Italian weddings are rich in symbolism and tradition. An Italian wedding reception will be lavish with great care taken to ensure that all in attendance enjoy themselves and the day is memorable. In keeping with tradition, your wedding gift should reflect the honor you have toward the father of the bride or groom.
Traditionally, wedding guests of an Italian wedding give the couple a gift, with the wedding witnesses gifts being of greatest value. The quality of a gift reflects the standing in the community of the couple's families. Therefore, well respected families of the wedding party will receive more lavish gifts. Old tradition also holds that the wedding gift is a "thank you" to the families for any past favors.
Besides showing respect for the families, your wedding gift for the Italian couple should indicate that it was selected with thought and love for the couple. Personalized gifts or elegant items for their new home are always favored.
A true traditional Italian wedding will have the bride carrying a satin bag, called la borsa, during the reception. Guests are expected to place an envelope with money into the bag to help defer the cost of the lavish wedding or pay for the honeymoon. Men who wish a dance with the bride are also expected to add money to her satin bag for the honor.
Though not as often practiced, some grooms at Italian wedding receptions will cut their tie into pieces and sell the pieces to guests to raise money for the honeymoon.