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Dress for an Italian Wedding

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May 8th, 2007, 01:46 PM
  #1
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Dress for an Italian Wedding

Hi,

We're off to Italy in about a month for 2 weeks, right in the middle of the trip we are attending a friend's wedding in Modena. Now this is the real thing - not some Americans going to Italy to get married but Italians getting married at their local church. I'd guess that 90%+ of the guests will be Italian, many of whom don't speak English. We're studying up on our Italian - this should be a fantastic experience to be part of something outside of a normal tourist experience.

A question I have for anyone who knows is what should we do for dress? We like to travel light, but clearly we need to bring some dress clothes/shoes, but the question is - how dressy? The bride & groom, friends and family are all middle class professionals so it's not a hugely extravegant affair, but not knowing local customs, I'm wondering what will typically be worn by guests. Is a suit & tie most likely (for men) or is a sports coat/tie & nice slacks acceptable? My wife already has a dress picked out (with a shawl for the church), but I'm wondering how formal I need to be.

Thanks!
Bob
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May 8th, 2007, 01:56 PM
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Can't you ask the people who invited you? I've seen weddings in Italy that, clothes-wise, were identical to what I would see at an American church wedding. I've also seen weddings in villages where it was "come as you are" for everybody except the imeediate wedding party.

I'm sure your friend will understand your request and tell you what others will be wearing so you can dress appropriaely. Tell him you are planning to bring your Sunday best and ask if you will look out of place. If the wedding is a t-shirt and jeans affair, I'm sure he or she will let you know.
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May 9th, 2007, 03:08 PM
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I cannot imagine a wedding in Italy being a t shirt and jeans affair

I have observed weddings in Florence and Rome and generally the Italians dress up and dress well. A nicer wedding calls for clothing similar to what they wear to the Opera, elegant and fashionable.

I agree that asking the host would be best.
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May 9th, 2007, 03:43 PM
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You need to ask just because it is a wedding in Italy doesn't tell you enough to know how formal it is (or isn't) going to be.
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May 9th, 2007, 07:44 PM
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My best friend is getting married in Italy in July and we'll be there for the wedding. She is from outside of Florence and having a wedding at a church with a reception at a villa. She has told me numerous times that women do not wear long dresses to weddings there. Men wear dark suits. I'm still searching for the perfect, elegant, easily packable cocktail dress, but no luck yet.
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May 10th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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Thanks all! Will try to get more info from the hosts, but their English isn't too good & my Italian is a bit worse!
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May 10th, 2007, 09:55 AM
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Is the wedding at midday or in the evening ? That's what makes the difference here in Spain. People tend to dress themselves more in the evening and be more smart casual at midday (most men don't wear a tie), specially if the wedding is in summer, too hot for ties and suits LOL
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May 10th, 2007, 10:47 AM
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I faced a similar dilemma about 7 years ago when planning for Italian niece's wedding. The parents of the bride and groom dressed up wearing suits and more formal dresses. However, other immediate family members were not as dressed. It kind of reminds of a showbiz type awards show where someone may be totally appropriate because they are fashionable, but they're not dressed up. The bride's brother got a brand new designer outfit, but was more like rockstar attire. Other female guests went all out with the clothing, hair and makeup. Generally speaking I think most in attendance were not "professionals," many owners or workers of local businesses or farms. So, having seen this I would say that you would be "safe" wearing a suit and tie, (or dark jacket with tie if you don't want to do a suit) and a "nice" not overly or underly formal dress.

Also, several people in the area who were distant relatives or friends not invited to the wedding showed up at the church just to watch greet the wedding party. Some of these people real did come as they were, straight from the yard, beach, etc.

I've been to weddings in the US where people have worn their native formal Indian, Filipino or Chinese dress when that may or may NOT been the ethnicity of the wedding party. Fashions are different everywhere and differ among cultures so I think as long as your dress conveys you are respectful of the event then it is always acceptable.
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May 10th, 2007, 11:06 AM
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P.S. Bulgari's seven fold tie in burgundy silk with the black suit and white shirt would look quite elegant:

www.tiedeals.com/bulgari/bulgari.htm

(you can tell I'm getting into this!)
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May 11th, 2007, 01:38 PM
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Thanks for the great ideas folks. The wedding is mid-morning, with an afternoon reception.

Based on your input, I'm thinking of a charcoal gray suit I have (relatively light weight) with a white shirt & tie. Girlspytravel - I love those ties! That got me thinking, should I purchase such a tie in Italy? Would it be any less expensive there than in the US? I'll be in Florence before the wedding so I could certainly look there!

