Four Italian Weddings
If I could describe 2016 in one word, it would be, ‘babies’. So many of my friends welcomed new additions to their family last year and it was wonderful. This year isn’t over yet but it seems like 2017 will be the year of weddings. That said, it is quite probable that 2018 might be another year of babies.
Just this month alone, we have been invited to five weddings. We have another wedding in September in Canada (that I sadly, cannot attend) and yet another in Santiago, Chile in November. The four Italian weddings that we have been able to attend were all quite different from one another despite them all being “Italian”.
Civil Ceremony and Reception in Oltrepò Pavese
The first couple, E&J, are both from the Lombardia region. The bride is my husband’s relative and the groom is from the Milano area. They have just renovated a house in the hills, close to where my husband and I are renovating our house.
E&J were together for over 10 years before they decided to tie the knot. The night before their wedding day, J was carrying something heavy down the stairs when he tripped and fell. The bride-to-be had to rush her fiancé to the hospital for a broken finger. By the time they got back home, it was past two in the morning. They had to be up early for the morning ceremony so, unfortunately, none of them had enough sleep. Despite the exciting nocturnal event, both of them looked refreshed and beautiful on their wedding day.
E wore a heart-shaped, A-line gown with about eight layers of chiffon. The dress looked like it was custom-made. But actually, she got it at a second-hand store in Milan for an amazing price! J wore a dark steel blue suit and a bright, white finger brace! I felt a bit sorry for the groom because it was 32 degrees outside and he was sweating buckets. Both of them wore ivy leaves: E in her hair and J in his jacket pocket as it was the recurring theme throughout the wedding.
The ceremony was held in the town hall of Montù Beccaria. Since the room in the town hall was quite small, a few of us waited downstairs ready with our tubes of soap to blow bubbles at the newlyweds. Traditionally, Italians throw rice at the newlyweds.
Guests quickly congratulated the newlyweds and started to make their way to the wedding reception. The Italian wedding reception was held at a quaint holiday farm in the hills of Oltrepò Pavese called, Agriturismo Boccapane. We were welcomed with a lovely aperitivo with hors d’oeuvres in the gazebo, complete with natural air conditioning to relieve us from the blistering heat.
Shortly after the newlyweds arrived, we were ushered into the restaurant to have our five-course meal. The dining room was long and narrow. The problem was that it didn’t have air conditioning and had few open windows. After every course, guests were getting up to get some fresh air because it was so hot.
We started with some appetizers including some local cold cuts, pickled vegetables and gnocco fritto, a local favourite. Some dishes included a walnut ravioli dish, a roast and a cheese platter. The wedding cake was cut and eaten outside in the gazebo to everyone’s contentment. We were offered Moscato with the cake just as the entertainment started.
The wedding cake toppers were personalized as they looked exactly like the actual couple and included their two cats and dog. It was a sponge cake with custard and berries: a traditional Italian wedding cake.
We had to leave right after a few songs because our son had a birthday party to attend. Before leaving, E made sure we received our party favours before we left: Little jars of various cactus plants and a mini burlap sack bag of chocolate confetti.
The Theme of the Italian Wedding
The general theme of the Italian wedding was green ivy. It was on the invitation, the flowers, in the bride’s hair, the groom’s jacket pocket, the bouquet, the centerpieces, the seating plan and the party favours.
After the cake cutting, the singer-entertainer gave a great performance and even involved the guests, inviting them to help him sing some songs for the bride and groom. It was a shame that we had to leave shortly after because it seemed like the party was just getting started.
A few days later, the couple was off to their honeymoon. Destination: Greece.