Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: JeseC on February 21, 2013, 03:27:13 PM

Title: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: JeseC on February 21, 2013, 03:27:13 PM
As the title says - is it considered rude to wear black to a wedding?  My mother always taught me this rule.  I was just thinking because most of my wardrobe is in black.  I have a lovely black cocktail dress that would be perfect, and very easy to dress up or down as desired.  I do have some non-black stuff but it's not as comfortable and might be just a tad warm for a summer wedding.

(P.S. to anyone who remembers my post about affordability - I mentioned it to the bride and she suggested pairing me up with a mutual friend who was looking for a more local person to share accommodations with, for cost help.  So, happy ending!)
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 21, 2013, 03:31:30 PM
In NYC its considered weird to wear anything but black to a wedding!  ;D
(ok not really, women do occasionally wear colors and they aren't seen as weird, but black is definitely the most popular dress color for formal events 'round here.)
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: stitchygreyanonymouse on February 21, 2013, 03:34:22 PM
I think it depends on your area. Have you seen women in black at other weddings you’ve attended?

I don't find it rude, but I haven't seen it very often. I would probably dress it up with colorful accessories.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: NyaChan on February 21, 2013, 03:36:17 PM
Not rude as far as I know.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Deetee on February 21, 2013, 03:37:33 PM
Depends where you are, really. Also time of day.

It's universally rude to wear mourning clothes to a wedding. (White in some asian countries, I believe) or anything that says you are unhappy with the wedding.

A black cocktail dress with sparkly jewelry or colourful accessories (and a happy smile) at an evening wedding would not raise an eybrow. A full length black gown in the middle of the day would (actually that would be odd even at not-a-wedding.)

 
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Judah on February 21, 2013, 03:42:21 PM
As the title says - is it considered rude to wear black to a wedding?

Not in my experience.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: hobish on February 21, 2013, 03:54:58 PM
In NYC its considered weird to wear anything but black to a wedding!  ;D
(ok not really, women do occasionally wear colors and they aren't seen as weird, but black is definitely the most popular dress color for formal events 'round here.)

I was just going to say it is beyond common in the NY/NJ/PA area.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: SamiHami on February 21, 2013, 04:02:26 PM
Can you dress it up with something colorful? A scarf/wrap? The point is that a wedding is a celebration and that going to one looking funerial is not appropriate. So a pretty black party dress paired with some colorful accesories would be appropriate.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Giggity on February 21, 2013, 04:30:28 PM
No, it's not.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Erich L-ster on February 21, 2013, 04:46:51 PM
It really irks me when people wear solid black to a wedding, but there's no stopping the tide. People are going to do it.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: oceanus on February 21, 2013, 04:55:14 PM
I don't think it's rude at all.  I wore a nice black suit to a wedding, and later changed to a colorful dress for the reception (which was a couple hours later).
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: katycoo on February 21, 2013, 04:57:17 PM
I think its fine but if you can accessorise with colour, i think that's nicer than flat black.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: mulchlady on February 21, 2013, 04:58:09 PM
No.  Not anymore, alot of brides are even having their bridesmaids wear black
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: bansidhe on February 21, 2013, 05:04:08 PM
In NYC its considered weird to wear anything but black to a wedding!  ;D
(ok not really, women do occasionally wear colors and they aren't seen as weird, but black is definitely the most popular dress color for formal events 'round here.)

I was just going to say it is beyond common in the NY/NJ/PA area.

But not so much where I live (Tucson, AZ area). I'm pretty sure it would raise eyebrows here and I'd never do it myself. It seems to be OK for the bridal party to wear black, but not for guests.

If I were the OP, I'd take a quick poll of people who live in my area and see what they think, as opinions on the matter seem to vary quite a lot by region. It also can't hurt to ask the bride what her colors are so that you don't wear that color if you decide against black.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 21, 2013, 05:28:22 PM
Not in Texas for an evening wedding at least. At the last wedding I attended the MO B was in a beautiful black dress.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 21, 2013, 05:31:10 PM
No.  Not anymore, alot of brides are even having their bridesmaids wear black

Yep, back in 1998 I had my bridesmaids (and one matron) wear black...a cocktail dress of their choice.  Worked so well for them that several adopted my idea for their own weddings.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: GlassHalfFull on February 21, 2013, 05:32:24 PM
Just don't wear white!   ;)
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: heartmug on February 21, 2013, 05:38:45 PM
I was at a wedding in October and there were several ladies wearing black dresses.  My dd had a black skirt with a mauve colored blouse on.  Another lady had a black dress with a multi-colored short jacket on.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: jpcher on February 21, 2013, 05:52:42 PM
I certainly hope not.

