Wedding Tips

An Italian wedding

As for tradition, coming from an English way of saying, every bride should wear something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue and should keep a six pence coin in her shoe.

The new object (e.g. some nice lingerie) and the old one (e.g. a beautiful embroidered napkin) symbolize the passage from childhood to the new condition of the bride. Asking for something to borrow (e.g. an accessory) means including a dearest person in the ceremony; the blue object (e.g. a garter with a blue ribbon) reminds the Jewish costume of decorating the bride with a blue ribbon, symbol of purity, love and faithfulness. The six pence coin should ensure wealth: in Italy, because it is difficult to find, it has been substituted with “something given”. It is a new custom to wear something red under the white gown: it is a tradition coming form the New Year’s Eve, to symbolize a nice wish for a happy transgression.

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The wedding manners

The Bride and the Groom

They receive guests;
They talk with guests when the reception is calm;
The groom can thank all the guests with a speech at the beginning or at the end of the meal;
Even the bride can make a speech after the groom;
The giving of gifts to the guests is a bride task;
As for tradition, the couple starts dancing a slow dance before everybody else;
At the end of reception, if the couple goes away by car, it is a tradition to stick cans or balloons at the back of the car. This custom comes from the tradition to put the bride’s shoes on the back of the car, as to symbolize the passage of the woman’s property from her father to her husband.

The bride’s father

As a wedding manner, he would be the first to make a speech and cheer the couple.
He can dance with her daughter on the third dance.

The bride’s mother

If the couple are late because they are taking pictures, it is her task to receive guests.
She can dance with her son in law on the second dance.

The groom’s parents

Father: he can dance with the bride just after she has danced with her husband.
Mother: she can dance with her son on the third dance.

The witnesses

The main witness can make a speech to answer the groom, speaking for all the guests.


They should not go away before the couple.
They can go away before the couple only if the couple as told everybody to do so.

The wedding gown

As the wedding manners say, the bride can wear a long gown only if the groom, the relatives, the brothers and the witnesses decide to wear the tight. In this case a dress with a train and the bridal veil are admitted.

Years ago the groom was not allowed to choose his clothes, and he only had a few options. For a solemn wedding he had to wear the tight for the day and tails for the evening.

The wedding rings

Tradition wants the wedding rings to be smooth and thin and made of yellow gold, but it is also allowed, if possible, to have a platinum wedding ring with diamonds. Inside the rings you need to engrave the couple names and the wedding date. It is important to wear the wedding ring at the left ring-finger because it is believed it to be the finger connected to heart. Instead in Northern Europe they usually wear it at the right hand. The tradition of using this kind of ring for weddings comes from history. It has a Germanic origin and later arrived to the Roman customs; in Medieval time it started to be used for wedding ceremonies. The rings have to be bought by the groom. The ritual of exchanging rings during the ceremony is the same for civil and religious weddings: the couple exchange rings when they promise love to each other.

From ancient Rome

derives the custom to take the bride in the arms when she enters the new house for the first time. They used to do this not to let the bride fall at the entrance: this could be a bad presage because it meant that the gods of the house did not like her.

As for tradition,

the bride and the groom can not see or talk to each other the day before the wedding and the same day: it is forbidden to have breakfast together and also the last information need to be communicated through someone else, relatives or friends.

The groom

who goes out to arrive at the church must not come back: that’s why it is better to have a friend or a witness to follow him step by step.

Aar of wheat

A good wish gesture is the offering of a ear of wheat to the bride by the groom. The earth and the woman are united by a strong analogy: as the ploughed soil sprouts after receiving grains, so the woman has the responsibility to perpetuate life in marriage.

I receive you

since 2004-2005 the wedding rite has changed. The sentence “I take you” has become “I receive you”.

Good luck or bad luck?

It’s good luck to wear a bridal veil used by a woman who lives a happy wedding (usually the mother).

It’s good luck that the groom brings his bride in his arms when they first enter their new house after the wedding.

It’s good luck for the bride to throw the bridal bouquet back and this should be taken only by single girls. It’s bad luck if it is taken by an already married woman.

It’s bad luck to sew your own bridal gown (this is probably said by the ateliers….)

It’s bad luck that the couple sleeps together the night before the wedding in their future house (this is probably said by the bride’s mother).

It’s bad luck to put into the guests’ gifts an even number of sugared almonds.

It’s bad luck

to buy the engagement ring and the wedding rings at the same moment.
It’s bad luck to put the wedding ring on before the ceremony.
It’s bad luck to put the wedding ring at the wrong finger.
Be careful because sometimes excitement plays tricks!

The rain

is considered a sign of bad luck in some countries but it is considered of good luck in Italy: “wet bride, lucky bride”.

The bridesmaids

Bridesmaids tradition comes from an Egyptian legend. Egyptians believed that the evil spirits used to meet on the wedding day at the ceremony place to ruin the happy feel of the bride. Then the bride’s friends wore similar dresses in order to confuse and throw off the track the evil spirits who did not recognise the bride and could not bring her bad luck.


Why throwing rice on the couple? According to an ancient Chinese legend, the Good Genius saw the farmers suffering because of a famine and was moved to pity. He decided to sacrifice all his teeth by dispersing them in the marsh. After a while water changed them into seeds who sprouted into millions of small rice plants: so from that day, it is believed that where there is rice reigns abundance and throwing it on the couple is a symbol of love and prosperity.

Months of the year

To choose a month there is an ancient tradition:

January: it brings love, kindness and faithfulness;

February: it is the time for love and coupling and it is the best month to take an important decision;

March: it promises both joys and pains;

April: it only promises joys;

May: there is no good reason to choose this month;

June: the couple will travel a lot by land or sea. It is the month dedicated to Giuno, the Goddess of love and marriage;

July: it announces efforts and hard work to live;

August: it assures that life will be rich of changes;

September: it will cover the couple with wealth and fun;

October: it means much love but not money;

November: it brings happiness;

December: snowing means eternal love for the couple.

Weddings in the world

In different countries…

In India, at the end of the wedding the groom used to bring the bride on his shoulders up to his village.

In Portugal the priest used to tie up the couple’s hands with a fabric ribbon; in China he used to tie them up with their hair.

In England the couple used to put on the wedding ring at their thumb.

In France, at Medieval time, the bride used to kiss her husband’s foot.

In Greenland the groom used to take the bride from her hair to drag her into the house.

In Tibet, to save money on the dowry, brothers could share the same wife.

In Gilbert Islands, if a man was attracted by a girl, he also had to marry her sisters.

The bridal veil was brought by the ancient Romans to protect the bride from the “evil eye” of a disappointed admirer.

In Europe, in 1500, women had to be engaged at 7 years old and get married at 13!

The word “honeymoon” , the period of consummation, derives from the old custom of Northern Europe to drink wine and honey, as an aphrodisiac, during the first month of marriage.

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Your dream is to realize your wedding in the typical Italian farmhouse or on a beach?
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