Jimmy and I met in Rome, dated in Rome, and still live in Rome – but we got married in Ireland. On that incredibly cold July day, we had a blend of American and Irish wedding traditions.
Because so much of our relationship involves Italy, we probably should have made a bit more room for a few Italian wedding traditions as well!
Not exactly an expert myself, I am thrilled to have a guest post by Monica, the founder of Italy destination wedding companies Rome on Demand and Weddings on Demand. So without further ado – here’s to your happy planning!
Traditions are a very important part of the Italian culture and of course weddings have their own. 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 wedding experience.
Although wedding traditions vary from region to region, most of them are quite rooted in the italian culture and heritage.
Here is a list of the top 5 italian wedding traditions to not miss out on:
The night before the wedding there is the custom for the groom to arrange a serenade under the window of his bride. Often family and friends are informed of the serenade to come, but have to keep the secret with the bride. The groom meets up with musicians under the balcony or window of the bride and starts sining along with them to wake the bride up. The serenade is considered to be a very festive moment, prior to the important day of the wedding in which both families reunite and celebrate with a rich buffet and music.
Confetti & Bomboniere
Confetti are internationally known as the colored paper shapes that are thrown at the bride and groom at the end of their wedding ceremony. Here in Italy confetti are sugar-coated almonds, that come in many different colors, and that generally are displayed on a sweet table at the end of the wedding dinner. The confetti form part of a bomboniera, which is the gift traditionally given to guests as a thank you. The bomboniera is also given at communions and christenings and can be compared to the wedding favours used in other parts of the world. The bomboniera represents the symbol of the family life, a wedding tradition which dates back to the Romans who used confetti to celebrate unions and births.
The bride’s dress
The wedding dress has superstitions of all kinds, the main one is that the bride should not look into a mirror with the wedding dress on on her wedding day. And if she really wants to has to first remove a shoe, an earring or a glove.
At the wedding, all guests should avoid using the white color for their clothing because the bride should be the only one wearing it.
The bridal bouquet
In Italy, traditionally, it is the groom’s job to supply the bridal bouquet. This is considered to be his final gift to his girlfriend before she becomes his wife. The bride may choose the floral arrangement she wants, but it is the groom who must pay the bill and make sure it is delivered to his intended.
In some regions, especially in the southern part of italy, it is tradition for the bride to wear a garter. The garter dates back to the 14th century when it was thought that wearing the wisp of lace would bring the Bride good luck. In Italy the garter is taken off by the groom, in a special moment at the end of the wedding dinner and thrown to the wedding guests. If it’s found out that the Bride isn’t wearing a garter, her right shoe is taken off her and thrown!
Are there any other Italian wedding traditions that you included (or plan to include) on your big day?
Many thanks again to Monica for her expert insight. Monica is the CEO and Founder of an Italy-based wedding planning company Weddings on Demand, as well as the new Rome-focused Rome on Demand boutique planning agency. Visit the sites for more information about their Italy destination wedding services run by English mother tongue professionals.