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Author Topic: What should the officiant wear? DECISION MADE Post #33  (Read 14577 times)

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SamiHami

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What should the officiant wear? DECISION MADE Post #33
« on: March 28, 2015, 04:46:47 PM »
Hi everyone! I've decided that ministers/priests have it easy. They have robes to wear when they officiate weddings. I'm a notary, so I don't have such convenience.

I am performing a ceremony in May and have been trying to decide what to wear. I think I've settled on something nice and appropriate. Can I get some help and opinions from you all? I want a nice but not overly formal maxi dress. I like this one:

Pyramid Collection sunburst maxi dress (sorry, I can't get the link to work)

What I don't like are my arms. I thought a light lace cardigan might work. What do you all think of this? If I go with it, what color do you think would look good with that dress?

http://www.amazon.com/Waterfall-Cardigan-Boyfriend-Turquoise-Diamonte/dp/B00ORG9AIG/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top?ie=UTF8

I am open to suggestions! It will be a fairly informal outdoor wedding on a horse farm. I am a larger woman so  I have to keep that in mind when deciding (I wear a size 22).

Thanks for your help!
« Last Edit: March 30, 2015, 09:24:45 AM by SamiHami »

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PastryGoddess

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Re: What should the officiant wear?
« Reply #1 on: March 29, 2015, 11:25:17 AM »
Pretty dress!

I think anything in the warm tones would work.  I'm partial to red as it's my favorite color

#borecore

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Re: What should the officiant wear?
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2015, 11:52:12 AM »
That is a nice dress, but I don't think it's the best choice for an officiant. You'll be in a LOT of photos, most likely, and I believe you should try to be a bit more subdued. BUT (big but), if the marrying couple are your friends, I would just run it by them and see what they picture you wearing. A red or neutral jacket would probably be best if you do decide to wear that dress.

My first instinct is a business suit or a cocktail dress in a solid or very simple print, maybe with a blazer. A bit more of an "official" look as opposed to a beautiful rainbow with a lot of chaotic colors (which also risks clashing with the bridal party if there is one).

Just looking on the site where you found that dress, I think these might be better choices:
http://www.pyramidcollection.com/itemdy00.aspx?ID=51,1815&T1=P8536+S

http://www.pyramidcollection.com/itemdy00.aspx?ID=51,1815&T1=P97563+S

http://www.pyramidcollection.com/itemdy00.aspx?ID=51,1815&T1=P97595+IV+1X

All could be paired with a cardigan, blazer or that lacy jacket you linked to, depending on the formality of the occasion.

I did a google image search for "officiant woman," and (maybe aside from the Star Wars wedding), it gives a good survey of the sorts of things I'd expect a nonreligious officiant to wear.

JeanFromBNA

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Re: What should the officiant wear?
« Reply #3 on: March 29, 2015, 12:23:54 PM »
I agree with JMarvellous, for all  of the reasons that she stated. 

Otherwise, that's a wonderful dress.

lmyrs

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Re: What should the officiant wear?
« Reply #4 on: March 29, 2015, 01:53:28 PM »
When I've been to weddings where the officiant wasn't clergy, they are usually wearing professional or business attire since they're technically "at work" so that's what I'd probably go with.

gellchom

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Re: What should the officiant wear?
« Reply #5 on: March 29, 2015, 03:00:28 PM »
I agree with JMarvellous, for all  of the reasons that she stated. 

Otherwise, that's a wonderful dress.

I agree.  As officiant, you want to look neutral, not draw visual focus.   I would wear a black, navy, or beige suit or simple dress.  The periwinkle lace jacket is really pretty but inappropriate; it looks unprofessional.  If you are a guest at the reception, too, you can change after the ceremony. 

Are you in the US?  I wasn't aware that notaries are automatically authorized to officiate.  But every state is different, and I know that in other countries it is more than just someone who can witness signatures. That's all it is here. 

If you are going to do a lot of weddings, consider buying a robe.

Oh Joy

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Re: What should the officiant wear?
« Reply #6 on: March 29, 2015, 04:36:52 PM »
Ask the HC about their vision first.  Subtle or celebratory?

