Wedding Dresses

Discussion in 'Church Order' started by Wannabee, Dec 23, 2008.

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  1. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    There is the possibility of a wedding in the works here. It's still preliminary, but could happen soon. One of the criteria I set forth is that I must approve wedding dresses. It's appalling how a young lady can protect her purity for 20 years, then dress in such a fashion as to reveal that which she has carefully concealed for so long.
    So, where can one find some patterns or examples of pretty wedding dresses that are still modest? Who here has experience in this area?

  2. Kevin

    Kevin Puritan Board Doctor

    Be careful in this area.

    You could harm relationships with several generations by being the one who said that a brides dress was immodest.

    Should a man even be the one to discuss this with the bride? Are they realy that bad? Or are you holding people to a standard of modesty that they themselves disagree with? Are you using the right to a church wedding as a way to enforce, grudging complience with your own view.

    For example; if you considered a certain length of sleeve to be immodest would you be willing to drive a family from the church over it?
  3. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    I made my daughter's wedding dress using this pattern (Butterick 4452)

    Butterick - B4452 - <span class="discard">Out of Print</span> MISSES' TOP AND SKIRT - 4452

    It had the advantage of being able to fit the top and bottom separately and the top was not cut down to her ankles.

    I agree, wedding dresses have become awful ... but by working together, you might be able to do OK. This worked wonderfully with our older daughter. I would shudder to think how this might go with our younger ....
  4. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    question... are you the brides father or the groom? I know that a lot of girls dream long and hard about their wedding and to be told that the dress (which is the centerpiece of the whole day) she has her heart set on is immodest could be heart crushing... to you it is a dress to her it is THE dress. Plus if she has taken care to protect her virtue this long I think her choice of a dress should be her and hers alone desision. The dress is a BIG deal.

    BTW just because I LOVE wedding dresses... if I were ever to get remarried (hubby and I "eloped") this is the dress I would wear
  5. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    A lot of people might be "crushed" to be told their proposed wedding is improper because it would be unequal yoking, or one party had an unscriptural divorce and needs to instead seek reconciliation. I know of pastors who are thought of poorly 30 years later by unconverted church people simply because they dared to speak the truth and tell them that they were not doing right in God's eyes.
  6. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    It has been a while so I checked out what is popular. looks like it's all strapless or plunging necklines. You should just say it should have sleeves and no cleavage. She can save all that for her husband, for later. :D
  7. N. Eshelman

    N. Eshelman Puritan Board Senior

  8. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

  9. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    I LOVE that song... the LDS wedding dresses are kinda pretty...
    what do you consider inmodest? does it have to have sleeves? can it have a sweetheart top.. like the second dress in the link I gave?
  10. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Tread very carefully, my brother. Walk circumspectly here, my brother. You may be plaiting the noose that hangs you.

    I am a stickler on modesty in my family and in my congregation. I have done many weddings. Most of the time the dresses were modest. A few times they were not what I would approve, but I don't see it as my place to approve their choice. If you think that there is an issue here then you may be much better served by having your wife involved. Frankly, in my opinion, the wedding dress has been elevated to a position that it approaches idolatry at times. But, that is another topic for another day.

    Many times that dress has been purchased quite a while before the pastor is even involved in the slightest sense. And, they ain't cheap.
  11. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    wait.... Joe's the pastor of the wedding?
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    I know one preacher who said he'd rather preach a funeral than a wedding any day because of these kinds of issues as well as the ones I mentioned in my earlier post.
  13. Augusta

    Augusta Puritan Board Doctor

    Some clarification on if he is the father of the bride or just the preacher would be good. I do understand also if he is just officiating because it can't be easy to do with cleavage etc. in front of you. :wow: I doubt though that is the case, I think this is his daughter.
  14. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    see dad would be easier... he could go with when they pick out the dress... but the dress is usually one of the first things that is picked out right after the guy pops the question.... then there are fittings and alterations it's a lengthy and expensive prosess... and for the preacher to say nope don't like the dress... well... that's just not cool.... if he think she won't pick out a decent dress then should have had reservations on officating the wedding.
  15. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Puritan Board Doctor

