What to wear to a wedding is always an exciting and daunting choice. Something about a catholic wedding just seems to have a slightly more serious tone to it. The level of seriousness definitely depends on the couple but that being said, there are some basic things that hold true for nearly all catholic weddings when it comes to attire.
So, what do you wear to a catholic wedding? The type of attire you should wear to a wedding should be at the very least semi-formal. It’s also common to cover up a bit more when in the church during the ceremony. After the ceremony when the reception starts somewhere else, the rules may loosen a bit.
Let’s talk about what this all really means and give you some practical ideas for outfits.
What Can You Wear To A Catholic Wedding?
You should wear modest clothes that don’t reveal too much. When it comes to your wedding attire during a catholic wedding there are still a lot of options that you can choose from. The key is to keep it classy and respectful. That doesn’t mean covered head to toe. It just means respecting the religious ceremony.
Tips For Covering Up
- When in the church try to keep your neckline and shoulders less revealed. This could be a shawl or a class jacket to cover up if the dress doesn’t do so itself.
- Keep the dress or skirt length close to or below your arms lengths as an attempt to not wear anything too short.
- Heels are fine but consider modest to be the forefront of your look.
Now, let’s talk about actual outfit ideas.
There has never been a better time for a smoking jumpsuit. Pants have certainly made a comeback but one-pieces now are all the rage.
This is a perfect way to dress up without feeling like you are dressing boring for a wedding. To spice it up even more go for a bold color like red, blue, or black.
Jumpsuits are also great because you can wear strappy ones that can easily be covered up with a sharp blazer or jacket during the ceremony inside the church.
Just because the dress is long and has ¾ sleeves doesn’t mean it can’t be sexy.
Fitted tight dresses that cover-up are a great way to show off your physique without technically being oversharing. Whether you care to wear a mid-calve, full-length, or no sleeve, they are all flattering looks.
If you do go with straps on shoulders just aim to bring a jacket for inside church.
Skirt And Blouse
Not all of us are the one-piece type and that’s totally cool. That’s why skirts and a nice shirt will do just fine.
Remember to try and keep the skirt length appropriate and if you are going to bear a little upstairs just bring a coverup during the ceremony.
Need some inspiration? We got you.
- Long maxi skirt with a small slit up the side paired with a long-sleeve shirt that has an open back.
- Ruffled mini-skirt, strappy sandals, and clean white top. Simple looks deserve more accessories so pair them with jewlery or a hat.
Men have to be considerate of what they were to a catholic wedding too.
If you are not at the wedding then you don’t really need to fret over wearing a suit.
Dress pants however and a BusinessWire with a tie will certainly make the cut.
It doesn’t always have to be this formal but it certainly is more often than not when it comes to attending a catholic wedding.
If it’s hot you can wear business shorts and a belt paired with a nice business shirt.
Understandably some months are hotter than others and no one is expecting you to enter a sauna to attend the wedding.
Being comfortable is still a consideration – especially because these weddings can last a while.
What You Should Not Wear To A Catholic Wedding
You should not wear anything that is considered to be over the top sexy or underwhelmingly casual.
There is a level of respect during these religious ceremonies that are expected from the guests.
Becoming the center of attention by wearing something like this is not the kind of spotlight you want.
Let’s talk more in specifics of what you should definitely avoid.
We all love to wear our yoga pants to basically anywhere we can get away with it.
Wearing leggings to a religious ceremony is definitely not one of those places.
You wouldn’t want to wear leggings and jeans to a normal wedding most likely let alone a Catholic wedding.
Leggings are different than pants as pants are a bit more dressy so if it’s about covering your legs then consider the options above.
Having cutouts in the dress around your abdomen and other areas is a little over the top when it comes to a Catholic wedding.
Cutouts also include showing off your midriff. While it’s great to have confidence it may be better to not do this in church.
Too much cleavage can be worked in this section as well.
A little neckline is definitely OK but busting out is better for the beach.
Just remember to wear something that you would wear to your own church if you ever went.
Anything with graphic designs that may go against the ideas of a Catholic church should be an obvious no.
This is not the time for you to make political statements.
It doesn’t necessarily even have to be a statement but wearing a graphic tee or prints that are attention-grabbing and compromising can be left at home for your next concert.
We aren’t hating on graphics. There is just a time and place. Plus who doesn’t love a Guns and Roses tee?
Other Catholic Wedding Attire Considerations
Without stressing you out too much about what you should wear to a Catholic wedding we do want to put in some final considerations when it comes to your outfit.
There is nothing worse than not feeling like yourself and we get that.
These are just some tips and tricks.
Covering up is not a whole lot of fun when it is blasting hot.
This may be a sacrifice you need to make to follow along but there are some loopholes as we mentioned with open back.
Keep in mind to dress for the weather so you are not too hot or too cold.
Indoor Ceremony Outdoor Reception
Along with the season you need to consider that you may be moving to an outdoor reception afterward.
Dress accordingly in a number of ways.
Not just temperature but are your stilettos going to be sinking into the ground? Will your dress drag?
Your skirt blow up in the wind?
All these things we have to think about depending on indoor verse outdoor weddings.
Bold is great until it becomes a little too bold. Know where to draw the line.
Wearing a zebra-printed head-to-toe jumpsuit may just steal the show.
Reconfigure by putting an emphasis on simplicity.
This is the best policy as we can come back to our thought of being modest.
If you don’t know how casual or how dressed up the theme is then it perinatally doesn’t hurt to ask the groom or bride who invited you.
They can give you a good rundown on what they expect and then there is no question about what you should wear.
This nips everything in the bud.
It’s A Wedding!
Let’s remember that a Catholic wedding is still a wedding and a celebratory occasion.
No reason to let it intimidate you though we understand why.
Everyone wants to be respectful while also being able to wear something that represents them.
The best way to go about this is definitely keeping it basic and modest. Maybe a little more modest than you are used to.
When in the church try to cover your chest and not show off too much leg.
And with a comeback for jumpsuits that should be no problem.
Just because you are covering up doesn’t mean you can’t rock a fitted look to show off your figure!
There are so many ways to follow the rules and still look great.
Just remember that looking great still shouldn’t come after being comfortable to a degree.
Consider your elements and whether you are going to indoors verse out for the reception.
This can have a major impact on what you’re going to wear or bring with you for the rest of the wedding.
Also, you can all accessorize whatever you decide to wear to glam your option up.
Just don’t go over the top and be too bold.
Do Your Shoulders Have To Be Covered In A Catholic Wedding?
It is best and recommended to cover your shoulders at a Catholic wedding. It’s a sign of respect for the Church as well as for your priest. However, there is no rule that states you must have shoulders covered. So, you could always ask the priest and from there respect his preferences.
Can You Wear A Strapless Dress To A Catholic Wedding?
The catholic church does not prohibit strapless dresses, but some churches and priests may still not allow them. Others may stipulate that certain conditions must be met – whether a veil or shawl must be worn too, for instance.
Can I Wear Black To A Catholic Wedding?
It should be possible to wear black to a Catholic wedding, although it may not be appropriate depending on the theme, formality, and the requests of the bride and groom. Remember, wearing black to a wedding has negative historical connotations (such as a means of objecting to the marriage) so do take this into account and perhaps ask ahead of time.
Check out my other wedding attire guides:
- What To Wear To A Church Wedding
- What To Wear To A Wedding When Pregnant
- What Should A 60 Year Old Woman Wear To A Wedding?
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!