Why Can’t You Wear Black To A Wedding: Guest Etiquette

It’s important to know why can’t you wear black to a wedding, so please read the top two reasons. Then, in this article, we’ll talk about why wedding guests must carefully consider wearing black. 

We’ll also discuss the instances where a black wedding guest outfit is acceptable. And since we’re on the topic of guest etiquette, we recommend that you also familiarize yourself with why can’t you wear red to a wedding.  

why can't you wear black to a wedding


Why Can’t You Wear Black To A Wedding: Wedding Guest Attire Etiquette


Different wedding customs and traditions

If there are no colors indicated in the wedding invitation, it’s best to ask someone close to the couple about your intention of wearing black. This is to ensure that the color is not potentially misinterpreted as you are disrespectful to the couple’s cultures. 

At some weddings, typically, the color black is associated with mourning. Therefore, the other guests at the wedding may find it distasteful if they see a person wearing black to an event that’s supposed to celebrate two people. 

Another reason why black is not acceptable to wear in other cultures for events like weddings is that black symbolizes bad luck. It might seem like you’re anticipating an unsuccessful marriage between the bride and groom if you wear this color at their wedding. 


Preference of the couple

It’s essential to check if you want to wear black to a wedding as some people simply don’t prefer this color for their occasion. For example, maybe the couple wants a bright color palette, and they’d like not to have dull and dark colors at their wedding. 

You also don’t want to stand out, especially if the wedding invitation indicates the color palette. For example, if it’s a pastel-colored wedding, then black will be too noticeable in the crowd. 

The black might even be reserved for the wedding party or the couple themselves in some events. Perhaps the groomsmen are supposed to wear black suits, so as a male guest, you must select another color for your suit as basic etiquette. 


Rules On Wearing Black To A Wedding

Before you wear black to a wedding, check with the couple or someone from the wedding party. Clarify if black is not associated with any negative symbolism or if it’s a color that the couple won’t like for their wedding. 

Here are some other tips and guidelines for wedding guest outfit etiquette regarding black clothing:

  1. Black-tie and formal weddings typically expect black outfits; therefore, you can wear a black suit or dress as long as it’s not an all-black attire to avoid standing out
  2. Evening weddings call for dark-colored outfits, including black; just make sure that you’re not wearing something too eye-catching such as a sexy high-slit black evening dress for female guests or a black tux that makes you look like the groom for male guests
  3. Light colors are more acceptable for morning or afternoon weddings; it wouldn’t be practical to wear black, especially if it’s an outdoor afternoon beach wedding, for example
  4. If the venue or season is expected to be hot, black would feel uncomfortable to wear as it retains heat
  5. If the wedding party is wearing black, select another color for your wedding guest attire
  6. Combine black with other neutral colors for a classy look

With all this being said, here are the colors to wear at a wedding as your alternative to black if needed.  


Can You Wear Black To A Spring Wedding?

A spring wedding typically calls for a colorful outfit scheme for the guests. Normally, you’ll see floral dresses, pastel-colored suits, and jewel-toned clothing on the wedding guests. 

However, it’s still possible to wear black to a spring wedding, especially if it has an exciting and lively pattern. Don’t forget to match it with another color for the shoes or accessories so that you won’t stand out from the other guests. 


Can You Wear Black To A Summer Wedding?

It might not be a good idea to wear black to a summer wedding because of the hot temperature. Unless it’s an evening wedding or held at an indoor location, you might get uncomfortable wearing black at a summer wedding. 


Can You Wear Black And White To A Wedding?

You can wear black and white to a wedding as it’s a formal and elegant look. You can never go wrong with a black suit and white inner shirt for male guests to follow a formal dress code

Regardless, check the wedding invitation as the couple might prefer other colors for their wedding. 


Can You Wear Black Floral To A Wedding?

Guests can wear a black floral outfit to a wedding. This is especially suitable for whimsical and modern weddings where patterns and exciting color combinations are expected. 

However, especially for female guests, check the style of your outfit and make sure that it doesn’t look bridal. For example, perhaps you’re wearing a black floral dress with a voluminous skirt and lace details that looks like something a bride would wear. 



And that’s it! We just learned why can’t you wear black to a wedding and it’s for two reasons. 

One, some cultures associate black with mourning and bad luck. Second, you don’t want to stand out if the wedding color scheme doesn’t include black. 

We hope this helps with basic guest etiquette; let us know below if you’re curious about other colors. 

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