What to wear to a church wedding

What to wear to a church wedding: To most, needing to know the proper attire for a church wedding is an obvious sign that they are not married. I feel this way too. As a rule, you should always dress up for a wedding just so you can still fit into your pants when you get home. But this wedding is different as my girlfriend has chosen for it to be held in her family’s church. None of us are religious but it’s still the principle of the thing. An announcement was even sent out by her parents that all guests were required to dress formal (this announcement was made via Facebook — I’m one step away from floggers and chains). The question then becomes: I have no idea what formal attire to wear…

Right here on Churchgists, you are privy to a litany of relevant information on what to wear to a winter church wedding, casual church wedding attire, what to wear to a summer church wedding, and so much more. Take out time to visit our Website for more information on similar topics.

Topics like; semi formal church wedding, casual church wedding attire can also be found on our site

What to wear to a church wedding

What to wear to a church wedding is one of those dilemmas we all face at one time or another. It isn’t an easy question to answer as it depends on a lot of factors, so whether you’re the bride or a guest, knowing what to wear to a church wedding isn’t simple.

Church weddings can be extremely formal affairs with strict dress codes, or they can be more casual and relaxed. Looking to wear that newly bought designer gown, or a hand-me-down from your cousin from the 1980s? Either way, there are some rules you must know when attending a church wedding.

When it comes to attire for a church wedding, there are no hard and fast rules. However, there are a few guidelines that you can follow to help you make the right choice for your special day.

One of the first things to consider is the type of dress code that will be in place at the ceremony. If it’s a formal affair (and most church weddings are), then you may want to opt for a dress or suit that is more elegant and sophisticated than what you would wear on other occasions. You might also want to consider choosing colors that don’t clash with your bridesmaids’ outfits if they’re wearing them as well.

If the wedding is more casual, then feel free to dress more casually as well! Just make sure that whatever you choose looks nice and appropriate for such an occasion.

If you’re attending a church wedding, you’ll need to know what to wear.

There are two main considerations when choosing your outfit: dress code and the weather.

Dress Code

The dress code at most churches is “black or white.” You may not see many people wearing white, but that doesn’t mean it’s not allowed. It’s always best to check with the bride or groom first if you’re unsure. If in doubt, black is always a safe bet!


If it’s cold out (as it often is during winter), bring a coat and some extra layers to keep yourself warm—you don’t want to be shivering while the bride walks down the aisle. If it’s hot out, consider bringing an umbrella or hat to shield yourself from the sun on your way into the building or out of it after the ceremony ends.

what to wear to a summer church wedding

Dresses in floral prints and bright colors are always a stylish and fun choice for warm-weather weddings. For summer weddings with a formal dress code, guests should consider wearing mid-length to floor-length gowns in light and breathable fabrics.

casual church wedding attire

It is often the case that when we are invited to a wedding, one of the first things to consider is what you will wear to celebrate the occasion. Particularly when no dress code is given, it is important to ensure that you are wearing an outfit that reflects the formality of the occasion, and often there are particular things that both male and female guests will need to consider, particularly if the wedding in question will be held in a church.

So, what do you wear to a church wedding? Church weddings require guests to be respectful of religious connotations along with any requests of the bride and groom. So, it is usually advised that guests wear ‘Sunday best’ to a church wedding. For men, this might mean a suit with appropriate footwear and for women an outfit with a modest hem and neckline and covered shoulders.

Typically, the dress code for any wedding is indicated by the formality of the invitation and depends on the time of day, location, and preferences of the happy couple.

How Should I Dress For A Church Wedding?
You should dress formally yet elegantly for a church wedding. It is also generally advised to wear a shawl or coverup over the shoulders.

It is always better to ‘over-dress’ than to take a more casual approach at a wedding (unless specifically advised by the bride and groom).

Weddings are usually quite formal celebrations in that there are many traditional elements that couples often choose to uphold.

Traditionally, wedding attire is relatively formal, hence our advice as to what to wear to a church wedding.

