Prior to the 20th century, Italian brides-to-be typically spent their youths collecting the clothing and other items they would need for marriage, so bridal showers were considered unnecessary and were a custom only in certain regions. In recent years, however, bridal showers have become a universally beloved pre-wedding tradition in Italy and within Italian-American families. The shower is an opportunity for friends and family to lavish gifts on the bride while participating in games and enjoying some of Italy’s best foods.
Hosting an Italian-themed bridal shower means the invitations can focus on the bridal aspect of the shower or on the bridal aspect. On one hand, a set of Italy-themed invitations can make use of the bold colors of Italy, particularly red and green, while incorporating a musical, traveling or culinary theme. If desire, the bride may include pictures of herself standing amid scenic locations such as St. Peter’s Basilica or enjoying a traditional antipasto.
Create and arrange the decorations with a citrus color scheme evoking the romantic, sun-kissed gardens of Tuscany. Place large stalks of sunflowers in vases anchored by fruit. Position these vases as the tables’ centerpieces. Hang postcards of various Italian locations, or provide each table with trivia questions about the bride and groom written on white paper backed by yellow construction paper. Set up a basket filled with party favors of biscotti and teabags.
Food and Drinks
Set up an olive- and vinegar-tasting table to the side of the venue where guests can sample the finest vinegars and olive oils, accompanied by antipasti such as mixed olives, sliced meats, stuffed mushrooms, bruschetta, ricotta and gorgonzola cheese. For the main entree, serve traditional Italian dishes such as chicken piccata, stuffed shells and meatballs paired with the bride-to-be’s favorite wine. Complete the meal with a dessert of miniature cheesecakes and biscotti. Purchase or bake tiramisu- and limoncello cupcakes.
Games and Music
Emphasize the nuptial theme by playing romantic Italian music by Italian favorites such as Luciano Pavarotti, Sergio Franchi, Maria Callas, Andrea Bocelli and Antonio Padalino. Play a traditional Italian version of “rocks, paper, scissors” involving all the guests present by having them stand in a circle and hold out any number of fingers on one hand, from one to five, at the same time, while all shouting their estimation of the total number of fingers raised by everyone in the room. Award prizes of Italian cookbooks to the winners.
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