Ah, it’s midsummer. The days are long enough to afford us extra playtime, and the sun which bakes us during the day leaves just enough warmth to make the evenings pleasant. Is it any wonder most people dream of marrying in the summer?

Summer brides have it good. With the overwhelming bias towards strapless gowns, the warmth of the season makes it appropriate and easy to wear something with exposed shoulders. But (there always has to be a “but,” or I’d have nothing to write about) sometimes the evenings get cooler. Or how about brides who marry in less climactically ideal times of the year? Or need to cover those shoulders and decolletages for religious ceremonies?

Those ladies often find themselves in a pickle. You spend all that time hunting for the perfect gown, only to have to cover part of it up for a couple hours? What a waste! And it only gets more maddening when you realize how few options initially present themselves in the search for an attractive (yet appropriate) cover-up.

Let’s explore the options, from the easiest and most blah, to daring and new.

The Shrug or Cardigan

In theory, I like shrugs and cardigans. They are useful and classic. I wear them often to work. And maybe that’s why I don’t like seeing them on brides… nothing about being a bride says “work appropriate.” And pairing a formal gown with a shrug or cardi just doesn’t flow. It’s like pairing a tuxedo with a pair of kicks.

I know, I know… Duchess Kate did it.

And I didn’t like it. I don’t think it was appropriate for the brand-spanking-new wife of the heir to Britannia.

It’s all about matching the formality of the event and the gown. If your wedding is formal, or in the evening, and your gown/wedding outfit is formal or contains the formal fabrics of satin, silk, organza, or chiffon, you better make sure your accessories are on the same level.

That said… there are ways to style up the shrug and cardigan.

by BHLDN


by BHLDN


and one more... by BHLDN

*A note on shrugs… try a couple on before you decide to buy. Depending on your frame, they can make wide shoulders look wider, or emphaize a pear-shaped figure by making small shoulders look smaller.

The Cape or Wrap

Now THIS is wedding appropriate. When else are you going to get a chance to pull off a cape? It’s romantic, will keep you warm during transit, and will look stunning in your photos.

Faux fur always looks elegant, and adds great texture both in person and on film.

*creative tip: wear your wrap backwards for a little extra kick of drama. Your shoulders and chest will be covered, but it will dip a little in the back. This will show off the slope of your neck and back, and accent a beautifully cut bodice. Especially if your gown is low cut in the back or strapless.

Just behind the veil

And for the daring bride ready to brave the minister’s/priest’s/rabbi’s displeasure (not to mention her grandmothers’) how about the simple (and free) option of wrapping yourself up in your veil?

To create a fuller, more gauzy effect, just purchase another veil or visit your local fabric store to pick up some tulle. Just be sure it matches.

You’re still covered, but it’s a much sexier way of doing it.