Italian Way Events

Sicilian-style wedding

A Sicilian-style wedding is a rich tapestry of traditions, culture, and vibrant celebrations, reflecting the deep-rooted customs and warm hospitality of Sicily. Here’s a guide to what makes a Sicilian wedding unique:

Pre-Wedding Traditions

  1. La Serenata:
    • On the night before the wedding, the groom serenades the bride under her window, often accompanied by musicians. This romantic gesture is meant to show his love and devotion.
  2. The Blessing:
    • The couple may receive blessings from their parents and grandparents, a practice that underscores the importance of family.

Wedding Attire

  1. The Bride:
    • Traditional Sicilian brides often wear elegant, white dresses adorned with lace. Sometimes, the dress might be handed down through generations, adding sentimental value.
    • A veil is common, symbolizing purity.
  2. The Groom:
    • Grooms typically wear classic suits, often in black or dark colors. The style can range from modern to traditional.

The Ceremony

  1. Church Wedding:
    • Most Sicilian weddings are held in a church, with a full Catholic Mass. The ceremony is deeply spiritual, with a strong emphasis on religious rites.
  2. Exchange of Arras:
    • The couple may exchange 13 coins, known as arras, symbolizing Jesus and his apostles. This act represents a promise to share their wealth and is a gesture of good fortune.

Post-Ceremony Traditions

  1. Throwing Rice:
    • As the couple exits the church, guests throw rice or rose petals at them, symbolizing fertility and prosperity.

The Reception

  1. Location:
    • Receptions are often held in beautiful, historic venues such as vineyards, palazzos, or outdoor gardens, showcasing Sicily’s natural beauty and architectural splendor.
  2. Food and Drink:
    • A Sicilian wedding feast is a culinary extravaganza. Expect multiple courses featuring local specialties such as arancini, caponata, pasta alla Norma, fresh seafood, and an array of cheeses and cured meats.
    • Desserts include cannoli, cassata, and granita. The wedding cake is typically a multi-tiered masterpiece, often featuring traditional Sicilian flavors like pistachio or citrus.
  3. Wine and Spirits:
    • Sicilian wines, particularly Nero d’Avola and Marsala, are a staple at the wedding. Limoncello and other local liqueurs may also be served.

Music and Dance

  1. Live Music:
    • Traditional Sicilian music, featuring instruments like the tambourine and accordion, is common. A live band or DJ will also play contemporary and popular Italian songs.
  2. Tarantella:
    • The tarantella, a lively folk dance, is a highlight of the celebration, bringing everyone to the dance floor.

Symbolic Elements

  1. Confetti and Bomboniere:
    • Guests are given confetti (sugar-coated almonds) and bomboniere (small gifts) as a thank you for attending. The number of confetti is typically five, representing health, wealth, happiness, fertility, and longevity.
  2. Corteo Nuziale:
    • The wedding procession is a grand affair, sometimes featuring traditional Sicilian carts decorated with flowers and pulled by horses.

Modern Touches

While many Sicilian weddings hold tightly to tradition, modern elements are often incorporated. Couples may choose contemporary decor, personalized vows, or unique entertainment options, blending the old with the new to create a memorable event.

In summary, a Sicilian-style wedding is a celebration filled with love, family, and time-honored customs, all set against the stunning backdrop of Sicily’s landscapes and historical sites. It’s a vibra