Originally Posted by indie
In some traditions weddings take place in church buildings but they are not church services. So people don't think about it as dressing for a church service they think about dressing for a party. Also, it is really difficult to find cute stylish dresses for young women that are not revealing. I bought a new dress for a wedding recently and I must have tried on at least 30 dresses before I found one that my cleavage fit into without showing too much. Then I had to buy a cropped short sleeve jacket to cover the spaghetti straps. It was a lot of trouble. And of course many at the wedding were dressed in more revealing things. I always appreciate it when the invitation gives me an idea of how to dress, but it shouldn't be rudely worded or overly detailed. And I'd keep some extra shawls on hand and someone who has the tact to distribute them without making the guests feel bad.
I do not personally like turning anyone away from the house of God because they did not know how they were expected to dress. In most cases the guest will realize that their dress is out of place and come more appropriately attired in the future. The place for dealing with inappropriate dress, in my opinion, is after a relationship has been formed with the community which is certainly not during the first visit. The idea of a church having the dress code posted on the door seems antithetical to being welcoming to the outcast in the way that Christ was welcoming to prostitutes, tax collectors, and other outcasts of society.
Indie, there is rather a large difference in someone attending a church wedding by invitation/at the request of a family member or a friend and someone who is searching for a spiritual home. If someone who is attending a wedding, as an INVITED guest, can't be bothered to put out the bit of extra effort to dress appropriately for the ceremony, then perhaps they ought to skip the ceremony and go straight to the reception. Or perhaps just stay at home.
If a woman has a revealing dress, she can buy/borrow a shawl (many people I know have one they don't wear much). It's surely going to be cheaper than the jacket you ended up purchasing. I have a thin dressy shawl I bought at Target for $13 last fall. She can keep that over the revealing top of the dress during the ceremony. Upon leaving the church, she can take it off and show all to the world.
A man, instead of showing up in a ratty t-shirt, jeans, and dirty sneakers, surely has one basic button front shirt, non-jeans pants, and clean shoes. Heck, even a polo shirt and khakis are much better.
It's a matter of showing respect and consideration for both the event, as well as the couple who are getting married. If someone can't do this, it begs the question of if they show up dressed appropriately for a job interview or work.
And as for the "too many details on how not to dress" in the invite, well, given what people ARE wearing, they obviously need specific instructions on what NOT to wear. I even see that in the dress code in my office. Some women are frankly almost totally clueless about what's appropriate for an office and have to be told specifically, "You can't wear this, but you can wear that."