Wearing black to a wedding: the ultimate guide

In every girl’s wardrobe there is sure to be that black dress that is always a good fall-back option for any dressy occasion. When it comes to weddings though, there are some interesting thoughts on black dresses. This is making us and everyone out there unsure whether it’s acceptable to wear black to a wedding. Here’s what we found out.

Tradition says not to

wearing black to a wedding

So let’s start off by saying that traditionally, it is not a good sign to wear black for a wedding. For many years, black has been associated with funerals, mourning and evil, which aren’t things we tend to associate with weddings.

Wearing black to a wedding as a guest, or choosing it for your bridesmaid dresses at your own wedding will be quite unusual and it is the kind of choice that may shock older people attending your wedding. Remember that your parents and grandparents wouldn’t have considered wearing black or having people wear black at their weddings.

It’s only in recent years where many of the rules have gone out the window. So if you want to stick with tradition and not freak people out, then perhaps steering clear of black is the best way forward.

Best avoided at a church wedding

As black is considered the traditional colour of mourning in the church, wearing black at a church wedding probably isn’t the best idea. While it is quite unlikely that you’ll have a hyper-religious person in the wedding say something to you, it may slightly offend some of guests or the bride and groom.

If you’re attending a wedding in a church and you do want to wear a darker colour, then perhaps stick to a dark grey, navy or deep green so that there’s no chance of offending anyone.

Case-by-case basis at a cultural wedding

wearing black to a wedding

Similar to the church wedding, certain cultures also see wearing black to a wedding as a bit of a faux pas. This is obviously going to vary based on the culture of the couple getting married and whether or not they’re particularly traditional. If in doubt, you can always ask the bride and groom if it’s okay for you to wear black. If they say it’s fine, then go for it. If they think their grandmother might find it offensive, then wear something else.

Your decision when you know the bridesmaids will be wearing black

So, at lot of people feel iffy about wearing a similar or same coloured dress as the bridal party’s colours. This is a natural feeling. You don’t want to feel like you’ve tried to match their colouring or the wedding’s theme so you want to avoid it. This is completely understandable and if you’re in this category, then you’ll definitely want to avoid wearing black if you happen to know that the bridesmaids are wearing it. If you’re not sure what colour dress they’ll be wearing, you’ll probably get an idea from the wedding invites. Most couples do their invites in their wedding colours and their wedding colours tend to be what defines the dress code of the bridal party.

Of course, if you’re really paranoid about it and you still have no idea what the bridesmaids will be wearing, then just ask the bride or groom. They’re not going to mind that you asked and they’ll probably like that you’re showing so much care and thoughtfulness.

If you’re someone who doesn’t really care about matching the bridal party or the colour theme, then of course at this particular wedding wearing black is totally fine. If the bridal party are doing it then the bride and groom obviously don’t have a problem or negative association with black.

At a beach or garden wedding

wearing black to a wedding

While most ladies who wear black to a wedding will be more likely to do it at winter and autumn weddings to match the weather, there is absolutely nothing wrong with wearing black to a summer or spring outdoor wedding. The only issue we can see with this is that you’ll likely stand out quite a bit. Generally, women attending these weddings will be wearing floral dresses or pastel-coloured numbers that go with the vibe. Wearing black will instantly set you apart but if you’re happy with that, then go for it!

So is it okay?

wearing black to a wedding

Yes! Of course it is! Wearing black to a wedding is completely fine. Black is such a popular colour to wear in general, there is no reason to think that wearing black to a non-religious or non-cultural wedding would be frowned upon. These are really the only times when you should consider whether it is the appropriate thing to do. If you have a feeling it isn’t or the bride and groom say it’s not, then wear something of a different colour.

If you know the couple, then it’s easy enough to ask to make sure. And if you forget to ask and it does turn out to be a faux pas, then you’ll probably laugh it off with them later.

If you’re going to the wedding as a plus one and you don’t really know the couple that well, then definitely steer clear of wearing black. You really have no idea whether they’ll be okay with it and if your boyfriend is a typical man, then they’ll just assume it’s fine and tell you to go ahead. Don’t listen to them! If you’ve got doubts, wear a safe wedding hue like blue, pink or purple. You’ll feel a lot more comfortable and relaxed on the day. The last thing you want to do is attend a wedding where you feel out of place or awkward. Weddings can be hard enough when you don’t know anyone.

The bottom line is, these days, pretty much anything goes at a wedding. Brides are starting to wear bright colours and their bridesmaids are sometimes dressed in black or even white. Cakes are being replaced by donuts and formal sit-down dinners by food trucks. Wearing black to a wedding definitely isn’t a crazy thing to consider. So if you’re feeling it, then go for it.

wearing black to a wedding

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