Emphasize how much you care about the newlyweds' future by putting a great deal of thought into the outfit you wear to the wedding. A church wedding is usually more formal than outdoor weddings or ceremonies that take place in courthouses. Early afternoon attire differs from evening attire, providing many additional options for men, women and children.
An early afternoon wedding held in a church permits women to dress up without worrying about cool temperatures. Women can forgo tights or floor-length skirts and dresses, as well as long sleeves and heavy sweaters. Dresses that fall slightly below or at the knee are ideal for a church wedding, as are dressy skirt and blouse combinations. Modest high-heeled shoes or flats are also appropriate. Women can wear heels without worrying about sinking into grass or soft turf, as they may at an outdoor wedding. Out of respect for the church, dresses and blouses should be modest and should not display cleavage. Sleeves can be long or short, but on sleeveless blouses and dresses, straps should be at least two inches wide.
Formal attire that appears festive rather than businesslike is ideal for men attending an early afternoon church wedding. Crisply ironed slacks paired with a dress shirt and tie are appropriate. Wear colors that mirror the season; for example, if you are attending a summer wedding, wear khaki or gray pants with a pastel or bright-colored shirt and contrasting tie. A daytime wedding allows men to forgo the dark colors commonly donned for formal occasions in the evening or at night. Because a church venue enhances formality, men who wish to wear a full suit will not appear overdressed. Temperature is not an issue during a daytime indoor event, making a coat optional.
Girls’ attire at a wedding should mirror the season and aesthetic of the ceremony. For example, if the wedding takes place in the spring, present your daughter in a dressy outfit in a spring hue, such as light purple, pink or blue. Pants, skirts and dresses are appropriate for girls as long as all components of the outfit are relatively formal. For example, if a child does not wish to wear a dress, avoid jeans and T-shirts and instead opt for clean white three-quarter-length pants and a frilly blouse. Comfortable shoes that look nice but are still practical, such as white sneakers or Mary Janes, are ideal. Bring sweaters for children even during an indoor daytime wedding in case they get their shirts dirty before the event ends.
Boys’ attire at an afternoon church wedding should mirror men’s. Try pressed slacks with a clean collared shirt in a color that complements the shade of the pants. Boys can wear loafers or clean, dark-colored tennis shoes. Ties are unnecessary; you can add formality to your son’s appearance merely by parting and combing his hair and buttoning his shirt all the way to the neck. Help your son to feel excited to dress up for the wedding by allowing him to choose his dress shirt. Even if a shirt is printed with dragons or has bright colors, it's appropriate for a child to wear to a wedding as long as it has a formal cut and collar.
Emma Rensch earned her B.A. in writing for contemporary media from Scripps College in 2011. Currently, she lives and writes in San Diego.