Italian Wedding Traditions
When getting married in Italy, there is plenty to plan and dream about. From choosing from a number a beautiful locations, selecting the perfect wedding villa, and organising the band, outfits and the food. But what else should you expect when organising a wedding in a country famed for romance?
In addition to famously being one of the world’s most romantic countries, Italy is equally famous for its many traditions and superstitions and it’s only natural that many of these have found their way into the wedding ritual.
Not every old tradition has stayed a part of the wedding ceremony, but in certain regions you may still find yourself finding the old ways being embraced with a passion.
There’s a lot of preparation involved when it comes to getting married in Italy, so you’d be forgiven for not thinking you’d need to prepare for some of these traditions in advance:
Sundays are said to be the luckiest days to have a wedding in Italy. If the bride wears green the day beforehand this brings better luck still, but if she wears gold jewellery on or before the wedding it could spell the start of a bad run of luck for the couple. Tuesdays were considered hugely unlucky as the Italian word for Tuesday (Martedi) derives from Marte, the God of War and Tuesday couples were thought to spend the rest of their married life fighting.
In some regions the bride & groom walk to the church together, while members of the wedding party place a number of domestic challenges in their path to test their abilities in married life. Tests can include things such as a fallen broom in their path and a crying baby in need of attention.
It’s considered bad luck in many cultures for the bride and groom to see each other before the actual wedding. Italian folklore dictated it was also bad luck for the bride to see herself (including her own reflection) until she’s fully dressed in her bridal garb.
Wedding ceremony traditions
The traditional wedding dance is called The Tarantula (La Tarantella), an Italian folk dance first mentioned in the St. Vitus Dance of 1374, though it didn’t achieve widespread fame until 1844. Legend says that the dance was originally done to sweat out the poison after succumbing to a tarantula bite.
Italy is renowned for its generous servings of excellent food, and unsurprisingly weddings are no exception to this rule. Large amounts of food are a common theme at weddings across every region in Italy and in some circumstances guests may be served up to 14 different courses!
Traditions for the bride
In some regions it’s tradition for a bride to wear a garter, which is taken off and thrown to the wedding guests after the main ceremony. If the bride finds herself without a garter, one of her shoes is a suitable replacement, so hope that she’s wearing a garter and not heels!
In Tuscany a black dress with a white hat was the traditional wedding attire for the bride. White has become more popular as a colour choice these days and It’s considered rude for anyone at the wedding other than the bride to be seen wearing anything white.
Traditions for the groom
It wasn’t uncommon for Italian grooms to carry a piece of iron (toc ferro) in their pocket on their wedding day to ward off mal’occhio, the evil eye spirit. Mal’occhio’s appearance at weddings was said to be provoked by the envy caused by jealous guests.
While the groom’s tie is an important piece of attire during the ceremony, it doesn’t stay that way for long. Traditionally the groom’s tie is taken and cut into small pieces before being sold to wedding guests to help pay for their special day.
Fortunately these days a wedding in Italy can be tailor made to your every whim, so having the perfect wedding planners can help turn your dream day into a reality.