Post # 1
Just a couple questions:
1) I was wondering what people are doing for their bridal and bridesmaid dresses, as far as shoulder coverings?? Are you ordering/finding dresses with sleeves….having a jacket, a wrap, or some other special covering? I am hoping to find a bridal dress that would have cap sleeves (like smaller sleeves) and perhaps for the bridesmaid dresses as well, but I am not sure. Are any of you having strapless dresses? I was trying to search on the internet for examples of Catholic wedding parties and what their dress/covering looked like, but it’s hard to find. I had called the church and asked if you needed sleeves and she said, no you don’t have to have sleeves if you don’t want….but she also said “you are going to use your OWN judgement”…I am having a winter wedding…. I am just wondering if I could possibly go strapless, or will the Catholic church be offended (I am not Catholic)…also I am just a little worried even about my fiance’s mother looking down upon it(not that it matters too much) I am not Catholic so don’t know proper ettiquette. Do you still have to have the shoulders covered in most Catholic churches?
2) The church we are getting married at has a youth choir/guitarists that sing very beautifully and spiritually. We were wanting to incorporate them into our wedding, instead of the organist, however my mom said that would be really odd/non-traditional. Then, I thought about it and realized that we should have a combination of the two.
Do you think it would be odd to have the vocalists for the music instead of an organist? Should I try to combine the two, or should we just have the organist?
Post # 3
i am not going to have sleeves as my wedding will be in may. i havent picked a dress yey but there are very tasteful dresses that are strapless and do not expose too much 🙂 but if u are having a winter wedding i think it might be cute to have some sort of bolero 🙂 also i have been to other catholic weddings where they used vocalists. i dont think its too unheard of. i would say… its your wedding! make it your own 🙂
Post # 4
I have a strapless wedding dress. The rules for this one vary based on the church – it’s something they should have in their wedding planning guide that they give you. Past the basic beliefs, everything in the church is based off individual priests and dioceses.
Music-wise, we’re have a baby grand, a guitarist, and a singer. An Organist isn’t required – hell, most new churches don’t even have them anymore!
Post # 5
We were all strapless at my Catholic wedding – our shoulders were the only thing revealing.
Post # 6
I’m Catholic. I’m also older, so I’m wearing a gown that has an illusion top, but that is my personal choice, and not in the least because I’m Catholic. You’ll be fine in whatever you want to wear. I’m sure the comment “you have to use your own judgement” was only to deter someone from wearing something that would be considered scandalous in ANY setting.
A wrap or jacket would be a wonderful addition because of the time of year, so go for it!
Post # 7
As a Catholic my self I do not have a problem with sleavless — I do have a problem with extreamly low cut dresses — which I wore down the aisle of my sisters wedding.
THis is how I walked down the aisle bouqet hiding the front of the dress
Because although it was fun to walk in to the reception looking like this
I could not do it for church — I even wanted to pull the sleaves up a bit but the Sis liked them down. We refered to this as the putana desgraciada wedding party
Oh and PS this was her with Grandma in 1985. Oddly enough the priest had no problem with it. The MIL on the other hand wanted to cover us all in shrods of sheer fabric. I have heard cases at least back in th 80’s where if the shoulders and chest were not covered appropraialty they would not let them get married.
So basically you can wear what ever you are comfortable with so long as the church does not have a rule against it.
Post # 8
I will be in a strapless dress with no covering. My bridesmaids’ dresses come with a spaghetti strap that they have the option of using if they want to, but they’ll have no other covering.
The vast majority of Catholic churches have no problem with wearing strapless dresses if you’re in a wedding party. They understand that’s the formal style these days. However, if I set foot in a church for any reason other than a wedding, I will be sure to have my shoulders covered.
I had considered wraps for me and my bridal party to use in the church, but decided they’d be out of place in my August wedding, and since the church has no issue with it, why bother. In your case, I’d recommend wraps or jackets for the sake of keeping warm more than anything else!
