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March 17, 2020
Italian Wedding Traditions and Superstitions
Each culture has its own unique traditions and customs when it comes to matrimony. To celebrate the start of the wedding season, we wanted to highlight some dreamy Italian wedding traditions and some interesting superstitions. Most of the traditions we will cover revolve around one of three things: fertility, good luck, and warding off bad omens.
To get the nozze (Italian for wedding) started, most couples will have a rehearsal dinner, which begins our list of traditions and superstitions.
- As a symbol of good luck, in the Italian tradition, during the rehearsal dinner, the best man makes a toast with prosecco, usually exclaiming, “Per cent’anni,” or “A hundred years,” to wish the couple a century of good luck wishes.
- In 2020, brides aren’t often pictured wearing their veil on their faces, but rather behind their head, pinned to the hair, in the Italian tradition. This seems to hold true as it is considered of luck for the bride to wear a borrowed veil from another bride. No mention of facial covering.
- Instead of the groom leading his new bride across the threshold of their home, in the Roman tradition, the groom is to walk in front of his bride into the home, so she does not stumble.
First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage–so the song says. In Italian wedding celebrations, the family and friends of the bride and groom will do a variety of things to wish fertility on the new couple.
- This next tradition, though not as common as it used to be, is rather corny. That’s because, in ancient times, the groom offered his bride an ear of corn, which was seen as a good omen and symbol of fertility.
- In ancient Rome, wedding feasts were sometimes more than 12 courses long. The first course would be the breaking of bread–literally–over the bride’s head. Why? The thought was that the act would confer fertility to the bride, and any guests who gathered up the fallen crumbs would experience good luck. Eventually, this became the wedding cake slice tradition of sharing a piece between the bride and groom–smooshing the cake in each other’s face not required.
Bad Omens Be Gone
The couples wedding day should be destined for greatness, not bad omens from outside forces. The Italians have come up with superstitions to keep couples aware of what they can do to protect themselves from such happenings.
- If you are a frugal couple, when you see a deal on buying the engagement ring and wedding band at the same time, you may feel compelled to get the job done all at once. But we encourage you to not! It is considered bad luck to buy both rings at the same time.
- Like many cultures, it is considered taboo and unlucky if the groom sees the bride’s dress before the wedding day. It is also bad luck if the couple sees each other prior to walking down the aisle.
- In Italian tradition, many people walk to church. However, on the wedding day, the bride and groom should not come to the church together–either by walking or Uber–whichever your mode of transportation is. It is believed that by traveling together, the couple may encounter impediments that may bring ill will to their marriage.
When having a modern wedding, it’s nice to throw in some traditional events, or details, that can make your family feel united. We hope our guide to Italian wedding traditions and superstitions brings you great luck and fortune on your wedding day!
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