The most popular Italian wedding traditions
The wedding day should be one of the most memorable of one’s life, and this is often the reason why some people pick Italy for their destination wedding. They want to create special memories by getting married amid enchanting sceneries and historical architecture. Italy and its beauties represent for someone a delectable dreamland and the idea of celebrating one’s wedding there is captivating.
What is also captivating are the traditions related to Italian weddings. Brides often ask us to tell them something about Italian wedding traditions, both because they are curious or because they are tempted to borrow some of them to add to their experience.
We have a lot of traditions regarding weddings, some of them vary from region to region, some are superstitions, some others are no longer practiced; the nicest are respected everywhere.
We don’t want to bore you with a long list of these traditions, so we have selected the most popular among Italian people, those that are more cherished.
Traditionally the bride would spend the night before her wedding at their parents’ house and would wear green because it is said it brings good luck. On her wedding day, she is expected to wear a garter that after the ceremony is removed and torn into pieces for the guests to keep. This is a very ancient tradition, that dates back to the 14th century, when it was thought that to keep a piece of the bridal trousseau would bring luck.
When it comes to the groom, he is supposed to bring the bouquet to the bride. She can choose the typology and the floral arrangement, but he is the one who must pay for it and make sure she will get it on the wedding day. Sometimes, the groom awaits the bride outside the church (or any other location they choose) and give it to her personally before taking his place for the ceremony. The bouquet represents the last gift she receives as a “single” person.
On the night before the wedding, the groom organizes a serenade under the bride's window. He goes there, with his friends and relatives who will sing along accompained by a musician with a violin, guitar or accordion.
The Groom must not see the Bride before the wedding ceremony, but we can say that this tradition is respected almost everywhere. In Italy is the father who accompaines the bride at the altar, and after shaking the groom’s hand and kissing his daughter he ”gives her away to him”.
The day choosen to get married has its relevance as well and it must be considered carefully. Even if today, Saturday is a very popular choice, Sunday has always been considered the best day to marry for luck, fertility and prosperity. It is a holy day, and for that, ensures a lifetime of happiness. We don’t know if this is the reason, but Sunday is still a top choice for Italian couples.
One of the most classic traditions of Italian weddings are the bomboniere that you better know as wedding favours. In the past years a bomboniera had to be made of crystal, silver or porcelain, but today couples choose any kind of item and material, and look for original and unusual presents. What is still as important as it was years ago, is that everyone must receive the same wedding favor: there are no friends or relatives who are more important than others. The bomboniere are always equipped with confetti, not to be confused with the small pieces of colored paper that are scattered around during the course of festive occasions, that we call coriandoli.
Confetti is the Italian word for candied almonds, or Jordan almonds, as you wish to call them. For a wedding, the almonds must be coated in white sugar and every bomboniera must contain an odd number of confetti because the union of marriage is of two people and the amount must never be divisible by two. Usually you find five confetti in a bomboniera, because it is also thought that they represent the five qualities that must always be part of the life of the new couple: health, fertility, longevity, happiness and wealth. Years ago they were thrown at the couples coming out of the church, but nowadays, they have been replaced by rice.
Rice is thrown at the bride and groom as they leave the Church or wedding hall. Little bags or containers full of rice, that become part of the decorative elements of the wedding, are prepared in advance to be distributed to the guests. This task is usually given to sisters, cousins or close friends.
This tradition symbolises the richness and abundance that relatives and friends wish for the new family that has just been created.
If you want to take the cue from one or more of these traditions and add it to your special wedding experience in Tuscany, we would be happy to work out the details.