10 Italian Wedding Traditions That Must Happen on a Real Italian Wedding

Maybe you’re wondering, what is the most important tradition in Italy? Or what are some customs and traditions that define a typical Italian wedding? We’ve done the research! This article highlights all you need to know about Italian wedding Traditions.

There are several reasons why the Italian culture fascinates the world. From the once-powerful Roman Empire to the rich and diverse cultural practices – there’s more to this country that inspires and catches the eye.

Italian Wedding traditions and wedding decoration - The Proud Italian

1. Dress Code

It’s everyone’s worst nightmare when they get invited to a wedding, and not know the appropriate dress code. Traditional Italian clothing isn’t that popular nowadays, but they still rock in certain parts of Italy.

In both the modern and traditional Italian weddings, a white dress is preserved only for the bride. Even if the bride isn’t wearing a white wedding dress, all guests should avoid a dress with this “divine” color. It’s considered rude for anyone other than the bride to wear white.

2. Attracting Good Luck 

When it comes to attracting good luck and appeasing the goddess of fortune, there are a couple of beliefs linked to Italian weddings. 

For example, weddings are best held on Sundays – this day of the week brings luck. It also signifies fertility and prosperity for the newly married couples. According to Italian superstitions, holding a wedding on Friday brings bad luck. 

Traditional Italian clothing and veil in Italian wedding - The Proud Italian

3. Warding Off Evil Spirits 

Both the bride and the groom should go the extra mile to bring luck to the wedding. 

The groom will often carry a small piece of iron in his pocket to fend off evil spirits. On the other hand, the bride will make a small rip/tear a piece of her veil to welcome good luck.

4. Food   

There are certain foods which are a must-have as per the Italian traditions. Common traditional Italian cuisines include but are not limited to Bruschetta, Hot Berry Tarts, Chicken dish, and Ravioli. Sugared almonds and Italian Cookies are also common. 

Sambuca is common wedding drink that follows Italian wedding traditions - The Proud Italian

5. Wedding Drinks

A bottle of homemade wine and Sambuca are often served as evening drinks.

6. Wedding Favors and Gifts

After the wedding, the bride and groom will often accept gifts and give out some wedding favors to thank those who attended. Bomboniere is the Italian word used to describe a wedding favor.

This is a two-way process that’s not necessarily dependent on the other. That means the bride can accept gifts and fail to give out wedding favors, and vice-versa. 

There’s no limitation to what type of gifts to offer the newly married couples. However, it’s a common practice for the bride and the groom to offer certain wedding favors. A sealed favor bag usually contains confetti (sugared almonds) and printed ribbons.

The number of sugared almonds should be odd. Most couples go for 5, which represents five important aspects. These are; health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and long life- in no particular order.

Wedding dance is one of the Italian wedding traditions - The Proud Italian

7. Wedding Dance

Dance is one of the most anticipated moments at every wedding. Varying dance etiquettes accompany most Italian wedding songs. 

The first dance, Tarantella couple dance, and the legendary chicken dance represent a crucial part of the Italian traditions.

8. Monetary Contributions for the Bride

It’s customary for the bride to pay for floral decorations, invitations, and bridesmaids’ clothing. Most brides will raise the amount during the wedding ceremony. Brides can wear a satin bag around their neck, where male guests will drop in some money in exchange for a dance. Other guests will pin the money on the bride’s dress.

9. Cutting the Groom’s Tie

In most weddings, the groomsmen raise money for the wedding expenses by cutting the groom’s tie into tiny pieces. These pieces are then offered for sale to the wedding guests.

Showering the bride and groom with rice is one of the Italian traditions - The Proud Italian

10. Showering Rice/Pasta

It’s common to wish the newlyweds, happy life in marriage. There are several ways in which guests and family members do this. 

More often, rice or pasta is showered on the new couples as they depart the church. This symbolizes fertility. In certain regions, the newlyweds break a glass vase or porcelain dish. The more the number of broken fragments, the more the happy years of marriage!


Italy is known for its rich and diverse culture. A wedding is a critical piece of that culture. It’s a tradition that helps form a solid foundation from which families and societies emerge. It’s an imprint of a history that defines our past. It reminds us that we’re part of a larger self.

The above wedding traditions shed light on some of the basic values and aspects of Italian culture.