A: Black is beautiful—even at a summer soiree. Just make sure that the dresses are fun, not funereal. The best way to do that is to opt for lightweight fabrics and designs that aren't too covered, or to mix things up with dresses featuring trim in a lighter hue. A strapless knee-length frock in cotton pique or polished cotton would be perfect for a daytime ceremony. If you're having an evening affair, chiffon and organza are two dressy, elegant options. Also, make sure that the entire party—particularly Mom—isn't in head-to-toe black. If she decides to go dark, try navy or a deep red bordeaux.