Weddings in Italy have the perfume of old and the scent of romance, especially if we consider that Verona, the place where Romeo and Juliet’s love story takes place, is located in Italy. When we say Italy we associate quite often its name with gondolas, with Venetians carnivals and the mysteries that they hide behind the strange masks of the disguise. Italy the country of operas, of street singers that lift their canzonets up in the blue sky with the passionate tone of their voices that instantly makes your skin turn into goose bump.
Italy is a colorful and rich in traditions country; there isn’t one single social event to take part without bearing a print of the old into its unfolding. In wedding ceremonies, for instance, tradition plays an important role, since the future life of the newly wed is strictly connected to what happens at the wedding ceremony. Italians have the tradition to color the ceremony of a wedding with different trials that put the wedding couple at test in order to reveal how their future life as a married couple will be.
A wedding celebration lasts long enough to comprise a variety of elements that relate to the Italian folklore, including traditional music and dances. The superstitions are also part of the interpretations of different events that constitute a marriage process. The ceremony itself reveals symbolist objects in order to emphasize characteristics of the good wishes transferred to the wedding couple.
The Italian wedding receptions begin always with serving liquors and strong drinks before the table is set for dinner. This ritual enables the guests to express their toasts toward the wedding couple, toasts that say about long life, happiness and prosperity. The reception includes a custom called “buste” where the bride carries a satin bag in which invitees place envelopes containing money meant to cover the expenses for the wedding. Sometimes men guests come if they are allowed to and pay money in exchange for a dance with the bride. Before the reception ends, couple break a glass in order to count the pieces that reveal the number of years they will share happily in their married life.
The atmosphere of an Italian wedding reception is loaded with music and dances; everybody is enjoying the party with Italian wedding songs that are transmitted orally from generation to generation. The tradition requires often the presence of folklore singers to play the traditional music, but there are also modern Italian weddings that hire DJs instead of a live singer or band. Some of the popular and favored Italian songs are: “Angelina”, “Besame Mucho”, “Coma Prima”, “Funiculi, Funicula”, “Chitarra Romana”, “Lauretta”, “O Sole Mio”, “Non Dimenticar”, “That’s Amore”, “Mambo Italiano” and of course the famous “Volare”.
Some of the songs, as listed before, are famous arias from most popular Italian operas and there is no wedding to take place without playing at least one of these arias.11