Post # 9
Oh yeah, and I say you should go for the choir and guitars! That would be a really great sound! Yes, the organ would be more traditional, but you have to decide if you want traditional or unique. Can you still have the organist there to play your processional and recessional?
Post # 10
If your church is OK with strapless, I wouldn’t worry about it. (although you might be chilly if it’s a winter wedding!) I know some churches DO have rules re: shoulders being covered, but many don’t. My dress wasn’t strapless, but it was off-the-shoulder and showed a bit more skin than I would normally be comfortable with at church, but it was not immodest in any way. Most strapless dresses I have seen are entirely modest – more modest than ones that had the shoulders covered, sometimes! Cleavage is so NOT cool in church – that’s probably what the lady at the church office meant when she told you about using your own judgement!
In terms of music, the only rule there is generally that it has to be music proper to the liturgy and not secular. I had piano and a vocalist, but I have seen guitars, string quartets, organ, flute & piano, pretty much every combination of vocals and instruments you can imagine. I suppose organ is most traditional, but my feeling is that as long the music is well-done and reverent, it’s entirely up to personal taste. If you like the youth choir, I say go for it.
Post # 11
I am pretty sure it depends on the church. Ask them if there is a rule or preference and go from there.
Post # 12
unless your church has a problem with it (and if that have these vocalists at Mass..it doesn’t sound like they do…) why not? it’s your day and about your spiritual celebration. As for the dresses, one of my bridesmaids is very traditional and expressed extreme discomfort when asked to wear a strapless dress in another wedding – granted – I feel strapless dresses sometimes cover EVERYTHING (they have to! to hold it up!) whereas dresses with sleeves sometimes are cut too LOW, but her comfort was important to me and I really didn’t care about they look, so I told them to pick different styles in the same color. Another bridesmaid is wearing strapless but wants the spaghetti straps attached so she can be comfortable while dancing – everybody’s happy!
oh, and I had to add this…bklynldy I LOVED your pictures!
Post # 13
I’m not Catholic, but have been to some Catholic weddings that you knew the priest had required a covering for the bride and bridesmaids and others that he didn’t care. The only puzzle with the required coverings was the guest who was half dressed and got communion. (It wasn’t pretty, and we decided that the priest hadn’t seen the lack of a back to the dress when she got communion.
Post # 14
My family is catholic and I have been to many catholic weddings, and they all are different, thinking now the majority that I have been to the bride and bm’s have been in strapless dresses. I have been to a few where the bride and bm’s wore modety jackets but the families were also very conservative. So really as long as your comfortable with and the church doesn’t have any rules regarding modesty you should be all set.
Post # 15
Finding dresses with sleeves is really tough, but I did find some from the Eternity Gown Manufacturer. I found a store two hours away and end up ordering a dress I wasn’t able to try on. Bonny also has a Bliss collection which is modest.
Overall modesty is a virtue Catholics are supposed to learn and make judgements from. Its not really a clear cut (here’s what needs to be covered up) sort of principle. Many Catholic churches do not have much of a modesty enforcement anymore. I think overall its a lot to ask on brides who are really limited by the immodest fashions of our day.
That said, I was very determined to dress modestly. I didn’t feel that showing cleavage, my back or my cleavage was appropriate for a religious service. I also felt that church should be set apart from other things we do in life. So modesty for church is higher in my opinion than modesty for a dance.
Anyway, I took a real chance on the dress I ordered. I drove two hours to find a store that sold modest dresses. Nothing really stuck out to me. They weren’t my size anyway, so it didn’t give me the clearest idea of what they’d look like when they were my size. You’ll also see a dress I tried on from David’s Bridal. I tried on that dress just to reassure my mom that the dress I wanted to order would work. It was a similiar cut (a-cut) and I tried on attachable sleeves to give myself an idea. I’m so happy I went with the dress I ordered.
Unforunately my bridesmaid dresses were ordered just before the manufacturer stopped producing them.
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Post # 16
I think that strapless would be ok, cleavage is a no-no. And as for music, eff her opinion and do what you want!