12 best black wedding guest dresses to wear to summer nuptials

No longer frowned upon, these are the best black wedding guest dresses to wear this summer

best black wedding guest dresses: Dia & Co, Simply Be, Zara, mango, M&S
(Image credit: Dia & Co, Simply Be, Zara, mango, M&S)

The best black wedding guest dresses might feel contradictory as fashion rules have generally discouraged the wearing of black to nuptials. However fast-forward to 2023 and black dresses for a wedding is a hugely popular trend that is sweeping this summer's occasion circuit. 

When it comes to what to wear to a wedding, black dresses are for many the unlikely answer. Once seen as a hue to avoid for nuptial celebrations, as black dresses have moved from funereal to a sign of elegance, the best black wedding guest dresses have skyrocketed in popularity. 

In the same way as questioning whether you can wear red to a wedding, this dark hue is often more associated with cooler months, there are plenty of options when it comes to the best summer dresses this season and black dresses are available in a host of silhouettes to suit every upcoming wedding celebration. So how do you ensure you end up with one of the best wedding guest dresses and not something somber?  It's all about keeping it elegant and then adding playful pops of color or metallics through your accessories. This will ensure your outfit is still joyful, in line with the celebratory feel of the day.

Best black wedding guest dresses

If you're nervous and still asking yourself, 'Can you wear black to a wedding?', the first thing you should do is check the invitation for any dress codes and establish the type of wedding it is. For black tie weddings, the best black wedding guest dresses are pretty common, in line with the universal black tie dress code and the same can be said for cocktail hour celebrations. For other types of weddings, you may wish to ask the couple if they are ok with black, but as black dresses for weddings are now commonly accepted, it shouldn't be a problem, unless you're in highly traditional circles. 

The best dresses for a wedding should feel celebratory, and black dresses add a dose of elegance and glamour to proceedings. To keep things wedding appropriate, look for ruffled details, embellishment and floaty fabrics so your look still feels romantic despite the darker hue. 

Can you wear black to a wedding?

While previous wedding guidelines would have ruled black as much as a no-go as wearing white as a wedding guest, in 2023 the fashion rule book has been ripped up and black is now very much on the yes list. Of course, you should always check the invitation for any special requests from the couple and if you're still unsure, it's best to message the bridal party and check. 

Black dresses for a wedding are probably still most suited to those occasions with a cocktail hour or a black tie dress code, with more garden party-style affairs still stylistically suited for bright colors and floral prints, however some of the best black summer dresses will still work for these occasions. Over all,, you're looking for black dresses that still feel romantic and feminine to pay homage to the event and the happy couple

Rivkie Baum
Fashion channel editor

Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with twenty years' experience in the industry. Rivkie studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, and fell in love with styling and journalism, and has covered fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York, as well as shooting editorial all over the world.

Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has appeared on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career.