"A funny thing happened when I wore black to a wedding..."

Yesterday some of Team Mamamia had the honour of seeing our Editor-In-Chief Jamila Rizvi marry the love of her life, Jeremy Smith. It was a completely and utterly beautiful day, and there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as Jam and Jez (or #Jezam) exchanged their funny, sweet, heartfelt vows – the fact that Clare Bowditch was serenading us with her song ‘You Make Me Happy’ at the time, was extremely unproductive when trying to stifle tears.

Jamila and Jeremy say, ‘I do’.  Styling and flowers by The Style Co.

But the day wasn’t without controversy…and I hope you’re sitting down for this one. Two guests, two completely inconsiderate, sartorially-clueless, morose guests (myself included), wore BLACK dresses to Jam’s wedding. Dom, dom, dooooom.

The Mamamia Team at Jamila’s wedding. 

 Yes, Mia Freedman and I committed what some are calling an unforgivable wedding crime: wearing a noir dress, which apparently would be more at home at a funeral. The sentiment from some commenters on the Mamamia Facebook page and Instagram account was, black = sad, people who wear it to weddings = jerks. (Amy Stockwell, second to the left, was also wearing a dark colour, but not black, so she was off the hook.)

Here are some of the more scathing comments:

And this:


Hey, at least that second one ended on a happier note. #silverlining

I was surprised by this reaction because I get that wearing a white, lace gown might be, er, inconsiderate, but I didn’t know black was such a big deal.

I know it isn’t considered a go-to hue for a wedding, but aren’t traditional wedding-related style rules pretty outdated these days? I associate ‘Don’t wear black’ with, ‘You must wear a hat to wedding ceremonies’ (alas, royals we are not), or ‘The bride is required to wear the a traditional, floor-length poufy white dress’ (see: Olivia Palermo and her sweet bridal cardie or total goddess Amal Clooney and her fabulous wedding pants).

In a book called Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, the author agrees that Mia and I broke An Important Wedding Rule by wearing black, but she also says that brides shouldn’t show their shoulders… so, taking that with a grain of salt.

Google is spilt down the middle. Search: ‘Can I wear black to a wedding’ and you’ll see an even split of articles called, ‘Why you should never wear black to a wedding, you arsehole’ and ‘Of course you can wear black to a wedding, it’s 2014’. Thanks, Google.


After seeing the comments above I worried that I’d really effed up, the last thing I wanted was to sully Jam’s beautiful wedding pics with my funeral grab. Luckily I have four close friends who are getting married in 2015: “Tell me the truth friends, would you be annoyed if someone wore black to your wedding?” I texted.

“I’m all for people wearing black, I’m just not into anyone wearing white. Black doesn’t mean somber, nowadays clever detailing and embellishments can make black chic and fun,” said Eliza. (She’s a fashion journo, so I trust her!)

Eddie agreed, “I’d have zero issue with a bride wearing black, let alone a guest. Surely black being associated with funerals is a thing of the past?!”

Amanda also said she doesn’t think traditional colour restrictions for weddings apply these days, but she does think some of her older relatives would raise an eyebrow if a guest wore black to her wedding.

I think that unless you know your re friend will be offended by you wearing a dark shade to her ceremony, then black is A-Okay and hey, surely it beats wearing a bikini or your gym gear (although if that’s the couple’s jam, then that’s cool, too)?!

These are some reasons that make me feel okay about wearing black to a wedding:

1. Jamila is an anti-bridezilla, all she wanted was to have an awesome day and for us to be there celebrating with her, she probably didn’t even notice what colour anyone was wearing.


2. Meanwhile, Jam looked so damn beautiful, I highly doubt anyone at that wedding was looking at us/gave two shits about what we were wearing.

 The world’s most beautiful bride. Styling and flowers by The Style Co.

3. Nothing about the #jezamwedding was traditional, that’s part of what made it so special.

4. It was a BLACK TIE theme (with some flair). Mia and I both wore bright clutches as a nod to flair.

5. It’s 2014.

6. It’s nearly 2015.

7. Half the men in attendance were wearing black suits.

8. We were in Melbourne. Melbournites wear black like no other.

9. Mia wore black: safety in numbers.

10. SJP wore black to her own wedding. No explanation needed.

Anyway back to the most important part of the day: the stunning bride, her new husband and the beautiful Yarra Valley ceremony.

Styling and flowers by The Style Co.

Take a look at the celebrities who chose not to wear white to their wedding: