15 Wedding Officiant Dresses to Lead Your Loved Ones' Ceremony In Style
As officiant, you're one of the most important members of the wedding party. After all, it's your job to preside over the vows as your best friend or family member pledges their love to their person. And while there are a lot of logistics to consider, what you wear is just as crucial as your other responsibilities. Not sure where to begin? Below, we've got the deets on choosing the perfect wedding officiant dress—plus faves you can shop right now.
Tips for Choosing a Wedding Officiant Dress
There are no hard and fast rules where wedding officiant attire is concerned. As long as you opt for fashion that matches the formality of the event and doesn't draw attention away from the to-be-weds, you'll be in great shape. But just in case you'd like more detailed directions to vet your outfit, here are the questions to ask the guests of honor (well in advance of the wedding day, of course).
It may not be the most opportune time to press the engaged couple for outfit advice in the immediate aftermath of their all-important ask (just like all of the other ''what not to ask a just-engaged couple'' questions). That said, if you'll be officiating, you should take the responsibility seriously and not wait too long before getting their opinions on all aspects of the ceremony. Be proactive about the below attire questions, so they can give you a firm thumbs up on your wedding officiant wear before the big day. Pro tip: Their wedding planner may also need to weigh in before the wedding day. Before you commit to a dress, keep these things in mind:
The Dress Code
Most wedding guests will be getting details about dress code and event formality when they get their wedding invitations, but as a principal part of the wedding, you'll want to have the details figured out way before then. If you don't already have the answers to these questions, make a point to ask sooner rather than later:
What is the dress code of the wedding? Does it call for formal, semi-formal, cocktail or casual wedding attire?
Where will the ceremony take place? Will it be at your wedding venue or another location? Outside or inside?
What will the wedding party be wearing? Would you like me to take cues from the colors in their palette or from your attire?
How It Fits
A ceremony can be as short as 20 minutes or as long as an hour (or more), depending on which traditions the couple includes. This means that comfort is essential—from the silhouette of the dress to your shoes. Bottom line: You want to avoid pulling down your hem, adjusting your neckline, smoothing any puckering seams, or stepping out of too-tight or too-tall shoes altogether.
As the master of ceremonies, you'll want to dress in a classic, tasteful way that feels worthy of the occasion. This means choosing appropriate hemlines (maxis and midis are more suitable in this context), necklines, and points of interest (less is more when it comes to over-the-top embellishments, high slits and cutouts).
How It Photographs
Your role as officiant puts you front row center for photos of the wedding ceremony. Your wedding officiant dress should match the rest of the wedding party and the overall vibe. It's common for couples to ask their officiant to use the colors worn by the bridesmaids and groomsmen as inspiration, either in a similar shade or the exact shade in an alternative silhouette. If you're allowed to choose your own attire, a black dress or a dress in another neutral color are polished choices. It's a good idea to avoid busy prints and patterns in general, as they can clash in photos.
Special note: If you're a bridesmaid who's been asked to be the officiant as well, see if you can add extra oomph to your bridesmaid dress—whether with a fun pair of shoes, a topper or statement jewelry.
Wedding Officiant Dresses You Can Shop Now
Ready to find a wedding officiant dress that says on-trend as much as it says official? Check out editor-approved picks you can add to cart right now.
ASOS DESIGN High Neck Pleated Long Sleeve Skater Midi Dress With Embroidery
We did say that prints and patterns can be problematic, but for unique circumstances (think: a bohemian-inspired elopement), something like this embroidered midi can be straight up magic.
Lauren Ralph Lauren Ruffled Georgette Dress
Navy will always blend well, no matter the season. With an elegant bow belt, this knee-length cocktail dress is the perfect combination of simple and elegant.
Sachin & Babi Rentana Dress
This floor-length dress checks every wedding officiant dress box: the midnight blue hue is a great neutral, the silhouette is modest but not frumpy and the sequined flare sleeves are just festive enough.
Aidan Mattox Beaded Trapeze Dress
Officiating a cocktail wedding? A cobalt blue wedding officiant dress with a beaded metallic capelet brings the glitz—but won't take away from the couple's wedding attire.
Jason Wu Floral Illusion Tulle Flutter-Sleeve Cocktail Dress
You can't go wrong with classic black lace and a tailored silhouette. This timeless ensemble works for formal, semi formal or cocktail dress codes. Just add drop earrings.
Adrianna Papell Plus Size Flutter Sleeve Mesh Sheath Dress With Illusion Neckline
A wedding officiant dress in muted metallics is the best of both worlds: It's glam and will photograph beautifully, but isn't too flashy. The tulle flutter sleeves and floral-inspired beadwork on this rose gold dress is made for a vintage wedding.
Karl Lagerfeld Paris Embellished Scalloped Dress
This Jackie O-inspired dress is impossibly chic. The feminine scalloped detail on the sleeves and hem and pearl collar add fashion-forward flair to an otherwise pared down style.
Theory Tie Back Midi Dress
If you're opting for a black dress, this minimalist A-line midi option with a fun cutout back is perfect for more casual nuptials.
Adrianna Papell Petaluma Sequin Dress
If you're officiating a black tie wedding, consider this crystal-encrusted dress in the biscotti colorway. Thanks to luxe embellishments and a sophisticated illusion neckline, it will look right at home standing between a white wedding dress and/or black tuxedo.
ELOQUII Pearl Cuff Dress
LBD, but make it a WOD (wedding officiant dress). The stretch knit ponte fabric on this crew neck column dress is exactly what we were thinking when we said ''wear something you feel comfortable and confident in.'' And the pearl cuffs are an ultra-stylish detail, especially if you know that the bride's dress has some pearl accenting, too.
Aidan Mattox One-Shoulder Satin Jumpsuit With Tie Waist
Real talk: You do not want to upstage the your close friends on their big day. That said, if you're preparing to officiate a glamorous formal wedding, then this satin jumpsuit with a one-shoulder neckline can totally work.
Lulus Capture Your Heart Tiered Puff Sleeve Midi Dress
The puff sleeve trend can be overwhelming if you're working with a large bridal party, but it's a standout option for an officiant. This lightweight midi dress with statement sleeves feels right at home at a low-key garden or beach wedding.
Closet London Plus Ribbed Pencil Dress
Jewel tones for a fall wedding are a perfect marriage (pun intended). We're in love with the lush green color, slim fi and the subtle ruffle hem of this dress.
Oleg Cassini Sequin Lace and Jersey Three-Piece Plus Pantsuit
Mothers of the bride or groom can officiate, too. Enter: This three-piece pantsuit with glittering sequin lace and flattering wide-leg pants. The relaxed, menswear-inspired fit is equal parts comfy and classic.
Veronica Beard Peony Satin Midi Dress
Not all wedding officiant dresses are created equal. If you're presiding over a cool wedding, only a cool girl fit will do. This glossy satin midi dress with a handkerchief hem is just the ticket.