Catholic Weddings

Hi and Question

Hi there!

I haven't posted on this board before, but I do have a question that I haven't seen answered recently.

I have many non-Catholic wedding guests and I want to put some wording on our wedding website about "covering up/dressing respectfully" in the Catholic Church. How did you guys word these types of things? I don't want to be condescending but I do believe it's worth stating the obvious to my non-Catholic friends (i.e. no bare shoulders, etc.).

Thank you in advance!
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Re: Hi and Question

  • I think the general rule is that you shouldn't put anything on the formal invitation.  You MIGHT get away with sticking a little insert inside the envelope that says something about covered shoulders (and don't tell anyone on Etiquette that you're doing it), but your best bet is probably to spread the word by mouth and to put something on your website AND maybe stock up on some Dollar Store shawls to hand out as guests enter (and you could mention that in your invitation or online -- "______ Catholic Church requests that all guests dress in a way that respects the solemnity of the ceremony.  Shawls will be provided for guests with bare shoulders").  Your wedding appears to be in June, which means most people will probably assume strapless is okay.
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  • Thank you for the wording suggestion!

    I am not putting anything in the Invitation, as I said. This is just for website purposes.
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  • I decided that asking my guests to be respectful of the Eucharist and Church was more important that proper "etiquette," so I included the following statement on a card with the formal invitation (the same card that talked about the reception and hotels.) My church had no bare shoulders as a requirement of the bridal party, so I thought it reasonable to clue guests into that too. (The usual exception to dictating dress in an invitation is if the venue requires a certain style.) 
    I also put this on my website:

    "Out of respect for the sacred nature of the wedding Mass, church, and Eucharist reserved within it, ladies are requested to have their shoulders covered while in the church building."

    I honestly didn't get a single complaint, and barely a comment, except from MIL who wanted to make sure her dress was in line with the "requirements."
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  • Lala, I completely agree with you that the respect is way more important than etiquette.

    OP: Sorry I misread your post.

    Also, welcome to the board!
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  • monkeysipmonkeysip
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited March 2012
    I've even seen the ladies on the etiquette board recognize that some churches do have dress codes (kind of like a dress code for a country club--it's allowed to include information on that)

    My church technically doesn't allow people to come in with shorts, tank tops, etc.  It is enforced, although irregularly.  And my church does provide shawls and wrap-skirts for women who need them.

    Out of respect for my church, I plan to put something on the website or maybe even on an insert in the invite, I'm not sure (only because I doubt a lot of my guests will look at the website).

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  • Thanks, ladies! I really appreciate the advice.

    And I agree -- I'd rather be a little upfront about the attire than have someone come dressed inappropriately.
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