Typical Italian Wedding Menu

7 September 2023

For Italians the Wedding Menu is a very serious affair. It’s well known that in the Bell Paese you don’t joke when it comes to food, even more when it’s a big event. The Wedding turns into a perfect occasion to present unique and delicious food, typical italian wedding dishes, for your guests’ indulgence. Because the success of a wedding in Italy is also measured – measured mainly actually – by the quality of the food on the menu which your guests will comment on! Don’t worry if you’re not fully up to speed with our traditions, we will guide you through the discovery process of the perfect “Italian Way” wedding menu!

Typical Italian Wedding Menu: all you need to know

Italians eat too much, just like their parties that go on for hours. Is it true? No, italians care the most about good quality food that must be outstanding on the wedding day. Used to home cooked meals, traditional dishes, with mostly local and organic produce, the jewels of each season and region; it is super important that the wedding menu leaves up to their high expectations. The research for the best catering or restaurant takes time and dedication, or a special hand to help, the one of the Wedding Planner.

How many dishes should the menu have? 

It depends. Usually the wedding banquet (before the pandemic) starts with a Welcome cocktail, served standing, that can last up to an hour. The starters can be served standing, in a tasty but informal way, as a buffet organized in varied food islands to allow the guests to move around comfortably without having to queue up to top up their plate.  

On some occasions at the table the guests are served a selection of two or three starters, a First course or a mix of two First courses and after one or two Second courses with a side. If the couple choose meat and fish for their menu, the tastebuds will be reset by serving a refreshing lemon sorbet in between the two courses freeing up some space for what’s yet to come.

The meal comes to an end with a fruit and dessert buffet and in the end, the Wedding Cake. Italian Wedding Banquets cannot be over without coffee, religiously expresso, and a digestive like Mirto, tipical from Sardinia, or a limoncello.

Nowadays we value Tradition, but often proposals have a modern twist, offering to the Party a sense of originality and fun. There won’t be missing the “corners” during the starters where to have freshly baked pizza, or the Gelato cart during the dessert buffet, or even the mini burger “van” always 100%italian meat, served at midnight.

The typical Italian wedding menu: Welcome Drink and Starters

The starters are usually served during the welcome drink, can be placed on tables or served on trays by the Waiters. Expect a mix of typical savoury appetizers, like the big Parmigiano cheese as centerpiece served with walnuts and grapes, Salumi platters and boards with “Prosciutto di Parma”, savoury finger food, mini quiche, savoury tartlets, rustic mozzarelle, vegetable sticks “in pinzimonio” and many bakery treats. 

It can’t miss the corner dedicated to the Italian Aperitif of excellence now renowned worldwide: the Aperol Spritz – Original, super trendy and typically Italian! The Aperol Spritz corner is the area where guests will be served a long drink/ cocktail created by mixing sparkling wine, usually Prosecco, Aperol and a splash of sparkling water, soda or seltz. Fresh, vibrantly coloured and not too strong on alcohol content, it’s the drink of election for Italians.  

The typical Wedding Menu: Firsts

The First courses in Italy are made off pasta or risotto, but may be handmade ravioli, prepared and cooked in many different ways. On some occasions the couple chooses Lasagna, usually prepared in a “Gourmet” version with season vegetables, with fish or with exquisite and light meat “ragùs”.

The typical Wedding Menu: Seconds

The Second course can be of Fish or Meat. Ideally once elected the region of Italy where to host the wedding, get acquainted with the typical local products; Sardinia, Sicily, Puglia are well known for a strong culinary tradition well preserved. For example, Traditional Sardinian Cuisine has a prevalent presence of Lamb, that can be served as a second on this occasion. In many weddings, mainly during summer time, Italians love a good Barbeque, be it fish or meat. 

A Side will always be served with the Second and is prepared with fresh seasonal vegetables or greens, like salads or colourful ratatouille and often roast potatoes.

The typical Wedding Menu: The sweets buffet

In some cases the wedding cake will be served before a buffet of individual sweet treats, typically italian sweet in “mignon” version, or dry fruits, like strawberries or wild berries. It can’t miss the Ice Cream Cart to indulge your guests coming from other corners of the world, or even “WOW” them with the classic Italian confetti table. 

The typical Wedding Menu: The Wedding Cake

If outside Italy the biggest trend when it comes to the Wedding cake is a tiered one, the italian wedding cake is a simpler affair usually made of a single tier sponge cake stuffed with chantilly cream. The cake will then be covered with a ganache, heavy cream or fresh fruits. But we can go off rails with colours, style and ingredients when it comes to The Wedding Cake

Get in touch to organize your incredible destination Wedding in Italy.