In Italy, a wedding is a remarkably romantic occasion. A lot of wedding rituals just scream romance. For instance, a night serenade, a wedding bouquet brought by the groom, or huge bridal veils that don’t let the couple see each other before the marriage ceremony. All together, the local wedding customs and rituals make the Italian wedding a very elegant and beautiful sight. And some of these wedding traditions are 700 years old, which is awesome.
Italian brides prefer white wedding gowns, while it has become iconic recently for wedding guests to wear black. But, of course, other colors are totally feasible as well. Especially green, it is believed to bring good fortune.
If the bride chooses to wear a black wedding dress, she always complements it with a white hat.
It is traditional for Italian brides to cover their faces until the marriage ceremony because it is considered bad luck for the groom and the bride to see each other’s faces before the wedding. That’s why it is very fashionable to use a white lace veil, often rather large. The veil can sometimes be transparent, but more often, it conceals the face completely.
Also, in Italy, cathedral veils are extremely popular. It is said that the veil should be as long as the bride and groom’s love for each other. So, it’s typical to see a few-meters-long veil on a bride.
Italian bride is expected to wear a garter to her wedding ceremony. And at the reception, the ritual of garter throwing is performed. The groom removes her garter (usually, in some interesting way, like doing it with his teeth or something like that) and throws it to the guests.
This tradition is really old, it goes back to the 14th century.
Of course, no Italian traditional wedding can go without a serenade. The groom organizes it the night before the wedding. He is supposed to wake the bride up with a song. Usually, it’s a surprise for her, but her friends and family are alerted beforehand. The groom sings a serenade under the bride’s balcony or window. Such a romantic tradition!
Who pays for bouquet?
The wedding bouquet in Italy should be provided by the groom. The bride can pick the flowers she likes and the groom pays for the arrangement and organizes the delivery. In some regions, it is traditional for the couple to meet outside the church before the ceremony and walk in together. In this case, the groom brings the wedding bouquet for his future wife with him and presents it before they come into the church.
No mirrors for the bride
The bride mustn’t look in the mirror before the wedding. It is considered back luck. Still, if she absolutely needs to do it, she has to take off an earring, a glove, or a shoe before looking in the mirror.
This wedding ritual is often performed. The couple breaks a glass vase for good luck.
Tie for money
Another popular wedding ritual in Italy is cutting the groom’s tie at the reception. The tie is cut into pieces and wedding guests pay to get a piece. This is a great way for the couple to get back some of the money spent on the wedding.
Cutting a log
It’s a fun wedding activity for the newlyweds. They have to cut a log into two pieces with a two-handed saw. It is a symbol of their future partnership in marriage. The bride and groom must get the idea that only together they can easier solve all the problems that come their way.
The cake is traditionally white, big, tiered, and sports a figurine of the bride and groom on top. The white color of the cake symbolizes purity and innocence.
Italian bomboniere and confetti
One of the nice but costly wedding traditions for the couple is to give bomboniere to wedding guests. These are items similar to wedding favors but more expensive. For example, silver photo frames, vases, chic kitchen utensils, and various other useful household pieces. It is traditional to pair bomboniere with confetti (local sweets – white-chocolate-covered almonds or other nuts). Usually, there are 5 almonds in a bag because they symbolize health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.