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Wearing Black to a Wedding: Controversial or Outdated?

Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?

Years ago and even currently for certain couples, wearing black to a wedding was and is considered disrespectful and symbolic of your views around their companionship.

In the traditional sense, wearing black to a wedding was a way of saying that you didn't agree with what was going on, and it was a sly way of objecting without verbally shouting it out and causing a scene like they do in the movies.

So these days, can you wear black to a wedding? There are a few things to consider, so stick around as we break it down for you.

Why is it Taboo to Wear Black to a Wedding?

So why is it wrong to wear black to a wedding? The idea of this is not an old tradition; wearing black even for the bride was considered practical in the 1800s as fabrics were expensive, white got dirty really quickly, and dry-cleaning didn't exist back then.

When a man remarried in the 1800s after the death of his late wife, often his new bride would wear black as a sign of respect and mourning. The idea of associating black with mourning is an old tradition from ancient Greece; when a family member died, the immediate family was expected to wear a dark fabric toga called a pulla toga. This continued through western practices and into modern society.

As for the taboo nature of wearing black to a wedding, the exact instance is unknown, but it is linked to the idea that wearing black is to show mourning and, in context, mourning at a wedding isn’t great.

Times Are Changing

People are starting to realise that eliminating black is restricting yourself from a whole lot of cool outfits; who doesn't love wearing black; it's sexy, elegant, and powerful!

Freedom of expression is a mentality that society values more and more as years go on, and with this, traditions and vices that prevent humans from reaching creative heights become less valued. This extends to other circumstances of marriage, sexuality, occupation, religion and yes, whether it’s acceptable to wear black to a wedding!

You definitely have to take into consideration whose wedding you’re attending, but at an entry-level… go for it… live your life!

Wearing Black as a Guest

So if you've made your mind up and wearing black to this wedding isn't going to ruffle anyone's feathers, you still have to consider complying with the dress code. We’d say that wearing black slots nicely into an autumn or winter wedding, but realistically, all of that is up to interpretation anyway.

Here are the things you need to consider;


Where's the wedding held? Will black actually suit the venue setting? If it's a beach wedding in the summer, you may feel less inclined to wear black, the same goes if it's a spring wedding at the botanical gardens. Use the information given on the wedding invitation to decipher whether it's appropriate/suitable to wear black.


We touched briefly on seasonality in the above section, but to emphasise things, think about the time of year/season as this will clearly indicate and replicate how the bride envisioned her guests dressing. If it's a summer wedding, she's thinking floral, fresh and clean, winter and she's thinking more formal and royal, autumn she's thinking earthy tones, and spring she's going for a creative environment.

Dress Code

When you receive a wedding invitation, there's usually a small brief stating the dress code; whether it's formal, semi-formal, black tie, black tie optional, or white tie, this may affect whether you can wear black. There is a fair bit of grey area on these dress codes, which is why most invitations will give you a bit more background on the preferred attire. If it doesn't, don't be afraid to reach out to one of the bridesmaids or even a fashionable friend you trust.

Wearing Black in the Bridal Party

Unless this is something that's organised, 100% do not wear black, where what you've been told to wear, full stop. Suppose you've been given the blessing of helping the bride decide what the bridal party should sport on the day, then sure, why not suggest black as an option.

Black Dresses for a Wedding

HOUSE OF CB Adrienne Corset Maxi (Black) - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out
HOUSE OF CB Charmaine Corset Gown (Black) - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out
LEXI Samira Dress (Black) - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out
IVONA SKELO Vivia Dress - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out
HOUSE OF CB Adrienne Corset Maxi (Black) - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out
HOUSE OF CB Charmaine Corset Gown (Black) - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out
LEXI Samira Dress (Black) - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out
IVONA SKELO Vivia Dress - RRP 9,Dress for a Night
Sold out

House Of CB Adrienne Corset Maxi Dress

The House of CB Adrienne Corset Dress is cut from a thick satin that drapes across the body. The built in corset allows for a flattering hourglass silhouette. This dress is all about luxury which is why we think it makes the perfect wedding guest outfit and nails the formal dress code. You can never go wrong with a black dress, no matter what season, which is why we know you will fall in love with this dress. Accessorising is simple - add a pop of colour to elevate your look, or stick the basics and opt for neutral accessories for a classic look.

House Of CB Charmaine Corset Gown

The House of CB Charmaine Corset Gown is one we know you will recognise. Made from a lustrous silk satin, this dress features a beautifully draped cowl neckline with a corset bodice to cinch the figure. This is the dress of the season and we understand why. Corset dresses are the trending style of the year, so why not jump onto the trend while you can at your next wedding? You are guaranteed to make a statement with this gorgeous style.

Lexi Samira Dress

The Lexi Samira Dress is a fan favourite style for all formal and black tie occasions. A glamorous floor-length, one shoulder style made from a stretch satin. This style is extremely flattering and elegant, and makes the perfect black tie outfit. Although this style has a thigh high split, you can easily use double sided fashion tape to close the two pieces of fabric together. This promising hack, makes this dress an effortless style as a wedding guest.

Ivona Skelo Vivia Dress

The Ivona Skelo Vivia Dress is all about femininity and sparkle. The definition of simple but with a twist, this gorgeous dress features diamonte cut-outs, and is all you'll ever want and need for your next formal event. This flattering figure hugging dress will make the perfect statement.

Nookie Lust One Shoulder Gown

The Nookie Lust One Shoulder Gown is a classic and timeless style that is appropriate for almost every formal occasion. This sophisticated style features a one shoulder design with a twist detail at the waist. This elegant dress is extremely comfortable and flattering and is definitely the perfect classic wedding guest outfit.

Lia Stublla Eviana Gown

The Lia Stublla Eviana Gown is a beautiful strapless gown featuring an asymmetric neckline with a corset bodice. This dress gives a stunning hourglass silhouette and we know you will love this dress for your next formal event. This gown is sure to turn heads and will leave you feeling glamorous. We love this style for formal weddings where every guest is required to make a statement with their outfit.

Pasduchas Composure Gown

The Pasduchas Composure Gown exudes sophistication and elegance. This dress features a draped neckline which is very comfortable and makes the dress a super modest piece. The dress gives an extremely flattering silhouette and will leave you feeling super confident! If you're needing a formal gown for a wedding this is your go-to. Suitable for all ages, you cannot go wrong with this classic style. We also love this dress for mother of the bride/groom.

Nookie Rumi Gown

The Nookie Rumi Gown is an elegant one shoulder gown crafted in a thick velvet. This elegant design is perfect for black tie weddings as it is super comfortable and leaves you feeling like a million dollars! This one shoulder design is extremely flattering on the body and the gorgeous velvet will have you warm and snug for your weddings during the cooler seasons.

Rent a Black Dress with Dress for a Night

If your current situation has ticked all the boxes and wearing black to your upcoming wedding is going to make anyone’s mascara run, then explore our wedding guest collection; there are hundreds of highly-rated dresses for rent!

Buying a dress for a one-time occasion can be a hefty expense. With our hiring system you can wear the dress for a fraction of the retail price, without adding more clutter to your wardrobe. It is an efficient and sustainable service that also reduces the overconsumption that comes with fast fashion. Why not contribute to the greater good and look amazing while doing it?


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