Wear pants to play a wedding?

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    All right, not you men. (Thought I would say that because I could just imagine the comments I would get from guys!)

    I saw a website where the harpist (a girl) was wearing a black top and black pants to play an outdoor wedding. I was surprised, and then I wondered if this was being done a lot.

    A bride-to-be can look at our websites and find out not only what music we play and what it sounds like, but also see what we wear, so I assume the bride was not surprised.

    I wear a suit or dress to play weddings….church weddings, black….outdoor weddings, I ask the bride if she wants me to wear black or something else, and I dress accordingly.

    I wondered what other harpists wear for weddings.

    Gretchen Cover

    I played a wedding reception last fall (not the ceremony). I asked the bride’s mother what colors the bride selected. I wore a top to coordinate with those colors. I always wear polyester chiffon black palazzo pants. That way it looks like a skirt but with the convenience of slacks.


    You have a pic? Is it on your website?


    For weddings I have a dress I usually wear. The skirt is light but enormous when you pull it out, so I can tuck the extra between my legs and look very appropriate. It is in my website’s gallery ( if you wanted to see. Black, gray, and white. 🙂 It comes past my knees, otherwise NO SHORTY SHORT DRESSES.

    Otherwise I wear dress pants, with pretty tops. In VERY casual settings I’ve played in jeans and a t-shirt! I would play in pants for a wedding, as long as I was classy and clean cut, I would be comfortable and I’ve never had anyone complain.

    Gretchen Cover

    Sylvia, I only have a Linkedin site for Vero Duo, our harp and guitar duo. I am seated on a bench so my you can’t see my palazzo pants. Do a key word search on google and you will see a lot of them.

    David Ice

    I do have to chime in here….one thing I tell a bride is that “I can absolutely guarantee that I will not be prettier than you are on your wedding day!” And the bride laughs…and I’ve been hired on the spot!

    Dave Ice

    Gretchen Cover

    Sylvia, this is a photo of me playing in December. I am wearing black palazzo pants. (hopefully the picture posted)


    They look kind of like a skirt.


    I have a picture on my website of me in pants, but it was just an event. I have only worn pants to a wedding twice…once b/c it was freezing outside and I had a very sparkly top to go with it and I was seated where really no one could tell. I also cleared it with the bride. The second time, the event was a little more casual and I had to move the harp quickly for the reception. Again, cleared it with the bride and was wearing very nice, dressy pants and a beautiful top. I also have palazzo pants in my closet for events where no one can really see me or tell what I am wearing. I work with a lot of other instrumentalists that wear pants.


    I’ve been to many weddings where the mothers wear pantsuits. I guess a lot of people really like to costume everybody up, but at least in my opinion, if the musicians’ attire is appropriate for the ceremony’s level of formality, then I see no problem with pants or skirts or dresses or whatever.

    Personal note: I prefer weddings where the wedding party is wearing nice clothes they already own, be it formal, suits, slacks and jackets, or whatever, and not this “match everybody up and color coordinate like they’re about to perform a choreographed dance number”. Oh wait, wedding parties are now expected to perform choreographed dance numbers, aren’t they? Ugh.


    I have the same kind of pants as Gretchen. When you are standing, you really can’t tell that it’s NOT a skirt. I use them for most of my gigs and coordinate the tops accordingly.

    I always ask the bride what colors are being worn so I will fit in and not clash with the wedding party.



    Elizabeth, I went to look at your website, but it wasn’t there on your profile.


    I’d never wear black nor trousers to a wedding (your word pants resonates badly over here!). I have plenty of black attire for orchestra but I like to indulge the fantasy (theirs) and wear something sutable for a party or evening wear as I have the sense that I am being paid to look special – I am sure it raises the game for the occasion and besides I like to feel equally as smart as the guests and mix in a little, away from the harp, during a break.


    Alison, do you mean a church wedding ceremony or the reception?
    Maybe I should have specified in my thread title I meant the ceremony.

    I am anti-pants, (mmmm trousers…you must be UK…as we don’t use the word trousers) but I always wear black at a church wedding. Many centuries ago when I first started playing, I didn’t. One time, I asked the bride-to-be about what to wear (thinking, color of bridesmaids dresses), and she told me the musicians always wear black…end of discussion. A light bulb went off in my head, and then I knew. However, I am close to Mexico, and it could be a cultural thing.

    Outdoor weddings, I ask them about black or color, and some say neutral…I have a couple of ivory…some say a pastel or whatever. Again, this is the ceremony.

    For a reception, I wear either a tea-length or a floor-length and try for a color that goes with or doesn’t clash.

    When the whole thing is in an events center, and I play both the ceremony and dinner, then I wear the more formal dress because most of the time will be at the dinner, and the dinner is directly after the ceremony.

    As for breaks, I don’t take any. As for mingling, nunca (never). I’m one of the hired help.


    I wear Black Velvet Pants and a Black Top for outdoor (beach) Weddings. Most of the harpists I know wear pants, A dress doesn’t work with wind! I’ve had no complaints from Brides at all. If black pants and black top are good for Symphony women in major Symphonie to wear, certainly it looks professional and furthermore you don’t have to worry about ‘no-seeum’s getting up your skirt and biting you.

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