(Closed) Certain type of dress “required” for Jewish weddings?

posted 8 years ago in Jewish
Post # 3
166 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

You should talk to your rabbi.  I’ve heard of some refusing to perform the ceremony unless the bride’s shoulders are covered.

Post # 4
53 posts
Worker bee

This might be true for an orthodox wedding, but if you are getting a rabbi to marry you (Jewish) to your fiance (not Jewish) and he’s not converting, I can’t see it being a problem. I’m having a Jewish wedding to my non-jewish, non-converting fiance and my dress is strapless and no one has ever said anything about it! The two places to ask would be the rabbi and the synogogue if you are getting married in one, but again I only see this as a problem if it’s orthodox. By The Way I’ve been to far more traditional jewish weddings than mine will be and the brides at both of those weddings were wearing strapless dresses.

Post # 5
3564 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

As far as I know (which is not very far, since I am the least religious Jewish person you could ever meet) I think the shoulders need to be covered during the ceremony if it’s an orthodox wedding (maybe even if it’s a reform wedding). But that can easily be solved with a veil, a bolero, or something like that. I would ask your rabbi whether it’s necessary. If he says it’s ok, then your dad has to accept that.

Post # 6
6572 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2010

i think it depends, different rabbis will say different things. we’re reform, and i wore a dress with spaghetti straps and it was short so my knees showed. my rabbi was fine with it.

Post # 7
56 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

If you don’t want to get straps on the dress, just opt for a bolero!

Post # 8
2214 posts
Buzzing bee

My friend isn’t an orthodox Jew, but her rabbi won’t marry her unless she at least has straps on her dress, and he said that he would prefer sleeves.  She’s going the bolero route so she can be strapless at the reception.

Post # 9
3316 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2009

@judithsr:  If your Fiance is not Jewish, I’m assuming that your wedding will be Reform.  (Conservative and Orthodox rabbis will typically not do a ceremony if both partners are not Jewish.)  In that case, you most likely can wear a strapless dress, although you should check with your rabbi to make sure.

Also, even if you need a shoulder covering, at least some rabbis will accept a veil that covers your shoulders.

I wore a strapless dress at our wedding, and the rabbi didn’t care.

Post # 10
232 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

Your dad sounds old school and in that regard, he’d be right.  However, since your Fiance isn’t Jewish, even though you are having elements of a Jewish ceremony, it wouldn’t be as strict as a Jewish ceremony.  If your rabbi has no objection, then feel free to wear what you want.  If you want to do something to please your dad, then you can always get a bolero or something for just the ceremony, but for pictures and the reception remain strapless.


Post # 11
751 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I had a very Jewish wedding in my very strapless dress!  But every community is different, so ask your Rabbi, but not once in wedding planning was covering my shoulders ever mentioned.  Granted, we got married outside, if we had chosen to be in the synagogue that might have been different…

Post # 12
1154 posts
Bumble bee

To make something a Jewish wedding you need like four things and no dress comes into it.  So absolutely you can call it a Jewish wedding and be absolutely right!

Traditionally speaking how Jews dress at weddings has been dictated entirely by where and when, for example Sephardic brides often wore colorful gowns etc. didn’t make anyone less Jewish.

However, traditionally, people in power within communities have a weird obsession with how other people, especially young people, especially young women, dress.  If the community is religious their reasons for that concern/rules is based in religious arguments. 

Since it doesn’t sound like you’re heavily involved in a community that does not tolerate strapless dresses I don’t see a problem.

Post # 13
347 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2018

I had a Jewish wedding and there was never any mention about having to cover my shoulders in my dress.  Granted, my dress did have straps, but the rabbi didn’t know that until the wedding day and I never thought to run my dress choice by him.

I’m sure you’ll be fine.  Like ladyox we got married outside, not in the synagogue, I don’t know that it makes a difference though.

If it’s THE dress, wear it to marry THE guy πŸ™‚

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