Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata

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  • 1. Let Me Know You United in Diversity Fourth Visit in SATU MARE (ROMANIA) 7th/12th October 2013
  • 2. “Sposa Bagnata, Sposa Fortunata” Weddings in Italy
  • 3. An Italian saying goes: “Sposa bagnata, Sposa fortunata” (Wet bride is lucky bride.) It is exclaimed when it rains during a wedding ceremony. The relation between Italy and her sea is indeed a wet marriage. I t aly is a gif t of t he Medit er r anean.
  • 4. Italy’s climate and military history are hinged upon the “the sea among lands”, as translated from the Latin word “Mediterranean”. The sea was an easy vector for those in search of new resources. The shores of Italy provided fertile lands and safe harbors.
  • 5. Italian Wedding Traditions Italian weddings are filled with cultural symbolism and traditions from the proposal to the ceremony and reception.
  • 6. A wedding is a celebration of romance, of two people joining lives, and of two families becoming one. As modern society becomes increasingly diverse, many couples personalize their wedding by incorporating family and cultural traditions. By following customs, each family is honored and introduced to the culture they now share. These connections are especially important in Italy, with its history of large, close-knit families.
  • 7. Italian Weddings: Ancient Roman Customs • • Italian wedding customs are among the oldest in the world, dating back to Ancient Roman ceremonies. The Roman goddess Juno, guardian of marriage, home, and childbirth, made June the most popular month for weddings, a ranking which still stands today. A Roman bride wore a veil to disguise her from evil spirits, and she carried a bouquet of herbs to represent fidelity and fertility. Wedding rings provided a public symbol of the marriage bond, just as they do today. After the ceremony, guests tossed rice at the couple or broke bread over the bride's head to represent fertility, and the groom carried his bride over the threshold of their home. Many of these customs can be found at twenty-first century weddings, demonstrating the longevity of cultural traditions.
  • 8. Getting Engaged in Italy • In the past, Italian wedding engagements were usually orchestrated by the families of the bride and groom. • Lineage was of the most importance, and if the bride's father had any doubts, negotiations could stop in their tracks. In some cases, a matchmaker sent a message (masciata) to the prospective bride's family of the man's hope to marry. • If her family found the groom's proposal acceptable, there would be wedding bells and a marriage. Diamond engagement rings have been popular with Italian brides since the 1400' s. Italians have long held that diamonds are created by the f lames of love. In medieval Italy, grooms even paid f or
  • 9. Pre-Ceremony Customs • Italian men often propose through music, either by playing a romantic song to their beloved or serenading her with the help of musically inclined friends. The song may be a romantic ballad or may include questioning lyrics that offer the proposal itself. • Once engaged, a couple celebrates their impending nuptials with the typical round of parties and showers throughout the community. It is good luck for the bride-to-be to wear green the night before the wedding, which symbolizes the abundance that will follow the couple throughout their marriage.
  • 10. Ceremony Customs • • • • Italy's population is more than eighty percent Roman Catholic, and a traditional mass is the most frequent type of wedding ceremony. The morning of the wedding, before the bride is dressed in her bridal splendor, the couple shares an early communion. The bride avoids wearing gold jewelry before she dons her wedding ring during the ceremony, since other jewelry would detract from the ring's symbolism and the vows it represents. The groom, meanwhile, may carry a piece of iron in his pocket to ward off the evil eye.
  • 11. • The church is often decorated with ribbons to symbolize the marriage bond. • During the ceremony, the wedding rings, which are often simple and lack jewels or adornments, are blessed as part of the ritual mass. • The custom of a unity candle is often included, which involves both the bride and groom using small candles that represent their individual families to light a larger, central candle that represents the new family they are creating. • This symbolizes the merging of the two families. The two individual candles may be lit by parents or siblings to further include family members and strengthen the symbolism
  • 12. Reception Customs An old Italian proverb, "it is around the table that friends understand best the warmth of being together," is often used as a toast at wedding receptions, and it states perfectly the importance of food as part of the celebration. An Italian wedding reception frequently includes an elaborate meal lasting four hours or longer, and may involve up to fourteen individual courses. One of the final courses is the wedding cake, or zuppa inglese
  • 13. Dancing is an integral part of any wedding celebration, and no Italian wedding would be complete without the traditional tarantella dance Legend has it that a woman bitten by the poisonous tarantula can be cured by dancing at the proper tempo. Participants join hands to form a large circle, and begin dancing clockwise. As the tempo changes, the circle speeds up and changes direction, continuing faster and faster to see who can best keep up the frantic pace until finally even the best dancer succumbs to the laughter and confusion. Many couples provide wedding favors, or bomboniera, to their guests, and candied almonds are the traditional favor in Italy. White almonds are preferred because they represent purity, but colored almonds may be used to coordinate with the wedding colors. The sugar coating is symbolic of sweetness, and combined with the bitterness of the almond the confection represents the sweet and bitter sides of marriage. During the reception, the groom's tie can be cut into pieces and sold to provide honeymoon money for the happy couple
  • 14. The Getaway Car and the Road to HAPPINESS When leaving the reception, the couple's getaway car is decorated with flowers, especially the front grill and hood of the vehicle. This is believed to help pave the way for the couple to have a happy marriage.
  • 15. Other Italian customs that are easy to include in a modern wedding • • • • A tradition from the southern regions of Italy has the bride and groom shatter a glass at the end of the wedding day. The number of pieces the glass shatters into symbolizes the number of happy years the couple will have together. The groom should carry a piece of iron in his pocket (Tocco Ferro) on the wedding day to ward off the evil eye (mal'occhio) and any other bad luck that might come along. For the traditional Italian custom of 'buste', the bride will carry a satin bag (la borsa) in which guests place envelopes of money to defer the expenses of customarily lavish Italian weddings Confetti (bomboniera), are tied in mesh bags and tossed at the couple instead of rice or birdseed. Traditionally this was to ward off childlessness and symbolize the union of bitter and sweet. The number of confetti in each bag is very important. It should never be an even number, because that is bad luck. 5 or 7 are each good luck numbers. A little bag could be placed at each table setting.
  • 16. • Traditionally, weddings in Italy are not held during Lent, Advent, the month of May, which honors the Blessed Mother, and the month of August, which is a popular vacation time • Sunday marriages are believed to be the luckiest. • In Veneto it is customary for the Italian couple getting married to walk to the wedding chapel together. The townsfolk place obstacles in the bride's path to see how she will react to domestic situations. If she picked up a broom, for example, she will keep a clean house. If they put a child in her way and she stopped to help him, she will be a good mother. • In some regions, the bride and groom must cut a log in half before they reach the wedding site, using a double handled saw. This demonstrates their partnership in love and marriage
  • 17. sses of wine. "Evviva gli sposi" - "hurray for the newlyweds." Guests respond with thundering applause. This toast is shouted whenever t room to stand and show their affections for all the guests to see. And Now Let’s Toast to the Newlyweds …... One popular custom is a toast, usually made by a male guest after a few glasses of "Evviva gli sposi" wine. - "hurray for the newlyweds." Guests respond with thundering applause. This toast is shouted whenever there is a lull in the wedding celebration, renewing spirits and enthusiasm. "Kiss for the bride" is another popular Italian toast. It calls for the bride and groom to stand and show their affections for all the guests to see.