Wedding Attire

Some of the most commonly asked questions that I get are from women asking about wedding attire.  Is it OK to wear black to a wedding?  Can the mother of the bride wear white?  Can I wear the same outfit to the wedding ceremony that I want to wear to the reception?  Etc., etc., etc.


I will attempt to answer some of these questions now.


Wearing black to a wedding ceremony is OK, but remember, in our American culture, black is the traditional color of mourning.  Weddings are happy occasions!  I would wear a color other than black to the wedding ceremony.


Yes, the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom may wear white if the bride has no objections.  Sometimes the bride wants to be the only one in white at the wedding.  She may request that the mothers, relatives and close friends do not wear white, and hopefully they will comply with her request, but she will have trouble controlling the color of the outfits that other guests wear to her wedding.


Another question that I received from a bride-to-be was whether it was proper for her fiancťeís mother to wear a red dress to the wedding and reception. The bride did not want her future mother-in-law to wear red but apparently this was the womanís favorite color and she wanted to wear her red dress!


All I can say is that disagreeing about something as silly as clothing is a lousy way to begin a relationship!  Mothers and daughters-in-law have enough trouble getting along without a fight before the wedding.  Each woman should catch her breath and compromise on this.


I, personally, think that red is too loud of a color to wear to a wedding, especially if you are an important part of the wedding such as the mother of the bride or groom.  The wedding is for the bride and groom and all attention should be on them.  Red is an attention-getting color and should only be worn when attention should be paid to the wearer.


Clothes that are worn in places of worship, where most wedding ceremonies are held, should be modest, out of respect for the institution.  In other words, donít wear a low cut, thigh high, skin-tight dress to the place where the wedding takes place.


If you wish to wear such an outfit to the reception, and your husband or boyfriend has no objection, bring it along and change into it before the reception.




For my older sonís wedding, I wore a cream colored silk dress.



For my younger sonís wedding, I wore a lavender/beige dress.


Even though my husband was not part of the wedding party, he chose to wear his tuxedo.  Both weddings were formal and he figured, as long as he owned his own tux, he may as well wear it.  After all, even though he wasnít a member of the wedding party, no one could deny that he had played an important role in making the wedding possible!!


I get some questions from men about what to wear for their weddings, but the rules for men are pretty firm.  If the wedding is going to be formal, the tuxedo rental shop can guide a man about appropriate attire based on tradition.


One question that I did get that perhaps could not be answered at the rental shop was about proper etiquette when wearing a top hat.  Since men rarely wear hats these days, the etiquette involved in hat wearing is not commonly known anymore.


The groom-to-be wanted to wear his grandfatherís top hat for his wedding.  I thought that this was a charming thing to do and advised him that a gentleman must remove his hat when entering any building whether it is a church, synagogue or hotel.


If he wants one of his ushers to hold the top hat for him while he is getting married, that would be fine, and then he, the groom, could put it on when he leaves the church or synagogue.