Thirteen Beliefs, Superstitions, and Traditions of an Italian Wedding

Marriage is a practice that has been around for centuries and is conducted differently in various cultures. In Italy, there are some timeless traditions, beliefs, and superstitions that are practiced by the bride, groom and all of their guests.

ONE. A well-known tradition is the bomboniera also referred to as the wedding favor. Typically, it is a treasurable object the couple picks out to give as a token of thanks and gratitude to their guests who attend their marriage celebration. This is derived from the tradition of nobles receiving boxed filled with sugarcoated almonds, sweets and other candies. Then in the 1700s, the bomboniera evolved into a wedding favor around the time of the Prince of Naples, Vittorio Emanuele, marriage to Elena of Montenegro, thus introducing Italy to the wedding favor gift idea.

For those of you who have heard that a bride must wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on their wedding day probably didn’t know that this is a performed custom in Italian weddings.

TWO. The new item symbolizes new challenges and the new life she is embarking on. Usually a bride will use her wedding dress to signify the new.

THREE. The old item is usually something very sacred to the family that holds a lot of sentimental importance. This represents her past and what she is leaving behind. The bride must have an object from the past so that she does not forget it in the new phase of her life. A bride will typically wear a hair clip or jewel passed down to her by family.

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FOUR. The borrowed item comes from a close friend of family member. The item stands for the affection of the loved ones who will remain near during the transition from old to new.

FIVE. Something blue symbolizes purity and sincerity. In olden times, a bride’s dress used to be colored blue. In the modern era, it is popular for a bride to decorate her garter with blue ribbon.

SIX. Going back to the root of Italian weddings, the brides have always walked down the aisle with a bouquet of flowers. Today the bouquet is usually picked to match the clothes worn during the ceremony. But before the groom would be the one to pick out the flowers deliver it to the bride the morning of their wedding—the last gift a groom gives to his bride acting as her boyfriend and not yet husband. When the ceremony is finished, the bride throws her flowers into a group of single ladies who try to catch it. Legends say that the woman who is lucky enough to catch the bouquet will have the chance to marry next.

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SEVEN. When purchasing the engagement ring, it is bad luck to also buy the wedding bands. Couples traditionally buy them at separate times.

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EIGHT. A bride is considered luckier if she is wearing a veil given to her buy another bride in a happy marriage.

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NINE. At the end of the ceremony, the groom can offer his bride an ear of corn. This corn is a good omen that symbolizes fertility.

TEN. It is bad luck for a groom to see his bride’s wedding dress before the ceremony. A bride and groom should also not see each other prior to the bride walking down the aisle on their wedding day. On the contrary, it is good luck for the bride if it rains.

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ELEVEN. At weddings, guests can usually find bags of rice waiting for them near their seats. When the ceremony has concluded and the newlyweds are walking out together, the guests take handfuls of rice and throw them above the couple. This is in celebration and provides good luck and best wishes during their marriage.

TWELVE. A very common tradition is that after the ceremony and reception, the bride and groom go to their new home. It is customary that the groom leads his bride through the door. This is from the Roman belief that a wife should not stumble when entering her new home, so her husband should assist her.

THIRTEEN. Confetti is another timeless tradition where it is gathered in small bags, usually made of tulle or lace. It is distributed by the bride and offered to the guests in only odd numbers.

These are all examples of superstitions, baditions that are acknowledged during Italian weddings. Some are practiced more than others, but all are customary to the beauty, ritual and charm of an Italian wedding.Marriage is a practice that has been around for centuries and is conducted differently in various cultures. In Italy, there are some timeless traditions, beliefs, and superstitions that are practiced by the bride, groom and all of their guests.

ONE. A well-known tradition is the bomboniera also referred to as the wedding favor. Typically, it is a treasurable object the couple picks out to give as a token of thanks and gratitude to their guests who attend their marriage celebration. This is derived from the tradition of nobles receiving boxed filled with sugarcoated almonds, sweets and other candies. Then in the 1700s, the bomboniera evolved into a wedding favor around the time of the Prince of Naples, Vittorio Emanuele, marriage to Elena of Montenegro, thus introducing Italy to the wedding favor gift idea.

For those of you who have heard that a bride must wear something old, something new, something borrowed and something blue on their wedding day probably didn’t know that this is a performed custom in Italian weddings.

TWO. The new item symbolizes new challenges and the new life she is embarking on. Usually a bride will use her wedding dress to signify the new.

THREE. The old item is usually something very sacred to the family that holds a lot of sentimental importance. This represents her past and what she is leaving behind. The bride must have an object from the past so that she does not forget it in the new phase of her life. A bride will typically wear a hair clip or jewel passed down to her by family.

417769_613729001985994_2007455965_n

FOUR. The borrowed item comes from a close friend of family member. The item stands for the affection of the loved ones who will remain near during the transition from old to new.

FIVE. Something blue symbolizes purity and sincerity. In olden times, a bride’s dress used to be colored blue. In the modern era, it is popular for a bride to decorate her garter with blue ribbon.

SIX. Going back to the root of Italian weddings, the brides have always walked down the aisle with a bouquet of flowers. Today the bouquet is usually picked to match the clothes worn during the ceremony. But before the groom would be the one to pick out the flowers deliver it to the bride the morning of their wedding—the last gift a groom gives to his bride acting as her boyfriend and not yet husband. When the ceremony is finished, the bride throws her flowers into a group of single ladies who try to catch it. Legends say that the woman who is lucky enough to catch the bouquet will have the chance to marry next.

b94a3f3d89012116e494fe26bf3d452e

SEVEN. When purchasing the engagement ring, it is bad luck to also buy the wedding bands. Couples traditionally buy them at separate times.

screen-shot-2013-06-20-at-10-39-58-am

EIGHT. A bride is considered luckier if she is wearing a veil given to her buy another bride in a happy marriage.

12t023911-682x1024

NINE. At the end of the ceremony, the groom can offer his bride an ear of corn. This corn is a good omen that symbolizes fertility.

TEN. It is bad luck for a groom to see his bride’s wedding dress before the ceremony. A bride and groom should also not see each other prior to the bride walking down the aisle on their wedding day. On the contrary, it is good luck for the bride if it rains.

wedding_2-682x1024

ELEVEN. At weddings, guests can usually find bags of rice waiting for them near their seats. When the ceremony has concluded and the newlyweds are walking out together, the guests take handfuls of rice and throw them above the couple. This is in celebration and provides good luck and best wishes during their marriage.

TWELVE. A very common tradition is that after the ceremony and reception, the bride and groom go to their new home. It is customary that the groom leads his bride through the door. This is from the Roman belief that a wife should not stumble when entering her new home, so her husband should assist her.

THIRTEEN. Confetti is another timeless tradition where it is gathered in small bags, usually made of tulle or lace. It is distributed by the bride and offered to the guests in only odd numbers.

These are all examples of superstitions, baditions that are acknowledged during Italian weddings. Some are practiced more than others, but all are customary to the beauty, ritual and charm of an Italian wedding.

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