How low can you go for church!

As the bridal industry is dusting itself off getting ready to relaunch for what’s left of 2020, many new brides will have spent time thinking and researching, desperate to get into the wedding shops to choose their dream dress.  Sexy or traditional which way will they sway?! Images of a gentle sweetheart neckline, with soft ivory tulle sweeping the steps of a castle or an elegant classic cut dress, delicately accentuating the curves.  Whatever the choice, should the dress be appropriate in its design for the building, particularly a religious one.

Over the past two years, I have seen an increase in the number of ladies who are buying low cut wedding gowns for a church wedding.  Now I’m no prude but it does cross my mind whether there is an acceptable amount of cleavage that should be on display, or should it be the bride’s choice and the church should just “move with the times”.

A few years ago, my client, a lovely bride-to-be wanted to have her dress altered.  Nothing unusual in that; the dress was a fishtail and very figure hugging. Apart from having the alterations done, she ordered a shawl to cover the bodice of her dress as it was a plunge neckline.  The wrap she had bought was long but a bit see-through, but she seemed to think it would be ok. I did think about putting in a modesty panel but there was still too much “boobage” on display and any higher it just looked ridiculous.

So, it was the day of her wedding and as I came into the bridal shop, her mother was sitting there frantic!  She ran over to me and said the priest had refused to marry her daughter because the front of her dress was too low and the shawl, they had bought just wasn’t thick enough to cover her.  So, we rushed around trying to find a bolero or something similar to give her more coverage.  I think in the end the brides’ mother bought about 3 different tops and I assume all went well and her daughter got married!

This is an extreme case and the only one I have come across in my many years of designing and making wedding dresses. Above are 4 images of the bodice of wedding gowns, let me know your thoughts on which one is just a no, no for church.

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