I think you’re beautiful.
This is true, first and foremost. What you wear, has to be fair for you. I don’t care what your age is, whether you’re skinny, tall, overweight, bulky, baggy, saggy or boney. You’re a part of this world, and you’re beautiful.
Not about a Dress Code
Depending on who you are, and your style, there is something telling about what you wear given the role you play. Underlying guidelines rather than saying you must wear something specific like a black suit and a pastoral collar.
So let’s start here: how do you feel about the way you look when you officiate? Good? Unsure? Like a million or a couple of bucks?
All of it affects your confidence level. People are drawn to confidence because they want it for themself. Confidence is a healing power, and a business building asset.
Let’s reexamine the expectations of the way you look in the outer with your choices of what’s fair to wear for YOU as a respected Officiant first.
What’s that you’re wearing?
Innovating the role of Officiant means a lot more than about what you wear. What any of us choose to wear and the way we officiate is changing by leaps and bounds. Examining the way you look as an Officiant is part of that innovation process we’re in.
On one of my favorite podcasts, co-host Rev. Clint tells about being asked to dress up like Elvis at one of his first weddings. He didn’t care for it and never did it again.
Las Vegas isn’t the only cool place in the country
Some of you may shout, “Oh contraire! I love to dress up, dress out, dress oddly.” Theme weddings are not only held in way cool Las Vegas or cultish New Orleans alone. You may have one in your own backyard!
FB Group research
You can see what other officiants are wearing in their posts in various FB groups. The clothes they wear ranges from super casual to robes with cleric collars, to a suit and tie, or an elegant dress. You can see some of us dressed in our choices in our Private Facebook Group.
(Side comment: Any man of any age or size looks GREAT in a tuxedo.)
What you wear obviously reflects your knowledge of the couple you’re officiating for – whether their wedding is formal or casual, beachy or woodsy.
Was What He Wore Going Too Far?
I had a conversation with an Officiant on FB about her groom wearing a t-shirt that had profanity in big bold letters on it. She didn’t think it was a big deal. “The bride didn’t mind, why should I?” That was a fair question, but I just wonder if the bride truly DIDN’T mind.
This Officiant’s acceptance really took me back. Nut that may be what’s important to her — anything goes. And the conversation continues. Perhaps casualness is an innovation????? You tell me!
Few Basic Guidelines for the Way You Look
In any event, here’s some guidelines I use for this reason: Officiants deserve to be a respected member of a couple’s wedding day. I have a hard time thinking that respect is being generated when the groom wears F__k on his shirt.
These suggestions can help you implement building a good reputation so you can feel more confident and are aware of your choices.
1. Never upstage the bride.
Choose more conservative attire, even if you’re doing a theme-based ceremony.
a. The bride and her partner need to be the center of attention. I’ve seen some officiants look so flashy that it almost looks like s/he is competing for attention. One example is a new officiant wore a cocktail gown with a low v-neckline. She was sexier and flashier than the bride who was quite overweight.
b. Watch your own use of white and off-white. Even in contemporary weddings there seems to be a touch back to tradition that the bride is the only one wearing white or off-white.
2. Don’t be sloppy
You’re fulfilling a role that bears authority. If your couple wants to be sloppy, fine. But you don’t have to be a slob. Take pride in the way you look. Spiff up!
3. Let your couple know what you wear as a rule
Make sure they don’t have expectations that you’ll arrive looking like a pastor or conversely, a wild woman. Here’s a few examples of outfits for female officiants:
4. Ask your couple if they have a preference for how you look and/or dress.
~ One of my fellow officiant teams wants their couple to make a clothing preference choice for their wedding. They’ve got photos on their website of them dressed in each different optional outfit. I’ve heard others do this as well. I do not.
~ Do you think you’re expected to wear a collar, a robe or a stole? Check with your couple first to see if this is really true. It’s pretty safe to say that many contemporary couples are absolutely fine with your wearing contemporary clothing.
~ Every couple is different. Some care, some absolutely don’t. Others WANT you to be comfortable whatever you wear. (My particular favorite kind of couple.)
5. Be prepared for nasty, windy, cold or stifling, hot, humid weather.
~ If It’s cold, I always let the couple know being cold is my least favorite activity in the whole world. I warn them I may wear long pants and a raincoat, wool coat rather than my usual simple dress. I also make sure I know they are the center of attention, not me.
If It’s Hot
b. When I’ve done a beach wedding (which is often synonymous with HOT, I always ask beforehand if it’s okay to wear flip-flops or go barefoot. A lot of couple’s end up kicking their shoes off or dressing down a notch or two when there’s a wedding at the water’s edge.
c. Wear a hat to protect yourself from mid-day sun. Make sure you batten down the hatches if the weather forecast is supposed to be windy.
6. Check your pearly whites.
I’m embarrassed to mention this. I’ve failed to look in the mirror with a smile to check for spinach and sesame seeds several times when I’m in a hurry. Therefore,
a. Floss or brush your teeth before you grab your ceremony and head for the wedding site.
b. If you make videos for or about your couples, check your teeth, especially after meals and then get in front of the camera.
7. Bless the wind.
Full skirts? Do I need to tell you to prepare for your Marilyn Monroe above the sidewalk vent moment?
8. Don’t work in the garden (or groom a pet) before your wedding.
OMG I’ve done this way too many times. Then I’m digging dirt out of my nails or trying to touch up nail polish as I’m walking into the venue. And yes, I took a shower! Digging in the dirt can be so rewarding but wait until you get back to pull those weeds or plant those sunflower seeds.
9. Put your outfit together and ready the day before.
a. Make sure your outfit is ironed unless you like the wrinkled linen look. Even an inexpensive outfit looks better when it’s been freshly ironed. TIP: Sometimes if I have a long drive to a wedding site, I’ll wear my jeans and change into my marryin’ outfit once I get to the location.
b. No spots, and is clean.
c. Women, if you wear them, make sure you always have an extra pair of nylons available. Those pesky runs probably aren’t going to be too distracting but still. I always feel better when I’m put together. (Hey that rhymes!)
Please leave a comment — gimme the shelter of feedback!!
Tell me what you think of these suggestions. What have you worn? Can you post a picture of yourself in what you usually wear on the blog or on the FB page?
I’d love to see, and I’m sure other officiants who follow this blog would love to see what’s fair for you to wear — what your wedding garb is. Because what you wear sends a message.
What message do you want to send? Let me know — Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
I look forward to hearing your stories about leading a couple in their I Do’s.