Italian Wedding Traditions Marriage in Italy has traditionally played an essential role in the life of any Italian, especially in women’s ones. As far as women were not allowed to leave their houses without an escort, marriage was considered as the only way for their realization. Marriage settlement was considered very important and precise document, which regulated the exact dowry (called “dote” in Italian). Nowadays the groom’s family gives the dowry to the bride’s family, while the latter is thus responsible for the wedding reception at home. Only in the second part of the twentieth century the couples have acquired the right for divorce. The colors are important at Italian wedding. White color of the bride’s gown appeared only in the twentieth century; till then, red and green were traditional colors for a gown. Even today the green color is special and is widely used in Italian wedding decorations, as far as it means luck and prosperity. Another essential thing is the veil. The sense of the veil is almost the same in different traditions: it conceals the bride from the evil spirits who can steal her. A maid of honor is expected to wear the same veil to confuse the spirits. There was a belief that a bridesmaid who took part in preparing the gown for the bride will marry the next year. Today, there is a tradition that the groom sings a serenade to his beloved, while relatives and friends listen to it and wait for the bride to appear. The civil ceremony makes the marriage official, but nevertheless church wedding is very important as well. The reception party takes place the same day. There is a tradition of a Venetian Hour – it is a dessert which includes a huge amount of fruits, cakes and other pastries at the table. This is followed by dancing. After the party, on their way home the guests give their presents – envelopes with money to the newlyweds. The latter thank and present each guest with a small present and a wedding favor.