Weddings

Is it Appropriate to Wear a Black Dress to a Wedding?

Cultural norms have made this fashion decision acceptable -- provided you a few rules

By Samantha Cabrera

Black Wedding Dress
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A wedding is a day for a new beginning and celebration for the happy couple, and consequently it used to be bad form to show up at a wedding in a black dress. A black dress seemed to represent the opposite a wedding's sentiment, but things have changed. Cultural norms have evolved to the point where it is acceptable to sometimes wear a black dress to a wedding.

Evening Wedding

It is generally acceptable to wear a black dress to an evening wedding. Evening weddings are usually more formal than day weddings, just as black dresses are more formal than pastel or bright dresses.

Day Wedding

If you're wearing a black dress to a day wedding, the focus is on the dress. Make sure you keep the look chic. Go light on the makeup and wear your hair up to create a look that is classic, not somber.

Mother of the Bride

The only person who should not wear black to the wedding is the mother of the bride. It can be acceptable in some instances, but it is wise to ask the bride what she prefers before shopping for a dress in this particular color.

Adding Color

If you're afraid of offending someone by wearing a black dress, add color to your look. Try using a bright pashmina draped around your shoulders to break up the little black dress and add color. Alternatively wear a black dress that has a pre-existing design as part of its design, or one that has some color integrated into it.

Be venue appropriate

The color of the dress won't interfere as much as the style of dress. It's a wedding, so don't show up in the same little black dress you'd don for a girls' night out. Keep cleavage at a minimum and your hemline should be at the knees.

About the Author

Samantha Cabrera is a freelance writer, covering fashion and beauty.

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