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Can you wear black to a wedding? Here's what experts think

About to throw on your favorite little black dress and head out the door? Read this first.

Wedding season is in full swing and along with sending the happy couple well wishes and choosing just the right gift, you may find yourself in a quandary wondering what to wear to the nuptials.

We don't blame you. Dressing for any formal occasion can be pretty stressful. And weddings? Well, let's just say that if we had to decide between finding the right outfit to dance the night away in or staying home with a rom-com and pizza, you can bet your bottom dollar it's Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks all the way.

However, duty calls. If the big day has arrived and you're still perusing your closet for something to wear, you may be wondering if it's OK to go with your trusty little black dress.

It's a fair question given that there are all kinds of etiquette rules when it comes to matrimony. And it's valid to be be worried about wearing the wrong thing, especially since there's one color you should never (ever) wear to a wedding.

We talked to wedding planners to get their take on the do's and don'ts of wedding attire. Keep reading to find out if you can wear black to a wedding ... or if it's strictly verboten.

Can you wear black to a wedding?

Whereas wearing black to a wedding might have been once been discouraged, that's certainly no longer the case, according to Jacquelyn Aleece, owner and founder of The Wedding Plan & Company.

"The unspoken rule has definitely softened around wearing black to weddings over the last decade or two," Aleece tells in an email interview. "Black is chic, timeless, forgiving elegant and glamorous."

Marni Farmer, owner of So Smitten Events agrees, telling that "black has always been a popular color to wear to weddings, especially elegant, black-tie affairs."

So, that answers that.

"Every woman has their favorite go-to black dress that makes them feel like a million dollars, so it's the perfect choice unless it's culturally inappropriate or against the dress code stated on the invitation," Aleece says.

Though it's technically OK to wear black at any time of the day, Aleece says it's better suited for late afternoon and evening weddings in the fall and winter, along with formal and black tie weddings in the early spring.

"If you’re attending a beach, shore, tropical, garden or daytime wedding, I would opt for navy blue over black if you’re still wanting a darker color," she says. "Use the temperature, season and venue style to help guide your fashion decisions."

What matters most is that you dress appropriately for the occasion, says Jesse Reing, owner and CEO of Events By Jesse.

"When you're dressing for the wedding, you're looking to respect the (couple) in that moment. Definitely look at the attire that they listed either on their invitation or their wedding website because respecting that attire is going to make everything feel symbiotic in a way," Reing tells

Pay attention to the level of formality. "You don't want to come less formal than expected or more formal than expected," Reing adds.

But whatever you do, stick with something that feels as good as it looks. "Couples really want their guests to come comfortable, come as themselves because that's going to give them the best guest experience and make them have the best time," Reing says.

That said, there's still one wedding faux pas to never make and it does involve wearing a certain forbidden color.

What color should you never wear to a wedding?

Ever hear the old adage about not wearing white to a wedding? Guess what? It still holds true.

"Honestly, not wearing white, ivory, cream or off-white to a wedding is just common courtesy and shouldn't be too hard to avoid, so let's just agree to not do it," Aleece says.

Farmer agrees saying that not wearing white or off-white is still the rule "unless the bride mandates that you wear it, of course."

It gets a little trickier when it comes to wearing bright, bold colors to a wedding.

"Some couples absolutely love it when their guests make bold fashion statements and some couples really, really, really hate it," Aleece adds.

"It’s best to avoid bright reds, think fire engine red, or neon hues, unless otherwise instructed by the couple. Patterns and muted colors are fine and fun. If you’re looking to make some bold choices while remaining respectful use jewelry and accessories to give your outfit the extra style you’re looking for."