Wedding Questions

Explaining Cultural Differences!

August 05, 2017 2:36:21 am

Posted in Rome, Lazio, IT
154400 Kathleen Carr Wedding date: May 14, 2011 Rome, Lazio, IT

Hello Everyone!

My fiance and I are getting married in Rome in May 2011. We are both American, but his mother, who is Italian, lives in Rome. As I am building my website, I am perplexed on how to explain certain cultural differences without offending or talking down to my guests. For example, my future mother in law goes on and on about how American men will take off their jackets at a reception and is telling me that i need to let people know that they can not do it here (in Rome)

How do i tactfully say that? I would like to include a "guest information" page on the website to explain covered shoulders in church and jackets for reception but i am unsure of how to word it. Any thoughts or experience on this one?



8 Replies

Emptyprofileicon Marzio Venuti Rome, Lazio, IT

July 05, 2010 1:15:01 pm

Hello Kate,
I never heard anything like that.
There isn't anything than CANn't be done, everythin is permitted on this planet. Anyway we have to abide by rules and laws.

...well there is no law about jacket that cannot be took off.

Is probably her thing, it can happen to anyone to have specific idiosyncracies. I, for example don't eat any food that starts with H but just on tesday.

Are you well aware that marring him means marry his family?


154400 Kathleen Carr Wedding date: May 14, 2011 Rome, Lazio, IT

July 05, 2010 2:56:50 pm

hahaha...oh yes, i am. I am well versed in handling my Italian mother in much as she can be a HANDFUL at times!

I know it is one of her preferences and I should not have labeled the message as "cultural" differences, but how to tactfully explain the style of wedding we are having.



154400 Kathleen Carr Wedding date: May 14, 2011 Rome, Lazio, IT

July 05, 2010 3:01:05 pm

Sorry, i should clarify...

I am not trying to explain cultural differences, more so the style of wedding we are having and what is expected without having to call each guest and explain. I have figured "The wedding is formal, elegant attire is requested." should do it but I am curious if anyone else has any advice beyond that!



154680 debora taliani

July 05, 2010 6:16:44 pm

Hi Kate,
happy to help!
Relax! As an experience destination wedding planner and a 'roman' I can confirm that there is not such a thing! Guests can wear whatever they like in Rome and more importantly do what they like with their outfit at wedding receptions.
If it can help, the main difference at Italian receptions is that Italians don't do speeches ...that for some guests is some sort of relief to know. That doesn't mean that you cannot have speeches: you are free to tailor-made your wedding of your dream in Rome, exactly as you want it.
The only thing I would suggest from a budget point of view is trusting the venue with the menu they what they call here an 'American wedding cakes'. Especially the cake: the italian one is far more yummy and it is included in the price menu. The American one is extra and not as delicious as the Italian here.
Kate, last advise is go with what you like. It is your wedding and don't play safe to please someone else. Listen to their advises, appreciate them and then do what it is in your heart.
Feel free e-mail me if you need more information or if you only fancy a chat on how to survive, yet enjoy the creation of your perfect wedding! Congratulations on your engagement and best of luck for your wonderful journey together.
Debora Taliani from


154680 debora taliani

July 05, 2010 7:47:30 pm

Hi Kate
I've noticed a missing line in my previous message.
in regards to the venue, trust the menu the venue has suggested,avoiding changes (with exclusion of vegetarian and allergy food choices ).


149143 Mirella Bellisario Wedding date: June 16, 2010

July 29, 2010 7:44:49 am

Hi Kate, I just got married here in Rome and more Italian men took off their jackets then the American men... I am not sure what your MIL is worrying about- you have soooo much to plan and think about, I think that this is such a minor issue that you shouldn't even think about especially since there's really not much you can do about it. Anyway, you guys are going to be enjoying and are going to be so wrapped up in the moment that you won't even notice if someone takes off their jacket.
Congratualtions, auguri, enjoy!


154400 Kathleen Carr Wedding date: May 14, 2011 Rome, Lazio, IT

December 30, 2010 11:24:16 pm

thank you! Yes, i have let it go. I agree- i can not do anything about it and it is one of her crazy "things"
COngratulations on your wedding! I am sure it was wonderful! Grazie!


154400 Kathleen Carr Wedding date: May 14, 2011 Rome, Lazio, IT

December 30, 2010 11:26:33 pm

Thank you Debora for your kind words!


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