Wedding attire question


#1

I’m getting married (assuming my annullment goes through) in the church next year. While reading through “choosing your gown” articles on The Knot one of the tips given is to be wary of strapless gowns as most houses of worship consider bare shoulders to be disrespectful.

This had honestly never occurred to me. Has anyone ever heard of this? I am going to look at dresses this weekend and many of them are strapless. Will I have to wear a shawl or something or is The Knot just being extra cautious?


#2

I have heard of that, many times. Strapless are generally not considered modest- at least that’s the reasoning I’ve heard. Being female, I’m not sure what’s so provocative about shoulders/arms but whatever. I’m planning to wear a mantilla wether I end up with a strapless or not over my shoulders :). I’ll be interested to hear what others say to your question.


#3

[quote=sententia]I have heard of that, many times. Strapless are generally not considered modest- at least that’s the reasoning I’ve heard. Being female, I’m not sure what’s so provocative about shoulders/arms but whatever. I’m planning to wear a mantilla wether I end up with a strapless or not over my shoulders :). I’ll be interested to hear what others say to your question.
[/quote]

WOW. I am shocked! I don’t mean that in a disrespectful way, just in a “never ever thought of that” sort of way. Hmm, definitely something to think about.
I guess I’ll have to get some kind of shawl. It’s in October anyway, but that kinda sucks a little.
I’m interested to see what others will say and I’ll also have to ask my FIs priest. Hm. . . :cool:


#4

[quote=Jaded27]I’m getting married (assuming my annullment goes through) in the church next year. While reading through “choosing your gown” articles on The Knot one of the tips given is to be wary of strapless gowns as most houses of worship consider bare shoulders to be disrespectful.

This had honestly never occurred to me. Has anyone ever heard of this? I am going to look at dresses this weekend and many of them are strapless. Will I have to wear a shawl or something or is The Knot just being extra cautious?
[/quote]

Apparently some churches have a dress code that excludes strapless dresses, and some don’t – you should definitely check with the church you plan to be married in.

There’s another thread on this forum where the posters have been discussing modest wedding attire, and many mentioned wearing either a shawl or a small bolero jacket over a strapless dress during the Mass, and then removing it for the reception.

I personally loathe strapless dresses (I always think of them as “topless” dresses) and I hope the fad for them ends, and soon – but the key to wearing one of these is to be sure it is fitted properly. I’ve seen women wearing strapless gowns that were too big for them, and anyone taller than the bride would get an eyeful of what shouldn’t be seen in public.

Too tight is no good either, especially if the bride isn’t super-skinny. :slight_smile:

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#5

You will want to check with the priest /clergyman marrying you, and with the church itself as to whether strapless gowns are forbidden or discouraged as policy. When I got married, I I wore a strapless gown, but my shoulders were covered by a cathedral length veil, a midlength veil AND a blusher that stayed on until after our vows, and I wore opera length gloves, so there wasn’t too much to see! If you’re not having a formal night wedding, those items can be a bit out of place, however…Other women who go the strapless route sometimes use shawls or ask their seamstress to create matching “cap sleeves” that can easily be removed for the reception. Good luck!


#6

Out of 125 gowns I saw in a recent bridal catalog, about 15 were not strapless or spaghetti-strapped. It used to be those long lace sleeves with the little princess pointy over your hand, now it’s strapless. Obviously, there is a house of worship or two that allows brides with strapless gowns through the front door. Apparently, you aren’t immodest if you’re dressed like a princess.

Many of these gowns come with a little removable jacket, though, so a shawl or long veil isn’t the only way to get your shoulders covered. Do what your conscience dictates, because it will always nag at you if you don’t.


#7

You know, I’m usually with you on the loathing of these. They never fit anyone properly. But so many really beautiful gowns nowadays are strapless that I’m considering them. I never thought of them as “topless”, just kind of annoying. Since it’s a wedding gown I’ll have plenty of time and help to make it fit just right so I’m not constantly having to pull it up.

maendem, so if I wore a long veil and long gloves that might be adequete you think? Because I was thinking of doing that anyway. So that might work.

blb, well the problem is that my conscience would say wearing strapless is just fine. But I’m obviously not going to be disrespectful to my fiancee’s religion. I’ll just have to speak with the priest.

I wanted to put this question out there, though, to see if anyone else had heard of it so that I woudlnt’ sound stupid when I asked him. :slight_smile:


#8

[quote=Jaded27]maendem, so if I wore a long veil and long gloves that might be adequete you think? Because I was thinking of doing that anyway. So that might work.

. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

Jaded - I’m going to PM you with some pics from our wedding, and you can see what it looked like to help make up your mind. It also depends on the cut of the gown - I found that most strapless gowns had a MUCH more modest neckline than most traditional “ballroom/snow beast” gowns.


