The scenic beauty of the “Bel Paese” is undoubtedly one of the most critical factors that make it one of THE BEST places in the world to tie the knot.
However, there is certainly more to it than what catches the eye only. Italy is the land of traditions and culture. So, to make your wedding even more beautiful, make sure that when you are in Italy do as Italians do. Bringing the feeling of Italy through some of its customs and blending them with those of your own culture will create a unique experience for you and your guests.
I am passionate about planning Italian destination weddings and could endlessly talk to you about the Italian wedding customs. There are a lot of traditions common to the Western world such as the white dress, the tradition to wear something old something new, the toss of the bouquet, the ritual of the garter. Here, I will be sharing with you the Italian ones I suggest you embrace to make the most of your destination wedding in Italy.
Remember Romeo and Juliet and the scene under her balcony?
In the old days, the night before the wedding, the groom and a guitarist — sometimes accompanied by an accordion or mandolin player – appear on the street outside the bride-to-be’s home and organize what we call a “Serenade”. The songs, chosen carefully, would reflect their love story and friends and family of the bride and groom were invited to enjoy the festivity.
In Italy, as the ultimate gift to his girlfriend before she becomes his wife, the groom is expected to pay for the bridal bouquet. Although she can choose the floral arrangement she desires, the groom must pay for it and see it is delivered to her on the wedding day. So why not let your hubby do the same for you in your dream destination wedding in Italy?
Traditionally, Italian brides arrive to the place of the ceremony in an antique car. So hire a 60’s Fiat 500 or a vintage convertible to make your entrance in an-all Italian style!
While in many cultures the bride and groom are the first in the recessional, Italian wedding tradition dictates that they exit the church or wedding hall after everyone else does so they are showered with rice to invite long-term wealth fertility. Little cute bags or containers full of rice or rose petals that are part of the decorative elements of your wedding, will be prepared in advance to be distributed to your guests.
Adopt the Italian tradition that has the bride and groom’s “getaway” car with the front grill decorated with flowers to symbolize the sweet and fragrant road that lies ahead. Alternatively, you can scoot off into the sunset in an authentic Italian way as a newly married couple on a classic Vespa!
Food is the focus of any authentic Italian wedding and the aperitivo that start the festivities is a great Italian tradition! After the intensity of the ceremony, an apertivo is served to ease into the more formal sit-down meal. While people walk around and socialize sipping a chilled glass of prosecco or an iced Aperol-spritz, there are often “stations” presenting an enormous array of food such as Italian meats and salamis, selection of cheeses, bruschetta, olives, and the list goes on… And, of course, “I Fritti”: the fried little pieces of lightly-battered fried aubergines, or onions, courgettes, carrots or mushrooms.
Millefoglie, literally a “thousand layers,” is an Italian cake made up of many thin sheets of filo-like pastry interspersed with a light cream including mascarpone, sometimes chocolate, and topped with berries and a dusting of powdered sugar. The chefs can assemble it after the wedding meal as a theatrical show in front of your guests. In Italy, the wedding cake is not on display throughout the dinner. The cake is brought in and cut after the dinner is finished and before the first dance of the couple. Then the party can start!
With the dessert buffet, you can also add a “Carretto” of many delicious varieties of “Gelato” to the joy of your guests.
After the official evening festivities have come to a close, offer your guests a freshly baked late-night pizza.
Confetti, around the world, are colored paper showered on the couple as they leave the wedding venue. However, things are different in Italy. Italian confetti are sugar-coated almonds that come in various colors and flavors like strawberry, lemon, pistachio, and even tiramisu or amaretto! An old Italian custom would have the bridal couple give their guests before they leave a “Bomboniera”, an elegant silk bag containing 5 or 7 confetti as a thank you gift. It had to be an odd number of confetti because it symbolized the union in marriage of two people and the amount must never be divisible by two.
Nowadays the trend is to set up a “Confettata” that can become one of the most spectacular and tasty moments after your dinner.
For the delight of the sweet tooth, young and old, a selection of different flavors of confetti is arranged on a beautifully decorated table with a profusion of flowers, candles and precious decorative elements matching the theme of your wedding.
It is advisable to arrange the table so that it is visible to the guests only at the end of the wedding dinner to guarantee the WOW effect.
A Confettata can replace the wedding take-home-gifts. Small bags in fine linen, colorful and themed cones, sachets in delightfully craft paper with the initials of the couple, boxes with ribbons will be made available to guests, who can thus choose the confetti they like to bring home.
A real sensorial experience, this charming Italian tradition able to surprise for the infinity of flavors and the spectacular presentation, will give a touch of class to your reception.
Tempted? We will take you and your guests into the depths of Italian culture by bringing some enchanting Italian traditions to create wonderful memories for your big day!
• The bride is expected to uphold the tradition of spending the night with her parents before her wedding. She would wear green the day before because it is said that it will bring her good fortune.
• Pretty much everywhere in the world the groom is not supposed to see the bride before the wedding day. The unique part in Italy is that in some parts the bride cannot even look at herself in a mirror.
• Choosing a wedding day is of a great importance in the Italian culture. Sunday is thought to bring the best luck when it comes to fertility and prosperity. No weddings on Friday because it is said to be the day that evil spirits are created. Tuesday (Martedì) would also be a bad choice because it is believed that couples marrying on this day would fight for the rest of the lives. Marte (origin of the word Martedi) is a derivative of the term for God of War.
• Many grooms try to avoid evil spirits by keeping a small piece of iron kept in their pockets
• The guests should not wear a white dress as only the bride should be wearing a white dress, to ensure the couple has a long and prosperous married life.
• “Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata”! Should it rain on your wedding day, no problem. According to an Italian superstition, it will bring the bride luck and abundance!