Italian Wedding Traditions

Italian wedding traditions are unique and meaningful. The fact that they are still followed in spite of the trends which are in a continual change says a lot about the importance that they receive from the Italian people and also about how beautiful a wedding which contains some of the customs is.

Same as locations are different and couples choose places to match their wedding theme and to make the event different from others, they can incorporate also unique traditions into the wedding ceremony and reception and differentiate their wedding from others.


An Italian tradition says that the bride and groom shouldn’t see each other the night before the ceremony. In the morning of the big event, the groom either sends his bride the wedding bouquet or waits for her in front of the place where the matrimony will be officiated and offers her the bouquet. This important accessory should be a surprise for the bride, who shouldn’t know how it will look. Usually, the bride offers the groom’s mother a flower from her bouquet before the ceremony. A tradition which is still preserved in Italy is to offer the invitees small bags of rice which will be used after the ceremony. They will throw the rice over the bride and groom, same as confetti is thrown at anniversaries for example. On the day of the ceremony, the bride and groom shouldn’t wear gold before they exchange wedding rings, as this is considered to bring bad luck. The wedding reception has also some traditions attributed to it. Each invitee will receive as wedding favors a bomboniere, which is the original form of wedding favors. The best men will cut the groom’s tie and will sell the pieces to the invitees. The bride and groom will dance their first dance as husband and wife followed by the bridal party and afterwards by all the invitees. Another aspect that is different from other European weddings is that the wedding cake doesn’t receive the same importance as in other regions. It usually contains custard cream and marzipan or chocolate icing and is brought out just before the cutting.

Each region in Italy has a different set of traditions which are followed at most weddings. Couples choose those traditions which fit their wedding style and also their beliefs and they incorporate them in the wedding ceremony and reception. Of course, as in any country, traditions change in time, some of them are forgotten and others are modified. A perfect example which shows the fact that customs can suffer some modifications from wedding to wedding is that of throwing the rice. Even though at most weddings guests throw rice over the bride and groom, some couples opt for the modern alternative and offer their guests petals instead of rice.  To include Italian wedding customs into your wedding it isn’t necessary to have Italian origins. Some couples are in love with Italy, want to spend their honeymoon in that country and make an entire theme based on Italian specifics, while others opt for a destination wedding and choose the Italian atmosphere.

 by Ana Petrescu