If you are unsure of the formality of the wedding celebration you are attending, I would always advise speaking to the happy couple to ask for their opinion.

It is quite common for guests of a church wedding to dress however they wish, but to bring with them a jacket, scarf, or shawl to the church ceremony.

Covering up a slightly more revealing outfit is seen as a sign of respect in the church.

The term Sunday best originates from the nineteenth century, where people’s best clothing was typically reserved for special occasions and attending church.

Nowadays, the phrase refers to formal clothing.

Attending any wedding, I thoroughly enjoy looking at what others are wearing.

This weekend we attended the wedding of our friends – held in a church.

Most of the men in attendance were wearing formal suits with ties and smart dress shoes.

As it happened, the majority of the men wore blue suits but any color – black, grey, brown – would be acceptable for a church wedding.

The women wore a variety of different outfit styles.

Some wore smart skirts, blouses, and jackets, others were in formal dresses and a few of the female guests wore pantsuits.

I was surprised to see that a few of the guests wore halter-neck dresses or dresses with very narrow straps.

This got me thinking about whether or not shoulders need to be covered in a church.

So, I did some research. Read on to discover what I found.

Do Shoulders Need To be Covered In Church?
When attending a wedding mass in a church, it is advised, (but not enforced) that women should cover their shoulders. This is a long-standing tradition of modesty during church services and does differ depending on the church. For example, during a Catholic wedding mass, it is more likely that women would be expected to cover their shoulders.

That being said, it does not mean that you cannot wear an off-the-shoulder or strapless dress to a church wedding.

Quite the opposite, in fact, it may just take some forethought and a root around in your closet or trip to the store to ensure that you have a jacket, shawl, or simple throw to cover your shoulders during the church ceremony part of the wedding day.

Some churches do have a slightly more modern view on appropriate attire and so sleeveless dresses or shirts are absolutely fine to wear.

Often, churches will have a website where this sort of information can be found so guest can plan their outfit accordingly.

And, again, if there is any uncertainty in your mind about whether or not to cover your shoulders at a church wedding, we would highly recommend seeking the guidance of the wedding couple beforehand.

What Not To Wear To A Church Wedding
As with any formal event or occasion, there are certain things to avoid wearing to a church wedding. These include trainers, sportswear, highly revealing outfits, swimwear, the color white (unless explicitly stated), denim, clothing that is ripped or has holes in, sweats, and t-shirts.

It goes without saying that it should only be the bride – or brides – in white on their wedding day.

So perhaps steer clear of that white dress in your closet. Even if it is white with patterns or print on, I would recommend avoiding so as not to cause any upset.

Men, in particular, should avoid wearing trainers with their suits.

Not only does it look bad, but trainers are considered informal attire by most establishments – including some bars, nightclubs, restaurants and you guessed it- churches.

A dress shoe in either black or brown often works well.

Sweats and sportswear are also not appropriate in that they are just a bit too casual for an occasion such as a wedding.

If you are wanting to be comfortable at the wedding, instead opt for a floaty dress or loose-fitting shirt.

On their wedding day, the bride and groom (or any other combination of those roles!) understandably should be the star of the show, so guests should try to avoid wearing a highly revealing outfit to the wedding.

Not only does this detract attention away from the happy couple, but it may be viewed as disrespectful in a setting such as a church.

Denim is also a no-no for wedding attire, being more of an everyday look, guests are encouraged to make an effort with their appearance and so avoiding a casual denim look is encouraged.

Weddings are momentous occasions in peoples’ lives.

The formality of the happy couples’ nuptials will often be dictated by the formality of the invitation.

Either way, making an effort with your outfit as a wedding guest for a church wedding is the best way to go.

And if you are looking for inspiration or a particular outfit, head over to Church Dress Collection on The Dress Outlet.

Trust me, you’ll find something there.

And while they meet the criteria, if you don’t shop there and decide to do so elsewhere, have in mind the phrase Sunday Best when selecting your outfit for a church wedding.

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