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Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?

Can you wear black to a wedding

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Choosing what to wear for a wedding is a task that takes time, especially when black is the color that predominates in your closet. If the darkest shade has already become an indispensable part of your style, but you don’t want to go wrong with your wedding guest look, the best advice will always be to be free and express yourself through your clothing. For those wondering if it is okay to wear black to a wedding, the answer is YES. It’s acceptable! It’s absolutely okay to wear black to a wedding without breaking wedding dress code rules.

Although dark shades in general have a traditional connotation for funerals and mourning, little by little, certain rules in the wedding dress code have faded away allowing everyone to experiment more with their own personal uniqueness. While it is probably much easier for men to find the ideal black suit, women’s options are much wider thus the difficulty in choosing the right.

Is it OK to wear black to a wedding?

This color is a double-edged sword. It can make you look super stylish and elegant with the right accessories, or it could be interpreted as mourning attire. Taking into consideration the fact that black outfits are worn at funerals, there has always been some uncertainty about wearing black to a wedding.

However, with wedding etiquette constantly changing, modern wedding celebrations are luckily becoming less strict regarding the dress code. Far from what tradition proclaims, wearing the color black does not have to mean being in mourning. Just like the case of wearing red to a wedding,it is all about knowing how you combine your look: from the type of clothing and fabrics you use, to how you will complement it. So the main question is not ‘Can you wear a black dress to a wedding’ but it is more about how to properly wear it.

The bottom line is that all of you ladies who are not willing to give up on this color and will be in love with the little black dress forever, know for sure that wearing black to a wedding is totally OK.

How should you wear black to a wedding?

Although many might find the color black one of the ‘easy-way-out’ colors to wear to a wedding (which ends up with a large majority of the wedding guests usually wearing this color), good use of black can make you the perfect guest and we are going to prove it. Because there is no other color that is so synonymous with elegance than black. Sophisticated and sexy at the same time, it becomes a key color for any guest look.

Here are some guidelines on how to complement a black dress for a wedding.

Shoes and bags are best friends with the black dress

Did you know that a good pair of shoes can make a low-priced dress look like a designer piece? Wear stilettoes that will steal the attention and complement your dark attire. Floral, shiny, with a unique design or exclusive pattern, these can make you from zero to hero. Add a matching bag or opt for a bright-colored one to make wearing black to a wedding look effortlessly elegant. Just watch out for the white guest shoe protocol, ok?

Details make difference

Forget about the old, boring, and simple black dress — today is all about making a statement with your outfit. If you have already chosen to wear the darkest hue, be unique and show your personality.

Give your look a little volume with puffed sleeves. Experiment with asymmetrical necklines and don’t be afraid to show some skin by adding a high slit to your dress. Stop asking yourself ‘Can I wear black to a wedding’ and instead, show how fun and glamorous black can be by adding ruffles, feathers, or some glitter — they are totally accepted!

In case there is only one design that goes well with your body type in which you feel comfortable and confident, choose a one-of-a-kind fabric. Go with special black lace, sequin embroidery, or soft and silky sateen. Upgrade the rules on wearing black to a wedding with some of these ideas!

Accessories go a long way toward perfection

Black will be no longer the taboo color for wedding guests when properly combined with striking accessories that will freshen up the dark look. Give your little black dress the shine that it needs by adding gold or silver tones. You can always add a pop of color for an extra cool touch but always keep in mind the good old ‘less is more’.

When is not OK to wear black to a wedding?

First of all, the look that you definitely want to avoid is head-to-toe all-black so it doesn’t get associated with sad occasions. If you are going to choose it despite the advice, make sure it has prints, distinct fabrics, or color details to avoid giving the wrong message.

And can you wear black to a wedding that is happening during the day or at the beach? This is not such a good idea. Daytime weddings in open spaces require adding a little touch of color that brings light. You can keep black in the background while incorporating prints of other colors or details forefront. But a total black should not enter among your options to attend a daytime wedding.

In case your invitation is for a Chinese wedding, you strike out the color black for good. According to the Chinese tradition, the darkest and lightest shades — black and white — are only worn at funerals and represent mourning. They are not one of the colors to wear to a wedding for sure.


So now you know, dare to wear black without fear at the next wedding on your agenda. Your outfit will be more festive than you think even without having to use the colors of the rainbow to celebrate love. To the million dollar question ‘Can you wear black at a wedding’, the answer is a resounding YES.

I am Megan Nova, a wedding planner and Author based in New York City. My vast exposure in the wedding planning trade and my passion for storytelling has inspired me to share expert advice and creativity on this blog.

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