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Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
by Kennedy
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:54 am
by Grt2bOutdoors
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
Men normally wear dark suits, the tuxedo's are normally black. Women run the gamut, I've seen white, beige, brown, blue, light blue, red, maroon, black. Don't think I've ever seen green, maybe purple?
I can't wait to hear the other responses.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:58 am
by RickBoglehead
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
So to see if it's not uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding, the fashion site you think of is... Bogleheads? :shock: I would have probably checked Car and Driver first. :wink:

Glamour - https://www.glamour.com/story/wear-blac ... -etiquette

Vogue - https://www.vogue.com/article/wedding-d ... ring-black

Martha Stewart - https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/6 ... ss-wedding

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:02 pm
by alfaspider
The only total faux paus I've heard of is wearing white when you are not the bride. Other than that, I doubt anybody is going to care as long as it's reasonably tasteful and in keeping with the level of formality for the wedding.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:04 pm
by an_asker
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
You would stick out like a sore hand (not just thumb) if you were headed to a Big Fat Indian Wedding lol!!

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:08 pm
by drawpoker
Personally, I would not dress in black dress for a daytime wedding, only an evening event (6 PM or later) And make sure it is very dressy/elegant. Not something also worn to the office.

Find out what color the bridesmaids dresses are. At some trendy weddings the bride chooses black for the bridesmaids so a guest would not wear a black gown in that case.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:20 pm
by HomeStretch
For weddings we have attended, “rules” have relaxed about wearing black to a wedding (but not white). I have seen weddings with a black and white theme, and also weddings with attendants wearing black. If I was aware of the latter, I personally would avoid black.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:44 pm
by runner540
Don't wear black to a wedding. It is very uncommon for women to wear to a wedding unless it's the bridesmaid color. In the US, black is worn for funerals. That's why it's poor taste to wear to a joyful occasion like a wedding.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:47 pm
by mptfan
runner540 wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 12:44 pm
Don't wear black to a wedding. It is very uncommon for women to wear to a wedding unless it's the bridesmaid color. In the US, black is worn for funerals. That's why it's poor taste to wear to a joyful occasion like a wedding.
I don't claim to be well versed in fashion, far from it, but this is my reaction as well.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:00 pm
by NotWhoYouThink
Where is the wedding? In NYC or Boston black is common. In Tupelo or Cancun, less so.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:02 pm
by TxAg
maybe black won't show wine stains....live it up!

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:03 pm
by Valuethinker
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
That is probably the case in some ethnic-national groups (Greek ladies were black all the time, for example). It probably does mark you out as being "of an older generation".

As someone else points out, it's probably an upper class American thing, if it is a thing. So East Coast.

I would suggest with a dash of very bright colour? Scarf, etc?

White is out. Except maybe a cream colored suit, say.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:18 pm
by leeks
Depends very much on where you are and the culture of the bride/groom and family/friends.

An evening event in NYC area, many women will be wearing black.

A 1pm wedding in the South, less likely.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 1:28 pm
by Gnirk
Wearing white to a wedding? No
Wearing black to a wedding? Yes, though many years ago it was considered a no-no.
In fact, I just attended a wedding where the bridesmaids wore beautiful black gowns, all different but all long and black.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 2:00 pm
by drawpoker
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married.......what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
What I want to know is...

Do you already have a black dress in your closet you are thinking of, or, are you thinking of purchasing a black dress for the occasion :?:

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:02 pm
by JoeRetire
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
What does the term "uncommon" mean to you? Less than 10%? Less than 5%? Less than 1%? Have never seen one in 5 years?

My son was married last month. Several black dresses were seen.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:05 pm
by MotoTrojan
Grt2bOutdoors wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:54 am
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
Men normally wear dark suits, the tuxedo's are normally black. Women run the gamut, I've seen white, beige, brown, blue, light blue, red, maroon, black. Don't think I've ever seen green, maybe purple?
I can't wait to hear the other responses.
White is a big time no-no I thought. Reserved for the hateful mother-in-law if anyone.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:05 pm
by Flobes
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married... However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
Ask the inviters. There are just too many variables and family expectations to advise you one way or the other.

Not long ago, I was invited to my cousin's daughter's wedding. (Very fancy: Four Seasons, Chicago.) Instruction was explicit: all guests, women and men, in black only. Turned out, bridesmaids and groomsmen were in chocolate brown. Bride and groom were in white. Among hundreds of guests, it was quite a sight of urban minimalism. I (bought and) wore a black dress.

Not long ago, I was invited to another cousin's son's wedding. (Formal, at a yacht club on Long Island.) Instruction was bright colors, with florals preferred. Among @100 guests, it was quite a sight of festive delight. I (bought and) wore a purple dress with flowers.

Woe upon me if I'd switched dresses, flowers to the one and black to the other.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:08 pm
by JoeRetire
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:58 am
So to see if it's not uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding, the fashion site you think of is... Bogleheads? :shock: I would have probably checked Car and Driver first. :wink:
I checked with Car and Driver.

