Post # 1
Hi fellow Catholic brides,
my wedding is coming up veeeery soon and after reading a few posts here on the board I am now wondering: those of you who wore/are wearing a strapless dress for your church wedding will you use something(like a shawl or bolero) to cover your shoulders during the ceremony?
My dress is NOT low cut…but the posts about strapless being a “no no” in church has made me start worrying.
Post # 3
I just purchased a lovely keyhole back lace bolero to wear with my dress from Etsy… have yet to see it live so we’ll see how it goes… But to me, the thought of having sleeves makes it feel more classy and timeless, and very appropriate for a church wedding 🙂
Post # 4
@MrsJoyful80: I think it depends a lot on your parish/the parish where the wedding is being held, and on you. Some congregations wouldn’t bat an eyelash about shoulders, other parishes trend more conservative and it would occasion rumblings, still others are very conservative and actually have rules about strapless/exposed shoulders, cleavage, etc. My rule of thumb is, if a dress causes you to ask, “Is this appropriate?” … then it’s probably at least a little inappropriate (for the given context).
I would say, check with the priest/parish secretary just to make sure there isn’t an explicit rule, and then think about what you’re really excited about in a wedding gown. Also, you want to choose something that you feel comfortable about and don’t have to worry about at all – if you think something is borderline, is it going to cause you to think too much about the dress when you want to be able to concentrate on everything else?
Thanks to the royal wedding last spring, there is starting to be a wider selection of nice gowns with sleeves amidst all the strapless options. People are also doing wraps, boleros, etc. I’m wearing a gown with spaghetti straps, but I found a really lovely lace overdress with sleeves that I’m going to wear for the ceremony (it coordinates beautifully with my veil), and then for the reception I’m going to take off the veil and overdress and wear just the spaghetti strap gown with a fun hairpiece. I’m basically getting two dresses for the price of one! That was the right solution for me, anyhow.
If you find a strapless gown that you’re absolutely in love with, maybe you can pair it with a veil that hangs around your shoulders and creates the effect of a little more coverage? Consider a lot of options and I’m sure you’ll be able to come up with something lovely that you find stylish, flattering and appropriate.
Post # 5
@KCKnd2: I understand, too, that it’s actually not all that difficult to add sleeves to a strapless gown if you find one you love but want a little more coverage. It’s even possible to do removable cap sleeves that you attach with a hook-and-eye. You could use those in church and then take them off for the party, etc.
Post # 6
@MrsJoyful80: Talk to the priest who is doing your ceremony. I got really worried about this too after seeing some posts. But my church has a video on their website with pictures of weddings and almost every bride is in a strapless gown. You could also try to google your church to see if there are any images of weddings there.
Post # 7
I met with our priest last night and his response is “there is strapless and then there is strapless” and “it could get cold in the church”. So he won’t say no to strapless, but he would prefer if I didn’t. I may still do a high strapless cut (I will have a veil), but my maids will not be.
Post # 8
My catholic church gave us a book of rules about wedding ceremony’s. It included things like *no one under the age of 4 in the wedding party * no flower petals to be thrown down the aisle *anyone misbehaving / smelling of alocohol will be kicked out, etc. It never said anything about what my dress should look like. I would check with your pastor and see what they say. It really depends how strict your parish is. In today’s world I wouldn’t imagine too many catholic churches being extremely strick about a wedding gown having sleeves.
Post # 10
My BFF wore a strapless gown to church and that was totally fine with the priest. My church just said that the dress should be tasteful.
Post # 11
The strapless dress was the only thing they didn’t give a hoot about. Which was surprising, since everything else was strictly regulated (music, processional, readings…).
Post # 12
I agree, ask your church. Our sponsor couple said strapless was fine, so long as it wasn’t low-cut in the front or back. However, the wedding coordinator/music minister was strongly against it. That said, it was a non-issue when the wedding coordinator freaked out on me, as my dress has pretty thick straps.
Post # 13
- Wedding: June 2012 - Centro de recepciones Los Incas
in peru i see tons of brides married in the church with strappless dressess…but then again, i also saw on easter tons of ppl at church in jeans so….i think the rules of appropriateness seem a little warped here.
i really dont think its appropriate to wear a strappless dress in a church…..think of all the royal weddings you see they alwayas have sleeves and thier weddings are always in churches…
i got lace sleeves added to my dress (well the lac e is on the bodice so i really just got the bodice replaced….)
and all my maids there dresses are strappless but thell all bough satin shawls to cover the sholders.
the thing is if u have to ask if its appropriate or not, it probably isnt.
Post # 14
It depends on the parish. I’m (probably) wearing a strapless dress, and I will not be covering it up if I leave it strapless (and if I add sleeves, it’ll have nothing to do with the church). I asked about it, and the priest basically said as long as it’s tasteful it’s ok, so it can’t be like, strapless and backless, or have a ton of cleavage hanging out, but strapless is ok.
A friend of mine got married in a Catholic church in a strapless dress and no one bothered her about it at all.
But I’ve heard of parishes that are super-conservative who insist you cover your shoulders.
Post # 15
Talked to our priest and he says it is fine.
Post # 16
I’m going to wear a bolero. I love the way it looks with my dress.