I was the bride and I wore black.

(I joked that I was mourning the loss of my single days. Truth be told, LDH really liked it when I wore black, so I wanted to please him. And I did. 8))



To answer your question . . . DD#2 went to a wedding last fall and she was all over not wearing black because she didn't think it would be appropriate (probably due to my coaching. ::)) When she came home, she told me that more than 1/2 the women were dressed in the little-black-dress.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Yvaine on February 21, 2013, 05:56:23 PM
There's a picture from my mom's wedding a few years ago: one of my sisters in a sparkly black dress, another sister in a sparkly red dress, and me in a sparkly red and black striped dress. My mom was thrilled--they're her favorite colors.  :)
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: flowersintheattic on February 21, 2013, 06:11:52 PM
I wear black to weddings all the time. I don't think there's anything wrong with it, unless (like PPs said) it's over funeral-like. A little black dress with festive accessories is perfectly acceptable in my mind.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: whiterose on February 21, 2013, 06:24:31 PM
As somebody said either here or on a previous incarnation of Ehell:

- To an evening wedding in New York City? Yes, it is fine.

- To a daytime wedding in Atlanta? Not fine at all.

I know those are the two extremes, and that there are gray areas in the middle. Personally, I would not do it. Adding an accessory with color would be a good idea.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: JeanFromBNA on February 21, 2013, 06:26:37 PM
I think that rule has gone by the wayside.  Just don't dress like you're mourning, or one of the waitstaff (With apologies to Lady Grantham).
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Thipu1 on February 21, 2013, 06:46:07 PM
In NYC its considered weird to wear anything but black to a wedding!  ;D
(ok not really, women do occasionally wear colors and they aren't seen as weird, but black is definitely the most popular dress color for formal events 'round here.)

Amen.  There is black and there is black.  The classic LBD with a bit of color in the jewelry or accessories is just fine in NYC.  It's seen as formal and a way of drawing attention to the bride. 

The problem of wearing black to a wedding is if you dress like a traditional Mediterranean widow. That would be seen as a sign that you did not approve of the marriage. 


Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: m2kbug on February 21, 2013, 07:10:05 PM
No, I think that rule has generally gone by the wayside.  I think as a general rule, brighter colors would be the best to err on, and also consider the venue, the time of day, etc. 

I wore a black dress to a friend's wedding, the little black dress.  I did ask the bride if she was okay with it, though, because I was unsure of the appropriateness, and she was fine with it.

I wore this black dress in Tucson, AZ <<Waving to Bansidhe>>.  ;D I spent half my life there!  I'm surprised you say it wouldn't fly there. 

Check with the bride if you're not sure.  I'm sure it will be fine.   
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 08:00:34 PM
As long as you're not wearing a black veil, you're probably fine.

The rule about black was so that you wouldn't look like you were in mourning at someone's wedding. Obviously a little black dress with sparkly jewelry at a Saturday night wedding in New York or LA is not going to look like you're 'mourning'.

1) Where is the wedding located?
2) What time of day is the wedding?
3) Is the black dress/outfit funeral appropriate or is it fun, festive, and 'night out on the town'/party appropriate?
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Winterlight on February 21, 2013, 08:12:07 PM
I wouldn't, but so long as other people look celebratory and not funereal, I don't object.

I attended a wedding where the MOG wore solid black and a very sour look. That did not go over well with the groom. Or the bride.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Library Dragon on February 21, 2013, 08:13:37 PM
It's one of those cultural rules that has mostly been done away with.

