What men and women should dress to a church wedding is discussed below. If you are invited to a religious wedding, but aren’t sure what to wear or say, this article has you covered.
If you need further guidance on what to dress to a wedding as a guest, you can always read our wedding blog. We talked about what ministers should wear to weddings.
If you want to make sure you’re dressed suitably, though, check the host’s dress code.
Complete Guide On What To Wear To A Church Wedding
As a female guest, you should wear modestly so as not to steal the spotlight from the bride. If your dress has bare shoulders, you may want to wear a shawl or other coverup.
If all of your dresses are fitted or exposing, you can wear a pantsuit instead. It’s not too casual to pair a skirt and a shirt, but the two pieces blend well together.
It’s acceptable to wear a pantsuit if all of your dresses are too tight or too revealing. The combination of a skirt and a blouse might be attractive if the latter is not too informal.
In terms of your tie, it’s best to stick to more subdued colors and patterns. Therefore, dress shoes are required rather than flip-flops or other casual footwear.
You might feel tempted by denim, shoes, hoodies, and t-shirts. Dressing informally for a religious wedding, even if it’s closer to your personal taste, can be seen as disrespectful.
What Do You Wear To A Catholic Church Wedding?
Consider the dress code
For more information on the appropriate attire, please refer to the invitation. If you’re attending a Catholic wedding, you’ll find that semi-formal clothes is more practical than formal attire.
Think about how a compromise between formal and informal attire for a wedding in a Catholic church could be just suitable. If the reception is in the evening, guests should wear muted or even dark colors.
For a less formal cocktail event, slip into a pair of comfortable flats. Men should wear a dress shirt and a jacket to a Catholic church wedding, as this is a semi-formal event.
Keep modesty in mind
Catholic weddings tend to be less formal than those celebrated in other denominations, but attendees should still dress appropriately. Do not dress as though you are attending an athletic event if you are not.
Avoid wearing a miniskirt or dress that reaches your knees, or anything that reveals too much of your upper body. It is recommended that male guests dress in a way that exudes sophistication and is not too exposing.
Ask the hosts, or the bride and groom themselves, if the clothes you’re thinking of wearing are appropriate. In case you’ve already attended a number of formal weddings and feel too stuffy in your formal attire, you always have the alternative of dressing more informally.
What Do You Wear To A 5 PM Church Wedding?
Check the invitation to see whether there is a specified dress code, regardless of whether the ceremony will be held in a church. It is prudent to go for eveningwear that can serve as a suitable alternative to daywear for formal occasions.
Any solid-colored, ceremony-appropriate dress can be worn with a coverup, as the coverup can be easily shed after the wedding. Men are requested to wear their tuxes and bowties to the ceremony at 5 p.m. but should change into their dress shirts for the remainder of the evening.
What Colors Are You Not Supposed To Wear To A Wedding?
Conventional wisdom states that wedding guests should not wear white or any variation thereof, as well as all-black or all-red ensembles, or anything metallic or ostentatious. It’s not appropriate to coordinate your outfit with the bride and groom’s, or any other members of the wedding party or the bridal party or groomsmen.
Do nothing that could make it appear that you are a member of the program. Wedding colors should be chosen with care, as some may be insulting or unfortunate in the faith or culture of the bride and husband.
However, modern weddings are less likely to adhere to age-old customs and rituals, so it’s advisable to check with the happy couple or hosts to find out which colors are strictly off limits. Have you ever heard of a bride who wears all black to her wedding?
Do Shoulders Need To be Covered In Church?
In some Christian traditions, especially at wedding masses, it is customary for the bride and her attendants to wear a sash or stole over their shoulders. Modesty in the church is a long-standing custom that has changed tremendously over the years and from church to church. A Catholic wedding liturgy is one setting where it is customary for women to cover their shoulders.
Strapless or off-the-shoulder dresses are not appropriate for a church wedding.
During a religious service, you can simply cover your shoulders with an appropriate garment rather than purchasing a new dress. You may easily prepare for every eventuality by keeping a shawl, jacket, or simple wrap on hand.
There are certain churches with a more liberal view on appropriate clothing that allow women and men to wear sleeveless skirts and shirts.
In most cases, this sort of information can be found on the church’s website, allowing visitors to come dressed appropriately.
Please consult the bride and groom before making any decisions about covering your shoulders at their religious wedding.
What Not To Wear To A Church Wedding
There are some clothing choices that are inappropriate for a church wedding. Trainers and sportswear, exposing costumes and swimwear, denim, ripped or holey clothing, sweatshirts, and t-shirts are all covered.
