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Author Topic: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?  (Read 8386 times)

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Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« on: February 19, 2014, 12:35:33 PM »
I'm mostly just looking for ideas, or advice, based on experiences other posters have had in the past.

I'm officiating a ceremony in Puerto Rico this summer.  I was asked to do this because I introduced the HC, and after talking to them about what they want, I feel pretty comfortable.  The ceremony is going to be a handfasting.

The ceremony will be on the beach around sunset with a dinner reception afterwards.  The HC has said they are shooting for "vintage nautical," and the bridesmaids are wearing fuschia (not sure how that fits but not my concern!)

I want to wear something non-attention-attracting, because the focus at the front should be on the HC.  But the bride wants something that indicates I am part of the wedding party.  I had the following ideas:

Pale blue dress with sash that matches bridesmaids
Pale gray dress with same sash

Same dresses as above, but with flowers behind ear/in hair that match bridesmaids

That's pretty much where I'm at with ideas.  Bride keeps saying whatever makes me happy is fine with her, so I feel like I have lots of leeway! 

I'd love to hear ideas!


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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2014, 01:20:29 PM »
It's sort of silly to contradict the bride, but I don't think the officiant is part of the wedding party.

They have a separate and important role. And so I'd want to look sober, responsible, and--well--official.

So I'd go w/ a long gray dress, or something similarly sober and responsible.

I especially would -not- want to match the bridesmaids. That just feels way too frivolous to me.


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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2014, 01:59:56 PM »
I am a wedding celebrant and registrar in the UK, and perform civil wedding ceremonies. I wear a charcoal grey suit with a white shell- I need to look smart and well groomed, but in an unobtrusive way.

That said, I am performing ceremonies for people I don't know. Also these are not handfastings where (in my experience) things are more relaxed. I think maybe the pale grey dress with matching fuschia sash might be appropriate. Personally I wouldn't go for the flowers, but taht's just me. Don't hold any flowers though, because you will need your hands free.
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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2014, 04:52:47 PM »
As officiant I would prefer to wear something more business-y.  I wouldn't want to look like part of the bridal party - that could be confusing for the guests.


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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2014, 02:55:04 AM »
I would normally say that the celebrant should dress unobtrusively. But because of the nature of the ceremony, because you're obviously friends with both bride and groom, and because the bride has asked you to be a little bit matchy, I'd go with the blue dress and matching sash. Because I like pale blue and fuschia. But the grey would be equally nice.


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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2014, 03:12:01 PM »
My first response is, as others said, something sober and business-y, like the grey dress with no sash or flowers. But really, the attire has nothing to do with your duties, and everyone will realize who you are once you get up and start speaking/officiating. Since you're friends with the HC and they want you to be more casual and match the wedding party, I'd go with the blue dress and sash or flowers to match the bridesmaids. Is the sash fuchsia? It seems like that might go better with navy blue than pale blue, and navy blue would be a nice nautical nod.


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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2014, 04:01:07 PM »
It depends on the tone of the wedding. A friend officiated numerous weddings on a tiny tropical island where he resided for several years. Those weddings were quite informal and his "uniform" for those ceremonies was a loud Hawaiian flowered shirt. The weddings I've done have ranged from typical businessy-type suits/office dresses to blue jeans (that was another beach wedding, I dressed that way at the HC's request). If your friend wants you to wear something that ties you in to the bridal party I can't think of a reason that you shouldn't. Your ideas of a blue or gray dress with a sash that matches the bridesmaids sounds lovely. And if you can't wear a flower in your hair on a beach in Puerto Rico, then I don't know what the world is coming to.

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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2014, 05:01:13 PM »
Something about a flower tucked behind an ear just says "casual" or "last-minute" to me (even though it's cute!). I vote for a wrist or lapel corsage in a subtle version of the flowers used elsewhere in the ceremony. Pin it or slip it on and forget about it.

Dark or neutral clothing, somewhat conservative -- remember that you'll be in basically every ceremony photo, and they'll probably ultimately want to stand out in front of you -- so light blue on the beach might count as neutral. Saves you from having to buy matching fabric and sew a sash, too.

Even so, I like when religious officiants go ultra showy for the wedding because it seems more ceremonious -- our priest wore gold and scarlet robes at our request! I just don't know if there's a civilian equivalent.

So, the real answer is 'whatever you're comfortable in that makes the couple happy, too.

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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2014, 09:40:04 AM »
If you have a doctorate, a doctoral robe and hood can be worn over anything, and can be rented.  Master's robes are similar.  Judges generally wear their judicial robes for the same formal and professional effect.  If the officiant is a friend and guest, wearing a guest-appropriate dress or suit under the robe or on its own sounds great.   What you are proposing sounds lovely and appropriate.


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Re: Officiant/Celebrant Attire?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2014, 10:36:19 AM »
I always liked the way the officiant was dressed in the Roseanne episode where David & Darlene got married.  Especially since this is a handfasting.