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women's attire for a wedding

I will be attending a wedding and then a reception in October in France (just aside of Paris in a small town called Etamps). By my google research it seems like it might be chilly and could be rainy as well. I have not a clue what I should be wearing for this. I'm only spending a week in France and will be touring otherwise in Paris and surrounding areas and I only want to take a carry on suitcase so I won't be taking many changes of clothes. An outfit for a wedding seems like a one shot deal unless I can make it work for other places during my touring around the city, etc.. I also would like to include shoes that serve multiple purposes.

Posted by
381 posts

I would go with separates in black...probably pants and a silk sweater...either a pullover with a nice neckline or a cardigan that you could put a silk camisole under. Finish it off with chunky jewelry, black flats and a pashmina either in black, a bright color or a tapestry print. All of these pieces could be worn mixed with other basic during your week and would pack well. Have fun!

Posted by
2893 posts

I thought you were not supposed to wear black to a wedding unless the couple okays it. Maybe that is not a thing in France. Is this a casual wedding? A formal wedding? I went to a black-tie wedding last October and I had a check a piece of luggage for my family's clothes and there was no way around that but I also went to a wedding that as so casual that I could have worn anything and in fact wore jeans and a simple top. It all depends on what will be appropriate garb for the wedding. If you have no clue what you should be wearing, maybe you should ask the people who invited you what the dress code will be.

Posted by
5558 posts

People will change outfits for the two elements to the wedding. Many French weddings stipulate the dress code and some often have a colour theme. The French love to dress up.

For men, it is easier - suit and a tie. For women - for the ceremony part - demure dresses with matching accessories such as a wrap. Never wear white. Black is more common than it used to be for weddings, but who wants to look drab at a wedding? Check with the bride or groom, but I would envisage that ladies will be wearing hats.

For the reception element, change into something more party like.

October should not be cold enough for a winter coat! I think that you have to accept that if you are attending a wedding, then you will need one if not two single purpose outfits which is going to take space and weight.

Posted by
381 posts

Maybe the question to ask yourself is whether you are willing to carry an extra bag, or a larger bag, to accommodate wedding attire.....

Posted by
1734 posts

Many wedding appropriate dresses are of material that can be rolled up. I would think you could add a dressier dress and a cover of some sort plus even shoes without taking up too much space. In other words, you could fit that in a carry on even if you never wore it again. Certainly I have done something similar when attending an anniversary party for my in-laws where I did not check a bag.

My mom wore black pants and a jacket for my daughter's wedding but she is in her 80s and can not manage shoes that would go with a skirt any more.

Posted by
16883 posts

My female colleague who attended a small town French wedding a couple of years ago did not need a hat or fascinator, just a day dress and relatively comfortable wedge heels (I believe it was a daytime wedding, and not black tie). Perhaps you have a dress that would also be appropriate for a day or evening in Paris when you decide to attend a nice restaurant, church service, ballet, etc.

Posted by
8412 posts

I've been to two weddings in recent years, one at 4 p.m. in a Paris town hall with a dinner/dance party that was still going on when we left at 2:00 am. Dress was anything goes except jeans. I had on black Chico Travelers pants and jacket with a slinky top, my husband had a collared shirt, sports jacket and trousers.

The other was a weekend affair in a Loire Valley chateau. Dress was as described by others:, nice dresses and jackets for the men. After dinner people got comfortable for dancing--the young crowd danced until almost 6 a.m. Since the wedding was in the chateau's small chapel and not a large church, hats weren't worn by ladies. I had the slinky roll-up dress, while my husband, the bride's uncle, had a brand new navy blue suit and white shirt. Of course he forgot his black shoes in Burgundy but no one noticed his brown walking shoes.

So, it really depends on how formal or casual, time of day, and what other events are planned.

Posted by
2 posts

Thank you everyone for all these good suggestions. It sounds a little like almost anything goes with the exception of jeans. I did manage to contact the bride to be and she said pretty much the same thing...just not jeans. I like the idea of the Chico pants and a slinky top. I might decide to go with a Lululemon Vinyasa scarf as a wrap.

Posted by
1277 posts

Sounds like you are getting it figured out, but I was going to say you could use st Murray ideas and swap in raspberry or navy for some of the pieces