Monday, July 14, 2008

Reader Poll! Nice Day for a Black Wedding?

Dear Daddy Likey,

My stepbrother is getting married in mid-September. I'm going traveling at the end of September and so am trying to save as much money as possible and not buy things that I don't need and that aren't travel-related. I've got a lovely dress that I think would be perfect for the occasion but the problem is that it's black (and the floral version costs £80). I don't know if it's really inappropriate to wear black to a wedding.

It won't be a super traditional wedding but I know the bride will be wearing a pretty semi-traditional dress, and she wore black to our parents' wedding a couple of years ago. This is still a bit of a sore point with my mum, although she thinks I should wear my black dress in September which I can't help but think is an opinion driven by spite.

I don't know, what do you think? Is it inappropriate to wear black to a wedding?

Black Sheep

Dear Sheep,

I hope you don't mind, but I'm feeling the profound urge to poll:

So, what do you think? Is it OK to wear black to a wedding?
Yes, but only for spite.
No. Way.
Depends on the dress.
Other (I'll explain in the comments) free polls

I'm would vote D myself (a lovely perfect dress is perfect in any color, right?), but in the spirit of the election season, I'm fully prepared to adjust my beliefs and principles based on public opinion. I will issue my final decree (and fashion advice) at the end of the week.

p.s. Your mum sounds awesome.


D'Jen said...

I reckon black is fine, particularly if you add some color in your accessories - any sort of metallic would make it less "I'm wearing black to a wedding, ha ha" and more "I'm so stylin' I'm totally working this black at a wedding business"

Black is a fantastic color on so many people, it seems cruel to make it out of bounds for weddings.

Julie Niesen said...

I always wear black to weddings-- isn't it practically expected these days? As long as you don't look like you're showing up for a funeral (see: Jackie O's big long black veil) I think you're fine. :)

Anonymous said...

I choose other.
Depends on the accessories.
Black is fine with the right accessories.

Princess Poochie said...

I actually wore a black dress to a wedding just last month -

It was an outdoor late afternoon/evening wedding and the dress was linen with a eyelet border. It was cool and nice but still a litle casual for the outdoor wedding yet dressy enough for the reception which was indoors.

As long as you look nice and not like you are in mourning, I'm sure you'll do fine.


Sal said...

My husband and I photograph weddings all summer long, and see black on both guests and bridesmaids more often than not. I think it's totally safe.

kona said...

My bridesmaids are going to be wearing black, so I don't see anything wrong with a guest doing the same. But, as another reader pointed out, it's probably a good idea to stay away from veils and whatnot.

Amanda said...

I wore black to the last wedding I went to (2 years ago now) and no one blinked. I had a little pewter clutch that I carried with it. I'm also pretty sure that I wasn't the only one there in black.

Of course I was mostly motivated by the fact that it was $25 at Filene's. Yes, I'm super-cheap.

Also, who's amused that the captcha is hFONZ? Yeah, that would be me.

The Fashion Police said...

I think the days are gone now when it was considered a faux pas to a wedding. Lots of people do it now, and given that so many evening/wedding-type dresses come in black, I think it would indeed by unfair for brides to expect us to avoid it altogether. It can look just as wedding-appropriate as any other colour, so I think the only "banned" colour for weddings these days is any version of white...

rachie! said...

I voted "other" so here's my explanation - it depends on the wedding! At my niece's wedding, 3 of my 4 sisters wore black dresses, and really, it looked like they were mourning. At my wedding, I put in the invitation "dress casually and comfortably" and I specifically told my sisters to wear some color!
... I'd wear black before I'd wear white! :)

lisalisa said...

totally agree with d'jen and fashion police. black is perfectly fine for a wedding, as long as you keep the look cool and sophisticated as opposed to funereal/goth. metallic accessories are a GREAT suggestion!or, a bright color shoe would complement the look. I'd also recommend a cocktail length black as opposed to full length. you want to steer away from anything that would make it seem too serious/stark. I might also add that women in Brazil, Italy and France wear black to weddings quite often, without any issue. Go for it and rock the look!

Daff said...

I've been to 5 weddings this summer, yes 5, and yes it seems like everyone I know is getting married.

I wore black to 2 of them. I have to admit I felt weird about wearing black the first time but 2 of my friends were wearing black too so it bolstered my courage. It was fine, lots of others were wearing black....but my dress is pretty nice and it just so happened that in 3 of the weddings the bridesmaids were in black too - so I felt almost like an unofficial bridesmaid each time :-P

ameliaheartsu said...

Isn't the little black dress supposed to be perfect for all occasions? or are they (the fashion powers that be) just lying to us?

Anne (in Reno) said...

I say, as long as you rock it! No funeral looks, as everyone has said, and well (and brightly) accessorized and people will be looking at you and not the color of your dress.

Anonymous said...

If you wear black, do your best to kill the whole "im going to a funeral" look. Maybe have neon accessories, colorful tights, but not too much or you might steal some attention from the bride!

and smile alot, moping wont help your case much.

punky said...

Thanks for the kind words.

I've been to 4 wedding this year and black was everywhere.
Its a go!

TheSundayBest said...

I voted D as well. On a related note, invitations are going out around here indicating the reception is "black tie." This is, apparently, in response to people showing up at weddings in t-shirts. I am not kidding.

I am, by no means, a clothes extremist. But if you can't dress up for someone's wedding, don't go.

Pamcasso said...

I actually plan to wear black when/if I myself get married, sooo yeah. I think as long as the dress is not too sexy/naked, it works.

Caitlin said...

