Can You Wear a Black Dress as a Wedding Guest?

Dark haired bride (in white, of course) with her bridesmaids all in black dressesPhoto: Bella Bridesmaids New York City/Hunter Hennes

It’s always a thrill to receive a wedding invitation. 

It’s a chance to celebrate love, an opportunity to gather with family and friends, and a date on the calendar to look forward to! And it’s also a great reason to buy a new dress.

But is it okay if that dress is black?

The question, “Can I wear a black dress as a wedding guest?” is one we hear all the time. Black wedding guest dresses were traditionally a no-no.

But that’s changed.

Here’s what you need to know about wearing a black dress to a wedding, plus seven gorgeous styles that might be perfect for your next big event!

Is It Okay to Wear Black to a Wedding?

Five beautiful women in black dresses hugging a blonde bride

Photo: Bella Bridesmaids Oklahoma City/Chelsea Reece

The answer is absolutely! 

Black wedding guest dresses are perfectly acceptable, so don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

Black is not a color reserved for funerals. In fact, black bridesmaid dresses are an incredibly popular choice amongst modern brides.

You can wear black anytime, anywhere. You won’t look like you’re in mourning; you’ll look chic! And the idea that it will bring bad luck to the couple is just an old superstition.

Old, traditional etiquette rule books advise against wearing black to someone’s wedding.

But it’s 2024! 

You can wear any color you want — except white or ivory. Save that for the bride unless she requests that all guests wear white. 

Black, pink, blue, yellow, purple … the color you wear doesn’t really matter. What matters is that you choose a dress that meets the dress code, theme, and style of the event.

Things to Keep in Mind When Choosing a Black Dress

Women’s formal dresses come in every fabric, sleeve length, and neckline imaginable. Whether you love a classic scoop neck sheath dress with long sleeves, an off-the-shoulder maxi dress with ruffles, or a beaded, strapless cocktail dress, finding your perfect black dress is easy! 

But there are a few things to keep in mind:

Consider the Theme and Location 

Be sure to consider the location of the wedding, the venue itself, and the theme.

For example, black might not be ideal for a tropical wedding on the beach. 

Couples spend months planning the wedding of their dreams. And if they’re envisioning everyone celebrating on the beach in colorful, tropical attire, a solid black dress might not be the best choice.

Consider the Season 

Black works in every season, but some fabrics and silhouettes are best reserved for cold-weather events.

For a spring or summer wedding, a short-sleeve black chiffon jumpsuit or a strappy chiffon midi dress makes perfect sense! Chiffon is lightweight and airy and will keep you cool and comfortable in the heat.

Heavier fabrics, like velvet, work best for a fall or winter wedding. A long-sleeve black velvet dress is ideal for a cold-weather wedding, especially if some festivities are outdoors.

Dress Up With Fun Accessories 

As a color, black is a blank slate, which means there are endless ways that you can accessorize and show off your personal sense of style. 

You can turn a classic knee-length LBD into a festive fashion statement with colorful shoes, a sequin handbag, or eye-catching jewelry!

See our entire collection of accessories, from footwear to jewelry to handbags!

7 Gorgeous Wedding Guest Dresses in Black

Looking for a show-stopping gown for a black tie event? A chic midi dress for a semi-formal affair?

No matter what look you’re going for, here are some gorgeous black wedding guest dresses that just might be perfect for you:

Jenny Yoo Calla Dress

Model wearing the Jenny Yoo Calla dress in black. This asymmetrical, one-shoulder satin-smooth look is stunning and sophisticated.

The Jenny Yoo Calla Dress is effortlessly chic in a sleeveless one-shoulder silhouette. With gently pleated and ruched details, this luxe satin look features an asymmetric high-low hem. If you’re debating whether to wear a mini dress or midi dress, this style offers the best of both worlds. 

Amsale P355P Evening Dress

 Model is wearing a short-sleeved v-neck midi dress in fuschia (but it is available in black!)

The Amsale P355P dress (seen above in fuchsia) wows in bias-cut stretch crepe. This distinctive look features short sleeves, a flattering V-neckline, and a midi length. It’s perfect for almost every wedding celebration, and the draped back tails make it oh-so-elegant!

Sachin & Babi Jessica Gown

Model is wearing a full-length, flowing, black v-neck gown with an empire waist and

In crinkle georgette, the Sachin & Babi Jessica Gown is timeless. Spaghetti straps make it comfortable, while the V-neck empire waist flatters all body types. The flowing skirt makes it perfect for a night of dancing, and the easy, breezy silhouette is ideal for wearing in any season.

Jenny Yoo Adelaide Dress


Model is wearing a slip style midi dress with a cut-out at waist and knot in the middle of the bust (v-neck).

With a cutout waist and a twist knot at the bust, the Jenny Yoo Adelaide Dress makes a bold statement. This lingerie-inspired slip dress is luxe and lovely, featuring a bias-cut midi skirt, a flattering V-neckline, and slim spaghetti straps.  

Amsale P360S Evening Dress


Full-length evening gown shown in fuschia (available in black). Wrap-style dress with v-neck front and back.

The Amsale P360S Evening Dress (seen above in fuchsia) is perfect for the woman who loves flaunting her curves. This bodycon dress is ultra-chic. It features a sleeveless wrap dress silhouette with a flattering V-neckline, a V-shaped back, and draped details.

Sachin & Babi Kayla Gown


Sleeveless A-line gown, perfect for a Black Tie event! High mock neck, sash ties into a bow at the back.

The Sachin & Babi Kayla Gown is a stunning choice for a formal black tie event. This sleeveless A-line gown features a high mock neck, a wide waistband, and a flowing skirt in crinkle georgette. A long sash ties into a bow at the neck, adding elegance and drama!

Amsale P384P Evening Dress


Halter-neck sleeveless full-length black gown with split at thigh.

In soft crepe fabric, the Amsale P384P Evening Dress is undeniably chic. This sleeveless gown features a halter neckline, a floor-length skirt, and a leg-baring front slit. With a sheer illusion back, it’s absolutely gorgeous from every angle. 

Check out our entire collection of wedding guest dresses, available in various styles, colors, and price ranges!

Whether you love a long-sleeved midi dress with puff sleeves or a floor-length gown with a cowl neck, wearing a black dress to a wedding is acceptable.

So, if you fall in love with a black dress while shopping for an upcoming wedding, don’t question it. As long as the fabric and style feel right for the season, the venue, and the dress code, go for it!  

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