When it comes to the wedding party, only the bride (or brides) should be donning white.
That white outfit you’ve been saving? Probably not the best idea. Avoid giving the recipient anything white with prints or patterns on it.
Never pair your sneakers with a suit, men.
Many establishments, from bars and clubs to restaurants and even places of worship, accept sneakers as acceptable footwear for patrons.
The standard for dress shoes is either black or brown.
Casual clothes that are excessively casual, such as sweats or sportswear, are also not suited for a wedding or other formal event.
Wear a loose-fitting dress or shirt instead of one that is overly constricting.
Avoid wearing anything too revealing to a wedding, as the focus should be on the bride and groom (or any other combination of those roles!).
It’s not just that it would be disrespectful to interrupt a religious ceremony at a place of worship and steal the spotlight from the newlyweds.
Guests are asked to make an effort with their looks and steer clear of denim because it is a more informal look for everyday wear.
Can You Wear Black To a Catholic Wedding?
The discussion of whether or not black is appropriate for weddings will never cease. If so, does that mean that guests at a Catholic wedding can feel comfortable in all-black attire? Elegant black formal dress is appropriate for a Catholic wedding. If you’re going to a Catholic wedding, it’s safe to assume that you shouldn’t wear all black. Wearing all black to a wedding was once seen as a sign of contempt for the couple. In today’s modern society, there’s no need to infer that someone is uninterested in getting married because of the color of their clothing.
Many young women, according to witnesses at Catholic marriages, wear black attire. If you feel uncomfortable with all-black ensembles, try accessorizing with bold, vibrant colors.
Asking in advance if anyone has any issues with you wearing black to many weddings is also a smart idea. Some towns may still have a ban on people of African descent.
It is acceptable to wear black to a wedding, but there are a few things to bear in mind before picking out your favorite black dress. The following are some considerations to keep in mind:
If the wedding requires guests to wear black ties or formal attire, then you can wear all black. Black attire, on the other hand, may be misunderstood as too solemn for a Catholic wedding in the country. Both indoor and outdoor weddings might be more relaxed in terms of dress code.
Wearing black or other dark colors throughout the day is appropriate attire for a wedding.
You can wear black to a Catholic wedding, but white is still inappropriate. Like the traditional wedding color black, white is typically reserved for the bride.
In addition to the obvious rule of dressing modestly, guests should refrain from wearing anything that might steal the spotlight from the happy couple. This is made possible by the ease of a white suit.
Don’t wear something white or it might anger the bride. To avoid offending the bride, it is acceptable at wear patterned clothing to a Catholic wedding.
Guests may be required to wear white if the bride and groom so want.
You shouldn’t dress too similarly to the bridesmaids too. Finding out the wedding’s color palette is quite important to most guests, especially the women. Obviously, they want to coordinate with the bridesmaids’ attire.
Dressing similarly to the bridesmaids may seem like a good way to stick to the color scheme, but it could give the incorrect message.
Wearing a dress that looks too similar to the bridesmaids’ dresses could be seen as an insult if you are not in the bridal party. When it comes to choosing colors, there is no need to be too meticulous unless it just so happens to be a happy coincidence.
Attendees at Catholic weddings frequently fret over whether or not to wear black because of cultural taboos. For instance, they worry about exposing too much skin in sleeveless tops.
Do You Have To Wear Sleeves in a Catholic Wedding?
Guests at a Catholic wedding may be hesitant to wear sleeveless dresses or tops because of the ceremony’s emphasis on modesty. Many Catholic churches now allow brides to wear dresses without sleeves. If the bride is permitted to wear a sleeveless gown by the priest, then there should be no objections from the congregation. Guests shouldn’t feel uncomfortable wearing sleeveless tops or dresses in such a setting.
Depending on how low you wear it, a sleeveless top or dress can reveal your entire upper arm. However, many religious leaders no longer associate sexiness with baring the shoulders and arms. Wearing a shawl during the service and taking it off for the reception is the safest option. Try this out even if your tops don’t have straps.
You now know the proper attire for a Catholic wedding. It’s equally important to know what not to wear to a wedding as it is to know what to wear. Many people make the same wedding dress mistakes year after year, and while you might not have noticed them before, being aware of them will help you avoid them in the future.
