Would you like to know, what are the most famous or bizarre Italian wedding traditions? You have found the right place:
1) La serenata
This depicts the custom of organizing a serenade under the bride’s window on the pre-wedding night. To spice up the plot, friends, and family are notified of the exact time and moment while the bride is completely kept in the dark. Musicians and instrumentalists are secretly brought by the groom to the bride’s window where they sing below her balcony.
2) Dancing La Tarantella
“La Tarantella” (the tarantula) is the dance guests perform to wish the newly married couple good luck. Guests hold hands and rotate clockwise as the music speeds up, and then they reserve directions.
3) The groom is cutting his tie
At the Italian wedding reception, the groom cuts his tie into many tiny pieces and offers it up for sale to the wedding guests. The money collected is used to contribute to the wedding expenses.
Confetti is widely recognized internationally as colored paper shapes that are often thrown at the bride and groom after their wedding ceremony. In Italian culture, confetti is colorful sugar-coated almonds, with assorted colors and tastes.
5) The groom buys flowers
The bride is allowed to choose the blooms and color scheme, the groom must pay and ensure its safe delivery on the wedding day. In some of the Northern regions, the groom hands over the bouquet when his bride arrives at the church.
6) Throwing garter
In an Italian wedding, the groom removes the garter from his bride’s leg and throws it to the wedding guests by his groomsmen. If the bride is not wearing a garter, her right shoe is thrown instead.
7) Bacio! Bacio!
In Italy guests used to yell “Bacio! Bacio!” (Kiss! Kiss! in Italian) and clink their wine glasses with silverware until the newlyweds would kiss. It’s fun for the guests to interact with the couple and they often enjoy distracting them from their meal.
8) No white dresses
White hasn’t always been the color of choice for brides either. In Tuscany, it could be a black dress with a white hat, and in Venice, brides would have two dresses – the more superior gown being reserved for the first dance.
9) Photo with every guest
Photography is an integral part of traditional Italian weddings as the couple can relive the memories of their wedding day with the help of photographs captured. Every guest present in the reception gets their picture clicked with the bride and groom. The couple feels excited to be photographed with everyone – from toddlers to the elderly.
10) Preparing the bride and groom’s bed
In Sicily there is the tradition of preparing the bride and groom’s bed: a day before the wedding the bride’s friends and sisters go to the bride’s house to prepare it. Only the women who know the bride can assist in the preparation. The tradition says there must be at least one unmarried and one married woman.
11) Olive branch to the mother-in-law
At the end of the wedding ceremony, after the throwing of the bouquet, the tradition requires the bride to give her mother-in-law an olive branch as a sign of peace, union, and future alliance.
12) Breaking a vase
Following the wedding ceremony, it’s traditional for the newlyweds to break a glass vase. It’s said that the number of pieces that the vase breaks into will equal the number of years that the couple will be married; so it’s usually a good idea to smash the vase quite forcefully on the floor.
13) Food and wine
Food and wine are a cornerstone of Italian wedding traditions. It is such an integral part of the culture in general that it naturally has a primary emphasis at an Italian wedding reception. Receptions here tend to be quite lavish starting with the traditional Aperitivo. For dessert Italian brides have adopted the American and English tradition of a grand-tiered wedding cake.
14) No gold jewelry
In some regions of Italy, wearing any gold jewelry other than your wedding ring can bring bad luck. The wedding band in Italy is called ‘fade’: this word also means ‘faith’ in Italian. This is the strongest symbol of the bond between the bride and the groom; it represents their love, their faithfulness, and their commitment to each other.
15) Making your own luck
It’s custom for grooms to carry a small piece of iron in their suit pockets, and for brides to rip a small portion of the veil to invite good luck to the marriage.
16) Getting married on a Sunday
Friday weddings are considered bad luck, whereas Sunday ceremonies are viewed as the luckiest day – bringing couples fertility and prosperity. Tuesday is also considered a bad day for weddings, as it’s believed couples married on this day will constantly fight.
‘Bomboniere’ is the Italian word for wedding favors. It refers to the gift given to guests to thank them for their attendance at the wedding.
18) Playing a practical joke
After the wedding ceremony, at the reception, friends, and family of the bride sneak off to play practical jokes on the couple’s home, their car, or even their hotel room. In other cases, if they can’t access their car or home they plan practical jokes that they’ll play on the couple in the future. This light-hearted tradition is very rare outside of Italy and shows how much Italians love to have fun.
19) Throwing rice
As the newlyweds leave the church after the ceremony the guests will throw rice over the happy couple. This is because the rice represents fertility and means that the couple will have many healthy children in the years to come.
20) No mirrors allowed
Not only can the groom not see the bride before the ceremony, but in some parts of Italy, the bride can’t even see herself! It’s considered bad luck for the bride to look in a mirror until she’s dressed in her wedding gown – and has removed a glove or a shoe.
21) The sweet honeymoon
Italian newlyweds take a luna di miele (holiday) and it’s tradition that at every mealtime during their travels, they would eat a small portion of honey … Hence, where we get ‘honeymoon’ from!
22) Ring cushion
The ring cushion is a nice and special wedding tradition from ancient Roman ceremonies. It is frequently carried by a junior member (family or friend) of the bridal party, known as the ringbearer. During the process, the ring bearer carries the rings on the pillow down the aisle to the officiant.
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