Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Little Black Dress: Appropriate for a Wedding?


Today I'm excited to introduce you to my first guest blogger Carol Rame. Not only is she a talented wedding planner and blogger, but a longtime friend of mine going back to our elementary school days. We lost touch for a little while but were able to reconnect through facebook over a year ago.

Carol is a Certified Wedding Coordinator and a member of the Wedding Planners Institute of Canada. On her blog ‘Noteworthy’ she writes about the ins and outs of planning dream weddings. Her high attention to detail has allowed her to become greatly successful in just one short year. She offers full planning packages including design and decor, and just launched an i-Planning service which allows brides worldwide to consult with her via e-mail to plan their ultimate wedding experience!
Recently Carol received an email from a friend inquiring about wedding attire etiquette as it pertains to the little black dress. I thought it would be appropriate to share with all of you. Here is the question and how she responded:

"I have to ask your professional opinion for a friend of mine...we need you to settle our debate. She wants to wear a dress to her friend's wedding, but it is black.

Is it bad etiquette to wear a black dress to a wedding...or is that old fashioned? Please help!"

So here goes-the great debate.

In many circumstances, black has obtained a bad rap simply because it is seen as the colour to wear when in mourning.

It used to be (and still is followed by the majority) that the only colour not to wear was white to a wedding, as only the Bride should be in white on her wedding day.

Now I suppose if you were the Mother of the Bride, or Groom, it would cause a bit of a stir, however when in doubt, I would suggest to play it safe and ask the Bride herself how she feels about it.

In my own personal opinion however, I tend to view the "little black dress" as being very timeless, chic, and classy, especially for such a formal occasion (think Audrey Hepburn).

I do believe that the stigma of "mourning" has worn off quite a bit, and in some cultures white is actually seen as the colour for mourning. I think that as long as the "black tie affair" is around, there will always be black tuxes worn, which naturally look good when paired with the little black dress.

Nowadays, there are many couples who are opting for black to be their wedding party colours (which traditionally wasn't done until more recent years). Now what I would recommend is, just because you wear black, doesn't mean you have to go all black-have some fun with it!

Dress it up with your accessories! Try wearing a softer colour with it during the day (like white or pale pink, even silver) and swap the look for an evening one later (by going with a bold colour or gold). There are so many ways to dress it up or down with shoes, a fancy clutch, jewellery, scarves, and belts-try it out and add a splash to it!


Thank you Carol for being my guest blogger today and for sharing your insight on a question I think many women have wondered at some point. Especially when some women travel from overseas to North America it is important for them to know what to expect since every culture and country is different. HERE is Carol's original post on this topic.

Since we are on the topic of  the little black dress, and because a few of you have recently e-mailed me with some fashion-related questions, I thought I'd show you a favorite from my own closet. This dress travels well, doesn't wrinkle and  I have got so much use out of it. I originally purchased this dress for my cousin's wedding a few years ago. They had both the smaller and larger size but not mine, so I bought the larger size and had it tailored to fit.

While I love color, I typically opt for black especially for evening and very formal weddings. The reason why this dress works is because the strapless style is classic and timeless. It hits right at the knee so it is appropriate for a variety of occasions and venues. I love the fun detail that the tulle and bow add to this dress and the length makes it perfect for the dance floor.  ;)

Celebrity Solstice Cruise {Greece, Italy, Turkey} July 2009

What are your thoughts on wearing black to a wedding? Do you do it? Are you completely opposed? Leave a comment, we would love to hear from you!


  1. I'm sure you hear it all the time but you are gorgeous :)
    My wedding was black and white with perrywinkle blue accents. The mom's and bridesmaids wore black dresses. I think it looked very elegant and it is very timeless. I won't look back on that day and go what was I thinking :)
    I think as long as you don't updo the bride your good :)
    Enjoy your day

    1. Why do people use the word "timeless" regarding trends that are fairly recent.
      In the Western History of Weddings, wearing black IS not timeless.

  2. I agree about the black! In fact, when I got married way back in 1993, my bridesmaids wore black! We had a Christmas wedding with black and white attire and accents of red flowers. With the white-lighted Christmas trees at the front of the church, it was very elegant! The bridesmaids actually liked their dresses and I know for a fact at least 3 of them wore them several times after the wedding. There's my 2 cents! Thanks for the advice and I really appreciate your very classy blog!

  3. I don't it's wrong,wearing black., depends on HOW you wear it.....use an eyecather.....maybe a silver shoe or flower.....or a very funky clutch. Black is an accepted colour thesedays......suitable for almost any occasion!
    Like almost's not WHAT you wear...but HOW you wear it!

    Have a great day!


  4. Aha! I'm so glad I saw this! I've got 2 weddings in July to attend and I soooo badly want to wear a LBD to the evening wedding. It's a formal wedding. Now I know I can. Thank you!!!

  5. Kristin you are too sweet. Thank You. :) I LOVE periwinkle blue, that sounds like a beautiful combination. My bridesmaids wore red and the guys had black tuxes with silver vests/ties.

    I felt the same way, some things are trendy but I never wanted to look back and wonder what I was thinking. LOL I agree about the bride, look nice but don't upstage her and everything will be fine.


  6. Thanks Laurie! I'm glad you like my blog. Bridesmaids love it when they can wear a dress again, that is something I've never been able to do yet. Your wedding does sound very elegant, I love white lights in trees!

    Lynda you are so right, in life it's not always about the what but often about the 'how'. Thanks for sharing.

    Shelle-I'm so glad that this post was so timely for you. Have fun at the weddings!

    Thanks ladies for taking the time to share your thoughts. :)


  7. yes, black is fine for a wedding! I have worn black to a few weddings & would not hesitate!

  8. I usually wear black at weddings, as Carol said a black dress is always elegant and you never fail with it....A beautiful black dress can really make you feel like Audrey Hepburn, it's a great feeling xxx

    Hugs, Zaira

  9. While not a wedding, I wore a little black dress to a charity event recently but dressed it up with a pale pink statement necklace. The ensemble would work well for an evening wedding too.

  10. Karen: I love statement necklaces! I'm sure it looked fabulous!

    Cathy: Totally agree, I never hesitate on black. It's a staple in my wardrobe. Well, that and white. ;)

    I think most people get tripped up with daytime and summer weddings when color is much lighter and airy than the cooler months. Black is always in style, it just needs to be paired properly.

    It's great to have a few little black dresses in the closet to choose from. ;) I love pairing gold or silver with a black dress for a dramatic/glamorous look as Carol mentioned.


  11. I have no problem with a black dress for an evening wedding or reception. But not for a morning or afternoon wedding. If we go to the trusty etiquette book it says:

    Daytime informal or semi-formal day:
    Her- Short dress (not super short) or suit.
    Him- Dress shirt and pants, preferably a sport coat. Semi-formal day- a suit.

    Informal Evening or semi-formal evening:
    Her-Cocktail dress.
    Him-Suit (evening should be a dark suit)

    Formal daytime:
    Her-Short dress or suit, hat and gloves optional. (I love that! This is not something you typically see here.)
    Him- Dark Suit and Tie

    Formal Evening or black-tie:
    Her-Long or dressy cocktail dress. (Beaded, glammed up and add the wrap.)
    Him- A Tux if the invitation says Black-tie or a dark suit.

    Ultra-formal or white-tie:
    Her-Long gown with all the extras
    Him- White tie, vest, shirt


Thanks for stopping by, your comments make my day! I read every single one and will answer any questions you have. I hope you'll visit again soon! :)


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