(Closed) How formal are Catholic Weddings? (need guest dress help)

posted 6 years ago in Catholic
Post # 3
Member
2389 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

1.  I’m not sure how formal it can be when the bride and groom don’t even know how to address invitations – everyone over 18 should get their own, sent to their own house.  

2.  I would never wear flip-flops to a wedding!  I say wear what you feel comfortable in, but err on the side of dressy.  It’s always better to be overdressed than under.

Post # 4
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

You might check with your Future Mother-In-Law about the formality. That can vary for Catholic weddings (although if it’s an evening ceremony, it will probably trend a little more formal than daytime/afternoon ceremonies). The more important thing is that you dress respectfully for a church setting. It’s a little different from parish to parish, but it’d be smart to avoid cleavage, strapless (or bring a cardigan or pashmina to throw over your shoulders), a really short skirt, anything skintight, etc. Your Future Mother-In-Law might know (or be able to find out) more about the actual parish and priest, and how conservative it is, etc. but all of those are good rules of thumb.

Post # 5
Member
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@oneofthesethings:  Not really more formal than any other wedding ceremony, but you probably will want to cover up a little more.  I mean, I once wore a short, strapless dress to a Catholic ceremony and no one said anything, but I felt really hoochie-ish.

Post # 6
Member
2105 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

No exposed shoulders or boobs or bra-straps showing, dress length to your fingertips, not super tight. Cocktail dress and heels for sure. 

Post # 8
Member
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

They should give you the dress code on the invitation or the wedding website. If not, I would ask your Future In-Laws to call and ask.

The only difference with religious weddings is that you would usually cover your shoulders whilst in church, and avoid super short or revealing clothing. But then, I would do that anyway, for a wedding.

EDIT: For weddings, I would dress like Kate Middleton does when she attends official events. Can’t go wrong then!

Post # 9
Member
209 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

It can really vary but I would say to dress up.  I would always much rather be over dressed than under dressed.  

@Paiger8:  You could wear a dress you have and then cover it up for the ceremony with a fancy cardy or something.

Post # 10
Member
3697 posts
Sugar bee

Something sleeveless/strappy is not automatically ruled out – just have a nice shawl, pashmina, cardigan, etc., to throw on top. Rachel631’s “Kate Middleton Rule” is a good one!

Post # 11
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@Paiger8:  I have been to a wedding before where I wore a cocktail dress and heels, and girls were in sundresses and flipflops. I don’t want to do that twice. 

Not sure why that would be a problem. I don’t think you’d want to use the least dressed up people at a wedding as your gauge for how you should dress. I don’t think I’ve ever been to a wedding where I thought a guest was overdressed (showing more skin than advisable, yeah, but not overdressed). And I don’t think it’s possible for a cocktail dress to be too dressy for an evening wedding.

Post # 12
Member
172 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2013

What I was told for my Catholic wedding, is that everyone should have some form of sleeves (anything not strapless, I was told, is fine). Skirts/dresses should be at fingertip length at least. No exposed boobs.

Nothing too strict. Just keep in mind to be respectful. This is their place of worship and it is obviously important to them. I think as long as you don’t go dressed up like you belong on street corner, no one is really going to have a problem with it.

Then again, every place is different. My Church and theirs are different. I just can’t imagine that they are so strict as to cause so much stress over an outfit. I think you’ll be fine.

The Catholic weddings that I have been to have generally been the same “dress-code” as the non-Catholic weddings I’ve been to.

Post # 14
Member
424 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I think spaghetti straps are fine as long as there’s not a lot of cleavage.  I would go with the rule of show one part of your body: if you wear thinner straps, have a dress that goes to the knees or longer.  If you wear a shorter dress, try to have thicker straps or sleeves.

I personally would not feel comfortable going strapless.  I’ll be wearing a strapless dress at my Catholic wedding, but my veil will cover my shoulders.

Btw, I hear you on being overdressed.  All of the weddings I’ve attended lately have been super casual.  There was even one wedding where my fiance and I were dressed up so much in contrast to the other guests that the chef at the restaurant where the reception was held thought we were the bride and groom (even though I was not wearing white or any color that could be mistaken for white)! 

Post # 15
Member
790 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2012

@Paiger8:  My Boyfriend or Best Friend at the time was a groomsmen, so he was in a tux and I dressed to match him. He later told me the BM’s made fun of me for being so dressed up. 

Whaa? That’s so strange that the groomsmen would be in tuxes and people would be making fun of you for wearing a cocktail dress. I’m pretty sure that those folks’ attitude is not the norm!

This thread made me remember that at the last Catholic wedding I went to, there was a guest wearing leggings as pants. Pretty sure that’s disrespectful to…all of humanity actually. 

Post # 16
Member
238 posts
Helper bee

dress should be around knee length and shoulders covered, and no cleavage. think modesty.

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