Italian Wedding Traditions for the Bride & Groom

Italian Wedding Traditions for the Bride & Groom thumbnail
An Italian bride has a combination of old and modern traditions to follow on her special day.

Countries around the world have specific wedding traditions and Italy is no exception. An Italian wedding is full of traditions and customs for everyone, from the guests to the bridal party. The bride and groom have their own set of traditions they take part in, in the hopes of a happy marriage.

  1. Bridal Wear

    • Traditionally, brides used to wear green on their wedding day, which symbolizes fertility. Modern brides choose to wear green for the rehearsal dinner and a white gown on their wedding day. It is considered bad luck to wear any gold, until the wedding rings are exchanged in church.

      It is customary for Italian brides to wear a veil over their faces to hide from jealous spirits. The veil should also have a tear for good luck. As an accessory, the bride should carry a small satin bag around her wrist. The bag, called "La Borsa," is where guests place envelopes of money to help pay for the wedding at the reception.

      The attire for a groom is a suit. Tradition dictates that he carry a piece of iron on his wedding day in his pocket. This is to ward off evil spirits and any bad feelings, such as envy, from others.

    Before the Wedding

    • The bride and groom do not see each other the night before the wedding. In some regions, on the morning of the wedding, the groom delivers the bouquet to the bride's house. From there, the two will walk to the church. Before they reach the site, the bride and groom must cut a log in half with a double handed saw. This symbolizes their wedding as a partnership. Alternatively, the groom waits outside the church and presents his bride with her bouquet when she arrives with her family.

    The Ceremony

    • After the ceremony is finished, the bride and groom shatter a wine glass or glass vase. The number of pieces the vase breaks into is counted, and this represents the number of happy years the couple will spend together.

      Alternatively, the end of the ceremony is marked when the couple releases a pair of white doves to signify their love and happiness.

    The Reception

    • The bride and groom traditionally take their first dance at the start of the reception. At some point in the evening, the bride will dance with her father, while the groom dances with his mother. Another tradition is for the best man to cut the groom's tie and auction the pieces off to guests. The money collected from this is given to the couple to use on their honeymoon.

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  • Photo Credit Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

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