by Kristina Domitrovich // photos by Lindsay Pace and Kathryn Enlow
It doesn’t have to be about mourning and funerals, and it doesn’t have to be gothic; black can be a happy color – and to Abby Husband, that’s exactly what it is.
“When you think about the color black, to me, I think of mystery and depth, sophistication, sexuality, power – lots of things come to mind,” she said. “It’s also a bold style statement that just displays a sense of moody romance, and that’s really what I was going for.”
Black is her favorite color. She said she wears it every day, all her clothes are black, and her nails are always painted black, too. Even though everyone knew her love affair with the color, her wedding guests were still shocked when she walked down the aisle in a black wedding dress.
Going into it, there were three people who knew: her mom, then-future mother-in-law, and little sister. The secret was on total lock down.
“It was so hard to keep from telling everybody – it was so hard!” Husband said. “I just couldn’t take a chance of it getting out, you know? I really wanted it to be a surprise for him – and everybody – but especially him.”
At first, she was concerned her groom-to-be, Dr. Leland Husband, would catch on. She’s known she would wear a black gown for three or four years, and she even told him in passing. At the beginning of their relationship, they were watching a movie when she told him.
“‘I think I’m going to wear a black wedding dress one day if I ever get married,’” she remembered. “He was like, ‘You’ll never do it.’ And I was like, ‘Okay,’ and then we never talked about it again for years. So he wasn’t expecting it at all.”
Though they hadn’t talked about it, she was scared he would pick up on small details and figure it out. The day before the wedding, she had her nails done – black.
“It was hard seeing him the night before because my nails were black. ‘He’s going to totally ask me, ‘Are you wearing black nails tomorrow?’’” she feared. “Because I had just been to the nail salon, so I was worried that he was going to notice it, but I think he’s so accustomed to it that I don’t think he even thought about it.”
Luckily, the black cat stayed in the bag, because the next day during their first look, he was completely surprised.
“He loved it, he totally embraced it, as he does everything, but he loved it,” Husband said. “(He) really, really liked it. It was great, a great reaction.”
But the path to black wasn’t an easy one. The Husbands were married on Nov. 8, 2019, and the search for the perfect dress started earlier that year in March. To ease others’ concerns, she tried on a slew of white dresses, but deep down she knew none of them were right: She needed a black dress.
She knew what she didn’t want: White, floral patterns or lace. Finding a black dress that curbs those elements proved to be trickier than she expected. At first, she settled for a nice black bridesmaid’s dress. But as the big day approached, she grew weary.
“In October, I was lying in bed one night, a month before the wedding, and I was like, ‘This is not the dress. It’s the right color, but it’s not the dress,’” Husband said. “You know, you know when you have the dress, or people have said you always know when you have the dress.”
That night, she Googled ‘black wedding dresses’ – which she had searched months ago with no avail – and found it: a black Vera Wang. Knowing she was fighting the clock, the hunt began.
David’s Bridal carries Vera Wang, but “of course they don’t carry it in black, they stock it in white.” But she knew if she could just find a location that stocks the dress, no matter the color, she could order the size she needed and go from there. Luckily, they stocked the dress in Memphis. The next day, she got off work at 5:30 and drove “like a crazy mad lady,” to go try it on. She loved it. Right then and there, she ordered it, in black.
Their Institution of Untraditional
Her dress was delivered one week later, two weeks before the wedding – just in time to do the needed alterations. At their Friday-evening wedding, at 6:30, they married in a “moody and romantic” courtyard. Husband, who lost her father in June of 2018, was escorted by her step-father, who passed her onto her baby brother, who then passed her onto the groom. When asked who gives this bride away, he responded with “I do, in memory of our father.” With “hundreds, if not thousands” of candles lit, standing between two antique chandeliers, the two said “I do.” With them stood her baby sister and his baby brother. They chose not to have a wedding party, in order to keep it as intimate as possible. Honorary bridesmaids celebrated with her throughout the day, and wore champagne-colored, sparkly dresses. The venue was adorned with black, champagne and “goldish” sparkles. She carried a bouquet with white roses and anemones. Her hair was a low up-do, she wore pearl earrings and red lipstick. The cake alternated between tiers of champagne blush and wedding cake.
The couple has been together for four years. They met in Tupelo, and their first date was six hours away in Knoxville, Tennessee, where he is completing his medical residency. Their whole relationship has been long-distance, but the two are very excited that he has accepted a contract with a Tupelo radiology group in July.
“It’s been very untraditional, our whole – us. The black was just fitting,” Husband said.