10 + Interesting Wedding Customs in Italy You Want to Know


Couples always strive to make their wedding one of the most memorable days of their lives. Choosing a destination wedding can lead you to beautiful beaches, breathtaking mountain views or the enchanting setting of a foreign country like Italy. Italy is so ideal and wonderful place for your destination wedding, but you may want to know about some of the wedding customs in Italy before you start planning.

10 + Interesting Wedding Customs in Italy You Should Know


Wedding Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is a highly celebrated event filled with pasta dishes and family. Traditionally, there are two common toasts that are giving during the rehearsal dinner. The Hundred Years or "Per cent'anni" toast is given from the best man to wish luck to the newlyweds. The "evviva gli sposi!" or "hooray for the newlyweds" is the second toast given. Both of these wedding customs in Italy are done with glasses of Prosecco or Italian champagne in hand. Green is a color of good luck and most Italian brides will wear a green sash or emerald brooch at the rehearsal dinner. Brides who are bold enough can find something green to wear to really stick with this tradition.


Italian Wedding Ceremony

Italian weddings are intimate gathering. The bridal party is kept small usually, only consisting of a best man and maid of honor. A ribbon is tied across the doorway of where the nuptials are taking place to let everyone know there is a wedding being held. The bride and groom also do their part to bring as much luck to the union as possible. Most grooms will ward off evil spirits with a small piece of iron kept in their pockets, while the brides will make a small rip in their veils to welcome good luck.


To End the Ceremony

Do not be caught off guard if the strangers on the street clap and yell "Auguri!" as you exit the ceremony; they are just wishing you the best of luck. Traditionally, Italians will pave the way to a sweet life by decorating the front grills of their vehicles. Instead of roping cans to your cars after a wedding, Italians will place flowers and ribbons to the front of the cars.


The Reception Feast

The reception dinner of course focuses on food and some Italian weddings have been known to carry on through fourteen course! You don't have to adhere to those wedding customs in Italy like this one, but foods should be fresh, seasonal and savory. Start with an appetizer of prosciutto or olives with a main course that is a pasta dish with a thick sauce. Veal and Venison are common traditional main course options. For dessert offer wanda (bowties) which are fried dough twisted and dusted with powdered sugar.



Wine is the traditional drink for weddings, and if you're in Italy, it is highly recommended. Be sure to spend some time at local vineyards to pick up a few varieties of wines to pair with the local cuisine at your wedding.



Although your wedding will cost you a good amount of money, a majority of your Italian wedding guests will help cover the cost. Brides traditionally accept envelopes of money from guest. This "bustle", as it is traditionally referred to as, requires the bride to carry a "la borsa" or satin bag for guest to place their envelopes in. The male guests will exchange their money envelopes for a dance in return.


Traditional Dance

Guest will wish the newlyweds good luck through a dizzying dance known as "La Tarantella". Guest will circle around the couple and move in a clockwise and counterclockwise direction to music that will gradually speed up in tempo. The speed of the music increases and the dancers will reverse directions until the group succumbs to the music.


Rethink Your Cake

You will find candy coated Jordan almonds, confetti, served in place of a wedding cake at traditional Italian weddings. These candies represent the bitter and the sweet future that lies ahead of the couple in Italy. Mille-foglia is an alternate to a wedding cake you can serve, which consists of layers of filo pastry, chocolate or vanilla cream, and strawberries.


Special Wedding Customs in Italy for the Bride

The garter is a traditional garment that the bride is expected to wear. Dating all the way back to the 14th century, the garter is thought to bring good luck and the bride would remove it after the ceremony and give pieces of it out to the guest. In some areas of Italy, it is the groom who removes the garter and throws it to the wedding guest. A shoe would be thrown if the bride was found not to have garter on.

In a number of Italian regions, it is not just the groom who should not see the bride until she walks down the aisle. The bride herself is often refrained from seeing herself until she removes a glove or a shoe. Seeing the bride is considered bad luck if not followed in this traditional manner.


Special Wedding Customs in Italy for the Groom

Preparing bridal bouquet is considered as the groom's job to his soon-to-be-wife. In Italian tradition, this is considered to be the last gift he gives his future wife as his girlfriend. The groom will pay and ensure the bouquet is delivered to the bride on time, but the bride may choose the flower arrangement as she likes.


The Wedding Date

The day you choose to marry is also highly important in wedding customs in Italy. You would want to reconsider getting married on a Friday, as it is viewed as the day evil spirits were created which will have bad luck. Tuesday should also be avoided. Martedi, the Italian word for Tuesday, derives from the word "Marte" referring to the God of War. Couples who marry on Tuesday might have a long life of fighting according to Italian tradition. The best day is Sunday, which is thought to be the luckiest day to marry and signifies fertility and prosperity. If a widow is remarrying that Saturday is the highly recommended.