Monday, 7 April 2014

Questions Rabbis Get Asked - Wedding Dress Modesty

Dear Rabbi, 


I am writing with a question, about my wedding dress. 


The dress I bought covers my shoulders but not my arms.

It is not this one, but the top looks very similar to this one: [link]. I will be wearing a veil that will cover my arms. 


Is this appropriate or should I cover my arms further? If so, I will find something to wear on top of it. I thought it'd be ok because the cleavage and shoulders are covered, but now I have a doubt, so I prefer to ask you to make sure I am appropriately dressed. 


Thank you very much for your help. I hope you have a nice day, 




Dear X


I find questions like this really hard to answer.

Which isn’t to say it’s an unusual question for me to be asked.

Aside from whether or not it’s really the sort of thing Rabbis should be getting involved with, there are so many different ways the same dress can look on different women, even the same women, let alone the difficulties of basing an opinion on a different dress on a different woman.

Added to which different hemlines, shoulder lines and the rest of it feel differently in different spaces, in-front of different invited guests and I can’t really judge all of that either.


A chuppah is a holy space. You are standing before God.

A wedding is also a time when you pledge an exclusive relationship with your husband – there is a beauty that is only for him, and not the rest of congregation or world.

Quite how that manifests itself in terms of different levels of sheer-ness, lengths of sleeve, necklines etc. is ultimately a question for you.

Sorry not to have a simple answer,



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