First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

Choosing the Perfect Girls Communion Dress, Top 3 Communion Styles, and How to Pick a Veil

First Communion Season comes around every year. But the very special day only happens once in a little girl’s religious journey. Parents of First Communion receivers often need a little help in finding the most appropriate and beautiful dress that is also stylish and modern.

How does a family pick the perfect Communion Dress? Historically, First Communion traditions were passed down from generation to generation. This is still very much the norm; however, more and more parents are allowing their little girl’s personality and style to come out in her dress. While there are standards such as length and color, Communion Dresses are becoming more modern when it comes to material and the bodice design area.


Checklist for choosing the perfect Communion Dress

Parish Requirements

Learn the rules of the parish or priest for dress requirements. Most parish rules require white dresses, short or long sleeve, long dress, white veil or floral headpiece, white dress shoes, white socks, or white stockings. Some parishes allow girls to wear white gloves while other parishes don’t, because children will be receiving the Eucharist by hand. It’s important to know the exact rules for your congregation. You can often find this information published on the website, or you can visit the church office and ask for the parish communion dress rules. You will want to know these first before shopping for the dress and any accessories.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

Communion Outfit Family Tradition

Know your family tradition. Perhaps it’s customary to wear a particular fabric or a special necklace or pair of gloves. Whatever the Communion Tradition in your family is, you’ll want to incorporate it into your little outfit. Historically Communication Traditions were passed on in the family. For some families, this meant wearing a special brooch passed down for generations or incorporating a particular variety of flower, like roses into the ensemble.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

Girls Dress Style for Communion Dress

Incorporate the personality and style of your little girl in the dress you choose. It’s best for parents and daughters to align their expectations ahead of the dress shopping fun. This way there are no letdowns and levels of fashion and modesty are reconciled early on.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

Scope Out Communion Dress Shops

Get familiar with the dress shops that specialize in communion and holiday dresses. There may be a go-to dress shop in your neighborhood, but now that more dressmakers are opening online stores for customers to have access to a wide variety of styles, it’s best to scope out the e-commerce shops as well as the brick and mortar shops that cater to communion season. These shops are familiar with various parish dress requirements, how to balance fashion, modesty, and where price points need to be for parents to purchase the best communion dress.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

Communion Dress Measurements

To get the perfect fit, you’ll want to take measurements of your little girl. Length is especially crucial for communion dresses. You’ll want to take the measurement in inches of the chest area, waist, and the length from shoulder to hem. Use these measurements and a size chart like ours below, to make sure you are shopping the perfect fit.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide - size chart

Pricing and Budget

Although this special day comes only once in a little girl’s life, not everyone is ready to break the bank for the perfect communion dress, and the great thing is, you don’t have to. Although some bespoke shops have been known to charge in the thousands for a Communion Dress, you can easily find the same luxury for a much more reasonable price. Know your budget going into the shopping process and source the shops that offer what you want for the price you’re willing to pay. For affordable luxury, you can look forward to spending about $60 - $200 for a dress that doesn’t compromise on dress code and style.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

Pick the Best Style! Here are 3 of the Top Communion Dress Styles

#1 Modest Meets Modern

A modest bodice with embroidered mesh sleeves. Skirt is long, full, and flowing making this communion ensemble a very smart and pretty look. Shop dress >

#2 Classic & Affordable

Full-length satin dress with lace trim pleated cap sleeves. Skirt has a tulle overlay with lace and bead trim on the waist. Perfect for Holy Communion and weddings. Shop dress >


#3 Modern Elegant Lace

A very non-traditional dress that is extremely popular is this sleeveless illusion bateau neckline, tulle, and lace full-length A-line. The bodice is decorated with hand-beaded lace and stone appliqué. The dress has a full gathered tulle overlay skirt with re-embroidered scalloped lace appliqué hem. This dress is the perfect Communion or Flower Girl dress for the most elegant princess. Shop dress >

Choosing the Right First Communion Accessories

Depending on the dress you choose, you’ll want to adorn it with the right accessories. First, you should check with your parish to see if they require any particular accessories, like veils. Some parishes have rules on the accessories that girls are allowed to wear. Here are some items that you and your little girl will want to consider adding to her outfit. 

Family Tradition Pieces

Consider adding any pieces that have been a part of your family’s first communion tradition. This may include a family:

  • Brooch
  • Pin
  • Tiara
  • Veil
  • Special flower

New Accessories

While a standard communion ensemble has some staple components, it’s always fun to add the right touches to the dress. These pieces can also be preserved as keepsakes or worn after the special day has passed.

  • Bolero
  • Stole
  • Jewelry
  • Small purse
  • Shoes
  • Gloves


Choosing the Right Headpiece & Veil

Although veils are no longer a common requirement, they are a sign of modesty and respect in the church, which is why many girls continue to carry on the tradition. There are few occasions that a girl gets to wear a veil, so it’s essential to pick the veil best suited to your little girl and her dress. Veils are typically white or ivory and are made of either tulle, lace or another fine fabric. You’ll want to pick a veil that matches the same shade of the dress and one that is a functional length.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

You can also choose to add an additional communion touch with an embroidered look.

First Communion Dress Shopping Guide

If your little girl is not going to wear a veil but still wants to add a unique hairpiece to her Communion outfit, consider a tiara, headband, ribbon, barrette or even a beautifully decorated flower wreath.


Care Instructions for Communion Dresses

As with any special occasion dress, you will want to follow the care instructions on the tag to the letter. These usually include some simple steps you can find here.

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