Before the wedding
Some Italian wedding traditions are universally accepted. For example, proposing with a ring or the bride staying with her parents the night before the wedding.
However, did you know we also wear green at the rehearsal dinner? Wearing green is considered good luck and promotes good fortune for the happy couple’s big day.
In some regions, it is traditional for the bride and groom to travel to the wedding together. However, along the way, they will encounter a series of obstacles. These represent the challenges the couple may face once married.
Italian Wedding Traditions After the Ceremony
The guests will exit first after the ceremony while the newlyweds sign their marriage certificates. Then, as the couple leave, guests will shower the couple with rice to celebrate and promote fertility.
Furthermore, couples will tie a ribbon on their church door representing “tying the knot”, and others may use a double-sided saw to cut through a log, symbolizing marriage as a partnership.
No matter how Italian couples exit the church, they are sure to hear the locals cheering “Auguri!”, or best wishes, whether they know you or not because in Italy, everyone is famiglia!
During the Reception
Italian highly rever food, and enjoying a meal together at a wedding is a celebration like no other. Some southern Italian weddings offer up to 15 different courses, including various local meats, cheeses, and other produce. Of course, a custom selection of wine from the local vineyard is a must.
Then whenever guests aren’t discussing the delicious dinner, they are likely to be cheering out “Per cent’anni!”, meaning for a hundred years, or “Evviva gli sposi!” (Hooray for the newlyweds!) to salute the happy couple.
A grand celebration can get quite expensive, so another Italian wedding custom is for the bride to carry a borsa or small satin bag for guests to place money envelopes in. If they are lucky, they might even receive a dance with the bride in exchange for their gift.
Traditional Italian Wedding Cake
Next is the wedding cake. Many Italian weddings will not offer a cake but rather a selection of Confetti, candy-coated pieces of chocolate made in various flavours, meant to represent the bittersweet nature of marriage.
However, when there is a cake, it will be a traditional Millefoglie. A large, flat circular cake with layers of pastry, sweet cream, fresh berries and powdered sugar. A pastry chef will assemble the Dolce right in front of the guests.
Italian Wedding Tradition on the Night of the Wedding
At the night’s end, the bride and groom will gather their friends and family and smash glasses as the final Italian wedding traditions. The number of pieces ensures the number of years this newlywed Italian couple will live happily ever after.
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