What is an Italian Wedding Like: Essentials

The Crucial Traditions of Weddings in Italy

Imagining your wedding in Italy, you may often think of breathtaking views, a cosy venue, and a beautifully set table. But a wedding in Italy is much more than that. It is the event brimming with many traditions that have evolved from the past and revamped into a modern character. Let me tell you about some of the traditions which have become an integral part of a wedding in Italy. 

Rice shower. We put rice, usually together with rose petals, in little bags and hand them out to the guests. On each bag you can write the date of the ceremony and the names of the newlyweds. At the end of the ceremony, either when the newlyweds are leaving the church or after the vows have been exchanged during a symbolic ceremony in open air, the guests shower the newlyweds with rice. The wedding rice showers are the symbol of abundance, wealth, unconditional love and tender loving care of the parents and the relatives. As for safety concerns, rice used for such ceremonies is usually specially processed so as not to leave stains on the newlyweds’ clothes. 

Bouquet. A bouquet of gorgeous flowers made by a specially invited florist can be combined with the flowers on the wedding arch or be created separately. Interestingly, in the south of Italy it is usually the future mother-in-law who presents the bouquet to the bride. 

Confettata, or Confetti, or Wedding Bomboniere. It is a cute tradition at Italian weddings. These can be small bags filled with various sweets, or candied almonds, or beautifully wrapped small mementos that are laid out on the table and taken away by guests as a reminder of the wedding day.

Bridesmaids in beautiful gowns. The colour of the bridesmaid’s gown is often chosen by the bride herself. It can be bright, e.g. purple or gold, or of pastel hues, yet the main thing is that they should not be white because it is the bride who is dressed in white.

Happy hour. Before dinner, guests gather for an aperitif, a longstanding Italian tradition that has caught on at weddings as well. A happy hour is the time for light snacks, cocktails, pleasant music, and an opportunity to congratulate the newlyweds once again in a more informal setting. 

Last but not least: the serenade. On the night before the wedding, the groom and his friends sing a serenade under the bride’s window. The serenade can be accompanied by various musical instruments (a guitar, a flute or even a cello). The tradition is mostly characteristic of southern Italy, but we can surely arrange chanting and serenades anywhere. Have you already stepped into the shoes of Juliet standing on the balcony and receiving compliments from her Romeo? 

Feel the centuries-long vibe of Italian weddings and test those long standing traditions when you are planning your event.