    That's the way that I read it.
  16. toddpedlar

    toddpedlar Iron Dramatist

    I suspect that for brides-to-be it's particularly difficult given the massive cultural pressure for that day and "that dress" to be an opportunity to "flash some flesh". There seems to be an attitude, even within the church, that on that day the bride is supposed to be a knockout for all the men in the church to drool over.... and too often they do, being stumbled severely by the cut of the bride's gown. (and then, in such moments, the 'fault' is argued to be the man's alone - the bride sees that day to wear what she "feels beautiful in" regardless of whether it's putting stumbling blocks before the majority of men there).
  17. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    :think:hey just a question.... what happens (assuming he's the pastor not the father) and he thinks the dress is inmodest but it's the dress handed down from the mother that the bride wants to wear????:think::think:
  18. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    In the church I grew up in, the pastor would refuse to officiate. The dress has to meet certain standards. Sleeveless and plunging necklines would have been a no. There are sweetheart necklines that are higher, cover more, and include sleeves ;)
  19. Honor

    Honor de-cool

    is the sleeve thing because bare shoulders are considered immodest?
  20. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    A few sites from the top of google:

    Modest Wedding Dresses and More | Beautifully Modest

    Totally - Modest Wedding Gowns, Modest Wedding Dresses, Modest Bridesmaids and Formals, Modest Prom Gowns,

    Modest Wedding & Clothing | LatterDay Bride & Prom

    Modest Wedding Dresses

    Bridal Expressions - Home

    Modest Bridal and Prom - ETERNITY Gowns: Sophisticated Dresses and Gowns Designed with Modesty in Mind for Weddings, Prom, Shabbos, Quinceanera, Pageants, Muslim Events, LDS Temple, etc.

    On a sidenote: my eldest daughter wants me to make her a white, buckskin wedding dress (colourful beading to be included...a girl knows what she dreams of, eh?)

    -----Added 12/23/2008 at 02:24:13 EST-----

  21. Honor

    Honor de-cool


    I was a shameless hussy then...I had spegetti straps and my dress didn't even reach my knees
    (I'm totally just poking, I mean my dress did have all those things but I don't think it was immodest in the least) so I'm just playing with you.
  22. LawrenceU

    LawrenceU Puritan Board Doctor

    Joe has two sons. No daughters.
  23. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    My dress barely reached my knees (I think). We ended up having a smaller wedding and I couldn't afford to alter my formal wedding dress I had bought, so I went and found myself a cute dress on sale at Lerner's for $30. Tea length was "in" at the time. We turned the formal one into a baptismal gown for our babies :)
  24. JBaldwin

    JBaldwin Puritan Board Post-Graduate

    I have played organ and piano for weddings for years, and in many churches, they've had a specified modesty standard in the wedding policy. So a bride knew when they were having a wedding in that particular church, she and her bridal party would be required to maintain the standard. I have seen brides refuse to get married in a church because of it.

    I would, however, agree with those who have said to tread lightly, especially if the wedding is already set for the church and a modesty policy was not in place at the time the date was set for that church. If it wasn't a bride could get really huffy and upset.

    My sister has a specialty shop in Greenville, SC (and online). They specialize in vintage clothing and carry a line of modest wedding gowns. They also do alterations on dresses to make them more modest.

    Threads in Time Vintage Clothing
  25. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

  26. lynnie

    lynnie Puritan Board Graduate


    Shoulders provoke lust?

    Or is it the armpits? :think:

    I am 54 and I have dressed modestly since I got saved at age 18. We were taught that your clothes should not draw attention, it is the smile on your face and the gracious words out of your mouth that attract attention. And I certainly agree that cleavage should be covered ( and not covered so tight it looks like spray paint.)

    But sleeveless? On a summer day with a nice scoopneck, that is considered immodest?

    This is eye opening to be honest, I didn't know the standards were so strict in some parts of the country.

    I'd have to say that in today's world, if a guy gets provoked to wrong thoughts by bare shoulders with a perfectly modest scoopneck top, you have to wonder if the guy has a problem.
  27. LadyFlynt

    LadyFlynt Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm only saying this is how I and others I've known were raised. And halters were a definite 'NO' as most of the back is exposed.

    The though process behind it, how it was explained to us, is that it gives the appearance of being undressed (particularly if someone is supposed to be looking at your face) and sleeveless does reveal some things, particularly on larger women, as they move their arms and such.

