Post # 1
Hey all! I posted previously several weeks ago about my good friends asking me to officiate their ceremony (without the true officiating part as they had already gone to the courthouse) and heard some great info!
The wedding is not until next October (specifically Halloween just north of Seattle, WA), but it occurred to me to wonder – what do officiants typically wear to weddings? I follow one on IG and while I’ve noted her go-to outfits, they strike me as overly dull (perhaps because she is also a minister I believe). Obviously I don’t want to draw attention to myself because I want eyes focused on the lovely couple, but I also don’t want to be ridiculously boring and modest the whole night at a party. Would it be weird to change? Or get clever with a cardigan or jacket I could take off?
I don’t typically wear very short or revealing clothing – some shoulder or just fairly form-fitting is the direction I usually go in, if anything. The couple is super laid-back and would probably be fine with me wearing my inflatable t-rex costume. I’m not joking. However, since this would also be in front of all of their family and friends, I’d like to look a LITTLE more appropriate, lol! If I had the courage, I’d show up in it nonchalantly, stroll up the aisle, and then strip to reveal myself before waiting for the ceremony to officially begin. Alas, I’m an anxious little introvert.
So – appropriate skirt/dress length? Obviously not bright colors; I don’t want to be a distraction. Is black suitable or too far? Outfit change between the ceremony and reception? It’s all at the same venue and the ceremony will hopefully be outside if the weather cooperates.
Post # 2
All of the officiants I interviewed wear a black outfit. I literally just googled, and unless you’re looking for a “quirky” officiant look, pretty much everyone wears black.
If youre doing a skirt, I’d do no shorter than knee.
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Post # 3
I can’t say that I’ve seen non-clergy officiants wearing all black at the weddings I have been to – especially the weddings that were officiated by friends rather than a hired officiant. I don’t think you need to do all black, but I would definitely stick to solid darker colors rather than patterns – so black, navy, wine/plum, charcoal. I would err on the side of modesty. I would say dress like you were going sing in front of the congregation at a church or attend a professional conference – a skirt or pants suit at the more formal end of things, a simple sheath dress with sleeves or paired with a jacket or cardigan, or dress pants with a solid color blouse or nice sweater – dresses or skirts should be knee length or longer.
I think you could do a wardrobe change if you want since once the ceremony is done you’re a guest like everyone else. I probably wouldn’t though, but that’s just merely out of pure laziness. I couldn’t be arsed to have to pack a bag, figure out where to put my clothes and where to change, and then run back and forth to do all that. I’d just find something I’d be comfortable wearing all night.
Post # 4
I just officiated a wedding. The bride wished for people to wear blue or green (like the ocean, it was a beach wedding) so I wore a navy blue, knee length dress, no sleeves. It matched the grooms shorts. 😂
I’d just ask the bride what she wants you to wear. My bride came up with the blue and green way to late. I tried to emergency order light blue dresses but failed (never ever gonna order at Nordstrom rack again, horrible experience and light blue wasn’t a color widely available in late November) so I went with navy as I already owned it.
Post # 5
I’m a minister so I wear a black robe and under it I wear some reception appropriate outfit. I’d say wear black and change into something less somber for the reception.
Post # 6
I would ask the couple what they have in mind.
Post # 7
- Wedding: October 2019 - Chateau Lake Louise
Definitely ask the bride. My best friend officiated and I bought her dress to say thank you. In our case she was more a part of the bridal party (dh could only round up one groomsman so I only had my daughter as bridesmaid) so her outfit reflects that status.
I chose charcoal because it’s an understated color, but the dress itself was all sparkly because glitter is my favorite color.
I’d say especially with a Halloween wedding, there might be an unconventional bent to this celebration so it’s safest to just ask what their preferred attire for you might be.
Post # 8
A friend of mine officiated a wedding and the bride had her in a darker shade to what the bridesmaids wore. She was coordinated but not just boring black.
Post # 9
The last two I went to, the officiant wore a black or navy coctail dress. They were in a classic sillouette (one was off the shoulder the other was 3/4 length sleeves). I would just ask the bride. And pick something that won’t clash with the rest of the set up.
Post # 10
Thank you all for these lovely responses! I guess black really is the standard then; I have never paid much attention and the weddings I’ve been to have mostly been officiated by ministers and such. I’ll definitely look through my wardrobe / Target / etc for a suitable black dress or something!
They already told me they don’t care. They seriously would be fine with the t-rex. They were all on board with me dropping a bunch of nerdy references but I already decided I want to be very limiting with that due to having such a mixed audience including relatives who likely would feel awkward.
Post # 11
i think there is a difference when the officiant is a minister or someone the bride and groom hired versus a friend.
“official” officiants seem to wear black and blend into the background, but a friend who got ordained on the internet or whatever tends to just wear what they would ordinarily wear as a wedding guest, or sometimes matches the bridal party.