As the home of famous lovers Romeo and Juliet and the birthplace of the word Romance (Roma is the stem of the word romance) it would seem quite obvious that Italy began many of our modern day love and wedding traditions.
Every woman wants a big beautiful rock on her taken finger. Each morning she can wake up, look at the ring and know that her man loves her. But, how did we ever decide that a diamond ring should symbolize marriage or engagement? Well, diamond engagement rings have actually been popular in Italy since the 1400’s. Traditionally, Italians believed that diamonds are formed by the flames of love.
Since there are no diamonds in Italy, Italians had to import them. The diamond industry has been known to be brutal and at times, dangerous, like with blood diamonds in Africa.
Italian women used to gather their furniture, clothes and other odds and ends to offer as a dowry. This tradition evolved over time into the modern day wedding shower. The couple is now offered gifts that will help them to start their lives together and lessen the financial burden of the wedding in both Italy and America.
The tradition of having a lavish wedding where guests thoroughly enjoy the food, music and people has long been practiced in Italy; however, there are many traditions that did not make it to the United States from abroad. Like this one, the groom in an Italian wedding may carry a piece of iron which symbolizes strength and will ward off evil spirits. Also, the bride wears a veil to hide her face from the evil spirits and after the ceremony, when the party starts, it is good luck to tear the veil.
Perhaps the most different and I say disappointing tradition for Italian weddings would be this: the bride doesn’t get her solo moment. After spending oodles of time picking out the perfect wedding gown, the bride does not get the entry where every person has their eyes on her, instead, the bride and groom enter together, which does make the entry more about the couple. Despite their entry difference, I think Italians left everyone a pretty amazing set of traditions that make weddings and being in love incredibly special; however, it is important to remember that traditions vary by region, religion and family in the United States and in Italy. So, while many of these traditions are well known, they are not practiced by everyone; however here is a video of the highlights of an Italian wedding.
The couple after having a traditional Italian wedding.