Choosing the wedding witnesses is often one of the first points at the beginning of the planning of a wedding. Who to choose and especially how many witnesses should I have for my wedding in Italy?
Find out in this article all the answers about the ideal number of witnesses and their role in your Italian wedding. In any case, do not worry, your witnesses don’t need to speak Italian and our wedding planners will make sure your wedding is well organized!
The role of the wedding witness
The role of the witnesses varies according to the desires of the bride and groom. Some want them to be heavily involved in the preparation of the wedding, while others simply prefer to have them around on the wedding day. The definition of the role of the wedding witness is therefore very personal and subjective.
The wedding witnesses are privileged guests. Being a wedding witness is an opportunity to share intimate and unique moments with the bride and groom during the organization of the wedding. Above all, witnesses have a role of listening, supporting and giving advice, but also a responsibility towards the commitment of the bride and groom. Often considered the “accomplices” of the bride and groom, witnesses assist them throughout the preparation and are expected to understand the organization of the wedding day.
First of all, the witness is a precious help during the fittings of the bride and groom, whether it is for the wedding dress or for choosing an Italian wedding suit.
Furthermore, the witnesses are in charge of planning the bachelor parties of the future spouses. This ritual between friends is usually done separately. Thus, the bride’s witnesses are in charge of the organization of the bachelorette party and the groom’s witnesses are in charge of the future husband’s getaway. A few weeks before the wedding, the witnesses are precious support for the organizational details or for the last preparations, in particular for the lovers of the “Do It Yourself”.
On the big day, witnesses assist the bride and groom during their preparation, their dressing, and take the role of intimate a few hours before the ceremony. Often, they are the ones who drive the groom’s car to the place of the ceremony. On the wedding day, the witnesses are the host of the celebration. Their role is to ensure that the day runs smoothly according to the schedule and the instructions given by the couple.
Using a wedding planner in Corsica or Italy is a good way to relieve the witnesses of some of the responsibilities and stress related to the organization of such an important event, especially when it is set abroad. Our team of wedding planners in Italy is a local help to interact with service providers, find exceptional venues and, moreover, remove the language barrier while involving the witnesses and the future couple in the management of the most beautiful day of their lives.
Lastly, the wedding witness’ role sets off the signing of the marriage registers and it makes the union of the couple official. As its noun indicates, he/she becomes “a witness to bride and groom’s union and to their love”. Nevertheless, beyond all these “formal” aspects, being a witness also means taking advantage of this unique day to congratulate the bride and groom with customized wedding vows, prepare surprises throughout the evening and present them with unforgettable moments.
Different types of wedding ceremonies in Italy
The number of witnesses varies according to the type of ceremony you choose. Witnesses are mandatory for civil and religious ceremonies, but not for secular weddings.
In the case of a civil wedding, the bride and groom must each choose a maximum of 1 wedding witness per person. Therefore, the number of witnesses at the wedding cannot exceed 2.
In the case of a wedding in Italy, it is not mandatory that the witnesses have to be of Italian nationality or Italian speakers. Moreover, if you wish to have a romantic wedding, our team of wedding planners in Italy can provide you with two “anonymous” witnesses as well as an interpreter in order to celebrate your civil wedding in Italy in complete privacy. Our team of wedding planners will accompany you in the realization of your administrative steps and in the obtaining of the “Nulla Osta”.
If you opt for a church wedding, the minimum number of witnesses is one per groom and the maximum is two per groom. The officiant must be informed in advance. It is not mandatory that the witnesses of a church wedding are believers, although it is recommended for a question of faith and religious symbolism. On the contrary, in the case of a Jewish wedding, the witnesses must be of the Jewish faith. The witnesses for the religious ceremony can be the same as those for the civil ceremony, even though this is not a requirement. In short, the number of wedding witnesses per spouse may be greater than four if you wish to change your witnesses between your civil and religious ceremony.
Although the number of wedding witnesses is limited, you can get around this restriction by designating bridesmaids or best men. It is a nice way to value and distinguish the people you could not choose as witnesses of your wedding yet they have an important place on this meaningful day.
Furthermore, one of the particularities of getting married in Italy is the possibility of celebrating the civil marriage at the same time as the religious ceremony in the church. In this case, it is a “concordat marriage” which is legally recognized and is celebrated in the church by the priest. In the case of a secular ceremony, you can choose any number of witnesses you like.
Why choose several wedding witnesses?
One of the first reasons is not to limit yourself in your choice!
A good compromise is to make a mix by choosing a witness member of your family and a witness of your friend circle.
By now, it should be clear that the role of the witness is not limited to signing the registers. His/her dedication is constant from the beginning of the preparations till the end of the wedding. This commitment takes time from the witnesses. By choosing several witnesses, you can split their responsibilities and thus optimize the time of each one.
This assignment of roles is also a strong asset in the planning of the wedding day. Indeed, the multitude of witnesses allows you to delegate more tasks and to make sure that key details won’t be forgotten cause you are trusting several people.
Finally, choosing a few witnesses allows you to compare different points of view during your fittings and to have different opinions on choosing the service providers, thus you will decide even in case of hesitation.
Do you know that is it not mandatory to have the same number of witnesses on both sides of the couple? Furthermore, the witnesses can be mixed, in fact, there is no obligation to choose two female witnesses for the bride or two male witnesses for the groom.
How to choose your best man?
Choosing your best man is a personal choice. For some, this choice has been obvious for many years. Others are hesitating between the choice from the heart or from the reason. The witness is above all a trusted person with whom you have built a privileged relationship.
The choice of the best man or of the bridesmaid is an important decision because this person will accompany you through the trials of your relationship. They do not have to be a family member; you can choose a long-time friend for example. Here again, it can be hard to decide and justify your choice to your friends and family without disappointing anyone. In this case, think about what you personally expect from your wedding witness and identify the people who are most likely to fulfil this role. For example, think of people who have the same tastes as you, who will respect your wishes and especially who will be always at your side.
Furthermore, choose a person who shares the same values as you about family and the commitment to marriage. Our last piece of advice for choosing your wedding witness: trust your instinct, the first feeling is often the right one!