Can I wear black to a wedding?

Can I wear a black dress to a wedding?

Is it okay to wear black to a wedding?

The little black dress has long been a staple of women’s fashion, as black is slenderizing, versatile, and chic — but is it okay to wear your black dress to attend a wedding? There is some controversy over this. I’m fairly certain my mother would disown me if I ever showed up at a wedding in black, but I’m also fairly certain that none of my friends would care if I came to their wedding sporting the color.

The no black camp argues that people only wear black dresses to a wedding as a protest and if they disapprove of the union (but then why are they attending in the first place?), and therefore wearing a black dress to a wedding is an insult to the couple. On the other side, the pro black camp says that the rules about black dresses are old fashioned, out dated, and no longer apply. 

So which is it? I fall somewhere in the middle. If it were my wedding, I’d tell you to wear all the black you want. The problem is that some people still hold onto the old rules, and even if your updated etiquette says it’s allowed, these folks will still be offended if you show up in the controversial color. To be on the safe side, just pick another color. There are plenty of flattering and fashionable non-black dresses out there. 

If you are really attached to your black dress, though, at least run it by the bride and groom first, or check with someone in their bridal party for the thumbs up or thumbs down. And remember, just because the bride and groom are cool with it, that doesn’t mean their grandparents will understand your fashion choice. Add a touch of color to your outfit to lighten them up, like a colorful scarf, shoes, or jewelry. It is a celebration, after all.

What do you think? whether the bride can wear black wedding dress is another question altogether but is it time to toss out the old rule about wearing black to a wedding, or is this still a definite no-no?


Lisa is a special needs teacher and a hugger. She always makes time for everyone and lightens up everybody’s lives with her presence. When she is not chasing her students around the yard, she finds time to write about what she truly loves, and you guessed it, its people and relationships.