Hand in glove

Written by    Last updated: June 6, 2006

It’s not essential for a bride to wear gloves on her big day, but when chosen well they can complement an outfit, and are a popular addition to the finished effect of dress, veil, tiara and so on.

Hand in glove

It’s not essential for a bride to wear gloves on her big day, but when chosen well they can complement an outfit, and are a popular addition to the finished effect of dress, veil, tiara and so on.

Handy history

The Victorians were the first great glove‐wearers. They would wear them on all kinds of occasions, according to their status ‐‐ the more formal you were the more likely it was that you would possess a pair, worn whenever you were out of doors, or at any social function. The fashion of wearing gloves at weddings, formal parties and dances was resurrected in the 1930s and 40s.

Why wedding gloves?

These days gloves are worn at many weddings as a fashion statement, though they do have other practical uses. They protect a wedding dress from any oil on a bride’s fingers, or from snagging the fabric on her fingernails, and they can help keep her warm during a winter ceremony. Well, slightly warmer ‐‐ after all, we’re not talking woolly mits here! Bridal gloves are usually slender, satin arrangements designed carefully to fit a bride’s arm length.

Choose your wedding glove style

  • Fingerless ‐‐ think 1980s rock chick. Handy for ring‐fitting and canapé‐munching, but could be chilly in winter.
  • Gauntlet ‐‐ this long glove goes right down to the wrist, but doesn’t cover the hand.
  • Elbow ‐‐ ends just above the elbow.
  • Opera ‐‐ similar to elbow style, but stretching to the upper arm.
  • Wrist ‐‐ ‘ordinary’ gloves, covering the hand only

When to wear your wedding gloves

As a general guide, you can wear gloves for most of the day, and especially during evening events. You can remove them just before the ring‐giving part of the ceremony and pass them to your maid‐of‐honour to hold, then replace them after the service or during the signing of the register. The whole process can be a bit fiddly, so get some practice in before your wedding day. And, if you plan to walk back down the aisle without them, make sure you remove both to avoid a looking lopsided!

If you just can’t get your fingers round that idea, make a small cut down the underside of your glove’s ring finger or split the seam, so that you can slip your finger out for the exchanging of rings, and back in again afterwards. You can wear your gloves for the rest of the day ‐‐ especially during photographs ‐‐‐ but not while you eat (not that you’d want to; they’d only get in the way).

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