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Is it OK to wear a black dress to a Jewish wedding?

Deciding what to wear to any wedding can be a daunting task. However, it can be even more challenging if you’re attending a Jewish wedding, especially if you’re not familiar with the traditions and customs of this culture. One of the most common questions that many guests ask is, “Is it ok to wear a black dress to a Jewish wedding?”

Well, the answer is not as straightforward as you might think. While black is typically seen as a mourning color in many cultures, its significance in Judaism is somewhat different. In this blog post, we’ll dive into the topic in more detail and explore the customs and traditions surrounding attire at Jewish weddings.

Understanding Jewish Wedding Customs

Before we get started on whether it’s ok to wear a black dress to a Jewish wedding, let’s first examine some of the customs and traditions surrounding attire for this occasion.

In Jewish culture, weddings are celebrated with a lot of joy and happiness. It’s a time for family and friends to come together, celebrate the couple’s union and rejoice in love and life. Like most weddings, attire is an important part of the celebration and guest are often expected to dress appropriately for the occasion.

Traditional Jewish weddings are often religious ceremonies that take place under the huppah – a canopy that symbolizes the couple’s new home. The ceremony is often filled with religious rituals, prayers, and blessings. Guests, therefore, are expected to dress modestly and respectfully.

Attire for Men

Men are generally expected to wear modest and conservative attire to Jewish weddings. This typically includes a suit, dress pants, and a button-up dress shirt with a collar. Ties are also required in some cases, while dress shoes are essential.

Attire for Women

When it comes to attire for women, there is no one-size-fits-all answer. However, it is customary for women to dress modestly and conservatively. Dresses or skirts should be knee-length or longer. Sleeveless clothing is generally not recommended, so it’s a good idea to bring a shawl or wrap that can be used to cover up.

The Meaning Behind Wearing Black to a Jewish Wedding

So, where does the black dress come in? As many people know, black is often seen as a mourning color in many cultures. However, in Judaism, it has a slightly different connotation. Black is actually seen as a somber and respectful color, which is why it’s often worn for somber occasions such as funerals or shiva calls.

However, it is important to note that wearing all black to a wedding might be seen as inappropriate, especially if the attire is too flashy, revealing or has a party vibe. Traditional Jewish weddings are somber and considered a serious event, so it’s important to dress modestly.

In many Jewish weddings, the bride usually wears white, symbolizing purity and holiness. As a result, guests often choose to wear lighter colors to contrast the bride’s dress. However, this does not mean that you cannot wear a black dress.

What to Avoid When Dressing for a Jewish Wedding

While it’s ok to wear a black dress to a Jewish wedding, there are certain attire that you should avoid. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

– Avoid anything too flashy or attention-grabbing. This includes dresses that are too short, too low-cut, or too tight.
– Don’t wear anything that is too casual such as jeans, flip flops, or sneakers.
– Stay away from clothing or accessories that are too sparkly or shiny.
– Don’t wear anything that might be offensive or culturally inappropriate.


In conclusion, concluding whether it’s okay to wear a black dress to a Jewish wedding is not a straightforward answer. The color black is not necessarily taboo when it comes to a Jewish wedding, especially when it’s done modestly and respectfully. However, it’s essential to keep in mind the cultural norms, respect, and traditions of the occasion when choosing what to wear. When in doubt, it’s always best to dress modestly and conservatively to avoid causing offense or drawing unwanted attention.


What Colours to wear to a Jewish wedding?

Attending a Jewish wedding is an exciting opportunity to immerse oneself in a vibrant and joyous culture, rich in meaningful traditions and customs. One question that often arises is what colour to wear to a Jewish wedding?

Traditionally, white is the dominant colour associated with Jewish weddings. In Jewish culture, white represents purity, spiritual renewal, and new beginnings, making it a popular choice for both brides and grooms. As such, guests should avoid wearing entirely white ensembles to avoid upstaging the bridal party.

