Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?


Black is often associated with funerals, but can you wear black to a wedding?One should remember that any color can be worn at a wedding as long as a few simple rules are adhered to. The main thing to consider is the preference of the bride, and if you are unsure as to whether black will be appropriate, ask the bride to find out.

Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?

As black is not a traditional color for wedding attire, it may not be appropriate for all weddings. When attending a wedding ceremony, everyone should look happy and jubilant, and black often does not portray such emotions. However, unless it’s specifically indicated, wearing black is not a tabboo for most modern weddings.

Bear in mind that the cut and the fabric of one’s dress and its appropriateness for the specific wedding is more important than the actual color. One cardinal rule for wearing black, however, is that it can’t have even the smallest association to mourning. You can do this by accessorizing, and brightening up the outfit. If you are unsure or uncomfortable, then it may be wise to just wear something else.

Do Ask the Marrying Couple!

When asking – can you wear black to a wedding? An important indicator regarding what is acceptable attire is the marrying couple. If the couple are traditional, then wearing black may not be the best option for their ceremony.

Other Rules on Color

  • One should avoid wearing white, unless the marrying couple have specified that that is the color they wish their attending guests to wear. Otherwise, it may seam as though you are attempting to steal the bride’s thunder.

  • One should also try to avoid wearing colors that coordinate or resemble the colors/theme of the ceremony, unless specifically asked by the bride or groom.

  • If you have doubts about what color is appropriate, then asking the marrying couple is the best way to ascertain whether your chosen color is appropriate. It may also be wise to choose classic, conservative clothing.

  • For women, a cute black dress (or navy blue if there is an objection to black from the bride or groom), and a dark colored suit and tie for men will be fashionable, appropriate, and acceptable. Once you have decided on what to wear, with careful thought and consideration, you can relax.

Recommended Dark Dresses and Jumpsuits to Wear to a Wedding


Lace Cap Sleeved Sheer Dress with Side Ruffles

This gorgeously elegant dress would be a great choice for formal or informal weddings. Priced modestly at $ 55.99-77.99, it features beautiful lace cap sleeves, with a gorgeous floral design on the upper back, and side ruffles.

See more details from David’s Bridal


Patra Embellished Illusion Draped Gown

This long, gorgeous gown is suitable for formal weddings taking place in the evening. It features an elegant, sheer neckline, beautiful fabric, and a hidden zip at the back. Costing around $160, this gown is sure to offer you both beauty and comfort.

See more details from Macy’s


V-Neck Knee-Length Cocktail Dress

This elegant cocktail dress is perfect for informal and formal weddings. Priced at $190, it features a V-neck, sleeveless design, with an inner waist, and fall to the knees. It is perfectly flattering and lusciously fitting.

See more details from Nordstrom


Embellished Tiered Chiffon Halter Gown

This amazing gown, costing $198, is a great option for formal weddings taking place in the evening. Its elegant design flows down to the feet, featuring a keyhole halter neckline and handkerchief-hem layered skirt.

See more details from Nordstrom


Lace & Taffeta Fit & Flare Dress

Priced at just a littler over $100, this dress has glamorous design, coupled with sophistication, featuring jewel buttons, French cuffs attached to three-quarter sleeves, and a removal belt, all make it a great option.

See more details from Nordstrom


Chain Detail Jersey Jumpsuit

This jumpsuit (costing $148)is the perfect option for informal weddings. Made with soft fabric an including a gleaming chain link around the neck line to provide a bit of glam to this sophisticated look.

See more details from Nordstrom


These dresses are perfect options for most occasions, but be sure to first ascertain an answer to the question – can you wear black to a wedding? By speaking with the bride or groom.

Wedding Guest Attire Etiquettes for Different Types of Wedding


Formal Wedding

If you are attending a formal wedding, then one should generally wear a traditional outfit. The time of day that the wedding is taking place also has an effect on what to wear in such an instance.

  • If the formal wedding ceremony is taking place before 6 pm, women should opt for a knee-length dress or pants suit, any color except for black or white. Excellent color choices include most primary colors, pastels, earth tones and jewel tones. The idea for wedding guests is to almost blend in with the surroundings, not stand out, and allow the bride to flourish and shine on her big day.

  • If the formal wedding is taking place after 6 pm, then a long gown is appropriate for women. Suitable color choices for your gorgeous gown can include black, navy, jewel tones, or metallic gold or silver. Those attending a wedding taking place at this time should try to glam up their attire to fit the occasion.

  • For men, a suit and tie should be worn for weddings before 6 pm, and a tuxedo (either navy blue or black) should be worn for ceremonies taking place after 6 pm.


Informal Wedding

If the wedding is informal, then is would suggest that the marrying couple are not opposed to a variety of clothing options.

  • In such an instance, a business suit or cocktail dress would be perfect for women, although it may be better to opt for neutral tones as opposed to black. Bright colors like orange or yellow will also likely be inappropriate.

  • For men, a smart shirt and trousers, paired with a matching sports jacket is a good option for daytime ceremonies, and black suit and tie for ceremonies taking place after 6 pm.


Destination Weddings and Seasonal Choices

When asking – can you wear black to a wedding? Or, furthermore, when considering what is appropriate attire for a wedding, the time and location of the ceremony plays a huge part. If the wedding is taking place outdoors in the cold seasons of the year, then the clothing should reflect this, and one should wear appropriate clothing for the weather.

  • For women, a pretty dress coupled with a sweater or shawl, with low heels is a good option. The aim should be to look good, be comfortable, and avoid fighting with mother nature as much as possible. The sweater/shawls will ensure that you stay warm whilst attending the outdoor ceremony, and wearing low heels will minimize the chances of your falling on any ice patches that may be present. 

  • For men, a good option would be a smart dress shirt and trouser paired with a suitable sports jacket.

  • Good color choices for cold weather weddings include: emerald, dark blue, and plum. Darker colors or jewel tones are often most appropriate.

  • If the wedding is taking place on a beach, of has a tropical theme, then guests are generally expected to dress accordingly. For women, breezy attire is most appropriate, for men, a silk shirt paired with khakis is a good option. For weddings such as these, brighter colors are generally more acceptable.