In the late 80s we were stationed in N. Italy with the US Army.  DH was officiating at a wedding between an American man and Italian woman.  The mother of the groom came up to me and asked if the bride's family were upset. What?  All the women on the bride's side were wearing black. I explained that Italians always wore black to any formal function.  This was especially true for an evening wedding.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Miss Tickle on February 21, 2013, 08:21:41 PM
If you're making a statement, or if the bride or bridesmaids are in black as well and you're trying to match it's rude, but I thought the rule was you don't attend/schedule a wedding while you are in mourning, so wearing black would be inappropriate. Now that's not observed as much, but the black holdover lingered.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: hobish on February 21, 2013, 08:29:48 PM
In NYC its considered weird to wear anything but black to a wedding!  ;D
(ok not really, women do occasionally wear colors and they aren't seen as weird, but black is definitely the most popular dress color for formal events 'round here.)

I was just going to say it is beyond common in the NY/NJ/PA area.

But not so much where I live (Tucson, AZ area). I'm pretty sure it would raise eyebrows here and I'd never do it myself. It seems to be OK for the bridal party to wear black, but not for guests.

If I were the OP, I'd take a quick poll of people who live in my area and see what they think, as opinions on the matter seem to vary quite a lot by region. It also can't hurt to ask the bride what her colors are so that you don't wear that color if you decide against black.

Yep, that is a good idea on both counts. The regional differences are interesting, but not always practical.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Roe on February 21, 2013, 08:42:57 PM
I've worn black to many weddings. As a matter of fact, I wasn't the only one in black. I think it's pretty normal and typical to wear black.

This was in Texas. 
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: GratefulMaria on February 21, 2013, 08:49:52 PM
I wouldn't, but so long as other people look celebratory and not funereal, I don't object.

I attended a wedding where the MOG wore solid black and a very sour look. That did not go over well with the groom. Or the bride.

DH and I went to a similar wedding last year.  I'm close friends with MOB, who's from the NYC area but from a family that would still feel upset at the idea of a guest wearing black at a wedding.  (I wear black all the time and joked that my silk ice blue dress was a huge sacrifice out of consideration for them.)  There were already hard feelings between the two sets of parents, so the MOG's choice of dress, while I thought it was elegant, was seen as subject to misinterpretation.  Especially since she didn't look all that happy.

Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: JeseC on February 21, 2013, 09:08:22 PM
It's your classic "little black dress" number.  Sleeveless, slight bit of cleavage, stops just above the knee.  Definitely not a funeral dress - more like what I'd normally wear for a night out on the town.  Thinking of pairing it with a black and white kitty scarf, given that the bride absolutely loves all things feline.  7pm to midnight wedding, expecting a wide spread of people including several from out of the country.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Aeris on February 21, 2013, 09:10:44 PM
It's your classic "little black dress" number.  Sleeveless, slight bit of cleavage, stops just above the knee.  Definitely not a funeral dress - more like what I'd normally wear for a night out on the town.  Thinking of pairing it with a black and white kitty scarf, given that the bride absolutely loves all things feline.  7pm to midnight wedding, expecting a wide spread of people including several from out of the country.

The dress sounds great, the timing sounds right. Unless the wedding is in a location/region where this has never been seen, I think you're *fine*.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: bansidhe on February 21, 2013, 11:24:41 PM
No, I think that rule has generally gone by the wayside.  I think as a general rule, brighter colors would be the best to err on, and also consider the venue, the time of day, etc. 

I wore a black dress to a friend's wedding, the little black dress.  I did ask the bride if she was okay with it, though, because I was unsure of the appropriateness, and she was fine with it.

I wore this black dress in Tucson, AZ <<Waving to Bansidhe>>.  ;D I spent half my life there!  I'm surprised you say it wouldn't fly there. 

Check with the bride if you're not sure.  I'm sure it will be fine.

<<waves back>>

When I really think about it, I haven't been to any weddings held by younger people in a long time. The ones I go to nowadays are generally second (or third, or fourth...) weddings and we're all older. So that may have a lot to do with my personal experience. Could be that the "no black at weddings" rule is still intact with many people of a certain age.  :)
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: nolechica on February 22, 2013, 02:09:27 AM
No.  Not anymore, alot of brides are even having their bridesmaids wear black

That's what my sister's having.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Me on February 22, 2013, 07:40:38 AM

I don't think it's rude at all.  I'm probably going to wear a black dress to a close friend's wedding in April.

