- Wedding guests should be dressed elegantly for an Italian wedding, but it is best to avoid outfits that are too gaudy or revealing. Women should not wear blouses or dresses with plunging necklines; dresses with excessive amounts of rhinestones or sequins should be avoided, as these articles of clothing garner too much attention, and the bride is to be the central focus of the celebration. Men should wear a dark suit (black or navy blue); however a navy blue sport coat and slacks is acceptable.
Etiquette for Groom
- In northern Italy, it is customary for the groom to wait at the steps of the church for his bride to arrive, with a bouquet of flowers to present to her. In some parts of Italy, proper wedding etiquette suggests that the groom is responsible for walking the bride, along with the wedding party, to the church where the ceremony will take place. When the groom walks the bride up to the church doors, the two will often find a ribbon tied to some part of the door knob or handle, symbolizing the union the two are preparing to enter into.
Etiquette for Bride
- The wearing of the bridal veil is a tradition that originated in Italy, according to Life in Italy.com. The veil represents the bride purity, and traditional veils cover the bride's entire face, so that she can be "revealed" at the end of the ceremony. While the bride and groom are greeting guests and thanking them for coming to the ceremony and reception, the bride is also responsible for handing out the Italian wedding favors, which are candy-coated almonds called "confetti." Each guests is given five almonds in a small decorated pouch to represent happiness, health, wealth, long life and fertility.
- Proper etiquette indicates that the father of the bride is the first to make a toast at the reception. After this, the best man is in charge of giving the toast that will take place right before dinner, known as the "per cent'anni," which is a wish for the bride and groom to stay together for one hundred years. Other toasts can also be made throughout the night by friends and family members, including the "evviva gli sposi," which is a cheer for the new couple. The groom receives "demands" from the crowd to kiss his new bride, and guests also kiss the bride for good luck.
- Lively music is often played at Italian wedding receptions, particularly at celebrations in southern Italy. The bride and groom should be the first to dance, according to etiquette. After this, the bride shares a dance with her father, and the groom dances with his mother. Guests are also encouraged to dance with the bride and groom during the reception; male guests dance with the bride, and female guests dance with the groom. It is customary to give the couple money during this time as well; the bride often carries a purse or "bursa" with her while dancing. When money is collected, it is given to an older family member for safe keeping until after the reception.
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