Bridal white is not an Italian tradition. Tuscan brides wore black dresses with white hats while Venetian brides wore their second best dresses to church, saving their very best for their first dance as a newlywed. Brides who wear green the day before their wedding will have good fortune but those who wear gold on the day, apart from their wedding ring (even just earrings, for example) will be dogged by misfortune.
In many parts of Italy the veil should be a metre long for each year of the couple’s love to the date they married … long courtship, long veil!
Getting to the church
In some parts of Northern Italy the groom choses the brides bouquet and brings it to the church as his gift to her. In other parts, the couple will be challenged to prove their marriage skills by such tests as being handed a bawling baby or passing dropped brooms and
knocked over buckets on their way to see if they will be good housekeepers. They are supposed to quiet the baby and pick up the household implements and put them safely aside!
The groom should carry a piece of iron in his pocket to ward off bad luck and superstitious brides often rip their veil on the way to the wedding so that they’ve already had bad luck before they get married.
Traditionally, Italian brides wore or carried satin bags in which guests put money to ‘buy’ a dance with her during the reception. Alternatively, the groom’s tie would be removed and cut into pieces which the best man would ‘sell’ to guests to finance the wedding band - so musicians got paid as much as the tie raised. Fourteen courses is not unusual for an Italian wedding reception and the cake is always served with espresso!
Sugar-coated almonds are a traditional wedding favour that derives from Italy - they represent the bittersweet nature of marriage and should be given in an odd number, five or
seven are both lucky numbers in Italy. Called bomboniere, these treats were traditionally wrapped in tulle or put into pretty pouches to give away. Today’s bomboniere are more likely to be popped into elegant boxes with the bride and grooms initials on them, and few couples know the reason behind this classic wedding favor.
Italian Chocolates are also becoming the modern favour of choice for many Italian Brides, little boxes of luxury chocolates beautifully packaged can add to the décor and are widely appreciated. Iron-themed wedding favours are also popular at contemporary Italian weddings - iron bottle openers, metal luggage tags and even cast iron tea-light holders all prove popular as wedding favours.
In Naples, rather than write a thank you, the bride was expected to bake cakes to thank her guests for attending the wedding - modern Italian brides often give a beautifully decorated cake in a special box as a wedding favour for precisely this reason.
Talk to Bonieri today about luxury chocolate favours or gifts for your wedding.