Post # 1
I’m attending a wedding in Italy next month. The ceremony is at 4 pm in a church and the reception is immediately after–there’s no gap and no time to change in between. The dress code for both parts of the wedding is listed as “formal” on the website. Any idea what I should wear? I bought a full length blue evening dress with a halter neckline, and would get a pashmina to cover the open back. Is that appropriate, or should I find something tea length? I’m finding the combination of afternoon church ceremony + formal reception + no gap extremely confusing. I know that both families are pretty traditional and I don’t want to offend anyone!
Post # 2
Sounds fine. I don’t understand where the confusion is coming from? When in doubt, dress up a little bit more. Better safe than sorry. Also, people dont usually change between the ceremony and reception anyway.
Post # 3
That sounds perfect- typically in Italy you’re asked to cover the knees and shoulders in churches, so a pashmina and floor length dress will be fine. I’d guess that since the dress code is formal and there’s no gap to change, they don’t expect anyone to be in “afternoon” clothes for the ceremony and “evening” attire later; everyone will just be a little more dressy for the ceremony 🙂
Post # 4
c3lloninja : To explain the confusion: it just feels weird to me to wear a full-length evening gown in a church in the afternoon. At other super traditional/fancy weddings that I’ve seen, there will be a gap between so that guests can change from formal day dress for church (short dress and jacket) to formal eveningwear for the reception (long dress, OK to show cleavage). But I guess they must be OK with the evening dresses at church if they’re not having a gap! Thanks for your response.
Post # 5
Post # 6
Long dress with a pashmina will be fine. Please tell your partner to suit up and not to wear a plaid shirt.
Post # 7
What you’re planning sounds perfectly fine!
I have to say- I think this is the first thread I ever read where a poster was wishing there were a gap between the ceremony and reception! Usually it’s the other way around.
Post # 8
You’re right that it’s traditionally inappropriate to call for formal attire at 4 PM or in a church. In the US, “black tie” is the conventional designation for a formal affair, which would call for dinner jacket and gowns or formal dresses.
Otherwise, unless the venue has a dress code, it’s not appropriate to dictate dress code to grownups. They are presumed to know how dress themselves for a wedding based on time of day, venue etc. To add to the confusion, I’ve seen weddings where “formal” meant suits and dresses, but this is not an appropriate use of the term.
As is, it’s confusing, so I’d ask.