They said that black is okay, as long as it's accented with chrome or rich Corinthian leather.

I may not have checked closely enough...

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:23 pm
by UpperNwGuy
Why do you want to wear black to this wedding? Is the problem that you already have the black evening dress and want to use it (or want to avoid the cost of buying a dress of a different color)? If so, time to go shopping for a new dress that isn't black.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:32 pm
by wanderer
We attended a 5 PM wedding in Austin, TX this month and one this summer that were "evening" weddings. Immediately following was the dinner and reception. More than half of the women from 20s- 60s were wearing black at both events - mostly some version of a "little black dress". Men were a mix of business casual and dark business suits. Wedding party was in typical tux and coordinated dresses. Bride in white, no veil. Both were low-key Christian weddings (pastor presided).

I have no fashion sense, but presume that this is normal these days, and dress code depend more on culture and timing. DW says she wore the "LBD" as she knew the groups and families to be "casual", and the reception was immediately following. If it had occurred earlier in the day or was a more formal church or "ethnic" setting than she would have chosen something to match that setting.

YMMV

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:34 pm
by J295
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:58 am
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
So to see if it's not uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding, the fashion site you think of is... Bogleheads? :shock: I would have probably checked Car and Driver first. :wink:

Glamour - https://www.glamour.com/story/wear-blac ... -etiquette

Vogue - https://www.vogue.com/article/wedding-d ... ring-black

Martha Stewart - https://www.marthastewartweddings.com/6 ... ss-wedding
Witty!

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:35 pm
by MaryO
Black is very common at weddings on the east coast, but I would call your relative and ask. My daughter just wore a black gown to a formal wedding last weekend. It's her go-to wedding guest gown when she doesn't have time to shop or wants to put extra $$ in her ROTH :D Her bridesmaids wore their own choice of black gowns at her wedding 3 years ago. MOG wore black gown, I wore navy, and a few women wore black. If it looks good on you, and it's an evening event, black is fine. White is still off limits, though.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:36 pm
by H-Town
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
I wear what I want. Sometimes it sticks out like a sore thumb but it doesn't bother me one bit. It's on whoever invited me to their weddings. They should know that I don't go out of my ways to dress for other people.

If you want to wear black, wear black. Keep life simple and do it your way.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:45 pm
by KlangFool
OP,

Don't assume. Ask the host.

KlangFool

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:22 pm
by Calli114
Sample size of one: a best friend of mine is wearing a black mother-of-the-bride dress to a December wedding.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:38 pm
by arcticpineapplecorp.
(clickbait)

"Just follow this one rule to be a successful wedding guest!"

click:

"don't look better than the bride."

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:47 pm
by SrGrumpy
Anything goes. Didn't a woman recently attend her sister's wedding dressed as a dinosaur? Mind you, it probably wasn't a black dinosaur.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:50 pm
by bsteiner
In the NYC area, for a while it would have been unusual for a woman to wear anything other than a black dress to a wedding.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:52 pm
by Jags4186
Black is pretty common for an evening wedding.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 4:58 pm
by ohai
I've never imagined this would be an issue and have never remembered what any woman wore to a wedding, other than brides and bridesmaids. As long as "black" doesn't mean full Goth or something outlandish, I'd guess it's fine. That's my data point anyway.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:02 pm
by littlebird
Fifteen years ago, in a suburb of NYC, I as the mother-of-the bride was the only mature woman not wearing black. Frankly, standing back as they all precessed into the dining hall, they looked like a murder of crows to me, but I come from the era when black was for funerals only.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:21 pm
by Meg77
I'm from the South and am usually pretty well versed in fashion rules (no white after labor day, et al), but I've never heard that you shouldn't wear black to a wedding. Only that you shouldn't wear white. I've been to about 5 weddings a year for the last decade all across the country, and I've never noticed black being avoided or heard about this rule of thumb.

Season and time of day should help dictate attire though. If it's a daytime affair in spring or summer, I'd avoid black. But if it's a formal evening event (and especially if it's black tie preferred or suggested), then a "little black dress" is a classy and typical a go to option any time of year.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:26 pm
by SrGrumpy
Flobes wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:05 pm
Turned out, bridesmaids and groomsmen were in chocolate brown.
I guess the couple held long-standing grudges against these poor folk.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:28 pm
by stoptothink
H-Town wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:36 pm
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
I wear what I want. Sometimes it sticks out like a sore thumb but it doesn't bother me one bit. It's on whoever invited me to their weddings. They should know that I don't go out of my ways to dress for other people.

If you want to wear black, wear black. Keep life simple and do it your way.
+1. Unless you are part of the wedding party, wear whatever you want. It would never cross my mind to buy a new article of clothing solely to attend a wedding and we attend a lot of them. I suppose it could be different for a female, but it never has been for my wife.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:38 pm
by HueyLD
Whenever I attended weddings hosted by Asian bride and/or groom, I was always careful not to have female members in my group wearing black. I was told that black dresses are for funerals only and could bring back luck to their marriage.

