There are many traditions and superstitions that exist within Italian weddings that you mightn’t even be aware of. Here’s a brief overview of the Italian wedding traditions you may not already know about.
Italian weddings are rarely held on Fridays, as this is viewed as the day evil spirits are created – and this will only bring you bad luck. The preferable day is Sunday – which is viewed as the luckiest day to marry, and signifies fertility and prosperity.
Good luck at the ceremony
In many Italian weddings, both the bride and the groom will do all they can to bring as much good luck to the wedding as possible. For the groom, this means carrying a small piece of iron in his pocket to ward off evil spirits. For the bride, she will make a small rip in her veil to welcome good luck.
In many Italian regions, the bride is not allowed to see herself in the mirror before the wedding. She can take a peek however, if she first removes a glove or shoe.
Even if the bride herself isn’t wearing a white wedding dress, all guests should avoid wearing white to another’s wedding.
As the final 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 to suit her theme and aesthetic, the groom must pay for it and see that it is delivered to her on the wedding day.
After the ceremony
After the ceremony, as the newlyweds are departing the Church, rice is showered on them by their guests to symbolise fertility. Then, all guests are given the chance to approach and personally congratulate the newlyweds on their new marriage.
Happy years ahead
In some regions, the newlyweds would break glass vase, and the number of broken fragments symbolise how many happy years of marriage the newlyweds have ahead of them.
Wine is the traditional drink at Italian weddings.
‘Bomboniere’ is the Italian word for wedding favours. It refers to the gift given to guests to thank them for their attendance at the wedding. Bomboniere usually contains a present, confetti (sugared almonds), and printed ribbons. The number of confetti included in the bomboniere is important – it should be an odd number, preferably five or seven for good luck.
In Italian weddings, the groom removes the garter from his bride’s leg and throws it to the wedding guests. If the bride is not wearing a garter, her right shoe is thrown instead.
At the reception, the groom’s tie is cut into many tiny pieces and offered up for sale to the wedding guests by his groomsmen. The money collected is then used to contribute to the couple’s wedding expenses.
Guests’ money contributions
As Italian tradition, brides carry a satin bag at the reception for guests to place envelopes of money in. Some brides wear it around their neck so male guests can drop in money in exchange for a dance.
During the couple’s first dance, it is tradition for guests to hold colourful streamers attached to the bride and groom’s hands as they waltz, and to wrap them up in streamers, well wishes, and love as they dance.
“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 reverse directions.