Can I wear a black dress to a wedding or is there a thing about that?

Valentino black dresses
I don’t often get wedding etiquette questions, but today I got that one. Here’s my answer:

Dear Distressed About the Dress,

There is a long-standing custom to not wear a black dress to a wedding. Times are changing, but I would ignore this custom at your peril. It’s not worth being accused by people you care about that you are insulting the couple getting married or the occasion, and it’s not worth worrying during the whole celebration that anyone whose conversation you can’t quite make out on the other side of the room is talking about you.

Now, I did once wear a black dress to an evening wedding in Manhattan. That’s about the only time you can get away with it. An elderly woman asked me if I was a model. I should have said yes.

Final answer: Gurrrl, go out and and get yourself a fabulous new dress!!! If you want to keep your cash close, try Rent the Runway or Tradesy, which are both getting a lot of chatter these days.

And have fun.

– Maria

(Photo: A collection of black dresses by Valentino at the exhibition “Valentino a Roma” at Museo Ara Pacis in Rome. By Loquax via Wikimedia Commons)

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