SamiHami

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INFO Post 8
« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2015, 05:50:15 PM »
Excellent advice and comments. I am now thinking that the sunburst dress would be more appropriate for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner (with the lace jacket in red. That's my favorite color, as well, Pastrygoddess!  ;D  )

I saw the HC last night. They are friends of mine, not strangers. This wedding is definitely intended to be celebratory and fun, rather than solemn and formal. They are getting married under the canopy of a huge old oak tree, in the woods, on a horse farm. The bride is wearing cowboy boots with her (simple but beautiful) gown. The bridesmaids are wearing different pastel colors with cowboy boots. Their processional music is "Don't Stop Believin' " by Journey but done by a string quartet (a recording). The recessional song is "Happy" by Pharrell. The reception is in the same place, in the woods. They are providing a keg of beer and some nonalcoholic beverages for the guests, and coolers are welcome if anyone wants to drink something else. They describe their wedding as "unapologetically redneck." I'm giving all this info to give you an idea of the vibe of the wedding and the attitude of the HC.

I described the dress to them and they were no help at all! They both said it sounds pretty and that as long as I am comfortable and happy so are they (very non-bridezilla  :)  ).  Regardless, I am rethinking that beautiful colorful sunburst dress, and as I said, might wear that for the rehearsal and rehearsal dinner instead. I did tell them that I have several business suits and that I could wear one of those, but they crinkled their noses and said that sounded too stuffy for their taste. I also offered to wear a pastel, but they don't want me to look like a bridesmaid. The bride did say she like the idea of me wearing a maxi dress.

I don't want to wear black; it seems too somber for what is a very upbeat event. And I thought about getting some sort of robes, but that feels like I'd be a phony, like I was trying to impersonate a clergy person. I'm not, and the HC don't want a religious ceremony, so I don't think that's a good option for me.

In answer to another question, eight states in the US give notaries the authority to marry couples. Mine is one of those eight.

I found another dress, not quite as loud, that I think might be a better choice. Opinions on this one? Again, I'd be wearing a lace jacket in an appropriate color, I think.

http://www.pyramidcollection.com/itemdy00.aspx?T1=P87850+S&source=igodigital&pagetype=ProductR&Promocode=PC06_OSFS&cm_campaign=0000016146&onsite_event=X

or maybe this:

http://www.pyramidcollection.com/itemdy00.aspx?T1=P97592+XS

What do you think? Better?
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 05:54:40 PM by SamiHami »

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pattycake

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INO Post 8
« Reply #8 on: March 29, 2015, 06:07:57 PM »
I didn't get to see the first one, but the two alternates would be lovely! Sounds like your friends are pretty easy going, and if they don't think the suit-type outfit would be right, either one of these would be perfect, whichever you think you'd get more mileage out of in the long run.

rose red

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INO Post 8
« Reply #9 on: March 29, 2015, 06:12:28 PM »
I'm thinking solid colors so that it's like a blank wall to make the wedding dress and pastel bridesmaid dresses stand out.

ChinaShepherdess

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INO Post 8
« Reply #10 on: March 29, 2015, 06:26:15 PM »
Last year, I was the officiant for a good friend of mine who swore up, down and sideways, no matter how often I asked, that she wanted me to wear whatever I felt comfortable in. I asked what color scheme ("whatever makes you happy"), what basic styles were encouraged or off-limits ("whatever makes you happy"), what level of formality ("whatever makes you happy!"). I agonized because of the lack of direction from the bride -- particularly because the wedding was in France, and I'd have no opportunity to run out and buy a new dress if my selection didn't work (and the bride had no interest in vetting my selection before I flew).

Cut to the night before the wedding. I've flown to Paris for the occasion, and stuffed my carryon with three different outfit selections: two new dresses I bought for the occasion (moderately formal, simple and tasteful, in my favorite colors). The bride clutched her heart. "Where's your officiant dress?" she asked. I dug to the bottom of my bag, for a quite-formal little black dress I'd thrown in, my "break glass in case of emergency" back-up outfit.

