Catholic Weddings

Can you wear a sleeveless dress in a Catholic wedding?

My friend didn't think Catholic brides were able to wear sleeveless or strapless wedding dresses. Is this the case?

Re: Can you wear a sleeveless dress in a Catholic wedding?

  • edited December 2011
    I actually didn't think so either - until I asked the priest if he had any stipulations on the modesty factor. He said no, so the way I look at it is you consider the rules of that church if any and if there are no rules then you do what makes YOU feel comfortable. I am marrying into a very modest Catholic family and although I don't walk around looking like a hoochie I do like to wear the ocasional strapless shirt or tank top. I had a hard time choosing what to go with. A dress that essentially made my FI family happy aka high neck and short sleeve (definitely not be happy) or a dress that reflected who I am and made me comfortable. I opted for me, it's my day (well me and FI's day- but thats just getting technical!!) my FI doesn't have an issue with strapless so the decision is made. I'm going with a strapless! In the end your the one that will look back on your wedding day photos and you want to remember the dress that you liked and loved not the dress you had to buy to make someone else happy. WOW i totally just rambled there, did I even answer your question? haha ok answer, ask your priest if he has rules. Some do and some don't. Then the rest is up to you!
    mjones3422
  • bel138bel138
    Sixth Anniversary 500 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    It varies by parish and by priest. The best thing to do is ask before you go shopping and fall in love with something. It's important for you to be comfortable and feel great in your dress.I'm wearing a 3/4 sleeve dress because I don't feel comfortable in strapless any day of the year, let alone on my wedding day in the church. I don't even wear sleeveless shirts to church during the hottest months of the year. I'm definitely on the more modest side, though, both in and out of the church.
    Image and video hosting by TinyPic
  • PolarBearFansPolarBearFans
    10 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    it varies. i normally attend a very traditional cathedral downtown and they allow stapless and so does fiances hometown church that we finally decided on. so the only one that answer the question is the church you are getting married at.
  • edited December 2011
    Yes sleeveless and strapless dresses are allowed in almost all Catholic churches. If her parish is very very very conservative she can ask but my dress was strapless and lovely and the church had no issue
  • edited December 2011
    It depends on the church. Some won't allow strapless. I've heard that pretty much everyone allows spaghetti straps, though. (Silly, IMHO). If you fell in love with a strapless dress, you could always add spaghetti straps for the ceremony.
  • Riss91Riss91
    Eighth Anniversary 1000 Comments 25 Love Its Name Dropper
    member
    edited December 2011
    It varies, so definitely ask your priest. I purchased a strapless dress, and eventhough our priest has no rules against it, I have decided to have straps added on (they will be 1-2" thick). Also - all of my BM dresses will be altered for removable straps. You can always have the straps made to be removable for after the ceremony.
  • tnspighttnspight
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Before I realized that strapless might not be allowed, I fell in love with and ordered a strapless gown.  There's no way that I'm covering it up w/a shawl, and I can't imagine adding straps.  We're getting married in a chapel (not our home parish) and paying $1100 for the privilege.  We're also having the reception there (minimum $10000).  For that amount of $$ I better be able to wear a miniskirt if I want!  Not that I would...
  • edited December 2011
    Our parish just asked us to keep modesty in mind--they don't ban anything.I am adding slightly off-the-shoulder sleeves to my strapless dress and wearing a veil, so that should help too. I've also asked my bridesmaids to keep that in mind when they pick out their dress style (I just chose the color)--if they choose a strapless dress, I'm just going to ask them to wear a shawl during the ceremony. They are all okay with the idea.
    Click Here for Bio Image and video hosting by TinyPic Married June 12, 2010!
  • edited December 2011
    My gown is strapless. I got a bridal jacket that matched my gown to cover my arms in the church.
  • edited December 2011
    off topic post--- JayandMarissa - I'm thinking about getting a strapless dress and adding off-the-shoulder straps too, so I clicked your bio for pictures, and looked at your proposal page. My FI and I had our first date on Feb 14, 2004 as well! Isn't that crazy!!!!?!?!!!
  • banana468banana468
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    PP, be careful if the chapel does have regulations.  They may not care how much you paid.  Someone could greet you at the back of the church with a jacket or blanket before the processional with the requirement that you wear it or you simply wouldn't be married.I wore a sleeveless dress (see siggy pic) and there were no issues.  The church did request that my BMs shoulders were covered as they were in strapless dresses so my mother made linen shawls.DH's cousin was married in a strapless dress and she covered her shoulders with a piece of lace for the ceremony that was removed once she was in the church vestibule.
  • tnspighttnspight
    100 Comments
    member
    edited December 2011
    Banana - You made me nervous so I checked out their website wedding pics.  There were several brides wearing strapless gowns.  They did wear veils though.  I wonder if that makes a difference?  I'm going to have to call over there now :( 
