EWTN Catholic Q&A
Cowboy wedding
Question from Lisa on 04-06-2013:

My daughter will be married in November and wants a "cowboy wedding," where the groom and his groomsmen wear Western-type tuxes. Are they allowed to wear their cowboy hats in church during the ceremony? I know hats aren't allowed in church, but I have seen the Knights of Columbus in church wearing their feathered hats, and this ceremony won't include a Mass since the groom is not Catholic.

Answer by Catholic Answers on 04-10-2013:


Even cowboys, presuming they are gentlemen, show respect for God and for ladies when in their presence by removing hats in church, in the presence of ladies, and (generally speaking) whenever indoors. Real cowboy hats were never intended to be badges proclaiming "Hi, I'm a cowboy!" They were utilitarian in purpose, intended to protect cowboys from the sun while riding the range. So yes, your prospective son-in-law and his attendants should remove their hats in church and at the reception.

The more important question is why you are indulging your daughter's whim to turn a sacred occasion that has as its purpose to create a new family into a costume party, as if her wedding is of no higher importance than a junior-high Halloween dance. While the couple has a certain amount of freedom in the arrangements made, their families should be prevailing upon them not to turn what is supposed to be a solemn ceremony and joyous family celebration into a farce.

Michelle Arnold
Catholic Answers