LDS Standards for Modest Wedding Dresses
Modest dress has always been one of the hallmarks of membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Dressing modestly shows respect for our bodies and for those around us – but what is the LDS bride supposed to do when all the commercial wedding dresses around her are sleeveless and backless? Here is what the LDS general authorities have to say about modesty.
Official LDS Modest Bridal Gown Guidelines
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ official modesty guidelines are contained in For the Strength of Youth. Brides should remember the following rules about modest wedding dresses:
• Skirts should be knee-length or longer.
• Slits in the skirt should not go higher than the knee.
• Wedding dress sleeves should cover the shoulder.
• Necklines should not be too low (i.e: no cleavage showing.)
• The back of the dress should not fall below the shoulder blades.
• Dresses should not be too tight or revealing in any other manner.
For the sake of modesty, most LDS couples also forgo the traditional “garter toss” at the wedding reception, even if they decide to purchase one as a keepsake.
Exceptions to the LDS Modest Dress Code
Of course there are some situations where wearing meeting all the LDS standards of modesty may not be possible – such as swimming or participation in certain sports teams with uniforms. But according to the general authorities, Mormon weddings are not one of those situations.
For the Strength of Youth specifically says you should “never lower your dress standards for any occasion. Doing so sends the message that you are using your body to get attention and approval and that modesty is important only when it is convenient.”
When shopping for a wedding dress, modesty may not be exactly convenient, but it is possible. Beautiful Mormon wedding gowns that meet all the LDS standards of modesty are out there if brides know where to look.
Mormon Temple Garments and Modest Gowns
Another factor in modest wedding day dress is the temple garment. If the bride is getting married in the LDS temple or has been previously endowed, she will be wearing her garments beneath her wedding dress.
What if you need to pick out your wedding dress before you receive your garments? As long as you follow the standards of modesty outlined in For the Strength of Youth, you should have no problem with your temple garments. But if you feel really unsure, take an endowed parent or friend with you to see the dress you like. They’ll be able to tell you whether it will cover the temple garment.
The way most brides dress today, it can be difficult to find modest wedding gowns for LDS weddings. But with some hard work and determination, you can find a beautiful dress that also satisfies all the LDS standards of modesty for the best wedding day possible.
♥ Jenny Evans
Exclusively for WeddingLDS.com
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Hello… I am working on a gown design to meet the modesty requirement. I need to know how far beyond the neck it can be allowed to show skin until it becomes the shoulder. I understand that shoulders must be covered, but to me the shoulder really starts where the collar bone ends. Can the entire collar bone show? Thank you.
Hello to you :0)
The best answer to your question is to call your local temple and ask for the matron. She will be able to guide you on the dress requirements.
And congratulations! Here’s to a beautiful wedding filled with lots of love.
I have literally never attended an LDS wedding in which they did NOT do the garter toss. And I’ve been to hundreds! Honestly, I’m unsure what is “immodest” about a HUSBAND taking a garter of his WIFE’s thigh.
I agree with you. I think it’s so fun. When my daughter was married, she had a Civil War theme and wore a full hoop skirt. Her new husband crawled right under her skirt and disappeared. LOL He appeared with the garter in his teeth. We all laughed.
However, everyone has their own ideas and values, and all must be respected for that.
That’s why we offer options to the garter toss.
Have a beautiful day.
It can be hard finding a wedding dress that is not only modest but also covers your garments. I think that it would be awesome to find a dress that is already modest and you don’t have to do alterations on it to make it that way. I think lace sleeves are so pretty and help make it modest as well.
I’m so happy that there are so many choices available now for modest gowns. Makes choosing so much easier.
And I agree with you about lace sleeves. That can be beautiful.