Italian wedding traditions
It is usual for the bride to walk to the town hall on her father’s arm. (of course you can have a car if you wish!) Don’t forget an umbrella, just in case!
Inside the town hall there is a table in the centre where the Mayor and his secretary are waiting and 4 chairs the other side for the bridal couple and their witnesses.
The bride sits to the left of the groom, her witness (or matron of honor) on her other side and the groom’s witness (or best man) to his right. Behind the table there are a few chairs for the bride and groom’s close relations, all other guests stand. The witnesses must be at the ceremony 30 minutes before the wedding.
The ceremony takes approximately 20 minutes and is finalised by the bride and groom exchanging rings (this is a legal part of the ceremony, so if the bride and groom do not plan to have wedding rings they need to borrow two – check that they fit! – for the day). After everyone says their congratulations and a few photos are taken, everyone leaves the town hall and waits outside for the wedding couple who come out last.
A close friend or relation of the bride hands out “rice bags” to all the guests so when the bride and groom come outside everyone throws rice over them.
Our “confetti” is not used in Italy by Italians however in most locations they will allow confetti to be used.
The rice can only be thrown outside not inside the town hall, town halls do not allow this, nor “confetti”, to be thrown inside. We can arrange rice bags for you.
It is traditional to give “Bomboniere” – or “Favours” to all guests at the reception. Bombonieri are 5 sugared almonds (to symbolise – Health, Wealth, Fertility, Happiness & Long Life) these are beautifully wrapped. if you want to give special guests (such as bride & groom’s parents & witnesses) a present this can be wrapped with the bomboniere attached. Favours are usually given instead of a traditional ‘Thank you’ letter.
Why not use an original idea for the favours, such as making a donation to a charitable fund, such as cancer research.
Finally, when guests at weddings, the Italians dress much more informally than we traditionally do, the ladies never wear hats nor the men Morning suits.
If you want your wedding to be formal of course do – it’s your day, but if you are looking for an excuse for a more informal dress code, this is the perfect opportunity.