#9

[quote=Jaded27]blb, well the problem is that my conscience would say wearing strapless is just fine. But I’m obviously not going to be disrespectful to my fiancee’s religion. I’ll just have to speak with the priest.
[/quote]

You might as well check with the priest first – there may be no problem at all, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Otherwise, you can use some of the “cover-up” ideas mentioned.

Personally, my style is more “vintage”:

Explore Carol Maffettone

But I’m old enough that if a miracle happens, and I ever do get married, I’ll probably wear one of those very dressy cream-colored suits. :slight_smile:

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#10

[quote=maendem]Jaded - I’m going to PM you with some pics from our wedding, and you can see what it looked like to help make up your mind. It also depends on the cut of the gown - I found that most strapless gowns had a MUCH more modest neckline than most traditional “ballroom/snow beast” gowns.
[/quote]

Cool. Thank you!


#11

[quote=CarolAnnSFO]You might as well check with the priest first – there may be no problem at all, and you’ll have nothing to worry about. Otherwise, you can use some of the “cover-up” ideas mentioned.

Personally, my style is more “vintage”:

Explore Carol Maffettone

But I’m old enough that if a miracle happens, and I ever do get married, I’ll probably wear one of those very dressy cream-colored suits. :slight_smile:

**Crazy Internet Junkies Society
**Carrier of the Angelic Sparkles Sprinkle Bag
[/quote]

:slight_smile: I do’nt know if you were serious, but that’s actually a pretty dress. My first wedding, I had a long sleeved medieval looking gown. I LOVED it. But this time around I"m going with the more traditional princess type gowns. So strapless seems to be the thing. . . lol. I’ll call the priest today and check.


#12

[quote=Jaded27]:slight_smile: I do’nt know if you were serious, but that’s actually a pretty dress.
[/quote]

Yes, I was being serious! If I was getting married, and if I was young enough to wear a gown, I’d definitely be shopping the “vintage” selection. The dress in the picture is 1940s era, with Victorian detailing.

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#13

[quote=CarolAnnSFO]Yes, I was being serious! If I was getting married, and if I was young enough to wear a gown, I’d definitely be shopping the “vintage” selection. The dress in the picture is 1940s era, with Victorian detailing.

**Crazy Internet Junkies Society
**Carrier of the Angelic Sparkles Sprinkle Bag
[/quote]

You can be 80 and wear a gown! If/when you get married, don’t cheat yourself. You’d be surprised at the things that are socially acceptable and well within age limits now that weren’t back 20 years ago or so. I’ve had to do a LOT of research about that and second wedding customs lately, trust me. :wink:


#14

Strapless wedding gowns are to today what sleeveless wedding gowns were 25 and more years ago. To Catholics a wedding is a sacrament and participants in sacraments are expected to wear appropriately modest attire. I guarantee you that you can not wear a strapless gown or dress into St. Peter’s in Rome–wedding or no wedding. The guards will stop you at the door. Fashionable or not, strapless gowns (which virtually always have a very close fitting bodice) do not belong in a Catholic Church. (Neither do shorts and a lot of other things I see at Mass on Sunday.:bigyikes: )


#15

[quote=La Chiara]Strapless wedding gowns are to today what sleeveless wedding gowns were 25 and more years ago. To Catholics a wedding is a sacrament and participants in sacraments are expected to wear appropriately modest attire. I guarantee you that you can not wear a strapless gown or dress into St. Peter’s in Rome–wedding or no wedding. The guards will stop you at the door. Fashionable or not, strapless gowns (which virtually always have a very close fitting bodice) do not belong in a Catholic Church. (Neither do shorts and a lot of other things I see at Mass on Sunday.:bigyikes: )
[/quote]

Mmm, I am surprised at the ripped jeans and sports shirts I see people wearing at church.
So is it the close fit that bothers people (officially) or the bare shoulders?

Because even if I didn’t go with strapless, I’d still go with something that had a nice fit to the bodice. i don’t think you’ll see anyone walking down the aisle in a shapeless bag of a wedding dress. :slight_smile:


#16

[quote=Jaded27]You can be 80 and wear a gown! If/when you get married, don’t cheat yourself. You’d be surprised at the things that are socially acceptable and well within age limits now that weren’t back 20 years ago or so. I’ve had to do a LOT of research about that and second wedding customs lately, trust me. :wink:
[/quote]

She CAN wear whatever she wants.

I wouldn’t be scandalized by an 80 year old never-married (first wedding) bride in a white gown, veil, blusher, etc. escorted by her father :wink: But I do think a cream colored tailored suit would be more appropriate to her age. (Not that I am saying CarolSFO is 80 years old!)

