FAQ section 5

5) Wedding Attire

5.1) What are my options for an inexpensive wedding dress?

You could choose to wear a dress previously worn by someone in your family such as your mother or grandmother. You could also wear a friend's dress.

Another option is to buy a used dress at a consignment shop or through an advertisement in the newspaper. In some cities, there are even consignment shops that specialize in bridal gowns.

Making your own dress, if you are an experienced sewer, can allow you to have a dress that would have been much more expensive if you'd bought it commercially, and will probably fit better and be better made than many commercial gowns. (Two tips: Use a dress form, and be sure to make at least the bodice in an inexpensive fabric to check the fit and construction before making it in the final fabric.)

If your sewing skills aren't up to making the dress yourself, or you don't have time, hiring someone to sew it for you can still save you considerable money over buying a commercial dress, and you get the same advantages of better fit and construction.

Commercial dresses can be purchased less expensively through Discount Bridal Service; their web site is located at:

Other possibilities are to buy a store sample, or to order at a trunk sale.

Finally, you might choose a dress that isn't marketed as a bridal gown. Many lovely bridesmaids' dresses come in white or ivory, and are considerably less expensive than bridal dresses. You might also find an appropriate dress being sold in ordinary stores. It is also possible to wear something that doesn't look like a typical wedding dress, such as a lacy blouse with a long skirt, perhaps in a strong color such as royal blue or forest green.

5.2) All of the dresses this season are way too revealing. Where can I find more modest styles?

If everything this season seems to be sleeveless or backless, and that's just not your style, you may want to look at stores catering to more conservative religious groups, such as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Gowns meeting the modesty requirements for LDS temple weddings are available in special shops, and through Internet retailers.

5.3) How should the groom and groomsmen be properly dressed at various times of day?

For a very formal wedding, men should wear morning suits if it is in the daytime, and white tie if it is in the evening. If it is less formal, men may wear strollers in the daytime and tuxedos in the evening. For even less formal weddings, men may wear ordinary suits at any time of day. To be technically proper, men should never wear tuxedos in the daytime or morning dress in the evening.

That said, many people ignore these traditional dress guidelines, and wear tuxedos in the daytime.

5.4) Should the groom wear something different from the groomsmen?

Not generally, since the type of suit worn by men is dictated by formality. Of course, just because the type of suit is usually going to be the same, doesn't mean that there can't be individual variation in components of the outfit.

5.5) Do the bridesmaids all have to wear the same dress?

No. It is perfectly acceptable to have them wear different dresses in the same fabric, or dresses in coordinating colors. Some brides choose to have the bridesmaids each wear a dress in a different jewel or autumn color, for example.

Bridesmaids should all wear dresses with approximately the same degree of formality.

The contents of this document are copyright 2004 Sonja Kueppers. Do not use without permission.

Last Modified: May 15, 2004