It is important to ask ahead of time. Wearing black may be very offensive to the happy couple.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:45 pm
by Kennedy
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:23 pm
Why do you want to wear black to this wedding? Is the problem that you already have the black evening dress and want to use it (or want to avoid the cost of buying a dress of a different color)? If so, time to go shopping for a new dress that isn't black.
Yes, I already have a black cocktail dress that fits perfectly and prefer not to buy something else. The upcoming wedding is a fall, evening wedding.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:12 pm
by JoeRetire
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:45 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:23 pm
Why do you want to wear black to this wedding? Is the problem that you already have the black evening dress and want to use it (or want to avoid the cost of buying a dress of a different color)? If so, time to go shopping for a new dress that isn't black.
Yes, I already have a black cocktail dress that fits perfectly and prefer not to buy something else. The upcoming wedding is a fall, evening wedding.
Don't buy anything else. You'll be fine.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:16 pm
by protagonist
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 11:48 am
I have a close family member getting married. I know traditionally, women didn't wear black to a wedding. I also know people here are going to say, "If you want to wear black, wear black."

However, what I want to know is if in fact it isn't uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding. I don't want to stick out in a bad way.
It really depends on the circles in which you travel.
In my circles you would not stick out and it would not matter at all.
But in others I have no clue. If you are worried about this, perhaps ask members of the family that you trust.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:33 pm
by MJS
Since it's a cocktail dress, Rule 1 doesn't apply:
#1 If you could possibly wear this garment to funeral, never wear it to a wedding.
But do keep Rule 2 in mind:
#2 If you could possibly wear this garment to a wild New Year's Eve party, then as arcticpineapplecorp says "don't look better than the bride."

You want the kind of LBD you could wear to a stuffy office party.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:40 pm
by protagonist
MJS wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:33 pm

But do keep Rule 2 in mind:
#2 If you could possibly wear this garment to a wild New Year's Eve party, then as arcticpineapplecorp says "don't look better than the bride."
Sometimes rule #2 is unavoidable.

In the immortal words of Bobby McFarrin, "Don't worry. Be happy."

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:45 pm
by leeks
JoeRetire wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 7:12 pm
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:45 pm
UpperNwGuy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:23 pm
Why do you want to wear black to this wedding? Is the problem that you already have the black evening dress and want to use it (or want to avoid the cost of buying a dress of a different color)? If so, time to go shopping for a new dress that isn't black.
Yes, I already have a black cocktail dress that fits perfectly and prefer not to buy something else. The upcoming wedding is a fall, evening wedding.
Don't buy anything else. You'll be fine.
+1

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:03 pm
by GT99
I'd never heard the "don't wear black to a wedding" faux pax, so I just checked my wedding pictures (evening wedding 6 years ago in Atlanta) - I'd say 1/4 to 1/3 of the women wore black dresses.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 8:34 pm
by nisiprius
Cosmopolitan has an article on 8 Things You Should Never Wear to a Wedding. Wearing black isn't one of them.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:32 pm
by RudyS
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:45 pm
OP,

Don't assume. Ask the host.

KlangFool
I''ve been reading this thread to DW. She says yours is the best answer she heard.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:35 pm
by Small Savanna
" So to see if it's not uncommon for women to wear black to a wedding, the fashion site you think of is... Bogleheads? :shock: I would have probably checked Car and Driver first. :wink: "

Thanks for giving me a good laugh on a Tuesday night.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:37 pm
by Kennedy
RudyS wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:45 pm
OP,

Don't assume. Ask the host.

KlangFool
I''ve been reading this thread to DW. She says yours is the best answer she heard.
I'm paying for the wedding, so I guess I'm the host. I say my little black dress is fine. So I guess I'm good. :D

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:43 pm
by HomeStretch
Great decision. Add a great bag, shoes and jewelry and you will be good to go!

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:53 pm
by indi
I wore a black outfit to a Friday night wedding two weeks ago. Overheard my 89 year old aunt commenting that black clothing was inappropriate for a wedding. Since most of my wardrobe is black and this is the only evening wear, I wasn't going to purchase something new. Then all of the 20-something guests showed up in slinky black tuxedoes and dresses so I didn't stand out. I'm guessing that wardrobe color is more of a generational thing and for people who adhere to fashion rules, which I never have.

Re: Women wearing black to a wedding?

Posted: Tue Oct 29, 2019 10:29 pm
by KlangFool
Kennedy wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:37 pm
RudyS wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 9:32 pm
KlangFool wrote:
Tue Oct 29, 2019 3:45 pm
OP,

Don't assume. Ask the host.

KlangFool
I''ve been reading this thread to DW. She says yours is the best answer she heard.
I'm paying for the wedding, so I guess I'm the host. I say my little black dress is fine. So I guess I'm good. :D
Kennedy,

It is a wedding. There are two sides to the wedding.

KlangFool