An Italian wedding though can be compared to a festival atmosphere whereas an American wedding more of a party atmosphere.
A Festival Beyond Definition
A festival by definition is – A feast, typically of a religious commemoration.
Eating is by far the biggest concern at an Italian wedding. The emphasis primarily on vast amounts of quality food with ample extras for those guests that would like an extra soup! Typically the Italian meal includes the following:
Champagne for a pre-meal Toast
White and Red Wine at the table or topped up as necessary.
Water left on the table and bread basket filled regularly.
1st – Appetizer
2nd – Soup
3rd – Pasta
4th – Lemon Sorbet – to aid digestion
5th – Meat or Seafood
6th – Salad
7th – Desert with Coffee
Liqueur – to aid digestion
The happy couple then dance at first, with their parents and then with each other. A circle of guests forms to embrace them and wrap them in colorful paper streamers, dousing them with an abundance of paper confetti and candy-covered almonds for good luck. It is especially good luck if no one receives an almond in their eye!
Midnight Buffet – Roast pig or lamb, variety of cold cuts, cheeses, fruits, salads, deserts.
Mineral water - to aid digestion.
Wheres a party by definition is – A social gathering of invited guests, typically including eating, drinking and entertainment.
Eat for energy enough to dance,
Drink for courage to dance,
Dance until the party is over.
Of course this is a tongue in cheek presentation of what we have come to learn about Italian versus American weddings.
Tradition plays a huge role in any wedding day including the reception. Typically guests invited to an Italian wedding will portare una busta (bring an envelop as a gift) so a safe box to keep the envelops needs to be available. Preferably one that is decorated. The guests of an American wedding usually sends a gift to the house of the bride in advance or places it on a provided table at the reception. In both cases it would be considered poor taste to peek at the gifts – a gracious thank you is expected equally.
When the wedding party enters the reception it is traditional for them to line up with parents from both sides and often with uncles and aunts who have traveled from Italy. This making the reception line especially long. Each of the guests goes through the line-up offering a handshake, an envelop and a two cheek kiss.
The receiving line at an American wedding is often forgone and in its place the bride and groom go around to each table distributing party favors and giving thanks and greetings.
Simple? Not all the time. Fun? Always!