Wearing black to a wedding

posted 2 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
160 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

I think it depends more on the dress itself than the color. My Mother-In-Law legitimately did look like she was going to a funeral, and it bothered my husband a bit. She didn’t object to our marriage at all, she was very happy. It was odd because her usual color palette is more suited to a summer wedding,  but for this occasion she went out and bought a very funereal looking dress. She showed me the dress the day before the wedding and asked me if I minded and I told her it was fine with me if that’s what she felt comfortable in. I didn’t realize it was going to bother my husband. If I had known I maybe could have said “It’s fine with me but your son has a problem with it. I dunno, you raised him.” Anyway, she looked SO happy and beautiful in her funeral outfit that I’m sure no one thought she objected to the marriage, or at least that she changed her mind during the ceremony. 😂

Sorry I rambled there. But the point I wanted to make is that there are lots of black dresses that WOULD look appropriate for a wedding, and your mom is probably talking about one of them. I would check though, since it’s your own mom and there’s plenty of time.

Post # 32
9262 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

View original reply
gunnabamissus :  Like PPs have said, in a lot of areas black used to be a statement that you disapproved of the marriage, especially if it was one of the mothers. I am a bit older than a lot of the bees and admit that I was surprised the first time I saw a black dress at a wedding. That was about 20 years ago though. It’s clearly become much more accepted and I’ve gotten over being scandalized. smile

But if your ffil’s family hasn’t kept up with the times, it is going to LOOK to them like your mom is “mourning” the fact that you are marrying into their family, which would of course be disrespectful, embarassing, and sad for him. I would encourage your fiance to ask him if this is what’s behind his feelings, and explain that black is very common at weddings these days and does not carry any hidden meaning. How many of the men will be wearing black? How come when men wear black it’s just a flattering neutral appropriate for the formality of the event, but when a woman does, she’s being a passive-aggressive bitch? Surely he’s not silly enough to buy into that old-fashioned nonsense. … This is how I’d frame it.

Post # 33
30 posts
  • Wedding: November 2019

Part of the flowers in my bouquet are black.  I would be great with it no matter whi chooses to do it. 

Post # 34
152 posts
Blushing bee

My mother wore black to my brothers wedding. It was accented with purple. She was a nightmare because my mum never wears dresses so me and a friend of hers spent ages trying to find one she would wear. Eventually we found a black one that fit the bill and she wore a purple shawl. It looked really nice. 

At the end of the day, it’s about your mum feeling comfortable and happy at your wedding. 

Post # 35
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2020

UK bee here, and I think black to a wedding can be problematic, particularly if you are the mother of the groom or the bride, a sibling or an ex! It’s all about the context, and if a person who has or had a strong emotional tie to one of the wedding couple wears black, it does, in my view, send a message that they disapprove of the union, whether that is intentional or not. That said, even if one of those people wears black, if they break it up with another colour, then that negates the ‘funereal vibe’ and is also fine. In my circles all black would get the side-eye. But this is all about social circles and cultural norms, and if its normal in your circles to wear black to a wedding, then the above is probably not at all relevant.

If your mum wore sparkly/colourful shoes and carried a sparkly/colourful bag/ shawl, wore hat or fascinator in a contrast colour I think that would be enough to mean the black dress was OK. Navy is also good as a PP suggested.

Post # 36
2246 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2018

My mother in law wore black. No issues. 

Think about all the men who wear black tie to a wedding

Post # 37
402 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
gunnabamissus :  They’re being silly and seriously stirring the pot to get upset over that. 

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