(Closed) How to word dress-code on invitation for Catholic church wedding?

posted 6 years ago in Ceremony
Post # 3
166 posts
Blushing bee

@kmaemu:  maybe you can add it on the RSVP instead of the actual invite

Post # 4
2555 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

Mmm… I believe that it being in a church is enough, I don’t think you need to instruct your guests as to what to wear

Post # 6
2497 posts
Buzzing bee

@kmaemu:  I agree with PP. The attire should be implied when you list a Catholic church on your wedding invitation. If you are worried that some attendees might not “get it,” you can put any additional information on your wedding website, if you have one.

Post # 7
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

On our website, I’ve asked people to “please cover their shoulders whilst in church”. I’m hoping that they are intelligent enough to interpret this as “please don’t dress like a complete *****”. As far as I see it, it’s just a little reminder that they need to watch what they wear a little bit more than usual. All they need is a reminder…

Post # 9
525 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

Is this dress-code specific to the church you are being married in, or is this a general rule in all churches? I ask because I’ve been to at least two Catholic weddings where the bride wore a strapless gown, some of the bridesmaids have too, and so do many guests….

I know a lot of people here are saying it’s implied and people will know to dress more conservatively, and I definitely wouldn’t be wearing anything too short or revealing, but I wouldn’t think to cover my shoulders just because it was a church. So, I think spelling it out on your website is a great idea 🙂

Post # 10
9053 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2010

I would probably cover up in a church just on my own common sense, but I guess some people may not be familiar.  I know when I toured the Vatican, there were a couple ladies on the tour that had to sit out or borrow a sweater to be allowed in, and I was super confused how they didn’t know. 

Would it be possible to keep a handful of pashminas or something available?  I had to attend a Sikh temple unexpectedly on a call at work, and they had a bin of head scarves available at the entrance for people to borrow and return.  I think having sleeveless/back baring is more likely than inappropriate length skirts.


Post # 10
49 posts
  • Wedding: November 2015

I am in the same basket, I want to mention skirt length too, mainy becasue my fiances grandfather passed away earlier in the year and his cousin wore a skirt to the church so short ‘I could see what she had for breakfast’ – they are a bit clueless. 

Post # 11
2268 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

kmaemu:  I wouldn’t put any dress code on the invitation at all. It implies that your guests don’t know how to dress themselves. If your wedding is in a church, most guests will know how to dress appropriately and the guests that aren’t sure but are concerned will likely ask you. Any guests that don’t know or care about how to dress at church probably wouldn’t adhere to a written dress code anyway, and you might risk insulting the guests that do know how to dress appropriately.

Unless, of course, your church has a very specific dress code. In that instance, it is appropriate to inform guests of that dress code.

Post # 12
337 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Generally, yes, it is innapropriate to wear strapless dresses for Catholic Church anywhere. Just because clergy doesn’t react or people do it doesn’t mean it is okay. Whenever in doubt, look for standards in Rome – tourist of for a mass, you won’t be able to enter Church wearing shorts/mini skirt etc.

Having said that, I wouldn’t be overly zealous in pointing it out on the invitation and if I would, I would just put “Church appropriate attire”. 


Seriously, any person going inside a temple of any sort wearing mini skirts, showing cleavage etc is clueless. When visiting a temple/sacred space you do know nothing or not enough about, always choose appropriate, modest attire – midi lenght, covering cleavage, back and shoulders. 

Post # 13
1482 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

kmaemu:  We’ve put “Attire: Lounge Suit” on the invitation, and then on our wedding website we have written “The dress code for the day is Lounge Suit. Please note that the ceremony will be taking place in a church, and that women wearing sleeveless dresses or tops will need to cover their shoulders with a scarf, cardigan, jacket, or similar.”. 

Some of our guests are foreign and/or non-religious, so they have asked about what is appropriate to wear in a church. So we decided to add this to the website, and I don’t think anyone from our guest list would be offended in the slightest by us doing so.

Post # 14
10 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012 - Caroline Cellars Winery

I wouldn’t put it in writing but you can enlist friends and family to spread this through word of mouth just like gift registries.

Post # 15
350 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015 - country club in Michigan

I think its really rude to put dress code in an invite unless the venue will actually refuse admittance, or its a legit black tie wedding. I’m getting married in a Catholic church and they okayed my strapless dress, so shoulders covered is not always an issue for the wedding party (Their line was “strapless is fine as long as its tasteful and not see through”.)


Guests will likely know to dress appropriate since its a church. Unless it will literally RUIN your day, just let it go and ignore the occiasional wardrobe fail. Two girls wore short skirts and tank top to my brothers wedding, and it ruined NO ONES day. In fact, I dont even think anyone noticed…

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