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August 2010 Weddings

bare or covered shoulders

We are getting married in the Catholic church where I grew up. Although I am not always terrible traditional or religious (I have certainly not "saved" myself for marriage and we will be living together before the wedding, etc.) I have always sort of thought strapless dresses are not terribly appropriate for church. My dress is strapless and I am in the process of deciding if I should order lace that matches the lace inserts on my dress (from the dress designer) to have a jacket of some sort made to wear only for the ceremony. 

I am wearing a cathedral length veil and a 2nd layer 3 foot veil for extra volume and so the cathedral length part can be removed after the ceremony while still having a shorter veil for entrance, cake cutting, etc. It has been suggested that I just pull the veils over my shoulders for church.

I tried on a cap sleeve lace jacket with my dress recently and will attempt to post pics of the two options. Keep in mind the lace on my dress that would be used to make a jacket is much more delicate than the lace on the jacket I am wearing in the picture. 

This is also complicated by the fact that my bridesmaids may end up in strapless dresses and it would be strange to say I want my shoulders covered but theirs can be bare. They could wear a shawl, but in my experience as a bridesmaid I would be really annoyed with a shawl.

Sorry its so long, but what do you think? Jacket or no jacket?

Re: bare or covered shoulders

  • I was a bridesmaid in a Catholic wedding. My friend, the bride, bought all her BM wraps that matched the dresses. As for her, her veil was long enough to be pulled over her shoulders.

    It's up to you and the preference of the church. My friend's church required the wedding party to be covered out of respect. I didn't have a problem with that. Anyways, its only for the ceremony and not like they have to cover their shoulders for the reception too.


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  • I like the dress with sleeves actually. boleroes (sp?) are really popular right now and a couple etsy sellers make them. I think they're cute!
  • Your dress looks fabulous on you! I like it with the sleeves and without. Honestly, it's up to you and your comfort. I agree with tmeans though. My cousin had a bolero that was just lace and was full length. It was tight knit against her body and didn't cover her full back but definitely covered her shoulders. It's hard to describe but she looked beautiful with it on.
  • I like it with the jacket.  I think its super cute.  I am not very religious (dont go to church) but when I do go to weddings I like to cover my sholders.  It just seems like the respectful thing to do. 
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  • I think it looks beautiful either way. I guess I'm not a very traditional bride. I'm getting married in a catholic church, too and my BM's and I are all wearing strapless dresses. It's summer and I'm  not going to change my whole look just b/c I'm getting married in a church. I wouldn't worry about it...I know lots of brides that had wore a strapless dress in a church on their wedding day. 

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  • I really wanted a bolero for our Catholic wedding too. So I'll be wearing it for the ceremony and possibly through dinner, and then I'll take it off for dancing and stuff :) (PIB under Attire.) I like boleros, because they're more flexible than having cap sleeves that are permanently attached to the dress.
  • I like the first picture better. Quick question for you guys (please don't take this in a harsh tone, I am simply curious) I was born and raised in an Evangelical church and go to Liberty (largest Evangelical university in the world) so I was wondering, if you are not "religious" then why are you all getting married in a Catholic Church? I was just curious, I'll admit, I'm a bit sheltered to the rest of the world outside of the bubble that I live in.
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  • In Response to Re: bare or covered shoulders:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: bare or covered shoulders : This answer may sound snarky too but I am the one who said I am not very religious so its probably addressed to me.  I am not getting married in a church.  That is the main reason why I am not.  But when I do go to church for the weddings of others I do have my sholders covered.  The reason for this is because I know some churches do take offense to it so it seems like the proper thing for me to do.  Its more to please the others in the church and to not offend them than to fulfill a religious reason for it. 
    Posted by ffbride_0813[/QUOTE]
     Oh it wasn't addressed towards anyone in particular. Quite a few have said statements like that and I was just curious. I agree with you and covering your shoulders in church. 
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  • i really like how it looks with the cap sleeves. this is now something i might consider as well. i know the covering of the shoulders is really based on the church's prefence. some churchs would like for shoulders to be covered and others dont mind if they aren't.

  • I really think the sleeves look nice!  It's all up to your comfort level though.
  • I actually like the sleeves. It looks really good on your dress, which is beautiful by the way! It all comes down to what you feel comfortable in.

  • Thanks for your input everyone! My church does allow bare shoulders.

    In response to why we are getting married in church: I did not say I am not religious, I just am not super religious. I don't attend church everyday or week and I don't follow the Catholic church's ideas blindly, but I am still a practicing Catholic and it is important to me to receive the sacrament of matrimony and for our marriage to be recognized by the church as a religious and spiritual commitment rather than just a legal bond. Sorry for that crazy run-on sentence!
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