What is Appropriate Wedding Attire for a Noon Wedding in Italy?
Dear On Dressing Well,
I’ve been invited to a wedding in Italy on June 17th. It begins at noon and ends at 8pm. Is it appropriate to wear a black cocktail dress?
Ahhh the dreaded wedding attire question is now elevated to international Italian waters.
And if you want to be la bella figura, you will need expert fashion tips to look your best.
Because you are traveling to the land of Armani, Versace, and Roberto Cavalli, a modern and well-dressed fashionista wants to observe the Italian wedding traditions without compromising her sense of style.
Here’s how to dress well for an Italian wedding:
- Steer clear of black and white attire. According to My Italian Wedding, you should avoid wearing black or white as a wedding guest in Italy. In fact, wearing black clothing signifies death and morning. And just like American weddings, white or off white dresses are reserved for the bride only. But pastel colored hues, look beautiful on wedding guest without stealing the spotlight from the bride-to-be.
- Choose dark blue or dark brown as an alternative color. As a curvy girl, I believe in the power of dark colors. They hide a multitude of sins and always look chic. So if you must choose a darker hue, wear a dress made of silk or jersey to flatter your figure and beat the summer heat.
- Consider the time of day. A noon wedding is still considered a morning affair. A black cocktail dress, although elegant and chic, is not the best color option for a morning or noon wedding. Choose a tea-length dress or a skirted suit in a flattering shape for an elegant Italian wedding.
- Infuse elegance into your accessories. Italian fashion from Prada and Missoni to Ferragamo and Ferre celebrates bold colors and fine details. If you are afraid of becoming a fashion don”t, wear a large cocktail ring, a sparkling gold or silver clutch or a pair of shoulder-duster earrings with your wedding attire.
- Plan for the heat. A June wedding in Italy will be warm and possibly hot. To prevent from melting, wear breathable fabrics like silk, cotton or linen for a midday wedding in the sweltering Italian heat.
- Add a shawl for the religious ceremony. If your dress is strapless or has thin spaghetti straps, wrap a thin pashmina scarf, bolero jacket or silk shrug over your dress. As a wedding ceremony is a sacred event in traditional Italian families, you want to dress respectfully and appropriately. But, once you arrive to the reception space, remove your wrap to reveal your bare shoulders and arms freely.
- Wear comfortable, but stylish shoes. Before you reach for your Guiseppe Zanottis or your Manolo Blahnik 115-millimeter heels, think about the length of the wedding day. From 12 noon to 8pm you’ll be standing, sitting and dancing intermittently. Choose a comfortable dress shoe that won’t hurt your feet or cramp your wedding style.
With these fashion rules, you’ll be the best-dressed wedding guest in Italy, choose elegant wedding attire and blend in to the festivities without being invisible or overlooked.