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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Italian Wedding

This past weekend the family and I experienced the Italian Wedding. The high school friend that was getting married had a strict upbringing where both parents grew up in northern Italy (and when I say strict, I mean males weren't able to come into her house, she wasn't allowed to go to her prom, etc, etc, etc). The wedding ceremony took place at an amazing Roman Catholic church (with an even more amazing website), it was crazy formal, the there were chairs for the couple to take a rest - I knew that my 1.5 year old wouldn't make it. Needless to say we stayed 15 minutes.

The amazing thing was the ITALIAN reception. Important to note - I was married in a cove in the mountains of North Carolina, on a Llama farm, with a reception in a tobacco barn. I truly had no frame of reference for this type of event. The reception took place at Mallozzi's (sister establishment of Villa Italia). It started with cocktails and appetizers in a private room including a martini bar, seafood, sushi, champagne, pasta, carvings, an Italian bistro station, etc (I grabbed something that was big and fried thinking it was goodness, and it ended up being cauliflower. So disappointing). Then came the six course dinner in the main ballroom adorned by ice sculptures. After the long introduction of the wedding party and family (two Uncle Tonys), came the waitstaff and food. The staff of approx 30 marched in, dressed to the nines with tuxes and white gloves, and lined up on either side of the dance floor - looking like someone was to be knighted. The food came rolling in on carts and were placed in the center of the floor. The staff began marching towards the food choreographed in a single file that had them criss-cross past each other and reach the other side of the dance floor before coming back to the center to pick up a plate of food, which was then brought to each table in groups of eight. This happened with soup, salad, pasta, sorbet, entree, etc, etc. Between each course was some sort of dance or song. At one point all 200 plus guests were arm in arm singing Dean Martin's "That's Amore" and "New York, New York." I truly couldn't believe it - I though this was only the stuff of the past and Hollywood.

We left before the cutting of the Villia Italia cake and missed the Viennese Table, but were satisfied with all that we experienced. Even though I tied my knot amongst miniature horses, I'm glad to see that tradition is still alive.

Annie - The Wedding (live mix)

3 Comments:

  • At 3:16 PM, Anonymous nico said…

    I knew a girl in high school that was raised so strictly that boys couldn't be in the house unless someone was home. She lived in such fear of her parents that if they weren't home, we sat outside on the front porch in plain view of everyone so there wasn't even a hint of giving anyone any ammo to say we broke the rules. The only time I recall being in the house with her without her parents there was when I was tudoring her for an exam and her dad was having to work really late.

    Onto weddings...

    You should see some of the shindigs Indians throw. They'll drop tens of thousands of dollars on a wedding if not hundreds. A few years ago, my inlaws went to a wedding where a guy from Birmingham was marrying a girl from Chicago.

    The family chartered 20 busses to take people to Chicago and paid everyone's hotel and all of their meals for three days as well as giving everyone in attendance a nice gift for attending the wedding. It was so absurdly expensive.

     
  • At 1:11 PM, Anonymous Tixie said…

    haha... and to think you grew up slow close to Mechanicville where these types of things happen all the time!

     
  • At 2:18 PM, Blogger jds said…

    I know. Even though I was so near to upstate NY's epicenter of the Roman Catholic Church and the Italian transplant way of life, it was something that I had very little exposure to.

    One season I played on a basketball team for St. Peter's in Mechanicville. I was the only kid that wasn't Italian or Irish. I got a lot of shit for that (and for the fact that I was a terrible bball player). But that's as close as I ever got.

    Where I live now, Barre, is very similar to Mechanicville and Schenectady. Many elements of the Italian way of life is still very much apparent (I live up the street from the Italian American club). I guess I enjoyed the event so much because I had grown up walking past and hearing stories of this way of life, but never experiencing it. It had been a fascination. And now to have limited exposure - it has just exceeded my expectations.

    Thanks for dropping by, Jen!

     

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