Black & White Wedding Decor Ideas

With black and white as the theme for your wedding, you can take advantage of their traditional use at formal events and choose sophisticated decor. Or, you can choose funky, mod patterns to showcase a more party-friendly vibe. Get Victorian with ornate embellishments and lots of lace, ribbon and tulle, or pare the decor down to just basics. Whatever style you choose, keep it from being boring by paying attention to detail.

  1. Traditional

    • Going for a highly formal decor style will mean full place settings, linen tablecloths, fine tableware and fresh flowers tastefully arranged. Use white silk swags for chair covers, a white satin guest book with black ribbons and limit black to the accents, like jet crystals and ribbons. Go with all white floral arrangements, using lilies, orchids and white roses with freesia, baby's breath, Queen Anne's lace and other white blooms. Use the tuxedo style for a pattern, choosing bow ties on swags, ribbons and other fabric decorations. Consider scattering diamond-look stones on the tables for a very upscale and impressive addition to the decor. Use different fabric textures, like damask, brocade and silk.


    • There are plenty of high-impact dotted, striped or floral designs that will be fresh, in your face, modern and look great in black and white. Choose black chargers for white plates, then use black salad plates and white bowls for a concentric-rings effect at the place settings. Use giant black and white dot clings to decorate the floor, stage or ceiling. Black and white round paper lanterns can add a trendy Asian touch. Choose an accent color, too; lime green, fuchsia, red, orange, marigold, turquoise and deep purple all go great with black and white. A few splashes of the color will play up the stark scheme and make it warmer. Go with clean lines everywhere like a square layered cake, black napkins, checkerboard patterns.


    • Add accents of metallic colors to your black and white for a rich, luxurious style. Layer black-and-white floral prints with black lace tablecloths for an embellished canvas for your settings. Choose elegant black gold-rimmed dishes and smoky gray glass goblets for a mysterious, Gothic look for your tables. Use candles, reflective glass stones and tiny mirror tiles scattered among centerpieces of metalwork vases, and add lacy, intricate branches spray-painted white to your flower arrangements. Use fabrics with texture and character, like toile print and lace. Don't shy away from all-black table settings, linens and decorations; just be sure to include enough white to balance it out and keep the room feeling welcoming. Add rhinestones, silk flowers, dripping crystals and vases of varying sizes so wherever the eye falls, your guests will see decoration.


    • If you want a classic, Audrey Hepburn-style black-and-white wedding, keep it simple. Use basics like black or white tablecloths, streamers, balloons and place settings. But give it a twist by reversing the expected colors. For instance, choose black for chair covers, guest book and flowers instead of the more traditional bridal white. Just don't use black frosting on the cake, it will turn your guests' teeth black. Centerpieces might be long bands of black and white ribbon bunched with silk flowers, or clear glass bowls with a single white floating flower. Any pattern that you choose should be simple; pinstripes, for example, serve to keep interest, but not overwhelm the eye. Encourage your guests to wear hats and gloves in keeping with a retro theme, and choose shorter dresses for your bridesmaids.

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  • Photo Credit wedding bridal bouquets black/white image by Paul Retherford from

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