While white may be the primary colour associated with Jewish weddings, it’s not the only appropriate option. Soft pastels, such as blush, pink, and light blue, are popular choices that complement the celebratory atmosphere of the event. Deep jewel tones, such as emerald green, sapphire blue, and rich burgundy, also work well, as they add a touch of glamour and sophistication.

All guests should avoid wearing black to a Jewish wedding as it is considered a colour of mourning and associated with funerals and shivas (a Jewish mourning period). Instead, consider wearing darker shades, such as navy blue, charcoal grey, or deep mauve. While black is not forbidden, it’s best to err on the side of caution and avoid it altogether.

The most important thing to remember when choosing an outfit for a Jewish wedding is to be respectful and tasteful. It’s a celebration of love, family, and tradition, so wear clothes that reflect that sentiment. Whether you opt for pastels, jewel tones, or soft neutrals, make sure you feel comfortable and confident, so you can fully enjoy the festivities.

What are the rules for a Jewish wedding dress?

Jewish weddings are steeped in tradition and extend back for centuries. One of the most visible signs of a Jewish wedding is the attire. There are specific rules regarding what is worn or not worn during a Jewish wedding ceremony.

For women, they must cover everything from the collarbone to the knees, which includes their elbows as well. It is crucial to understand that modesty is of utmost importance in the Jewish faith and community. In addition to this, women will typically wear stockings or pantyhose that take precedence over open-toe shoes or sandals.

If a woman is already married, it is customary for her to cover her hair as a sign of her marital status. Jewish law requires women to cover their hair so they won’t attract the attention of men other than her husband. There are different ways to cover the hair, including wigs, scarves, and hats.

On the other hand, the dress code for men is also traditional. Men need to wear long pants, typically dressier than khakis, paired with a jacket or a suit. They need to cover their heads with a yarmulke, which is a small, brimless skullcap usually made of black velvet. Additionally, they need to wear long sleeves and a tie. In some communities, the men might wear a frock coat or a shtreimel, a fur hat worn by Hasidic Jews.

It is essential to note that the dress code isn’t just about outerwear. Observant Jews may choose to wear white clothing, symbolizing purity, on their wedding day, while some might choose to wear traditional clothing reflecting their culture, like Moroccan Jews, who might wear a kaftan.

The rules surrounding Jewish wedding dress are rooted in tradition and modesty. For both men and women, dressing conservatively and appropriately is a crucial part of the Jewish tradition and reflects the significance of the occasion.

What is a black wedding Jewish tradition?

A black wedding or shvartse khasene in Yiddish, is a unique Jewish tradition that has been practiced for centuries. This tradition is rooted in the belief that a wedding could be a means to ward-off diseases or other crises, often epidemics. The black wedding was primarily performed during tough times as a symbolic act to protect the Jewish community and prevent diseases from spreading.

During a black wedding, either a bride and a groom or two poor orphans, beggars, or disabled individuals were wed. This combination is considered a powerful one, as a wedding ceremony symbolizes the bond between two people and the start of a new life together. The union of two imperfect people was believed to create a powerful energy field that could repel negative forces and protect the community from diseases and other crises that were prevalent at the time.

The timing of a black wedding was crucial. According to Jewish tradition, a black wedding is performed during a period of extreme crisis, usually when an epidemic was rampant in the community that threatened a Jewish population. The community leaders would call for a black wedding as a way to appease God and ask for his protection.

While the black wedding was a unique and fascinating Jewish tradition, it was not without criticism. Some members of the Jewish community saw it as a superstitious and irrational custom that had no basis in scripture. Others believed that a black wedding was a symbol of Jewish resilience in the face of adversity, and that it served as a reminder of the power of faith and the importance of community.

A black wedding is a distinctive tradition that represents the unique beliefs and customs of the Jewish community. It is an act of faith that symbolizes resilience, hope, and protection in tough times. Although this custom may no longer be prevalent in modern times, it remains an integral part of Jewish culture and heritage.