Wedding Customs straight from…Italy

You turn on the TV and flip through channels until a bright football field lights up the screen. During the commercial break, you quickly place an order for a pizza delivery. To many Americans, this Italian dish is an integral part of the football tradition.

But Italy has more to offer than just pizza, pasta, and Snookie. Italian culture is warm, vibrant, and very family-oriented, which is best-reflected in Italian wedding traditions. See what our friends at have to say about Italian weddings:

When: In Italy, wedding festivities usually kick off in the morning, ideally on a Sunday. According to regional Italian folklore, you should never marry (or leave for your honeymoon) on a Friday or Tuesday, or you’re bound to have loads of bad luck, while Saturdays are reserved for widows getting hitched to husband number two (or three, or four…).


Attire: Don’t bother with makeup since in addition to a white gown, you’ll wear a veil — a symbol of virginity (don’t worry, it’s just for show). Tearing the veil, however, is considered good luck (Why? Just use your imagination). Meanwhile, the groom can lug a piece of iron (preferably a small one) in his pocket to ward off evil spirits.

Activities: Traditional Italian brides and grooms forgo the limo and make it to the chapel on foot. In certain villages, residents throw symbolic obstacles in your path to suss out your future as man and wife: If a broom lands at your feet and you pick it up, for example, you’ll be one helluva housecleaner. After the wedding ceremony, the couple shatters a glass or vase — and does their best to pulverize it, since the number of pieces represents the amount of years they’ll stay happily married. If someone hands you a double-handed saw, you and the groom must cut a log in half to prove you can work together without driving each other insane.

The Food: A roasted baby pig or lamb accompanied by wanda, bow ties of fried dough dipped in powdered sugar. Women sip Marsala wine, men guzzle the much stronger grappa (go ahead and guess who’s in store for a hangover). Confetti — sugar-covered almonds (or Jordan almonds, as we know them) representing the bitter and sweet of life — serves as snacks or, yes, projectiles thrown at the newlyweds as they make their exit.

The Music: Possibly a jaunty jig called the tarantella. Legend has it that a woman who was once bitten by a poisonous tarantula cured herself by shakin’ her booty better than Beyoncé on a very good day. The least it can do for you is to keep you from passing out due to too much Marsala.

Added Perk: Money — lots of it. Forget toasters and towels: Guests place cold, hard cash in a white satin bag called la borsa.