(Closed) Wearing black to a wedding (as a guest)–yay or nay?

posted 9 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
7973 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

Times are changing, and I think it’s fine to wear black nowadays.

Post # 18
1355 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I think that as long as you’re not like…the mother of the bride or something, then black is totally fine for a formal wedding, especially in the winter. I have definitely worn  black cocktail dresses to weddings in the past. 

Post # 19
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: February 2013

I wore a black dress with a white shaw type sweater thingy (whatever they’re called) to a May wedding because it was an evening wedding at a nice hotel.  Unless it’s outdoors or during the day, I would say go for it, but break it up with another color in either another piece, the jewelry, or shoes.

Post # 20
2695 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Its fine.

Post # 21
52 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

I think it’s fine but if you are in doubt and would be comfortable doing so, you could ask the bride.  A friend of ours told me last night that she was having a hard time finding a dress in another color and asked me if it would be alright if she wore black to our wedding.  My aunt who is walking me down the aisle is also wearing black.

Post # 22
942 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

A few of our guests wore black and looked great. I certainly didn’t mind, even tho it was a casual reception. If the bride & groom are really ‘traditional’ I’d say nay, if they’re not etiquette snobs, then why not

Post # 23
1963 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I think it’s fine.  I don’t see what the big deal is.

Post # 24
217 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Black is my go to color. Definitely a yay for me

Post # 25
9947 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

Lol… Etiquette Snob here.

As the others have said, from your description of it being a dressy item, and not “funeral-ish” then wearing Black nowadays is pretty much ok.

BUT I do agree with the last couple of posters who said the “correct” thing to do in this situation is to ASK THE BRIDE…

More than likely she’ll be ok with it… or she’ll tell you.

Either way you’ll find out… and most importantly she’ll probably be impressed that you cared enough to ask her.  (Brownie Points for the Guest who truly cares about not committing a faux pas… as witnessed many times on WBee there are TOO MANY Guests who sadly go the other direction… don’t give a monkey’s ear about Etiquette and therefore FAIL at it… causing the Bride more grief than she needs or deserves… lol, shall we talk RSVPs here?)


Post # 26
3373 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I think the difference is that the sexy dress you wear to a wedding is not the same as the respectful dress you wear to a funeral. I wear a black suit dress to funerals and a frilly silk dress to weddings.

Post # 27
2347 posts
Buzzing bee

It’s pretty ordinary in my circle to wear black to a formal wedding. Not many women do, but it’s fine when they do. I’ve worn a black cocktail dress to weddings, and a handful of guests wore black to mine. As PinkMagnolia and others have said, it’s not like it’s the same dress you’d wear to a funeral.

Post # 28
735 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

I also think that black is generally fine on guests.  I’ve attended formal weddings where guests were encouraged to wear black.

If you’re closely related to the bride or groom, and you are not happy about the wedding, THEN wearing black would be improper – especially if you sobbed loudly throught the vows.  But unless you ACT like you are in mourning, most people don’t automatically associate a formal black gown with the observance of a death.


View original reply
@This Time Round: said, you could check with the couple to see if they have any objection to you wearing black.  But I’d ask sooner rather than later – they’ll have a lot to think about in the weeks before the wedding (and you’ll want time to plan another outfit if they seem uneasy with your black dress.)

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