Italian Wedding Traditions and Superstitions

“Something old, something new, something borrowed, and something blue” is a performed custom in Italian weddings. The something old is usually a sacred family item that holds a lot of sentimental importance. Many brides wear a hair clip or jewel that has been passed down through the family. The item represents her past and what she is leaving behind. The something new symbolizes new challenges and the new life the bride is embarking on. Typically, the bride’s dress is her something new. The something borrowed usually comes from a family member or close friend and signifies the affection of the loved ones who will remain close during her transition from old to new. The something blue symbolizes purity and sincerity. In olden times, a bride’s dress used to be colored blue. Nowadays, many brides decorate their garters with a blue ribbon.

It is not likely guests will see a bride walk down the aisle without a bouquet of flowers to match the wedding’s color scheme. However, in the past, it was the groom’s responsibility to pick out the bride’s bouquet as his last gift to her as her suitor.

Traditional Italian couples purchase the engagement ring and the wedding bands at separate times as it is said to be bad luck to purchase them together.

A bride is considered to be luckier if she is wearing a veil given to her by another bride in a happy marriage.

At the end of the ceremony, the groom can offer his bride an ear of corn which symbolizes fertility.

A very common tradition is that after the ceremony and reception, the newlyweds go to their new home where the groom leads his bride through the door. This is from the Roman belief that a wife should not stumble when entering her new home, so her husband should assist her.
Brides distribute confetti tied in lace or tulle to guests, but only in odd numbers.

A groom’s tie is traditionally removed prior to eating at the reception. It is cut into pieces and distributed to male guests in return for a cash contribution to the newlyweds.

In many cultures, it is deemed bad luck for the bride and groom to see each other prior to the wedding ceremony. However, in some parts of Italy, the bride cannot even look at herself.

The wedding date is another superstitious factor in planning an Italian wedding. Sundays are said to bring prosperity and fertility while Fridays are said to be the day evil spirts are created so it is unlikely to see an Italian wedding held on a Friday.