While “customs” do change, often it is merely that people do things that used to be considered outrageous and convince themselves that it is somehow acceptable. But some of us old-fogeys still think some things are still inappropriate. And when at a wedding where the bride looks like she belongs in a cocktail lounge rather than a Catholic Church, some of us are actually (discreetly, of course) scandalized.


#17

My advice would be against strapless gowns because of the comfort factor. Will you be wanting to “tug” on your gown to keep it up the whole time? Very unattractive. Also keep in mind that everyone will be hugging you. There will be many who feel uncomfortable about hugging you with a bare back and shoulders. And there may be some others who enjoy it a little too much, if you know what I mean.:smiley: I dont’ have a problem with strapless as long as they are modest, you know without too much cleavage? There are alot of strapless styles that go straight across and do not even show clevage and many long sleeve gowns that are cut low.

On my wedding day, my gown was beautiful, but being in April I had long, intricately detailed, sleeves (I could never have gone strapless anyway because of my chest size, It would have looked very tacky on me! and I didnt’ realize until half way through my wedding day that my sleeves were rubbing my arms at the same place on both arms. It was very uncomfortable. I had no choice but to grin and bear it. I can’t imagine my whole wedding day being about worrying whether my dress were falling down or too much was hanging out because of a strapless gown. Make sure your dress is not only beautiful, but that you will be able to wear it without worrying about some feature (uncomfortable sleeves, or falling down dress etc.) Trust me, you will be glad you have a pain free, stress free dress. Alot of brides want to look “Hot” on their wedding day, but I find it much more tasteful to look like a classic beauty. Brides are always beautiful and the center of attention, no need to advertize what the groom will be enjoying on the honeymoon!

I can still remember my Uncle’s wedding (not in a Catholic Church because of the rebellion of my Aunt toward my Grandma who wanted them to be married in the church, but Aunt later converted) when I was 5. All I could do was stare at my new Aunt’s gargantuan massively pushed up breasts heaving out of her tight gown. That was my innocent 5 yr old girl memory. Years later I heard family members discussing it when my youngest aunt was selecting her gown. It’s one thing for a tasteful amount of barely seen cleavage showing, especially if the girl can’t help it. I was in that category, it’s another for it to be the main attraction of the dress. A smaller-chested woman looks fine in a well-fitted strapless gown. I would have looked like a bimbo.

If you choose a strapless gown, will you feel confident and comfortable? Will you be tugging it all day? Are you willing to have a bit of embarassment on your special day if it happens to slip down low? What if the priest is unhappy about it?
Will Grandpa Joe and Uncle Norm feel comfortable hugging you in a strapless gown? And is this possible embarassment important to you? Or is it not an issue for you? Only you can decide that

At the end of the day it is your wedding dress and your choice!
Have fun, relax and enjoy your wedding day the planning, and the wonderful people around you who want to help!:slight_smile: Before you go shopping ask about church regulations.


#18

**The first things first. Check with the church that you are being married in. The parish that my DD was married in required a modesty panel or a jacket with mid length sleeves. The back could not be open below a set number of inches (don’t remember what it was) and we still had a lot of dresses to choose from. From frilly to quite well tailored.

On the other hand the dress at the reception/party does not have to be the one you get married in. Just easier.:yup:
**


#19

If I’m to be honest, I don’t think that a strapless dress is ever appropriate to wear…inside or outside a Church. I do believe that they are immodest.
I would recommend that you ask Our Lady to put a dress that is modest and makes you look beautiful (no bags allowed :smiley: ) in your path in the next few weeks.
Everyone will be looking at the bride to see how she is dressed so I believe that it is an opportunity and also a responsibility to give good example in what is appropriate to wear.


#20

[quote=Jaded27]blb, well the problem is that my conscience would say wearing strapless is just fine. But I’m obviously not going to be disrespectful to my fiancee’s religion. I’ll just have to speak with the priest.

I wanted to put this question out there, though, to see if anyone else had heard of it so that I woudlnt’ sound stupid when I asked him. :slight_smile:
[/quote]

I don’t mean the dress–that would imply that you should go ahead and be immodest, if you feel like it. There is strapless and then there is strapless. A wedding gown should make a chaste relationship between bride and groom at least seem like a possibility. You aren’t supposed to look like a trophy from a Las Vegas meat market. If that’s what comes to mind when you look in the mirror, buy a different dress.

I meant that, although strapless dresses are not immodest per se in most churches, your conscience will bother you if you make wedding choices to suit yourself in spite of how others might feel. It will put a bad taste on the day…especially for someone like you. You seem a very sweet person.

Most priests don’t think that there is such a thing as a stupid question when the purpose is to avoid giving offense. Even when the concern is not warranted, the attitude is gratifying. The far more common well-if-they-don’t-like-it-so-what-its-MY-wedding attitude gets a bit old with everybody, priests included.


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