The main rule I follow for weddings is not to wear white.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Just Lori on February 22, 2013, 07:55:01 AM
Black cocktail dress with sparkly jewelry?  Fine.

Somber head-to-toe black with no accents or accessories? Funeral.

ETA that the time of day and the venue make a difference.  I wouldn't wear black to a daytime wedding in an outdoor garden, for instance. However, I think black is perfectly appropriate at an evening wedding with a formal reception, assuming that you're going for an elegant look, rather than an undead look. ;)
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Winterlight on February 22, 2013, 09:42:59 AM
It's your classic "little black dress" number.  Sleeveless, slight bit of cleavage, stops just above the knee.  Definitely not a funeral dress - more like what I'd normally wear for a night out on the town.  Thinking of pairing it with a black and white kitty scarf, given that the bride absolutely loves all things feline.  7pm to midnight wedding, expecting a wide spread of people including several from out of the country.

This sounds fine. I'd bring a nice colorful shawl, partly because I'm always cold and partly to brighten up the dress.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: JeseC on February 22, 2013, 10:21:59 AM
I'll see what I can do.  It's a bit tricky for some of us - when your normal look is something like Abby from NCIS, finding "colorful" in your wardrobe can be a challenge!`
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Sophia on February 22, 2013, 11:16:02 AM
I would never do it.  Miss Manners says No White, No Black and if you know the shade the bridesmaids are wearing, then you shouldn't wear that either. 
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Winterlight on February 22, 2013, 11:16:41 AM
If can't find one you like, check out a fabric store and either hem a lengh or get it cut with pinking shears. I've done this- I got a nice piece of velvet and then lined it, but you can go unlined if you don't like to sew. Heck, at some stores you can find someone who will make it for you!
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: MrTango on February 22, 2013, 11:34:04 AM
Especially for an evening wedding, I think it's fine, especially since you're adding an accessory to give it some flair.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: JeseC on February 22, 2013, 12:03:01 PM
If can't find one you like, check out a fabric store and either hem a lengh or get it cut with pinking shears. I've done this- I got a nice piece of velvet and then lined it, but you can go unlined if you don't like to sew. Heck, at some stores you can find someone who will make it for you!

I think I'm as much having trouble seeing how that sort of thing would work with the dress.  A wrap or shawl, especially a heavy one, just feels like it would overwhelm the outfit and my figure.  I'd need something very light, which would be a bit harder to make.  I have a body shape that's typically described as "tiny" and the dress is cut to match.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSyH7BNzdV3ZphqUS5XpQHWINkAT7FBQwVhW8qkvrGhSUvtyWtMbQ that's roughly the type of garment we're talking.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Girlie on February 22, 2013, 12:10:37 PM
I don't think a black dress is rude, per say. A lady in a lovely black cocktail dress is not the same as a lady in black Victorian-style mourning dress.

Your choice sounds completely appropriate.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Winterlight on February 22, 2013, 12:14:17 PM
Silk is light, or try a pashmina. I found some online for $9.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: Aeris on February 22, 2013, 12:14:23 PM
I would never do it.  Miss Manners says No White, No Black and if you know the shade the bridesmaids are wearing, then you shouldn't wear that either.

The Miss Manner disapproves of the vast majority of wedding guests in NYC and LA.
Title: Re: Is it still rude to wear black to a wedding?
Post by: CreteGirl on February 22, 2013, 03:05:57 PM
In NYC its considered weird to wear anything but black to a wedding!  ;D
(ok not really, women do occasionally wear colors and they aren't seen as weird, but black is definitely the most popular dress color for formal events 'round here.)

Amen.  There is black and there is black.  The classic LBD with a bit of color in the jewelry or accessories is just fine in NYC.  It's seen as formal and a way of drawing attention to the bride. 

The problem of wearing black to a wedding is if you dress like a traditional Mediterranean widow. That would be seen as a sign that you did not approve of the marriage.

That is exactly what happened at my wedding.  A relative wore a black dress and a large black hat to my wedding.  She is someone who I believe did not approve of our marriage, and I felt it was rude.  Had she been someone who I knew wished us well, I would have felt differently.  Festive accessories should be worn with anything black to alleviate the appearance of mourning, is my opinion.