Getting married in Italy also means to follow some rules of Italian Wedding Etiquette. Here some of the most important ones:
- The groom has to be walked to the altar by his mother and he has to reach the altar before the bride.
- Before the entry of the bride, all guests have to be present and seated.
- Once the bride hits the runner, all guests have to stand up and sit down only when she reaches the altar.
- While walking on the runner, the bride has to be accompanied by her father and she has to walk by his left arm’s side. This means that the father is ‘giving her away’ to her future husband and he won’t any longer take care of her. Therefore once at the altar, the bride has to stand on the left of the groom. Once they are declared husband and wife, they will walk away together, this time the wife walking by her husband’s right arm side, because now he will be taking care of her.
- When making the seating plan, don’t number the tables. All your guests are equally important. Therefore instead of using numbers, use names: maybe names of cities, or names of colours. There are many options, just use your imagination, but definitely avoid to have guests sitting at table number one, and other guests sitting at table number 10. You will offend them.
- The bride and the groom (now husband and wife) will have to have a separate table, one just for them and it will have to face all their guests. During the reception the newlyweds will have to stand up several times to talk to their guests and if they are seating with other people, it is consider of little courtesy to leave them while having dinner.
- Tables should always sit an even number of guests; for receptions we usually have tables of 6 or 8 at the most. Women and men have to sit one next to each other. Never sit a man next to a man or a woman next to another woman.
- It is very hard to find a chef that will serve spaghetti or any long pasta at a reception. But if that happens never ask for a spoon. It is consider very bad table manners. What you want to do, it is to ‘create’ a free spot in your plate, close to the border of the plate, and use that spot to roll the long pasta on your fork. Try at home several times. You will easily master this technique.
- Never let your guests go without a thank you gift. This is when we put confetti (the almond sweets) in little sachets and tie the sachets to little presents. Nowadays you can buy little presents of any kind: small olive oil bottles, small limoncello bottles, special lotions and similar. Back in the times, only small presents made of silver were accepted. The tradition wants that all these thank you gifts are placed in a well adorned basket (or baskets) with a handle, that the bride will carry around the tables at the end of the reception, so that she can distribute them to her guests.