Every guest must know what to wear to a Catholic wedding, which means practicing modesty and avoiding potentially disrespectful wardrobe choices. We will go through these two considerations in more detail below.
For additional etiquette guides on wedding outfits, feel free to browse our blog as we tackle different types of weddings. Since you’re curious about the wedding attire for guests in a Catholic wedding, we recommend reading what to wear to a church wedding.
What To Wear To A Catholic Wedding For Guests
- Check the dress code indicated on the wedding invitation to know the expectations of the couple for their guests
- Follow the color scheme indicated on the invitation to know what colors to wear
- Expect that Catholic weddings that are usually held in churches will follow a formal dress code
- Be mindful of revealing clothes such as those that show the neckline, chest, and shoulders; wear coverups such as a shawl, blazer, or jacket if needed
- Avoid clothes that are too short, both for men and women
- Consider modest heels for women and opt for close-toed footwear for men
What not to wear
- Opt for neutral colors and never bright tones that will make you stand out
- Do not go overboard with the makeup and accessories in the Catholic wedding
- Follow the basic wedding etiquette of not wearing white as it’s a color reserved for the bride
- Avoid outfits that will steal the spotlight from the bride and groom
- Assume that t-shirts, jeans, and graphic tops are inappropriate in a Catholic wedding
- Consider getting your clothing pieces tailored so they will fit perfectly, but avoid tight clothes
Does The Catholic Church Have A Dress Code?
The Catholic church has no dress code per se, but it should be assumed that you have to dress properly when you’re inside the church. For example, if you’re attending a Catholic wedding, it will include a full mass and communion, so avoid wearing outfits that are deemed disrespectful.
The Catholic church’s dress code is between formal and semi-formal. An example of an outfit for men would be a collared shirt paired with slacks, while women can wear modest dresses with wedding gloves or pantsuits.
With this in mind, do not wear sports or workout outfits such as jerseys, jogging shorts, or yoga pants inside the Catholic church. In addition, tank tops, sleeveless tops, plunging blouses, off-shoulder blouses, and statement T-shirts are also disrespectful.
What Do Guests Wear To A Catholic Wedding?
Male guests typically wear a basic shirt and tie when attending a Catholic wedding. However, if possible, a suit would be better since it’s more formal.
Avoid anything exposing the arms, legs, or feet to practice respect. You must also avoid wearing a hat to the Catholic wedding.
Female wedding guests on a Catholic wedding can wear a midi dress with a shawl or jacket to cover the shoulders and chest if they have a lower neckline. They can also assume that shorts are unacceptable or any clothing that will expose the thighs when sitting down.
It’s worth reminding female guests to never wear white and other related colors as a sign of respect to the bride. And similar to other weddings, do not choose the same color as the wedding party to help get distinguished from the guests.
Do you also happen to be attending a civil wedding? Read what to wear to a civil wedding.
Can I Wear Black To A Catholic Wedding?
You can wear black to a Catholic wedding if it’s not a full-blown black-only attire. However, it’s best to introduce other neutral colors to the outfit so it wouldn’t look too gloomy.
If you’re unsure, you can always check with the couple. Remember that some people associate black with grief or bad luck, so it’s best to ask the hosts about your color choice.
In some cases, Catholic weddings are formal or black-tie, so black is acceptable for suits and dresses of the guests. Black is also among the outfit color choices for the evening reception.
Can You Wear Red To Catholic Church?
There are no specific rules that prohibit wearing red inside the Catholic church. But if you’re attending a wedding, red is too bold as a color choice for any guest.
Remember that modesty and subtlety are essential, and red can be considered a bold color. However, if it’s part of the color scheme and you got the signal from the couple, it is still of good taste to opt for darker shades of red as they are less attention-grabbing than bright reds.
Do you know that some brides even wear read? Here is what a red wedding dress means.
Can You Wear Sandals To Catholic Church?
There is no restriction for wearing sandals in the Catholic church, but it might be inappropriate if you’re attending a wedding with a formal dress code. Steer clear from sandals that look like flip-flops with straps and go for those leaning toward the semi-casual style.
Was this guide helpful? We’ve talked about what to wear to a Catholic wedding by considering modesty and avoiding potentially disrespectful clothing pieces.
A quick recap means avoiding wearing anything plunging, showing the shoulders, too short, or attention-grabbing colors. Of course, you must also check the dress code on your invitation or ask the couple themselves to ensure that what you’ll wear is acceptable.