What to wear to an Italian wedding

What to wear on a special occasion such as a wedding deserves extra consideration. Like all other events, marriage has its own dress code, usually specified in the invitation (la partecipazione). It is not the same to get married during the day or in the evening, on the beach or in a villa, in summer or in winter.

There are also themed weddings that impose a specific dress code, ones that are more informal where some exceptions to the rule are allowed and then again hyper-formal weddings where you have to be very attentive to all the details.

First rule, never wear white. Avoid plain white or cream or all colours tending towards white (coconut, ecru, rope, beige, ivory, etc.); candid dressing is intended exclusively for the bride. You can opt for pastel shades such as pink, salmon, blue, yellow, etc.

Red and green dresses are allowed as long as they are sober in terms of cut and neckline, to avoid the Jessica Rabbit effect!  Black is not recommended for daytime weddings. However, black can be worn if the wedding is in the evening but try to spice it up with accessories such as a stole or a coloured clutch.

You can perhaps choose a midnight blue, which is elegant and sober.No to deep necklines and slits. On these occasions, it is considered bad taste to exaggerate even with mini dresses. There is a risk of appearing vulgar. The same applies to make-up and hairstyling, as well as jewellery and accessories. Sobriety and elegance go hand in hand. Always remember this and you won’t miss a beat!

For the ladies, a long dress is definitely more suitable for an evening reception. Prohibited for a daytime reception, during which a dress with a knee-length skirt (or slightly below) and without too many frills is recommended. The long dress is only for bridesmaids and the wedding witness (la testimone di nozze).

Each season has its fabric. For a summer wedding choose fabrics such as silk or chiffon, even tulle is now very fashionable and can give a modern and trendy look to your outfit. In autumn or winter, velvet is very elegant, sophisticated and refined.

As for shoes, heels are obviously the best option for a wedding; they make the figure more elegant and slimmer. They can be coloured if you have chosen a solid dark dress, to liven up the outfit, or black or beige, if you are wearing a patterned dress. In summer, you can indulge yourself with golden or silver colours, which will bring out your tan, giving a sexy look. Choose from all the models of high-heeled sandals available, which will embellish your guest look. However, remember that you will have to wear them for a whole day! Always prefer comfort, for example a high platform shoe.

Men, on the other hand, have a simpler life. The easiest choice is usually the most suitable: if the invitation does not specify the dress code, it is assumed that a jacket and tie are sufficient. We never recommend a tuxedo or tails unless explicitly requested. They are two particularly elegant outfits that risk making you look out of place. When, the invitation shows White or Black Tie, some attention is also required for men! They are allowed to choose between a tie and a bow tie, even if the latter should only be worn with a tuxedo. A watch is the only male jewel allowed. Avoid sunglasses if you can.

Alessandra di Claudio
Alessandra di Claudio

From flight attendant to language teacher to article writer and translator, soap maker and adult educator for the Education Board Training in Dublin, my professional life has been enriched with many wonderful experiences. Always curious and excited about life, I love taking up stimulating challenges especially when combining work and travelling.