Absolutely... unless you go around telling people you're wearing black because you are in mourning for your stepbrother's lost freedom.

The Vancouverista said...

I've worn black to the last two wedddings I've attended. It is absolutely acceptable and chic.

Anonymous said...

I have attended three weddings myself this summer and wore black to two of them. I have a black sheath dress that I wear to most formal occasions - if it's a funeral, I throw on a black cardigan to cover my arms, if it's a wedding, I put on a colorful cardigan or wrap to brighten things up. Black heels to funeral, metallic to wedding, same with clutch. It's all worked out fine!

Jessica said...

I think nowadays its perfectly acceptable to wear black to weddings. But if you're really not sure, just ask the bride! I'm sure if you explain the situation she'll be just fine with it, especially since she has worn black to a wedding before. I'm sure that she won't be such a dress nazis, especially if you explain that you're trying to save money. As long as you're not showing a tone of cleavage or your chocha, everybody will be paying attention to the bride anyway. Its all about love man, not the dress.

Cecilia said...

I think it's acceptable to wear black to a wedding, especially if the bride wore it to a wedding she attended. this tells you that she must find it appropriate.

Sara said...

I think its acceptable, appropriate, and even expected in some cases to wear black to most occassions. Like someone else said, the little black dress is always an appropriate choice. I personally think black is boring which is why I never wear it. But it is classic and classy so go for it!

WendyB said...

I've worn black to weddings, though I think it's not the most festive or interesting thing to wear. I certainly think if the bride spends her time brooding over your dress, she's marrying the wrong damn guy. And since no one else's opinion matters except for hers, I'd say wear whatever the hell you want.

Anne (in Reno) said...

wendyb, I have to say I brooded a bit when people showed up to my wedding in jeans and t-shirts. In black dresses, though, not a bit.

Mandy said...

A just wore a cocktail length black dress to a late afternoon/evening wedding a couple weeks ago and it was fine. There were tons of people there in black dresses. I just wore purple jewelry and shoes to liven it up a bit.

I really wouldn't worry about it. I think the not wearing black at a wedding tradition is going the way of the dinosaurs.

Pamcasso said...

O hai! try to take a look at my blog in the next day, I've written a thank you haiku for you!

Alicia said...

my best friend is getting married next week, it is a small ceremony on the beach and they are asking everyone to wear black ( i normally think it's ridiculous to request your guests wear something specific but since it's so so small and intimate i'm ok with it) and I think it's a good idea as wearing black only makes the brides dress that much more beautiful. Plus, with everyone wearing black the wedding pictures will turn out great.

Elisabeth said...

Adding my two cents to the "depends on the dress" crowd ... I think a black-based floral or pattern with other colors is pretty much always fine. I think an all-black dress works if it's in a "fresh" sort of fabric, i.e. cotton, eyelet, linen, or silk and has a cute, fun, modern cut. Basically, I feel like if you WOULDN'T wear it to a funeral, it's okay to wear to a wedding. If you would wear it to a funeral ... find something else.

Anonymous said...

If its accessorized brightly, its fine, unless you go around the party acting like you're in mourning. Just don't wear white.

enc said...

It might be okay after six, on a Saturday night, in Manhattan. Other than that, I wouldn't risk it, not even for spite. Though it is tempting.

Toby Wollin said...

OK, here is my two cents on black at weddings: After 5 p.m., in a very sophisticated setting with cocktails(and preferably vintage dress as well and cocktail hats). No one in the place should be wearing: tulle, white lace, or pouffy-ness of any shape or form.

Applesaucery said...

I agree with what several other people have said--as long as it's a cute, stylish dress (read: you don't look like you're wearing Victorian mourning) and you dress it up with cute, bright accessories, there's no reason you can't look really cute and entirely appropriate. I do think you should use your accessories to add some color, though--wear bright yellow shoes, or something. : )

j said...

In no way, shape, or form should a black dress be construed as anything morbid in this day and age. Wear gold accents or something else sparkly. Especially if it is a late afternoon/evening wedding, black is most appropriate.

I have to share that when my brother got married the first time, his wife had self-esteem issues, and was going to wear a regular brown and green day dress. My sister and I were so irritated with her that we were going to wear combat boots and crazy stuff. My mom talked the bride into something really unique and her, but I was disappointed because really wanted to wear the long velour dress with the 70s racing stripe down the side!

Inez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
-h of candid cool said...

i hear the rules goes if its an evening wedding black is OK.

Anonymous said...

i believe it's fine to wear black to a wedding as long as the dress isn't funeral-y but my mother begs to differ. of course, she is biased since the groom at the wedding she last attended wearing black attempted to kill the bride not long after the wedding.

Joanne said...

Charlotte wore black to the wedding of Miranda's interior designer in series 2 of Sex & the City (and she was a bridesmaid!). Since I pretty much base my every decision around that show, I say go for it!!

Odette said...

My friend had a Goth wedding & black was not only fine, it was practically mandatory.
For non-goth weddings, I might wear black if it was a casual, small-scale and/or evening event. If it's during the day, especially if the ceremony is outside, it's nice to wear lighter colors.

Anonymous said...

i wore black dress at my bestfriends' wedding last month,i got lots of compliment bout' my dress from "laura" store i looked elegant with my purple shoes so yeah i guess black dress for wedding now is in fashion so dont be afraid to wear black,just add nice bling-bling and right shoes just dont go all black its too boring and ull be ok.

Anonymous said...

if black clothes are so not appropriate for weddings then why do men wear black suits in weddings? think about it,are they the only ones who can wear blacks?I'd say go for it,express yourself.

ericwa said...

Try going to

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