Lets say you or your fiancé have an Italian background or a love of the beautiful and classic elegance of Italy. Celebrating your big day with an Italian theme will bring old world charm and beauty to your wedding.
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The most important part of any Italian wedding is the food. In Italy, wedding banquets will contain as many as 14 courses, accompanied by wine, cocktails, and various coffee drinks. And most Italian weddings include the whole family, down to the youngest children. If you want this type of affair, consider looking into large banquet halls, Italian restaurants with banquet facilities, or you can choose an outdoor location with plenty of room for tables and dancing.
Colors for an Italian wedding can call to mind a region of Italy, like Tuscany, or the red, white and green of the Italian flag. Beautiful gold gowns in a rich fabric for your bridesmaids would be perfect, and you can accessorize your groomsmen with gold ties and cummerbunds. The groom traditionally carries a bit of iron in his pocket, meant to ward off evil. You can certainly break a bit with tradition and have a very elegant wedding gown with gold embroidery, or add gold ribbon to your bouquet.
Most Italian weddings are Church weddings, and Sunday is considered the luckiest day to marry. When a marriage ceremony was going to be held, it was typical for a large ribbon to be hung over the entrance to the Church, indicating to all who entered they were coming to see the tying together of the couple and the families. It’s a very nice tradition that can easily be carried on at your ceremony, even if you do not have a Church wedding. Italian brides never marry in May, thought to be a month dedicated to the Blessed Mother, and traditionally avoid August. Many Italian families vacationed in August, and it was thought the turnout for the big event would be low due to vacations.
Italian weddings are usually lavish affairs, and quite often more formal than casual. Dress up your reception location with gorgeous floral centerpieces, and gold organza table covers. Use red as an accent color in flowers, napkins, candles, or other decorations. Red glass vases overflowing with white flowers and trimmed in gold ribbon would be beautiful, or go with crystal vases filled with beautiful red roses and sprigs of gold sprayed branches. Another beautiful centerpiece would call to mind the Italian countryside if you bunched grapes of different colors with fresh flowers and ivy.
Greet your guests with an appetizer buffet that is loaded with fresh olives, peasant style breads, cheeses, marinated mushrooms, grilled eggplant, Italian lunchmeats like prosciutto, capicola, and salami. Add an antipasto, a salad filled with Italian meats, cheese, roasted peppers, beans, anchovies, and tomatoes. Offer bruschetta, a toasted garlic bread, with a tomato or white bean spread.
A sit down dinner or buffet will work well for the main part of your meal. Try to include a pasta course, a meat course, a fruit course, a salad course, and then dessert. Some Italian weddings include a breakfast after the festivities have taken place.
A huge part of an Italian wedding is the desserts! It is not uncommon for there to be no wedding cake at an Italian wedding, and sometimes, the cake is a cookie cake, used for a traditional cookie dance. The cookie dance is a line dance of sorts, where the bride and groom lead a train of guests on the dance floor, and over to the cookie cake. Everyone in the train takes a cookie as they go past, and when all of the dancers have retrieved their cookies, those who chose not to participate may go and have their cookie. A typical Sicilian wedding will feature a Viennese table, a buffet of desserts of every imaginable variety. There will often be Italian cookies galore, cannoli, cakes, pastries, nuts, and fresh and dried fruits. Sweet liqueurs will be served, as well as espresso, cappuccino, and dessert wines.
No Italian wedding is complete without Jordan almonds, also known as sugared almonds. These candy coated almonds are thought to symbolize the combining of the bitter and the sweet, just as you would expect in married life. Every guest at an Italian wedding is treated to a tulle bag containing these almonds, and for a more elaborate presentation, they can be offered in silver boxes, pieces of pottery, or other decorative container.
Other favor options to offer include personalized bottles of wine; homemade vinegars, or flavored olive oils. A small bag of fried, twisted dough sprinkled with powdered sugar is another Italian wedding tradition.
Food, family, and festive are the best ways to describe the typical Italian wedding. Enjoy the day steeped in heritage that you will remember always. Cent’anni!
Article Hawaii wedding Coordinator
An Italian wedding idea
An Italian wedding is about as steeped in history and tradition as any wedding you are likely to encounter. Even in contemporary times, when the wedding is no longer arranged by the parents, you are likely to encounter things like the dancing of the Tarantella; the carrying of a satin purse for the purposes of collecting wedding cards containing cash gifts; the gift to your wedding guests of “confetti”, or multi-colored Jordan almonds; or even the tradition where the bride dances with every man at the wedding in exchange for money, which can be pinned to the wedding gown, or collected by the bride’s Nonna (grandmother). The one thing, however, you can almost always count on at a traditional Italian wedding is the fabulous Italian cookies. There are varying theories on the tradition of the cookies, but the most common explanation for the tradition is that there was a time when it was too expensive to create a large wedding cake confection. Instead, family members of the bride and groom, from their mothers and grandmothers to their aunts and cousins, would all contribute a type of cookie. The cookies were then assembled into the shape of a cake, and at the point of the wedding where the cake would be cut, the bride and groom lead the entire group of people in a “cookie dance”. They dance around the reception area, with the crowd behind them, to the cookie table, where the guests grab a cookie or two as they walk by. If you don’t participate in the dance, you have to wait until the dance is over, then make you way to the table for your cookies.
The one cookie you must have is really a twisted knot of dough, symbolizing the tying together of two people, sprinkled liberally with powdered sugar. You will also find pignoli, which are pine nut cookies, and pizzelles, which are very thin waffle shaped cookies. Other varieties will include ones filled with preserves and figs, all traditional recipes from Italy.
If you choose not to do the cookie dance, a really lovely treat for all of your guests is to give them each a bag with a thank you note printed on them, and allow them to visit the cookie table with their bag. Filling a bag with your delicious Italian wedding cookies is a sweet reminder for your guests to take home of your beautiful wedding day.