6 Italian Wedding Traditions That Will Make Your Day Extra Special

Every country around the world has its own set of unique wedding traditions and customs. It can be a mainstream cultural practice such as “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue”, or a very weird one such as beating the groom’s feet with a dead fish in Korea.

We have prepared a list of folkloric rituals from Italy that can be considered superstitious, cute and dorky, or truly old school romantic! While some of these are no longer commonly practiced, there are a few trends that are still quite popular.

Here’s our top 6 Italian wedding traditions that will make your day extra special:

For luck:

1. Seeing the bride:

It’s common knowledge around the globe that the groom can’t see the bride before the wedding ceremony, as it would bring them bad luck. But in Italy, this wedding tradition takes a whole new dimension: the bride can’t even see herself in the mirror! How will she know if she looks good you ask? She can sneak a peek of her reflection right before heading out of her house, and only if she takes off a glove, a shoe or an earring.

For riches:

2. Cutting of the tie:

Imagine this: it’s your wedding day. As a groom, you’ve been planning every single detail of this big day with your future wife or husband down to the tiniest cufflink. In Italy, the hard work of choosing the right color and picking the perfect fabric pattern flies out the window. At the wedding reception, the groomsmen will chop off your tie into pieces and sell them to the attendees. This is considered a financial contribution to the couple’s expenses.

For romance:

3. The serenade or la serenata:

If someone tells you romance is dead, hit them with this lovely Italian custom! In the evening prior to the wedding day, the groom heads to his love’s house with his friends (and sometimes musicians) and serenades his future wife with songs and poems. Nowadays this wedding tradition might’ve died out, but reading this article could perhaps revive this lost art of romantic love gestures!

4. The bridal bouquet:

Getting married means a change in status: the girlfriend becomes a wife. As a last (hopefully not) gift to his partner, the groom buys the bridal bouquet and makes sure to have it delivered to her house on their wedding day. Instead of considering it a final gift before a new chapter, let’s see it as a first step towards a life they’ll be starting together. It’s all a matter of perspective!

For culture:

These last two rituals are quite familiar to people living around the Mediterranean area. As their histories collided, so did their cultural customs and traditions. The question remains, who came up with them first?

5. Wedding favors or bomboniere:

Bomboniere is a small gift offered to the wedding guests as a “thank you for attending”. It’s usually displayed at the entrance of the wedding reception, and includes sugar coated almonds in odd numbers – 5 or 7 – as they are considered good luck.

6. Rice shower:

You may have seen it in movies, but witnessing it is a different level of fun. In some countries, rice – uncooked of course! – is thrown at the bride as she leaves her parents’ house with her father by her side. In Italy, the guests shower the couple with rice as they leave the church, as a symbol of fertility.

If you enjoyed reading this article, have a look at our blog post about Italy Wedding Cake Trends of 2021.

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