Wedding Gown Etiquette


Choosing your wedding dress is so exciting! But with so many choices available out there, it can become a little bit overwhelming. Read below for a few tips to help you find your way and your style in this fashion maze.


Tradition has it that the later in the day your wedding is held, the more formal your outfit should be. Depending on the time of the day, you may wear anything from a simple tea-length dress to a majestic ball gown.

The place you choose to marry your sweetheart will also influence your outfit If you’re getting hitched on Palm Beach, you might like to keep your frock as simple as possible; but if you’re planning on walking down the aisle of St Mary’s Cathedral, you can pull out all the stops and show off in a full skirt, chapel train and matching veil.

Going Formal!

Depending on the formality of your wedding, you might like to change the length of your dress. Ballerina or tea-length dresses are perfect for informal daytime celebrations while floor-length gowns are best for- for-mal daytime and evening weddings.

A special fabric or an intricate embroidery  can add a bit of pizzazz to a simple gown and turn it into the perfect evening garb. Colour can also help you set the tone of the celebrations – the whiter the dress, the more formal the wedding.

Accessories can also help you add that traditional feel to your bridal garb –  a train, a veil or gloves are sure to smarten up even the simplest gown. Once again you can play with the different lengths to suit your- own sense of formality.

Choosing the Right Train

A train has that princess appeal that many brides-to-be find difficult to resist. If you want one, don’t worry! There’s a train for every bride and every wedding. Depending on the formality of the celebrations, you might like to try a…

◾court train which ends one foot behind the dress.

◾chapel train which ends four feet behind the dress.

◾cathedral train which ends seven and a half feet behind the dress.

And remember that most trains can be buttoned up or removed all together at the reception so that you can make your grand entrance at the church and still shake a leg on the dance floor later.

S e c o n d t i m e  Lucky

If you’re tying the knot for the second time, the general rule is that less is more. Try to keep your outfit simple – no princess gown, no train and no veil. You may like to wear a cocktail number or a well cut suit you can use again afterwards at social events. Even if you choose to go with a more classic bridal gown, try to stay clear of the colour- white and opt for a pretty pastel or classy silver or gold option.

If you like to do everything by the book, here are the traditional rules to dressing appropriately for-your wedding according to the time of the day and the formality of the celebrations:

What Kind of Dress is Suited for my Wedding?

◾Formal daytime wedding – go for a white, ivory or pastel floor-length dress with a chapel or cathedral train, and matching veil.

◾Formal evening wedding – your dress should be similar to what you would wear for a formal daytime wedding; you might like to add a few embellishments though to create that elaborate evening look.

◾Semi-formal daytime wedding – a white or pastel floor-length gown is still a great option; or why not try a baller-in a dress? Your veil shouldn’t go past your elbows.

◾Semi-formal evening wedding – it’s basically the same as a semi-formal daytime wedding; but you can play a bit more with fabrics and trimmings.

◾Informal daytime and evening wedding – you can still opt for a white or- pastel floor-length or ballerina gown, or choose a more casual tea-length dress. Cocktail style dresses also make beautiful wedding outfits – the more slinky and sexy, the less for-mal. A short veil or hat can be a great idea to create that special bridal feel.

Rules are Made to be Broken

Rules are made to be broken, and if you want to wear an extravagant train at your beach wedding then throw etiquette to the wind and do it! Choosing a dress you adore is more important than all the wedding protocol in the world. If you fall in love with a dress then it is the right one!

A bride can’t really commit any fashion crimes anyway – your wedding is your special day and you’re the one setting the tone of the celebrations.

If you want to show off your sky-high heels at your breakfast wedding there’s nothing to stop you. Just ask your guests to dress up accordingly – it’s not a fashion faux pas if everyone is doing it!

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