20 May 2008

Italian wedding

Five days of visitors (who managed to come on the sunniest possible days of the year in Brussels) followed by three days in Barcelona has not done wonders for my productivity. Neither will leaving again on Friday for a wedding in Sardinia.

I am stressing quite a bit about the question of what to wear to said wedding. The last time I went to a wedding in Italy (a very similar circumstance, where I barely know anyone except my date, except that wedding took place in a terrassed villa overlooking the stunning Lago Maggiore) I was distinctly and embarrassingly underdressed.

I had hastily purchased a flowered cotton sundress in Salzburg, where I was living at the time, and stuffed it in my backpack. After an overnight train ride in a hot and crowded cabin, I arrived in Milan on the morning of the wedding and changed into my dress in a filthy restroom at the train station. Upon finding M, who had come by train from Barcelona, we were picked up by some relative of the groom and squeezed in the back of a tiny (also hot) car with several other wedding guests, and driven to the wedding, at least an hour away. I stressed much of the way because we were late (the finding and and squeezing in and leaving had taken some time) and because I hadn't seen M. in ages and he had to make polite conversation with the other folks in the car.

I needn't have worried; evidently weddings, like everything else in Italy, start rather late. When we arrived, almost an hour behind the appointed time, the bride and groom hadn't even shown up yet. However, I was immediately self-conscious because every other guest there was impeccably fabulous in that Italian way of theirs. Not that everyone was dressed formally; I remember seeing women in pants and men without ties. But there was a lot of silk and satin, a host of perfectly draped scarves, exquisite hairdos, fancy heels: everything breathed elegance, expense, and fashion. My cotton sundress suddenly made me feel like I was twelve years old. And it didn't help that I still felt the grime of a long trip and a train station restroom clinging to my skin.

Hence my Italian wedding anxiety syndrome. This time around, I want to feel good about the way I look, even though I really have no idea about fashion and don't own a pair of heels. Just as before, I am completely unsure what the wedding will be like, but I'd rather be overdressed than underdressed. Just as before, we will be picked up by some unknown entity from the Alghero airport, but at least we'll have a night at a hotel before the wedding.

So I need help. What to wear? On Sunday in Barcelona night I was frantically trying to dig out a pair of sandals that would be appropriate for a wedding, quite fruitlessly. (Where, oh where did we put our summer shoes?) I will have to make do with ballet flats, I think.

My options are:
1. A muted hot-pink strapless dress. Simple but fancy because of shape/draping. I could wear with roped pearl necklace and a light blue scarf.
2. A black dress with a white swirly/chain pattern. T-back, fitted waist, draped skirt. Don't know how to accessorize it.
3. Black pants and a pleated green silk top. Shimmery and thin straps. Maybe the most flattering option. Could wear with earrings and necklace given to me by the Mister for my birthday. Too informal?
4. A red matching pants and top outfit with spaghetti straps. Dressier than option 3, but I've worn it to about five weddings already. May not fit me any more.

It's possible that, once again, I will arrive in Italy feeling rather grimy, because our shower has been cold-water only for a week now. Before, at least the bath spigot had hot water, and I could take baths. Yet upon arriving here yesterday, and despite the fact that workmen have been here twice already and have supposedly fixed the problem, things are worse: there is no hot water anywhere in the house. I have to shower at the swimming pool across the street. I'm clinging to the upside though: this weekend, there will be a hotel, where presumably I will be able to shower and dress. An improvement over the train station.


Astrid said...

I've suffered a few times the Italian wedding syndrome too being married to an Italian with lots of married friends.

In these weddings there have always been a great mix of formal/informal dressed people though. But I agree with you, better overdressed than underdressed.

All of your options sound pretty and elegant but as a general rule I use myself I avoid black (and anyhting lilac because it's a colour used in funerals). Mostly because Italians use very little black and in weddings, dark colours in general. However, a small black dress (a must for any girl) is always elegant. But personally I'd go for option number one which is colourful and summery! :)

When I'm not sure I always bring 2 outfits and decide on the day in function of what I feel like AND the weather. We're off to Sardinia this weekend too and apparently the weather is not supposed to be top...

Good luck choosing and enjoy the weekend and the wedding!! :)

Ashley said...

I concur... The strapless pink dress sounds lovely!

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