What to Wear to a Wedding in Italy: Italian Guest Dress Guide

what to wear to a wedding in italy

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Italy: A Destination Wedding Dream

Need help deciding what to wear to a wedding in Italy? Searching for the perfect dress? You’re in the right place. Embrace la dolce vita and prepare to immerse yourself in the charm and elegance of a destination wedding like no other. Whether you’re attending a black tie affair for your best friend or a beach wedding for a family member, an Italian wedding is always a good idea. 

Italian women have long been celebrated for their impeccable taste and effortless style. As a wedding guest, it’s essential to channel the allure of Italian style. Today, I’ll share tips and tricks to ensure you make a stunning statement, honor Italian wedding traditions, and find the perfect outfit based on the latest trends and your unique sense of style. 

For each section, I’ve included splurge options (dresses over $200) and save choices (dresses under $200) to accommodate all budgets. So, without further ado, let’s dive in and explore the most fashionable and fitting attire for your upcoming wedding day!

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General Rules For Wedding Guests in Italy 

As a wedding guest or wedding party member, it’s important to respect the cultural customs and etiquette of the occasion. While there are no strict rules to follow, here are some general guidelines to consider:

Dress Code

Italian weddings are typically formal events, but wedding dress codes vary based on the couple’s preferences, wedding venue, and location of the big day. To ensure you’re dressed to impress, pay close attention to the invitation for specific guidance on attire and the type of outfit to wear. Whether you’re attending an intimate town hall wedding ceremony or a lavish wedding celebration at a villa, planning your look thoughtfully is crucial. 

Italian Tradition – Don’t Wear Black

As much as you love your favorite black cocktail dress, it’s best to leave it at home. Black is considered the color of mourning in Italy, so avoid wearing it on the big day.

Avoid White

While many Italian wedding traditions are unique to Italy, some customs are universal. Like in the United States, it’s a well-known fact that matching the bridal gown is bad luck! As you would at an American wedding, avoid wearing white, as it’s traditionally reserved for the bride. 

Conservative Attire

If the wedding involves a religious ceremony, consider packing a shawl or jacket to avoid showing too much skin. Planning for layers is always a great idea.

Wear Comfortable Shoes

To navigate Italy’s cobblestone streets with ease, opt for stylish wedges, sandals, or lower heels for comfort. If you’re attending an outdoor ceremony, avoid wearing skinny heels as they’ll sink into the ground. Instead, consider choosing a pair of stylish block heels. In any scenario, you may want to pack a pack of sandals for dancing in the evening!

Watch the Weather

The time of year and time of day will significantly impact the dress you select. Check out this helpful article for a better idea of temperatures to expect in each region.

What to Wear to a Formal Wedding in Italy

Black tie weddings are formal occasions that typically require a full-length gown. Choose a silhouette that flatters your body type, whether that’s a classic A-line, a romantic ballgown, or a sleek mermaid style. If the wedding venue is outdoors or the weather is cool, bring along a chic shawl or wrap to stay warm while still maintaining your elegant look. Complete your black tie look with statement accessories, such as a bold necklace, drop earrings, or a trendy clutch. Here are my favorite formal wedding guest dresses for an Italian wedding:

Formal Wedding Guest Dresses – Under $200

what to wear to a wedding in italy

Click to Shop Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

Formal Wedding Guest Dresses – All Price Points

what to wear to a wedding in italy

Click to Shop Formal Wedding Guest Dresses

What to Wear to a Summer Wedding in Italy

When attending a summer wedding in Italy, it’s important to consider both style and comfort. For these sun-kissed celebrations, you’ll want to steer clear of dark colors and instead opt for light colors, which will keep you looking fresh and fashionable under the warm Italian sun. Additionally, choosing a breathable fabric, such as linen or cotton, is a great idea to ensure you stay comfortable throughout the day. Here are a few dresses I recommend for summer weddings in Italy: 

Italy Summer Wedding Guest Dresses – Under $200

what to wear to a wedding in italy

Click to Italy Summer Wedding Guest Dresses

Italy Summer Wedding Guest Dresses – All Price Points

what to wear to a summer wedding in italy

Click to Shop Italy Summer Wedding Guest Dresses

What to Wear to a Beach Wedding in Italy

Beach weddings typically allow for a more casual look, and light and airy colors are a great option to complement the coastal ambiance. Pastels, soft neutrals, and even bold, tropical hues work well for an Italy beach wedding setting. A flowy, floral print dress is also a great option for a beach wedding. When it comes to shoes for the special event, opt for sandals or wedges, as they are more suitable for walking on sand – especially if you’re in an area like the Amalfi Coast. Here are my top picks for Italy beach wedding guest dresses: 

Italy Beach Wedding Guest Dresses – Under $200

what to wear to a wedding in italy

Click to Shop Italy Beach Wedding Guest Dresses

Italy Beach Wedding Guest Dresses – All Price Points

Click to Shop Italy Beach Wedding Guest Dresses

What to Wear to a Fall or Winter Wedding in Italy 

Italy weather during Fall and winter can vary, with mild temperatures during the day and cooler evenings, so it’s essential to plan your dress accordingly. During this cooler wedding season, it’s a good time to opt for heavier fabrics like velvet, silk, or satin. Longer sleeves or even a 3/4-length dress can provide additional warmth and style during the cooler months. If you prefer sleeveless or short-sleeved dresses, remember to pack a shawl for added warmth.

Embrace the charm of these seasons with darker colors.  For a fall wedding, opt for rich, earthy tones like burgundy, burnt orange, or deep green. For a winter wedding, a classic and elegant dark color such as navy blue, emerald green, or even gold is a perfect choice. 

Italy Fall + Winter Wedding Guest Dresses – Under $200

what to wear to a beach wedding in italy

Click to Shop Italy Fall + Winter Wedding Guest Dresses

Italy Fall + Winter Wedding Guest Dresses – All Price Points

what to wear to a wedding in italy

Click to Shop Italy Fall/Winter Wedding Guest Dresses

Where to Shop for Italy Wedding Guest Dresses 

Whether you’re looking for a classic style or a more trendy design, here are my favorite places to shop for the perfect wedding guest gown: 

  • Rent the Runway. For formal attire without the price tag, consider renting your wedding gown. Personally, I swear by Rent the Runway. It’s a good option if you have several weddings this season and don’t want to spend a fortune. Plus, get 40% off any unlimited plan when you use code RTRLANE!
  • Revolve. The best choice if you’re under a time crunch thanks to their free 2-day shipping, Revolve offers a range of wedding guest dresses in different colors and styles. 
  • Lulus. For incredibly affordable gowns and the best designer looks for less, check out Lulu’s impressive selection of wedding guest dresses. 
  • Mango. I recently started shopping at Mango and have been blown away by the selection of gorgeous dresses.

Now for the fun part and the last thing on my list – your Italian adventure and the wedding day! It’s time to let your hair down, embrace la dolce vita, and prepare for the experience of a lifetime. If you need additional outfit inspiration for your upcoming trip, check out my recent article on Dolce and Gabbana dress looks for less.

Thank you so much for reading this post. Above all, I hope it helped you find a wedding guest dress that you love. And to any Italian brides reading this article, I wish you all the best on your magical day! 

Looking for more fashion content? Check out the archives here, or send me a message if there’s something you’d like to see.

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Hi, I'm Lane!

I'm an NYC-based content creator and photographer sharing my favorite fashion finds. I'm so thankful you're here!