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Irish wedding - correct attire advice please?

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Apr 20th, 2014, 11:57 PM
  #1
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Irish wedding - correct attire advice please?

Hello fellow travellers.
My husband and I plus my son and his partner will be attending the wedding of my son's friend in July on a Friday afternoon. The wedding is in a church at 2pm followed by the reception at Farnham Estate Co. Cavan.
I have absolutely no idea what the correct attire will be for us and am also thinking we will have to sort out some sort of hire for my son who will be backpacking up to that point (and afterwards.)
How formal do ladies dress? Long dresses or cocktail length, hats or not? What style of suit for the gentleman? Any traditions we need to be aware of ?
Any help much appreciated
ozgirl is offline  
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Apr 21st, 2014, 01:10 AM
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Why not ask your son's friend or, better, his parents? Unlikely to be long dresses at that time of day.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 01:37 AM
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Dress at Irish weddings is usually moderately formal.

Women generally wear colourful dresses and top the outfit off with what is often described as a "wedding hat" or a fascinator. Some women purchase dresses that aren't really suitable for other purposes, but a good way to avoid that is to wear cocktail style with accessories like scarves to deliver the expected splash of colour.

Style of suit for men? Lounge or business suit. Your typical Irishman will simply don what he considers his best suit.

It should be possible for your son to hire a suit. Cavan is a relatively small town, so there might not be a good option there.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 01:51 AM
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Thanks padraig, very helpful. He is currently trying to convince me to take his suit ( I will have a better luggage allowance!) and I will probably end up doing that I think.
I have asked the bride (our friend) for a few tips but she is pretty stressed with wedding arrangements so didn't want to bother her too much
I also have heard that these weddings can last for a day or two so looking forward to it!
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Apr 21st, 2014, 03:15 AM
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The Farnham Estate could be a fairly formal affair.. As said the fellas have it easy just throw on the best suit and polish up a decent pair of brogues.. The women on the other hand can be 3 dresses in a day job.. Just make sure you are comfortable because as you have heard things can go on for a while.. Have you asked ur Sons friends mum for advice?
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Apr 21st, 2014, 04:18 AM
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Rest the liver before you turn up, great advice above.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 04:46 AM
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http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk/Tradi...efault,pg.html

This is a typical shop site that might be useful, or just google Wedding Guest Dress
As it is summer, you will see pretty lightweight dresses and hats or fascinations. After all, it's a grand excuse for young women especially to dress up.
If you are invited to the full thing, it will be a long day. First is the ceremony, followed by a long "breakfast" with speeches. My daughter-in-law being Irish had dozens of cousins. She narrowed the ceremony and meal down to aunts and uncles
After that comes the evening do, where many more guests arrive, mainly friends of the couple who are not family or. close friends or all those cousins
For that, you may want to have a relaxing bath or shower and change into something more comfortable for dancing
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Apr 21st, 2014, 05:31 AM
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Hi Ozgirl,

The above advice sounds spot on. My cousin's husband is from a rather remote area of Galway, near Roscommon. Been there twice and it is lovely - "the real Ireland" according to her.

Last summer they attended a niece's wedding and agreed that all the women were dressed in their finest - all wore hats or fascinators much to her surprise.

No doubt, you will have a beautiful day!
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Apr 21st, 2014, 06:07 AM
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Oh yes, do rest your liver, or alternatively drink lots so that you have built up a tolerance!

Irish friends of ours here in Australia recently hosted a wedding for one of their daughters. All of the female guests were expected to change into a different outfit for the reception, I don't know if that's normal or just a quirky thing they did.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 10:55 AM
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The hat thing always amazed me At an American wedding you won;t see a single one. Or a suit - unless on the mother of the bride or groom and a casual wedding.

Our are usually later, with the wedding and reception usually at the same venue, with women in long gowns and men in dark suits or tuxes. But they they usually start at 5 or 6 pm.
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Apr 21st, 2014, 11:26 AM
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We attended the wedding of the daughter of my wife's Cousin, in April of 2012.

Here's a link to the Trip Report and PIX:

http://ireland.activeboard.com/t4903...rt=newestFirst
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Apr 21st, 2014, 11:55 AM
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Just realized that you are the SAME ozgirl from 2009!

Did you ever write a Trip Report? How did your trip work out?
In any event -- Glad you are returning to Ireland --
Sorry to had led you to yet ANOTHER of my Trip Reports .. ;-)
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Apr 21st, 2014, 01:18 PM
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In Italy, you see the most varied styles of dress at a wedding. I was at a wedding last spring where one of the guests wore a cocktail dress and one of those fascinator hats, and another guest wore sweat pants and a poncho; the best man wore jeans. No Italian ever feels overdressed or underdressed!
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Apr 21st, 2014, 08:01 PM
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Wow, thanks everyone for your very helpful replies.

