‘I Love Lucy’: Why Lucille Ball Wore Black on Her Wedding Day

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz were married in 1940. Ball wore a black dress to her wedding. Here’s what the I Love Lucy star said about her unusual fashion choice.

Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz got into a big fight before their wedding

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball | Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images

Desi Arnaz and Lucille Ball | Bettmann / Contributor/Getty Images

As Ball’s career continued to heat up, she was required to travel more. For one of her business trips, she had to leave New York and travel to the Milwaukee for a few media appearances. Unfortunately, Ball’s trip to Milwaukee took longer than expected. Instead of one day, her trip was extended for five days, delaying her trip back to New York.

Before the change in plans, Ball promised Arnaz she would return to New York so they could discuss their relationship more. However, when her plans were adjusted, Arnaz was furious. In her book, Love, Lucy, Ball, says he made an angry call every night and asked when she was returning to New York. He even accused her of cheating on him with a famous actor.

Why Lucille Ball wore black on her wedding day

Lucille Ball | Alexis Waldeck/Conde Nast via Getty Images
Lucille Ball | Alexis Waldeck/Conde Nast via Getty Images

Ball decided to hurry back to New York. She was in such a rush that she left without the luggage containing her clothes. She told her assistant she could follow her the next day and bring her clothes with her. What Ball didn’t know was that she would be getting married hours later.

Ball learned later that Arnaz was angry because he was secretly trying to arrange an elopement and his plans kept getting delayed. However, it was too late for Ball to try to get her clothes. She reached her hotel early in the morning and the following morning she was married.

Ball says all she had to wear was a black, wool outfit. It didn’t sink in that she didn’t have an appropriate outfit until she was about to fall asleep. Ball described herself as “fit to be tied,” once she realized she would have to get married in the wool outfit she had been wearing all day.

How Desi Arnaz felt about Lucille Ball’s black outfit

What did Arnaz think about his bride wearing black? Ball said Arnaz was so happy to be getting married that he didn’t even seem to notice what she was wearing. His focus was on getting to the altar and starting their lives together. Ball described him as being “much too elated” to notice her black ensemble.

Arnaz and Ball convinced the judge to waive the five-day waiting period and health examination requirement so they could get married quickly. Everything was in place, but Arnaz forgot to purchase a wedding ring, so his business manager ran into Woolworth’s and bought a brass ring. Later on, he bought her a platinum ring, but Ball said she kept the brass ring among her jewels for years.

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