthus

Bridesmaids in black dresses carried black-and-white bridesmaid bouquets at this New York wedding.

39. Rose, Ranunculus, Sweet Pea and Anemone Bouquet With Berries

Dark berries juxtaposed beautifully with white roses, ranunculus, sweet peas and anemones in this wedding bouquet.

40. Black-and-White Anemone Boutonniere

A single anemone bloom decorated this groom's lapel.

Black-and-White Wedding Cakes and Desserts

You introduced a black-and-white palette with a classic black-and-white wedding invitation, now it's time to cap off your wedding with a black-and-white cake to truly round out your thematic event. Enlist your cake baker to create a cake with alternating tiers of black and white. Then, lean into table styling on the wedding day to really pack an extra punch. Pair a white table cloth with a sequin black table runner as part of your cake display to wow guests.

41. Glam Black-and-White Cake With Gold Leafing

Each tier of this cake was stunning on its own, but together the entire monogrammed dessert was truly a masterpiece.

42. White Cake With Black Bow and Black Cake Topper

An acrylic black cake topper and black ribbon were the finishing touches for this two-tier wedding cake.

43. Black-and-White Doughnut Wall

Don't limit yourself to just black-and-white cakes—how fun is this two-tone doughnut wall?

44. Two-Tier Black Cake on White Cake Stand

This black cake got a dose of whimsy thanks to gold animal figurines that acted as the cake topper.

45. Marble-Inspired Black-and-White Cake

A marble-like surface design made this wedding cake feel ultra-modern.

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