Bob, I am the same Ozgirl and had already read your trip report in anticipation - thank you!
And no, I never got around to doing a trip report and really wished I had because I am still trying to remember a particular pub we stopped at near the Burren to tell my son about - before the days of ipads and blogs I wrote a diary but cannot find the one for that trip anywhere. Our trip was 'grand' though!
I have had a bit more info from the bride, apparently she wanted the wedding to be fairly informal (by Irish standards) but the groom's family have other ideas...
The wedding will be at 2 and then there is sparkling wine and sandwiches at the reception place which is then followed by dinner at 6 - not sure whether this indicates a costume change in between or not? Reading above comments, maybe? I will clarify that.
Colour sounds like the go as well as the fascinator - how fascinating!
We will be spending the previous 4 weeks in SW England so might have to go shopping in Exeter or Bath or somewhere sizeable - DH is groaning.
Lastly, we live in a wine region so the liver is conditioned or should that be de-conditioned?? lol
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Apr 21st, 2014, 10:39 PM
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I'd be very reluctant to accept most of the advice you're getting here.

You appear to live somewhere where the etiquette and dress code for every wedding is identical. Personally, I'd kill myself at the thought - and that certainly isn't the case in the British Isles.

I've not attended, or even seen a wedding in years where anyone wore a fascinator, for example (for women it's hats or no hats: in the civilised parts of the British Isles, fascinators are strictly for Z-list celebs at the bits of major horse race meetings paparazzi congregate around). Nor have I been to an Irish wedding where anyone except the bride planned to change clothes during the wedding day.

There's been just one common dress code: men wear lounge suits and ties, unless there's a different request, and except for the bridal party, who almost always wear something showier and more formal. Every other aspect of dress codes (including the codes for peripheral events, like any pre- or post- wedding get together) differ from wedding to wedding, and impact different guests differently

It's the job of the bridal party to communicate to the guests they've caused to be invited what the code for that guest is going to be. If you've been invited at the bride's request, ask her.

All those arrangements she's making are to ensure her guests enjoy themselves. If she's too busy to reply, she's certainly not worth flying round the world for.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 01:06 AM
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Flanneruk, I wasn't giving advice, I just recounted a recent experience. Of course it's up to the bridal party to give guidelines.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 01:41 AM
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What does the invitation say?

If it's "Lounge suit", your husband has his answer & I'd wear a cocktail length dress with a jacket or wrap.

2pm in summer - I might wear a hat ( because I love & often wear them), and would remove it for the reception.

If it's "Formal", your husband may want to tux up, even though only waiters should be seen in then before 6. He probably won't want to - but you might cajole him into it (lol).

If it's formal, I'd lose the hat & wear a cocktail length dress/ suit that could morph into " after 5". Take a jacket/ wrap. You don't want to freeze in air conditioned reception.

Apropos the 2nd outfit - I'd ask the MOB or bride for guidance. The only weddings I've been to that required changes were Greek Orthodox & had quite a lull between wedding & reception.

It's a bit trickier when you don't know the family/ies, of course.

Have fun & remember unless you wear stubbies & thongs or dripping diamonds & cerise ostrich feathers - no one will remember what you wear. They will remember what charming guests you were.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 01:59 AM
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The nice thing about weddings is that all those attending are of different ages, backgrounds and expectations. So even if most of the men are wearing lounge suits, there will be some without ties, or wearing more casual jackets, or white linen with a panama hat, or whatever.

Where women seldom get the opportunity to really dress up, then a wedding is the time to buy a smarter, more flamboyant dress, a hat or a fascinator (by no means confined to Flanner's z-list celebs).

As the day wears one, the more onerous of these clothes are discarded. Nothing unseemly - just jackets, ties, hats and high-heeled shoes.

You leave when you cannot keep up, or are beginning to feel that your are embarrassing the other guests.

My experience is of English weddings. I have never witnessed a fight at a wedding, but there are sometimes tears.
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 02:03 AM
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Only ever seen a tux on small page boys, let's face it weddings are for women to go fancy not men.

What ever you do remember bow ties are for waiters and weird professors
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Apr 22nd, 2014, 02:08 AM
  #20
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Thank you Bokhara for your advice, unfortunately that info is missing from the invite but obviously would be forthcoming with a direct request I am sure

"You appear to live somewhere where the etiquette and dress code for every wedding is identical. Personally, I'd kill myself at the thought - and that certainly isn't the case in the British Isles."

Personally Flanneruk I find that a little offensive. Of course there are weddings and weddings in all countries, I was merely looking for some broad advice as well as comments about cultural differences that may be applicable and interesting.

My friend is definitely worth travelling half way around the world for and is not "too busy to reply" - I just thought I would be considerate and see what I could glean from the normally helpful Fodor's forum first.
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