    (btw, don't throw tomatoes at me, but my daughters are not permitted to wear sleeveless attire either...if a dress is sleeveless, it better have a matching jacket or sweater to complete, and cover, their outfit)
  28. he beholds

    he beholds Puritan Board Doctor

    I think the above advice is good. If it is your daughter, I think you have all the say that you want with her. If it is your son's bride-to-be, I think you have no say:(
    If you are officiating, I think that you have no say, unless, like someone said above, it is a policy of the church.
    Well, if you are her pastor and officiating, I think you have the same say that any pastor would have with any in his flock. I think you can tell her what you consider to be sinful, beforehand, and hope she heeds your advice. I do not think that you should get a preview to make sure it fits your requirements. She is responsible for her own behavior, and if she decides to not listen to sound advice, I think it is then on her.

    ETA: Even on here, and even amongst women, there is not a consensus to modesty. Unless you are the father, I don't see how your view can totally trump her view. Again, I think teaching what you believe, and hoping she listens, is the best scenario.
  29. jwithnell

    jwithnell Moderator Staff Member

    Aside from what parents and a church might request, weddings generally fall under the standards of formal and informal wear with certain types of outfits and colors considered appropriate for certain times of day. That's where terms like "tea length" dress come from -- a somewhat shorter dress that's appropriate for late afternoon. Some have practical implication -- for example, a bride (or her poor maids) who wear a no-strap dress to a wedding that includes a meal (appropriate for a night-time dance, but not a dinner) could end up looking like they are wearing nothing at all when viewed from across the table.
  30. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    Wow! I definitely didn't expect this much reaction. Thanks to all of you for your views. I got a kick out of the attempts at guessing my "position." As this is a public forum, I'm going to bow out on saying anything at this time. My only intention was to find some sources for modest wedding dresses so I could pass on the information. I'll spill the beans on the rest when I can.

    It seems that some here disagree with my position. Here are a few statements so I can share my thoughts as well. If:
    My daughter: You're darn straight I would have something to say about it.
    My son: I have spoken to both of my sons and taught them to protect their brides.
    A member of my church: Regardless of whether I am doing the wedding, I answer to God for how I've cared for the souls entrusted to me (Heb 13:17). For a woman to flaunt her body anytime, but especially on her wedding day, is a grievous sin. I know many have advised caution here, and I would desire to be careful and caring. But I also must consider her soul before her emotions/feelings and would fail in my duty to God if I were to do nothing. A quote in a dear friend's signature says it well:
    We shall not adjust our Bible to the age; but before we have done with it, by God's grace, we shall adjust the age to the Bible. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon
    Finally, if I were officiating a wedding for non-members: I simply would lay down the criteria that I follow. If they didn't accept the criteria I put forth then they're free to go elsewhere. Again, I answer to God first, and see no benefit in encouraging the type of vanity that is often pursued at weddings.

    Are we to do everything to the glory of God, or not? Is there a time when God tells us that it's okay to let go a bit and grab center stage?

    1 Peter 3:3-4
    Do not let your adornment be outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel— rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God.

    When the couple are Christians, who is a wedding for? Who should be central? What should people be thinking when they leave? The world/culture will tell us that the wedding is for the bride; the bride should be central and that people should be thinking about how beautiful the bride was when they leave. This is a lie. The wedding is about Jesus Christ. When a couple is married it should be clear that their marriage is a picture of Christ's oneness with the church. The marriage covenant is an image of God's covenant with His church. It should be clear that marriage is instituted by God and is for His glory, not the bride's (or groom's). If the couple wants personal glory then they can go elsewhere to receive their reward.

    If they are not Christians, then they still would have to meet the same criteria. The ceremony would be somewhat different, but still point to God as the source and the picture of Christ as the groom of the church.

    With this in mind, it is apparent that I probably won't do too many weddings. That's okay. May the ones I do get to perform be a source of great glory to God and result in marriages that are wonderful lifelong testimonies of the mystery of the oneness of Christ and the church.

    Again, thank you for your thoughtful advice, both on the dresses and on how I should proceed. My position in regard to this is pretty firm, though I know that "modest" can be somewhat subjective. And I know that many here will disagree with me; hopefully respectfully.
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