How Gospel Gowns Can Make or Break Weddings and Events

gospel gowns nine singers dressed in mulitcoloured gospel robes with african prints

Traditional gospel gowns impact weddings, parties, and corporate events in a powerful way. But why does this iconic garment set you apart from others? Allow me to explain. Party-goers swoon at the sight of an imposing black gospel group adorned in robes also known as togas.

These special gowns are associated with Afro-American or Caribbean-British choirs. So, let me share a little titbit with you. One of the first things  potential wedding clients’ ask enthusiastically when they book my choir, is, “Do you wear a beautiful, long and colourful toga?”

Then, on arrival at the venue in our loosely fitted gospel dresses, they’re amazed and spellbound by the gowns. “You all look so stunning,” is their usual reaction. Imagine that… Guests get chills and goosebumps and this is before we even sing a song.

So, is it a status symbol? Why are people fascinated about the “unflattering” gospel robe? And does this novelty clothing arouse you? We’ll get excited and dive into the facts, fiction and history of lengthy dresses for choirs. Moreover, I’ll shed some light on the phenomenon and appeal of gospel gowns. Keep reading…

Gospel Gowns

gospel gowns choir smiling and dressed in white togas with golden neckline

Tommy Hilifger – Sugar City – Amsterdam

Origin gospel gowns 

To start with, “the origin and history of gospel gowns and choir robes dates back to ancient Egypt, Greece and Rome. However, gives an in-depth look at past costumes and dresses used by choirs. Based on identified documentation from a specific era, it reports a timeline of the outfits known as gospel gowns.

Multicoloured gospel gowns

And there’s more… The distinctive looks and flowing movements of robes always impress guests at your event. Special focus placed on the vibrant colour, style and texture has great appeal. And the result is a garment which enriches any atmosphere. But guess what? Most choir gowns were limited to only one of three colours – black, white and blue. However, with the popularity of gospel choirs, the robes blossomed into a multitude of choices.

group of gospel singers dressed in purple togas with gold trimmings

ABC Gospel Choir | Kwast Wijnproevers – Corporate Christmas Party @ Restaurant De Dyck in Woubrugge

Uniformed and unified

Believe it or not, I’m NO gospel gown expert. Nevertheless, the uniformed and unified look of a gospel choir adds to the attraction of the robes. As it turns out, the appearance of the garments greatly influences wedding couples, their guests and corporate business people. Be warned though, this novelty status symbol can make or break your event because of it’s religious connotations.

Gospel gowns pulling power 

Traditional gowns are deeply embedded in the texture of the Black & African American gospel choirs’ world. And another thing, the fascination and pulling power of authentic gospel gowns began from 425 BC, which is ancient times. Marvelous modern designs and new textures range from satin, velour or high-quality stretch polyester.

gospel gowns 7 singers smiling and wearing red purple togas

ABC Gospel Choir – NPO Television studio

Professional presentable

In addition, Black or African-American choirs across the world can choose from over a hundred styles. But, you can get almost any colour in the spectrum, numerous material choices as well as matching accessories. And now gospel gowns transcend the fabric and the members’ appearances. Most importantly, gospel acts look professional, presentable and approachable.

Affects the mood 

Here’s something else. Original gospel gowns bring out the feel-good factor during your church, corporate event or hotel wedding. Their sheer elegance creates an intense grand entrance or finale of your ceremony. In addition, the upbeat and rustic hits will transport you on a melodic journey, setting the perfect tone for your special day.

black gospel choirs wearing fashion foward outfits

Fashion forward

Although you can have gospel gowns for your formal or informal event, there’s also a choice of hiring a Black gospel choir without the dresses. Naturally, this can be a lucrative idea if you have a tight budget. However, both fashion forward outfits becomes a permanent cherished memory in your guest’s imagination.

Design ease

In fact, over the year’s gospel gowns have evolved stylishly and adopted new unique designs. With this evolutionary trend the design details have given the garment shape and fit. Nowadays, there are more Black choirs that have high energy stage presence and great presentation skills. Basically, gospel gowns represent unity, oneness and are a status symbol.

eight singers wearing red blue gowns mooie lange blauwe gospeljurken met rode sjaals

ABC Gospel Choir with bride during filming Floriworld – Witte kerkje Terheijden

Dawning the robes

In a nutshell, Black or African-American gospel choirs heralded the birth of the traditional gospel gowns. Moreover, the formal robes for weddings & events guarantee a unique ambience and wow factor. Making a bold statement at every occasion, you’ll enjoy a remarkable celebration. To top it all, your young and old guests will have precious memories of an eventful event.

Gospel workshops

Big businesses [bosses with their employees] are now in on the “sister act workshops”. In fact, booking  a gospel workshop whereby everyone adorns a traditional gospel gown is popular than ever. These dresses are influencing how directors interact with their teams. Above all, gospel gowns brighten up corporate events which affects the future success of businesses.

nine singers dressed in mulitcoloured gospel robes with African prints

The Soweto Gospel Choir at Womad New Plymouth, New Zealand

main image | Warren Smart

Christmas gospel gowns

Lastly,  choirs can successfully promote small, medium or large sized companies’ visions, missions and their value statements. And with Christmas in our midst a gospel gown is fitting of the occasion. Even more exciting, the mass marketing of stylish choir robes enables everyone to wear a suitable outfit.


Over to you…

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About Clover Jean: I'm a Londoner based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Being a specialist celebrant | marriage officiant | wedding ceremonies MC with a gospel & soul choir is rewarding work. So, my guilty pleasures are fine dining, travel hotspots and on-line retail therapy. What's yours? Get in touch, via Instagram #cloverjeanamsterdam or Facebook. LIKE, SHARE, SPREAD THE LOVE & see you soon!

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