Prairie Hive

What to Wear to a Church Wedding

If you have been invited to a church wedding, you might already be familiar with the drill when it comes to the common dress codes, from black tie to cocktail, and semiformal attire.


But times are changing, and more and more couples are steering away from tradition to get more creative with their wedding attire requests.

Whether it is your own church wedding, or you have been invited to one, chances are you are scratching your head right now trying to figure out what to wear to a church wedding.

To save you from the wild guesses, here is a short guide on church wedding attire:

What to Wear to a Church Wedding for Female Guests?

Female guests should always wear something modest and avoid using anything too eye-catching that might end up outshining the bride. Many church weddings implement a formal dress code, and a coverup or shawl can be used with dresses that reveal the shoulders too much.

Ladies can also wear pantsuits if their dresses are all too revealing or somewhat fitted. Another option is to pair a skirt with a top provided that the combination doesn’t look too casual.

White is a big no-no when you are a female guest invited to a church wedding. Unless the bride herself stated the color as acceptable, it is common knowledge to avoid wearing white if you are a church wedding guest since the color is reserved exclusively for the bride.

What to Wear to a Church Wedding for Male Guests?

Male guests to church weddings also need to stick to a formal dress code that often includes a tie and classic suit combo paired with the appropriate pants.

It is also recommended to avoid bright patterns and colors even with just your necktie alone. For formality purposes, male guests should also wear a pair of dress shoes and steer clear of rubber shoes or sandals.

Now, it is easy to fall into the temptation of just wearing your favorite denim, T-shirts, trainers, or sweats. Although these might be more into your style or you find them more comfortable, take note that church weddings are mainly formal, and wearing the said clothing pieces may seem disrespectful.

What to Wear to a Church Wedding: Two Basic Rules to Remember

When it comes to church wedding dress code, there are two basic rules you need to remember and follow at all times:

Always Consider the Wedding Dress Code

Before you shop for your outfit, don’t forget to refer to the dress code stated on the wedding invitation. Many church weddings follow a semi-formal dress code that is easier compared to a formal one.

Consider the balance between casual and formal to determine what a semi-formal dress code is. Pick neutral tones or dark colors for evening weddings.

Ladies can stick to a more comfortable cocktail dress paired with casual flats. Male guests to church weddings with semi-formal dress codes can wear a jacket and dress shirt.

man attaching flower on another man's lapel in a well-lit room

Always Keep Modesty in Mind

Modesty is and will always be what you should remember if you are invited as a guest to a church wedding. As stated earlier, you should stay away from wearing outfits that are too revealing or look like you will be attending a sports event.

Female guests to church weddings should be extra careful when it comes to wearing a very short dress or skirt, as well as outfits that may expose a lot of your upper body. Meanwhile, male guests must wear outfits that speak smart and are never too tight or tacky.

You might also want to discuss things with the bride or with the other guests to determine if your planned out will be appropriate. If you have already attended formal weddings in the past, you might also consider modifying the style of the outfit to make it look a bit more casual.

What to Wear to 5 PM Church Weddings?

If you have been invited to a 5 p.m. church wedding, be sure to check the dress code stated on the wedding invitation. Your safest bet here is to assume that the event will be formal. However, make sure you still pick an attire that can easily transition for the evening affair.

A solid-colored and neutral dress that comes with a coverup may be appropriate since you can just take off the coverup when the ceremony is over. Men, on the other hand, can put on a bowtie and tuxedo during the 5 p.m. ceremony, and stick to wearing just the dress shirt afterward.

man wearing gray notched lapel blazer, gray waistcoat, and white dress shirt with rose buttonaire

What Colors to Avoid Wearing to a Church Wedding

It is already common knowledge to stay away from wearing colors such as white, colors related to white, all-red, all-black, patterns, bold colors, and metallics to church weddings. If you are a guest, see to it that you don’t wear a color similar to that of the couple, the bridal party, groomsmen, or mothers of the couple.

The last thing you’d want to happen is to end up bringing unwanted attention to yourself or seeming like you are part of the program. You also need to consider the culture or religion of the couple because certain colors might be offensive or considered as bad luck for weddings.

Once again, more and more church weddings are starting to comply less with the customs and traditions, so it is recommended to consult the hosts or couple about the colors that you shouldn’t wear.

What Not to Wear To Church Weddings

Just like other formal occasions or events, there are a few things that you should never wear to a church wedding. Good examples of these are highly revealing outfits, sportswear, trainers, swimwear, denim, T-shirts, sweats, clothing with holes or rips, and anything in white unless otherwise stated.

It is a no-brainer that the bride should be the only one who wears white during her wedding day. So, it might be best to avoid putting on your favorite white dress, even if it has prints or patterns, to avoid upsetting the bride.