How to avoid awkward moments during your wedding ceremony in Italy

The wedding ceremony is the amazing moment when two loving souls get united with a religious, symbolic or civil rite starting their life together and uniting the two families. As a wedding planner with 13+ years of experience, I know that some awkward moments that happen during the wedding ceremony, where no one knows what to do, can become the blind spots of your otherwise perfect wedding day. This is what a couple organizing a destination wedding in Italy must know to avoid those awkward moments.


1. Think about the music

Music is a very important part of every wedding ceremony. It should reflect your unique wedding design and personal taste.

The prelude should contain 3-5 songs that will be played while the guests arrive and get seated. 

Then you will need to decide if the groom will be walking down the aisle or waiting for the bride at the altar. For the first option, you will need a song for the groomsmen and groom’s entrance as well. 

Another song should play for the entrance of the bridesmaids and the bride herself. This part is called the processional – when the bridal party walks down the aisle. Think in advance how would you like the entrance to be and do a rehearsal. 

Then you will need to decide the songs for the ceremony itself,  in the case of church weddings in Italy there are some restrictions, I wrote more about it here

Last but not least, pick a song for the recessional, the moment when the couple is pronounced husband and wife and they walk down the aisle together as the new Mr. and Mrs.


2. Decide the places during the ceremony

In the traditional ceremony, the bride’s relatives and friends have their seats on the left side of the church facing the altar and the groom’s on the right.

By the way, did you know why the father walks on the right side of the bride during the wedding? Traditionally, back to the times when men carried swords, this position allowed the father to be able to pick up his sword quickly in case someone tried to take his daughter away during the ceremony. 

Nowadays we don’t have to worry about that anymore during your Italian wedding ceremony. Some couples let the guests mix, as a symbol of the two families uniting. Others make the bride’s family and friends seat on the right side of the church for the same reason.

Decide if you want to walk down the aisle with your father, as in the traditional version, or with your mother, father, best friends… the only limit is your imagination!

The first rows are typically left for parents, siblings, bridesmaids, and groomsmen. This is also done because in this way they can check on the ring bearer if the children are too small, help the bride with the dress and be of assistance if needed.


3. Decide what has to be done after the ceremony

Another awkward moment is usually the end of the ceremony. No one knows what to do and what to expect. For catholic weddings, the priest usually asks the guests to accommodate outside, then the newlyweds come out to the rain of rice or petals the guests toss at them.  

In Italy, rice is thrown at the couple as a symbol of abundance. Lately, as more awareness arises about the less lucky parts of the world where people don’t have enough food, more couples prefer to use rose petals or biodegradable confetti. I always recommend avoiding rice because it hurts a little and tends to ruin the bride’s hairstyle as well. 

If you want the guests to throw flower petals or confetti, be sure someone distributes them in advance, so everyone knows what to do and when is the right moment to do it. By the way, did you know “confetti” means a different thing in Italian? I wrote about it in this blog post: “How Italians do things – expectations vs reality”.

You can also use soap bubbles or olive leaves. Both create a beautiful effect at the moment and children usually have lots of fun with them.

Decide in advance how you will exit the scene after the ceremony to reunite later during the reception. You can have a receiving line for congratulations or disappear and be back later. In the meantime, you can enjoy each other, take some photos just of the two of you or take a break from the rest of the crowd. 



Now you know everything you need to think about for your wedding ceremony to avoid awkward moments! If you want to organize your perfect wedding ceremony in Italy, contact me, I will be happy to help! 


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