Every country and culture has its fair share of marital beliefs, customs, traditions and sayings. As part a rich and ancient culture with a well-deserved reputation for romance and passion, Italians have no shortage of wisdom for the wedding day. Italian wedding sayings range from heartfelt binding vows to humorous and memorable folk sayings.
Many Italian wedding proverbs focus on praise of the wife, such as "la buona mogile fa il buon marito" ("a good wife makes a good husband") or "la mogile e la chiaave di casa" ("a good wife is the key to a good home"). Others present superstitions -- "sposa bagnata sposa fortunata," or "rain on the day you get married brings good luck" -- while some give advice, like "tra mogile a marito...non mettere il dito" ("don't meddle in a quarrel between a husband and his wife" or "mogile e buoi...de paesi tuoi," which means "marry a wife from your own people," where people means class or neighbourhood.
Other Folk Sayings
Italian wedding sayings are certainly not without a touch of humour. For instance, "la prima e Matrimonio, la seconda compania, la terza un'eresia" means "the first woman you marry is your wife, the second a companion, the third -- you have veered off course." The phrase "all's fair in love and war" -- or "in amore e in guerra tutto e lecito" -- is popular in Italy as it is elsewhere in the Western Hemisphere. Folk sayings such as "Dio li fa e poi li accoppia" ("God makes them, and then joins them") and "matrimoni e viscuvati, di lu celu su mannati" ("weddings and spiritual matters are heaven sent") add a sense of majesty and spirituality to weddings.
The Italians have a traditional wedding blessing that says, "there are three beautiful things in life: birth, love and this day. Best wishes and good fortune to you, (name of the bride) and (name of the groom), for all your life." Some Italian weddings feature a reading of the Bible's first letter of St. Paul to the Corinthians as a blessing, which features the famous line, "Love never ends."
Vows are perhaps the most important words said at any wedding. In Italy, the groom -- or "sposo" -- says "Io, (groom's name), prendo te, (bride's name), come mia sposa e prometto di esserti fedele sempre, nella gioia e nel dolore, nella salute e nella malattia, e di amarti e onorarti tutti i giorni della mia vita." These words, repeated back to the groom by the bride, translate to "I, (groom's name), take you, (bride's name), as my wife and promise to be faithful to you always, in joy and in pain, in health and in sickness, and to love you and every day honour you, for the rest of my life."