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Wedding » Indian-weddings » Italian-weddings-07015
 
When in Rome....do as the Romans...
Weddings the Italian way
 
Weddings the Italian way Amore e gelosia n acquero insieme
"Without jealousy there is no love." (famous Italian proverb)

So if you're considering tying the knot in Italy, or planning to attend a traditional Italian wedding elsewhere in the world, here's a look at something old, something new, something borrowed...from a variety of sources incorporating the ideals of traditional rituals with the practicality of immediate choices available to those of Italian Diaspora and / or couples wanting to get married in Italy.

Catholic, Civil or Symbolic

Italians, historically, have been the most fashionable, most innovative, most practical and probably the most fun-loving in the European union coterie. Their weddings also follow, in tandem, exemplifying the evolvement in their society and culture with a view to tradition while keeping pace with the enormous changes spearheading the country's political and social agenda, and its people while encompassing the country's spirit and soul in its entirety. Consequently, Italy of 2006 is much different than the Italy of the 60's and 70's and subsequently the weddings are also grander in scale, more elaborate, and lately that much more exotic.

Traditionally, Italians get married in a religious venue as a Church as 90 per cent of the population is Roman Catholic. (The remaining comprise of Jewish, Protestant and Muslim believers). Although most marriages are sanctified in a place of religious worship, the union is not officially recognised by the state. Thus civil formalities must also be completed.

A civil service in Italy gives you a fully legal marriage certificate, recognised throughout the world. The civil wedding takes place in the town hall, presided over by the vice-mayor, or his substitute. You will be asked to declare your status as free to marry, and will perform a brief service, concluding with the exchange of rings.

The ceremony is held in a meaningful way, and the articles of law are about your rights and duties within your family relationship.

To prove your status as free to marry, you will have to prepare several documents - and the paperwork prior to the service may be quite lengthy. (source www.italian-weddings.com)

Church vows
Numerous churches cover the country, some of the most famous being the Basilica of Marino in Venice, Church of San Giuseppe (Milan), and the church in Piazza dell Oratorio near the landmark Trevi fountain in Rome. Whether it's a small chapel or a huge synogogue the actual wedding ceremony stays true to tradition and the religious norms.

Vows are exchanged in front of a priest, family and guests in the place of worship. There is usually background music heralding the arrival of the bride who enters the Church on the arms of her father and is accompanied by her bridesmaids. The groom is waiting for her at the altar flanked by his best men. Once the vows and rings are exchanged the couple kisses before being sprinkled with confetti (a symbol of prosperity and health) as they leave the Church. The guest procession follows the couple to the venue for the dinner / reception. And Italians really believe in enjoying themselves. A 13 course meal is not considered unusual, lots of music, plenty of drink topped with good cheer and wishes and an umpteen tier wedding cake! Along the way couples sometimes participate in traditional games such as a pre-marriage obstacle race, rooted in Venice, where both are tested intellectual and athletic challenges symbolising and preparing them for the various ups and downs in life.
 

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