What to Wear to a Balinese Wedding

Adrian Fernand – Australia’s seriously stylish agony uncle and creator of idobelieveicamewithahat.com – answers your questions on life, the universe and everything. This week, Adrian has advice for a UK reader on what to wear to a tropical wedding.

Dear Agony Uncle,

I’ve been invited to a friend’s wedding in Bali and it’s very important to me that I look good and make a great impression on the other guests. The invitation says dress is ‘warm cocktail climate’, so no suit jackets, but not living in a warm climate, I’m not clear what this does include. Can you advise me of what I should be wearing and where I should be getting it?

Tyler, London

Dear Tyler,

A Balinese wedding is perhaps one of the only occasions where wearing white isn’t only practical, but it is the type of situation where you wouldn’t risk upstaging the bride. Of course, a tropical climate is also fraught with the perils associated with poor water sanitation – Bali belly.

Let me take you on a journey back to my halcyon days of being a PR tart, flying across international waters to coordinate photo shoots of luxury resorts. Envious? Don’t be – it was sleeves-up, sweaty-crack, arduous work that could crush even the most resilient of publicists. With a limited budget – read: none – and a fistful of business cards, it was my duty to create a mock wedding in a tropical hideaway, pushing my way through the throngs bedecked with Bali braids and contraband Chanel. No wardrobe, no models, no clue; I managed to assemble a motley crew of ‘present-day attractive’ folk and source a borrowed wardrobe from Bali’s continental Seminyak district. Mid-shoot after a prepared lunch, one of our ‘models’ forgot the cardinal rule to not eat the fruit nor drink the water for fear of days of discomfort. Needless to say, the cream linen trousers he sported remained pristine for half an hour before he had to be stretchered out and the trousers peeled off. After witnessing what I saw, I’m reticent to raise children.

Remember that in the tropics comfort is key. An open-necked button-down shirt, pressed trousers are acceptable , but don’t be afraid to wear a splash of colour in the form of a silk handkerchief or a neck tie. Oh, and that splash of colour? I think you know there’s one you should avoid…

Image reproduced from puriwedding.com

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About Adrian Fernand

Adrian Fernand is a writer specialising in screen, television and fiction. As the Agony Uncle for etiquette and social protocol site, I Do Believe I Came with a Hat, he responds to the quandaries facing polite society in a modern world. He has in excess of 90 pairs of shoes. Follow Adrian on Twitter @AdrianFernand
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