What You Should Not Wear to a Catholic Wedding
Catholic weddings are no exception to the trend of loosening wedding laws. You can wear whatever you want and not worry about being mistaken for anyone else so long as you remember to keep your modesty in check. It’s best to stay within the few boundaries that remain at a wedding, even though they’re looser than at other events. Some of the guidelines that have been discussed thus far are as follows:
- Whenever possible, you should not wear white clothes.
- To avoid looking like the bridesmaids, you should not:
Knowing what not to wear to a wedding—whether it’s a Catholic one or otherwise—is made easier by the fact that there are a few more, less visible prohibitions. When searching for the right wedding dress, it’s important to keep a few things in mind.
Rule 1: Avoid Sweats
An increase in formality is commonplace at Catholic weddings. The formal nature of a wedding makes sweatpants inappropriate attire, even if the invitation specifies that you should feel free to relax your usual dress code. There appears to be a wide variety of reasons why sweatpants are so beloved. Sweatpants are the pinnacle of comfortable leisurewear.
While comfort may be the key factor in your decision to wear sweats to a wedding, it’s still a good idea to give the whole ensemble—including shoes—a test run before the big day. Even while it might seem that only the bride, groom, bridesmaids, and groomsmen should, guests are encouraged to try on their wedding dress and shoes as well. This gives anyone who feels uneasy the opportunity to locate a replacement.
Rule 2: Avoid Denim
Outfits composed solely of denim and sweatshirts are a common sight at weddings, despite the fact that such garments are too casual for the occasion. Unless otherwise specified in the invitation, you should not wear denim.
Rule 3: Avoid See-Through Material
In order to tell if an item of clothing is see-through, it should be worn in daylight. Don’t wait until the reception to try on your wedding gown. Wearing it on different days and under different lighting situations will help you determine if it is see-through. To be safe, try it out in both fluorescent and natural light.
As modesty is of the utmost importance when dressing for a Catholic wedding, you should avoid wearing anything too sheer. For a more modest look, choose a sheer fabric in satin or chiffon. Choose an ensemble with sheer accents rather than one made completely of sheer fabric if you must wear sheer. There is the possibility of wearing, say, a chiffon dress with open sleeves.
Rule 4: Leave the Tiara for the Bride
Many brides prefer to wear tiaras on their special day. Tiaras are easily accessible to the female guests because they are placed on the head. If the bride really wants her wedding to look like something out of a fairy tale, she shouldn’t wear a tiara. There are plenty of other people to choose from, so you shouldn’t try to steal the spotlight from the bride.
Rule 5: You Can Do Without Those Shorts
Males’ shorts are now a standard social attire. Even though weddings have a reputation for being informal, a suit and tie are appropriate attire. Rather than jeans, you should try khakis.
Pros of a Church Wedding Ceremony
Churches are prepared for ceremonies.
No need to stress over finding a spot for the altar or seating everyone comfortably. In a religious setting, such as a church, the framework for the wedding ceremony has already been established.
There is plenty of seating for guests.
Churches, with their vast number of available pews, are perfect for weddings of any size. In addition to saving you money, this solution eliminates the need to rent chairs for your guests.
Music is usually included.
Music for the ceremony is usually provided by the church, so there’s no need to hire a separate band or choir. In order to ensure that the band or choir is available, you can book an appointment ahead of time, or you can inquire with the church director if it is permitted to hire outside entertainment.
Cons of a Church Wedding Ceremony
Some churches prohibit flash photography.
Since the church normally provides the ceremony music, a separate band or choir is unnecessary. Make an appointment in advance to secure the band or choir’s services, or check with the church’s director to see if outside entertainment is authorized.
The process is difficult if you are not a parishioner.
If your application isn’t accepted right away, the congregation may have to wait. Those who are not already members of the church where the ceremony will take place may be asked to contribute more money. You should revisit the director to discuss the available options.
Your dream bridal gown may not be allowed.
It’s easy to skirt this requirement, but many religious institutions like temples and churches have strict dress rules that visitors must follow. If you’ve always seen yourself in a strapless, low-cut wedding dress, you might want to consider purchasing a bolero or a large wedding shawl to keep the chill off your shoulders. Taking it off at the reception for a “second look” is very acceptable. Your wedding website is the perfect place to specify any attire requirements or suggestions for your guests.
I really hope you found this to be helpful. What men and women should wear to a church wedding has not been discussed at length.
Please inquire with the bride and groom or any invited guests as to the preferred clothes for a religious wedding, as modest clothing is required. Even if you’re dressing semi-formally, you should avoid wearing anything too revealing or informal.
In closing, we hope you’ve taken away some useful information. Please don’t be shy about getting in touch with us if you have any inquiries.