Popular Italian Wedding Traditions

Expert wedding planners, Monica Roma and Paola Cocchi from Leoeventi share some popular Italian wedding traditions.

If you have decided to tie the knot in Italy, you may as well go all the way and get married the Italian way. This means that you can incorporate seamlessly into your Italian wedding day the most popular Italian traditions and this is always a nice touch for couples from abroad. Let’s see what are the most popular traditions, and which are the most Italian.

First of all, favours. Here in Italy all couples will have favours made of “confetti”, which is the Italian word to describe our delicious sugar covered almonds that are specifically devoted to weddings, as they symbolize
health, wealth, fertility, happiness and long life. They come in many different flavours and colours therefore they are easy to incorporate into the colour theme of the wedding.
The so called “White Table” for example is a typical way to arrange a sampling of different “confetti” flavours in nice glass vases for guests to taste: they can also take some confetti home in lovely organza bags
or other containers which will be placed at the table.

Another very typical wedding tradition is to throw rice at the newlyweds; right at the end of the wedding ceremony all guests are given small bags of rice (and sometimes rose petals)and, as soon as the Bride and Groom walk out of the venue, rice is thrown over them as confetti. This is to wish them wealth and fertility.

In Italy the importance of the veil remains very significant: old traditions say that the veil is to hide the bride from her future husband until the very last minute (i.e. the beginning of the wedding ceremony) but most
importantly the veil is to protect the bride from evil spirits. And speaking of evil spirits, please be aware that in Italy it is considered bad luck to wear any gold on the day of the wedding until the wedding rings are
exchanged during the ceremony.

For Italian couples it is crucial that the bride and groom do not see each other the night before the big day because it would be bad luck. That is why the bride and groom will usually have separate evening meals with their respective family and friends. In case of couples coming from abroad this might be a little tricky because when friends and family arrive the night before it is always a nice tradition to get together and arrange an informal rehearsal dinner in a relaxed atmosphere, so the bride and groom are of course both present. In this case, the ideal solution is that after the rehearsal dinner the bride and groom spend the night in different hotels even (or in different areas of the hotel) to keep the Italian tradition that the groom will see the bride again at the beginning of the wedding ceremony, when he will lift her veil.
Speaking of traditions at the wedding reception, Italian couples do not have a toast during the speeches (in fact speeches are not a tradition in Italy and are very rare) but they always toast the happy couple during the cutting of the cake. Of course, all our couples from abroad and their guests are welcome to do their speeches whenever they wish, in fact it is always a lovely experience to listen to the speeches, there are some really funny ones, and always some very romantic ones: we have listened a couple of grooms’ speeches that were so romantic they brought a tear to everybody’s eye, including us.

Finally, some fun traditions during the wedding reception are the cutting of the groom’s tie: the groom’s witness cuts the groom’s tie into small pieces and will then go around guests to “auction” the pieces and collect money for the newlyweds. The guests will keep the pieces of the tie as a memory of the day
and the couples will put the collected money away to start their new life together.
Finally, another typical tradition is when the groom removes the garter from the bride’s leg and then throws it to the male guests who are not married: the man who will catch the garter will get married within a year. This is the same meaning of the bouquet launch that the Bride does with her single female friends.

Leoeventi arrange bespoke and stylish wedding receptions in Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Italian
Riviera, Tuscany and the Amalfi Coast.

See all our Italian wedding providers here.


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