Bob
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May 11th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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I shop online for many things, but unless I were stuck in the middle of nowhere, I wouldn't buy a necktie without having it in my hands. You're not saving a nickel if you don't like what you get.

Bob, I'd take a tie I like with me, but maybe look for one in Florence anyway. Better than most souvenirs - and it will end up in the wedding pics!


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May 11th, 2007, 02:18 PM
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OK - regarding purchasing here online vs. in Italy. Girlspytravel, is your favorite Bvlgari the left-most tie in your link? The Davide Pizzigoniís watercolours tie? Looks nice, you have a great eye!

And as a follow up - are cufflinks in fashion these days?
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May 11th, 2007, 02:26 PM
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Don't forget the sun glasses and snazzy shoes.
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May 11th, 2007, 02:53 PM
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You like those Fendi ties Girlspy ?

I admit I'm a tie-aholic - its a way for men to express their creativity - and in my profession I wear ties a lot and count on the warmer months to wear something a little more colourful and daring than I would otherwise wear - especially for a summer wedding.

Nothing wrong with those ties at all, but within that range of style, I'm an Hermes man myself. I have an excellent Ferragamo tie that would go great with the grey suit and white shirt that BobbyC plans on wearing (cos I wear the same combo !)

To each his own I guess.

Cheers,

M.
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May 11th, 2007, 03:26 PM
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Mathieu,

I also like wearing nice ties, however I'm not good at picking them out. So do a brother a favor - point me to a Ferragamo! I'd like to see what you find as looking good.

Ciao,
Roberto
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May 14th, 2007, 02:49 PM
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Hey Bobby,

Style tips for a brother ? No problem, not that Iím the greatest dresser, but I believe in having a style of ones own.
The Ferragamo tie that I have is a red one Ė not bright red but a rich deep red brighter than burgundy. The trick is in the fabric (silk) which when catching the light turns the red slightly brighter or darker. Overlaid across the tie are fine raised black lines like embroidery, criss-crossing at different widths to form large and small checks. It looks really good against a good, plain white shirt (I wear a spread collar) and Charcoal grey light wool suit, which is how I wear it and have received many compliments on it. I hope this description is not too baffling but itís a cool tie. I saw it at Budapest Ferighy airport last November and since I hadnít bought anything for myself during my vacation, treated myself to it. Duty Free, it was around USD 88.00 if I remember correctly. I looked up the Ferragamo website but could not see anything similar to reference you, nor did I like anything they are currently displaying.

So if you still want ideas, let me point you to another site. I am definitely not a label whore, I donít believe in paying for a name, but will pay if I like the product irrespective of whoís name is on it - but I do have a couple of whimsical Versace ties which have also drawn compliments. The ties I have are vintage so I couldnít find pictures of them, but take a look here for some contemporary ones : http://www.raffaello-network.com/raf...Versace%20Ties

The ties here are arranged on 10 pages and each page has 12 ties displayed in a 3X4 grid. So Iíll refer to the ties by number (1,2,3 etc) on each page. There are 3 ties here that Iíd take a second look at. Two of them are on page 5, Ties # 2 and # 11

I already have a very similar tie to # 2 as I like dark navy blue mixed with a bit of lime green. If you were wearing a navy suit, Iíd suggest this with a crisp white shirt.

Tie # 11 is a little more conservative, also good on charcoal grey suit and white shirt, but the green gives it a bit of pizzazz.

Lastly, page 10 tie #4 currently showing Blue pattern on Black/grey tie. Again, grey suit, white shirt would be OK with this tieís colours but I could swear that last week they had this tie in a copper/brown pattern against grey/black which I prefer.

Again, I have no idea of your likes or dislikes or dress style so please take my suggestions with a grain of salt !

Good luck.
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May 15th, 2007, 12:47 PM
  #17
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Mathieu - thanks so much - there are some great ties on that site! I'll sit down with my wife tonight & come up w/ something.

Grazie,
Bob
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May 15th, 2007, 01:57 PM
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Prego, Paesan.

I've just realised that the ties on that site seem to shift around from page to page, so my method of referring specific ones to you may not work. So here are the product numbers :

Blue and green tie : 10281
Black, grey and green tie : 10290
Grey tie with blue print : 10635

Ciao,

Matteo.
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Mar 21st, 2012, 05:49 AM
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5 year old post topped by promsandweddings.
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