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Elena’s Italian wedding traditions

The gift of a bouquet

There are different traditions and beliefs in Italy about who should buy the bridal bouquet.
According to the more common tradition, the bouquet should be supplied by the groom as a last gift to his fiancé before she becomes his wife.

The bride may choose the colours and the flowers, since they should match the wedding décor and her dress – which her future husband is not supposed to see until the ceremony. Even though the groom can’t see the bouquet, it’s his job to pay the bill and make sure the its delivered to her on time on the wedding day.
Sometimes, in northern Italy, it’s the groom himself who hands the bouquet to his future wife. Since it’s considered very bad luck for him to see the bride before the wedding, he will wait for her in front of the church, just before taking his place near the altar for the ceremony.

According to another tradition, more common in southern Italy, it’s the groom’s mother who must provide the bouquet, as a gift to welcome the bride into the family.

These traditions, however, are now becoming obsolete, since brides find it more practical to pick their own bouquet, and they know what they like best!

Kotey and Mickaela (Italy) share the tradition of the groom gifting the bride her wedding bouquet. Image taken by professional wedding photographer, Nadia Meli, using the D850 and AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED lens.

The bride and the mirror

In many parts of the world it is considered very bad luck for the groom to see the bride before the ceremony. Italy is no exception and this tradition is still taken very seriously by local couples. In several parts of the country the future husband and bride shouldn’t even see each other on the day before the wedding.

What you probably don’t know is that in certain Italian regions even the bride is not allowed to see herself. According to an old tradition that originated in southern Italy, the bride must avoid seeing herself in the mirror while dressed from head to toe in her bridal finest. She must be very careful and avoid mirrors while trying on her wedding gown – not only on her wedding day but also in the days before – or she will have bad luck in her married life.

If however, she really wants to take a peek and check her outfit, the bride should first remove an accessory. That’s the reason why Italian brides often choose to look themselves in the mirror while barefoot. As an alternative, they can choose to take off an earring or glove. 

Mickaela (Italy) only wears one earring while looking in the mirror, to avoid bad luck. Image taken by professional wedding photographer, Nadia Meli, using the D850 and AF-S NIKKOR 35mm f/1.4G lens.