Brides in black: what do men really think?

Picture the scene: the church is full of excitement, anticipation and immaculately attired guests, the nervous groom is waiting at the altar, the organ stirs into life, heads turn, and here comes the bride, an absolute picture, all dressed in... black!

The growing trend for young brides to take their vows wearing what for generations has been considered the colour of mourning could soon be all the rage. The grande dame of wedding dress design Vera Wang is leading the charge by tearing up the bride-to-be's rule book and decking her models in dramatic and some would say unnerving black wedding gowns.

Vera Wang Bridal collection autumn/winter 2012 © Vera Wang

And as we all know, what influential designers such as Vera Wang parade on the catwalk has a habit of trickling down to the High Street and into the heads of fashionable young brides.

[See also: How to choose the perfect wedding dress]

Now while Johnny Cash, Marilyn Manson and hordes of pale-faced goths would no doubt approve of this startling new direction in wedding attire, what does the average man in the pub think about women wearing black or any colour wedding dress that isn't virginal white? We hit a busy boozer full of testosterone and opinions in the Welsh capital of Cardiff to find out.

Although it feels like there is something eternal and sacred about a women wearing white on her wedding day, this wasn't always the case. Until 1840 women of all status and age got married in a variety of hues, but when Queen Victoria married Prince Albert in 1840 all dressed in white, she started a trend seemingly without end, and 44-year-old Cardiff man Andy Knowles who has been married for 24 years believes if it ain't broke don't fix it.

"If my wife had worn any colour other than white on her wedding day it would have been a bloody disgrace. The whole church would have walked out and I would have joined them. Back then if anybody wore black to the wedding it meant they disapproved of the marriage in some way. What's a young fella supposed to think if the women he's committed to spending the rest of his days with, turns up on the big day dressed like she's going to a funeral?"

[Gallery: The top ten iconic brides of all time]

The Beatles once famously sang, "Oh dear, what can I do? Baby's in black and I'm feeling blue." But this is not a sentiment shared by 21-year-old Swansea bachelor boy Rob Baker who confessed, "I must admit if I was going to marry any woman, I'd be more than happy for them to wear black. It's a far more sexier and classier colour than white, but given a choice I'd like to see all brides wearing something tight, short, revealing and pink."

Newport Divorcee, Gary Ball, 37, knows all about colourful wedding dresses. His ex-wife wore brown on their big day and their marriage lasted for only four years. Gary revealed, "If I got married all over again, I'd do it properly. I'd have the full church wedding and the wife wearing white. It's not only traditional but it's a good omen to have the bride in white. I never wanted my wife to wear brown in the first place. My mother warned me at the time that it was unlucky, and do you know, I think she was right."

Gavin Sherwill, 26, Bridgend, is getting married in six months' time and has no idea what colour wedding dress his wife-to-be will be wearing. "She's keeping everything but the bloody price of the thing a big secret," explained Gavin before adding, "But you've got me thinking that maybe she's going for something different, because she's a bit like that when it comes to clothes. I wouldn't be happy if she married me in black because my mates would never let me live it down. Having said that, any other colour would be fine by me."

While every bride wants to turn heads, none of them want to turn stomachs, but that's exactly what 32-year-old Luke Davies believes would have happened if his wife had worn any other colour than white on their wedding day.

"Women dress all in white on their wedding day because it makes them look elegant, sophisticated and pure. They can wear black, blue, and red any day of the week, but you only get married once. My wife wore all white and she looked stunning, and to be honest, even the thought of her wearing any other colour as she walked up the aisle makes me a little bit sick."

So there we have it. Eighties pop star Billy Idol was desperate for his sister to have a white wedding, and it seems by and large that modern men are still not overly keen to have their brides-to-be taking their vows all dressed in black.

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