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Getting a Hand on Glove Etiquette

There is no question that the addition of gloves will add dignity and grace to your wedding ensemble. The proper gloves will lend an air of elegance to this special occasion. However, because we don't wear gloves as often as perhaps our mothers or grandmothers did in the past, choosing the proper gloves and knowing the rules of wearing them can be intimidating.

Glove Style
Glove etiquette is a reflection of the times. Historically, the length of the glove was directly related how formal the affair and the time of day. Today, however, with more relaxed social rules, the length of the glove is a more adequate reflection of fashion-the color and style of your dress are the most important factors in choosing the proper glove. Your wedding gloves should complement your dress. Choose simple gloves to wear with an ornate gown. Conversely, a simple gown allows for fancier gloves. Remember the goal is to enhance not to overwhelm. While the traditional color for gloves is white, your wedding gloves should match your dress in both color and texture-white with white, ivory with ivory. The texture of your gloves should be similar to that of your dress. Silk gloves go perfectly with a silk gown. Other materials such as kidskin, satin, or lace are also appropriate, depending on the style of the dress.

Glove Length
Glove lengths range from 1-button, ending at the wrist, to 20-button, ending at the shoulder. The length you choose should complement your sleeve length. Generally, the shorter the sleeve, the longer the glove-a sleeveless or strapless gown would dictate a glove that comes to the upper arm. Elbow length gloves (12-button) should be chosen for dresses with either cap sleeves or elbow length sleeves. Shorter gloves (6-button and shorter) are reserved for dresses with longer, more fitted sleeves. It is important to remember that while the sleeve of the gown and the glove may meet, it is never proper for a glove to cover the sleeve of a dress.

Exchanging of the Rings
During the exchanging of rings, you may either remove the glove from the left ring finger by slitting the fabric underneath and lifting it over the finger or you may choose to remove the glove altogether. If you remove the glove, simply give it to the maid of honor at the same time you pass your bouquet. It's a good idea to practice removing your glove several times before your wedding to ensure a smooth transition. After the rings have been exchanged, simply pull the glove back down over the finger. If the glove has been removed, leave it off until after the ceremony. Remember to put your gloves back on for photographs.

During the Reception
At the reception, your gloves should be kept on in the receiving line and for special dances with your groom and your father. As it is never acceptable to eat or drink while wearing gloves, you should remove your gloves before cutting your wedding cake. As the more formal aspects of your wedding are now complete, you may wish to take off your gloves, relax, and enjoy your party!

~ by Sherrie Thompson


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