What To Wear To Officiate A Wedding: Dos And Don’ts

Suppose you’re unsure about what to wear to officiate a wedding; know the proper etiquette for a woman and man officiant. We will also discuss what not to wear as a wedding officiant. 

You might also benefit from browsing our blogs regarding weddings to familiarize yourself with the etiquette of this special event. For example, do you know what is a white wedding?

what to wear to officiate a wedding

It would be best to be familiar with wedding types and terms to help you prepare when attending one. 


What Should A Wedding Officiant Wear?


For women

For a woman officiant, the first thing to consider is matching the formality of the bride and groom. You want to compliment the ceremony by not underdressing that it will look tacky or overdressing that you’ll upstage the couple. 

Since most weddings are formal, women officiants can use midi or tea dresses because they’re classy enough for the ceremony without upstaging the bride like a longer gown. They’re also not too short that would be out of place in a formal ceremony. 

It’s also possible to wear a well-tailored woman’s suit if you’re more comfortable with one than a dress. Then, stick to solid neutral colors like black and beige, but make sure that you won’t match with the bridal party. 


For men

Similar to the rules in choosing what to wear, keep the overall theme of the wedding ceremony in mind when deciding what to wear as a male officiant. For formal weddings, stick to suits in solid and neutral colors like black, navy blue, or even gray. 

You can then opt for a tie that would help you blend in with the wedding theme. However, be careful with styling the overall attire so that you won’t stand out during the ceremony. 

Another consideration as a male wedding officiant is that you shouldn’t look similar to the groom and groomsmen as a female wedding officiant shouldn’t look like the bride and bridesmaid. Consider asking the bride as well if you’re unsure about what to wear. 


What Not To Wear To Officiate A Wedding


Do not look like the bridesmaids and groomsmen

The officiant can consult the bride regarding what the bridesmaids and groomsmen are wearing. This way, you can steer clear from their style and colors since officiants should look more honorable than the couple’s closest friends and families. 


Do not look like the bride or groom

Much like any other guest at the wedding, the officiant shouldn’t upstage or stand out more than the bride and groom themselves. This means avoiding wearing white unless the bride states so and not using the same materials found on the couple’s clothing.  


Avoid patterns and bright colors

Since the officiant is expected to be honorable, avoid tacky colors that might also clash with the wedding theme. This is why it’s better to stick to neutral-colored clothing and avoid bright colors or patterns like stripes or plaids, even on your tie. 


Ensure comfort

Remember that you want to stay comfortable throughout the ceremony, or your discomfort and fidgeting will look noticeable standing in front. Ensure that you can feel confident with what you’re wearing by having your outfit tailored accordingly. 


What Should An Officiant Wear To A Casual Wedding?

  • You must still dress up slightly, even on a casual wedding
  • For male officiants, they can consider a white button-up shirt with dress slacks 
  • Depending on the ceremony, you can consult the bride if a good pair of jeans and a white button-up shirt would be appropriate
  • Some officiants also wear a suit jacket without a tie on casual weddings
  • For female officiants, they can consult the bride with a simple dress or a straight skirt with a nice blouse


Can A Normal Person Officiate A Wedding?

A regular person such as a close friend or relative can officiate your wedding. There are several options they can try even if they’re not a member of the clergy. 

Check with your state if they will grant authority or deputize someone for a day. In some states, it’s also possible for a person ordained by a religious group online to perform a ceremony. 

To ensure that the marriage will be legal, always study your state marriage laws or call the country clerk where it will take place. Then, check if the person you want to officiate the wedding will be accepted in the state and county and authorized. 


How Can I Officiate Someone’s Wedding?

  1. Review the registration requirements before performing a marriage
  2. Get ordained online and determine if all the paperwork and legalities are complete
  3. If needed, you may need to file credentials with the local court
  4. Make sure that you’re aware of the deadlines for the documents, fees, and even when you need the marriage license of the couple turned in
  5. Discuss with the couple regarding the ceremony outline and plan accordingly with the legal requirements in mind 
  6. While the ceremony should be legal, you can still make it more personal with the right sentiments and jokes 
  7. Consult the couple on what they expect you to wear for the ceremony



And that’s it! In this article, we learned what to wear to officiate a wedding and discovered several etiquette rules. 

This means ensuring that you’re not matching the bridesmaids and groomsmen or upstaging the bride or groom with bold and patterned outfits. For example, women can wear a midi dress or suit, while men can safely wear solid-colored suits. 

Overall, the officiant should look honorable in the ceremony. And when in doubt, consult the couple for their opinions. 

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