HOW TO // Dress for a Summer Wedding

Summer weddings – a timeless tradition, a great way to celebrate the union of two people. Also, a complete and utter fashion panic. What do you wear? What will the weather be like? If you’re going abroad, how do you know what is appropriate? Never fear – TIOBA has this one covered.

This summer, my uncle is getting married in Lucca, Italy. A gorgeous walled city, Lucca boasts phenomenal weather, historic surroundings and an all-round perfect venue for the family to come together for my uncle and his wife-to-be.

So what are the questions to consider when picking out a summer wedding outfit? I think there are four key elements.

How to dress for a summer wedding header


This is the easiest qualifier for a wedding outfit. Many couples will, along with their invitations, specify a dress code so that their guests aren’t left completely lost. It could be smart casual, beach smart, formal, white tie, black tie… there are many different ‘dress codes’ and it’s even more tough for women, who have many subsections of dress code within the standard!

If your couple hasn’t specified a dress code, don’t hesitate to contact them about it – they will most likely feel flattered that you care enough to ask. You earn brownie points whilst putting your mind at rest about element number one.


Weather is the most changeable of the factors to consider, but is equally important when choosing an outfit. Where is the wedding going to be held? If you know it’s in a hot country like Italy, you’re going to be swayed by tea dresses and lighter materials such as silk and organza, and staying away from satins and velvets. However, if you know that the weather may be changeable, I would recommend an outfit with layers (I am wearing a silk tea dress this summer with a pashmina), in order to adjust to comfort. Keep an eye on the weather and, if there is a wide margin between the hottest and coldest possible temperatures, plan two outfits with layers. That way, you have all eventualities covered.


This is so important, and is something that many people forget to consider – what is the culture of the location of the wedding?

This, again, is something that has been especially important for us this summer, because Lucca is one of the oldest cities in Italy, an incredibly religious country. It has to be taken into consideration that modesty is a key value of Italian Catholicism, meaning covering up shoulders and not showing too much leg. To ensure the smooth running of the wedding for the bridal party, researching and adhering to the dress code of the local culture is essential.

Saying that, if there is no cultural restriction, or you’re going to a local wedding which doesn’t have any difference in culture, go wild! You know and are comfortable with your own culture, and can experiment within that.


Finally, you have to wear something that makes you feel comfortable. There is no point in considering all of these guidelines if you don’t consider how it makes you feel to wear the outfit you’ve chosen. Are you more comfortable in a maxi dress or an elegant tuxedo suit? Are you more confident in an off the shoulder number? There are ways of working within a dress code to make sure that everyone is comfortable, it just takes time and effort to find them.

Ultimately, everyone is at the wedding to celebrate, and enjoy each other’s company. Most importantly, you’re witnessing an important and beautiful event. As long as some thought is put into an outfit, there is no reason why it can’t be one of the best days of everyone’s lives.



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