Once upon a time, no woman would have dreamed of wearing black to a wedding. Today it is far more common, yet not accepted by all. Explore the issue of wearing black to a wedding: is it chic or is it scandalous?
As with any fashion decision, choosing an appropriate outfit for a wedding depends on context. Time of day, geographic region, and the wedding location will all come into play. For instance, if you were invited to an evening wedding in a loft in New York City, you would only look out of place if you did not wear black. On the other hand, the guest who shows up for an afternoon wedding in a garden in Savannah wearing a black frock is going to find a few disapproving looks cast her way. She is also going to be darn hot in a dark color on a sunny day! In that instance, the black dress would not only be inappropriate, but also impractical.
The personal style of the bride will also be a factor. The hip young urban woman who has a wardrobe built exclusively around black outfits will be unlikely to take offense to her guests attending her wedding in that shade. The young woman with more classic taste, who favors pink twinsets, monogrammed towels, and pearl wedding jewelry may well disapprove of her guests wearing the traditionally taboo color. Keep in mind that it is not only the bride whose opinion on the subject counts; she might think it is fine, but her mother and grandmother may well be offended. The older generations were raised with the idea that it was nothing short of a scandal to wear all black to a wedding. You may disagree, but why upset them?
There is one person who should never think of wearing a black dress to a wedding, and that is the mother of the bride. While some do these days, you absolutely run the risk of people interpreting your color selection to mean you disapprove of the marriage (which was the traditional meaning of making such a choice). If even one guest thinks that, it is too many. That is not to say that the bride’s mom can only wear lavender or baby blue. A platinum or espresso colored dress worn with stylish wedding jewelry will look just as chic as black, and far more appropriate for the occasion.
Ultimately, even if you can get away with wearing black, why not consider something a bit more festive? It is rather depressing to attend a wedding and be swallowed up by a sea of black attire. Besides, it is harder to express your personal style in a basic black dress. The LBD that you pull out for every function gets a little dull after a while, and a wedding is the perfect excuse to treat yourself to a new dress in a beautiful color. If everyone is used to seeing you only in noir, they will probably find it very refreshing to see you don a cranberry or aubergine dress for one day.
In the end, wearing black to a wedding is not as scandalous as it used to be, but is still frowned on in many circles. With so many other color choices available, why not think about stepping away from basic black and trying something new? You will be certain not to offend anyone, and will look fabulous.