  • banana468banana468
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    I don't know that the veil makes a difference but if there are photos of brides in strapless, that's probably fine.More and more churches are relaxed about it - you just don't want to find out that they aren't the hard way. 
  • edited December 2011
    I believe it varies from parish to parish. I'd ask your priest or wedding coordinator.
    greenbaby
    BFP 1/22/12 | Ectopic pregnancy found 2/14/12 | Methotrexate to complete m/c 2/15/12 imageimageimage Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker Anniversary
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    Definitely check with your priest/parish. But for what it's worth, I've never been to a Catholic wedding where it was an issue. Those brides all had strapless or sleeveless dresses and never had to wear a shawl or a jacket. I'm not sure if their veils counted as covering their shoulders. The last Catholic wedding I went to had the BMs wearing shawls over their shoulders (bride wore strapless but also wore a veil). I'm not sure if that was the church's request or the bride's preference because some of them had tattoos.
    image
  • edited December 2011
    marjojo--how funny! Good luck with your dress!
    Click Here for Bio Image and video hosting by TinyPic Married June 12, 2010!
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    strapless is usually frowned upon, but its really anything that is deemed "immodest" (i.e., too much cleavage).
  • mbcdefgmbcdefg
    10000 Comments 5 Love Its Combo Breaker
    member
    edited December 2011
    Update: we just had our first meeting with the priest on Monday, and he said strapless is fine as long as everyone looks appropriate. He made a joke about not having the BMs in see-through blouses, lol.
    image
  • edited December 2011
    everything depends on your church, your priest.  my church allowed it. 
  • edited December 2011
    My mom is having major issues about wearing strapless in a Catholic church.  She wants me to be much more conservative and have sleeves.  However, my FI loves strapless dresses.  I just want to get what I like and feel comfortable in.  Any suggestions on how to handle mom's conservatism?
  • banana468banana468
    Knottie Warrior 10000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    What about offering to wear a wrap or covering for the ceremony?  I've even seen pieces of pretty lace that can be tucked in for the ceremony.Then when you're out of the church, you can wear the dress as strapless.  Many bridal shops have some kind of shawl or jacket/covering for those purposes. 
  • Calypso1977Calypso1977
    Knottie Warrior 2500 Comments 25 Love Its First Answer
    member
    edited December 2011
    you could offer to wear a bolero or wrap just for the ceremony.  or just make sure that whatever strapless you get is high enough that cleavage doesnt show.  some of the strapless (particularly sweetheart neckline) show some serious boob.  keep in mind you will kneel before hte priest and you dont want him to have a birdseye view of your mammaries.  that's probably your mom's concern.
  • edited December 2011
    Butterfly- Same thing with my mom! My dress is currently strapless with a sweat heart neckline and she kind of freaked out a little. I think I'm going to add smallish straps simply because my ladies need more support than a strapless can offer and I don't want to be tugging at my dress all day (tacky!!). As far as my mom goes though, I'm refusing a shawl or bolero because they look ugly with my dress and the bodice is the prettiest part. I don't want it covered up in every pic of us at the altar! The woman in my dress shop suggested getting a longer/bigger veil and pulling it slightly around my shoulders. You can still see the dress through the shear material and I won't have to worry about a shawl draped over my arms the whole time. Then at the reception, either loose the veil or pull it back. Good luck! :)
    Wedding Countdown Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    If no one from the church told you yet, you really should seek out the priest or deacon that will be officiating over your wedding. Our priest does not allow strapless dresses. If your dream dress doesn't have straps, you could always wear a bolero or have your veil covering your shoulders during the ceremony. I am going to have my veil cover as much of me as possible because my dad is extremely strict and doesn't want any of my arms or neck showing within the church.
    image BabyFetus Ticker
  • edited December 2011
    my grandmother wanted me to wear a turtleneck and long sleeve lace dress.. the convo went something like this...Gma- i sent your mother's dress to her house today for you to try onMe- oh thank you, i'll try it on to see if i like itGma- you should wear it so you go to the alter looking "like a lady"... not like a "lady of the evening"Me- giggles, I thought you were going to suggest looking like something elseGma- what like say you'll look like a slut!... well that's what i meant, you're a good catholic girl.Me- oh ok Gma gotta go love you bye!...needless to say the dress was not my style but it was very pretty. I'm wearing strapless, my *girls* are covered completely.. same with my bridesmaids. I told them bring shawls or we'll get them pashminas simply because our church is ALWAYS freezing and I dont know why.but some people are funny about their idea of modesty. I'm sure your church will agree with at the very least just having a shawl during the ceremony. they shouldnt demand more than that frankly. and most dont care
    image
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards