“Auguri!” Italian wedding traditions and superstitions that may surprise you

Think about an Italian wedding and it evokes images of tables bursting with food and wine and large families where infectious joy and energy abound aplenty. It is a cultural tradition for Italian receptions to be large loud affairs where everyone is welcome and where food and alcohol do not go unappreciated or to waste.

It is also a day that is ripe with traditions and some superstitions that will have you raise your eyebrows. The enthusiasm and energy that Italians throw into a party is certainly hard to beat, and more so when it comes to celebrating a couple tying the knot.

If you’ve got an Italian wedding lined up, you may want to brush up on your Italian to say “Evviva gli sposi!” –  the Italian equivalent for ‘hurrah’ or ‘congratulations’. Or you may want to put on your dancing shoes for the “La Tarantella” – a dizzying hand holding dance used to convey best wishes to the newlyweds.

Food is a focal point

Food takes centre stage in Italian celebrations from sizzling sumptuous roasts to pasta dishes to decadent desserts. From the cookie line dance to the bomboniere of wedding favours, food is part and parcel of the festa.

Sunday weddings

The choice of wedding day is a serious consideration in traditional Italian weddings. Sunday remains a preferred day for bringing good fortune, fertility and prosperity. Fridays and Tuesdays are best to be avoided as these days were thought to be bad luck.

Warding off evil spirits and bringing in good luck

Every wedding needs none of the former and bucket loads of the latter. In order to ward off evil spirits the more superstitious grooms ensure that they carry a small sized piece of iron in their pocket. Brides increase the chances of good luck by ripping the veil.

 If you’re having an Italian wedding and you’re looking for an entertainer that arrives with the experience and knowledge of the cultural festivities, then Australian-born, but Italian-raised comedian and entertainer Joe Avati surely must be your first choice. If you need any more convincing, check out this set he did about Italian Mums! Properly funny!