The bride was relieved. Surely I hadn't intended to wear semi-formal clothes or colored dresses to a wedding -- apparently that went without saying, even though I had asked repeatedly and been reassured that it was fine!  ::)

Anyway, I was in pretty much every single photo of the ceremony, and ended up being very glad I'd worn a simple, tasteful black dress: I didn't steal a hint of spotlight from the bride in those photos, and I think that's the way it should be.

SamiHami

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INO Post 8
« Reply #11 on: March 29, 2015, 06:33:55 PM »
Whatever I settle on I intend to show to the bride before I buy it, just to make sure she's good with it. And I couldn't possibly take attention away from the bride. She's the bride! And without question the focus will be on her and the groom. But, I know I'll be in a lot of pictures and I want to look nice; I don't consider myself to be particularly photogenic, so I want to look as good as I can, since they'll be looking at these pictures for the rest of their lives.
« Last Edit: March 29, 2015, 06:37:15 PM by SamiHami »

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gellchom

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INO Post 8
« Reply #12 on: March 29, 2015, 07:04:37 PM »
I'm thinking solid colors so that it's like a blank wall to make the wedding dress and pastel bridesmaid dresses stand out.

This, exactly.  Your dress choices are very pretty and somewhat less focus-drawing than the sunburst dress would be (I found it and it is gorgeous, but way too loud for an officiant), but those prints are still very eye-catching and unprofessional.  I agree that the officiant, even a friend, should be much more neutral.  It's a fun and casual wedding, but it's still serious business performing a marriage.  Blue is fine, but I would definitely stay away from prints, especially large ones.

Imagine the pictures.  A print will stick out; a solid in a quiet color (that harmonizes but neither matches nor clashes with the bridal party's outfits) won't.  You should not be a point of focus in the ceremony photos.

Read ChinaShepherdess's post a few times.  No matter how much people love you and how much they think they mean it when they say "anything you want!" or "whatever makes you happy!" or "we just want to be 'celebratory and fun,' not formal and stuffy," they have a vision in their mind (or they might when the day comes, as ChinaShepherdess's friend did).  In my experience, when people say "Oh, just anything," in just about any context, from what to wear to what they would like for breakfast, what they really mean is "just anything in the range I am envisioning."  Even if the couple themselves don't care, other people might think it looks wrong (and you don't want to lose future clients by appearing amateurish). 

Anyway, importantly, your friends already gave you a clue that oh yes, they do so care in that remark about not wanting you to wear pastels so as not to look like a bridesmaid.  You are taking a risk with these print dresses, but I promise you that they are not going to be disappointed if you wear a simple outfit in a quiet, solid color.  And don't write off black so quickly; not all black looks funereal.  If you were a man, you wouldn't think twice about wearing a black suit to perform a wedding.  I bet there will be plenty of black party clothes among the guests.  I wouldn't wear a black party dress, though; a LBD, to which you can add accessories later, would be fine.

An officiant dresses like an officiant, and that means be background, not a focal point.  It's irrelevant that they are your friends (my husband wore a robe when he officiated at both of our own children's weddings).  Besides, if you are going to do a lot of weddings, a simple, solid color outfit will be a great go-to "uniform"; even if no one at this wedding cares, that won't always be the case.  You will come across as much more professional.  You can either change after the ceremony if you are attending the reception, or add fabulous jewelry, accessories, and great shoes.

And there is still the option of a robe, you know.  Then you can go ahead and wear anything you please underneath it, including that pretty sunburst dress,as long as it's shorter than the robe.

Jones

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INO Post 8
« Reply #13 on: March 29, 2015, 07:27:13 PM »
Some solid dresses on that website that caught my eye from the side are the peasant dresses, how do you think they would be taken with the overall theme of the wedding? I know we always see peasant style blouses and dresses when it's rodeo time in my area, but I don't know how they fit in the general realm of these things.

PS thanks a lot for the new dress site I can drool over.
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Hmmmmm

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Re: What should the officiant wear? MORE INO Post 8
« Reply #14 on: March 29, 2015, 07:52:22 PM »
My first instinct was a subdued monotone outfit. But then I thought of the beautiful robes worn by Greek Orthodox priests or Hindu officiants. If the bride and groom are in solid monotones, you being in a pattern would add a nice contrast. I'd send a couple of options to the couple to get their input.