La stagione dei matrimoni è arrivato (wedding season is upon us) so I thought I would talk about how they do things in Italy. Il matrimonio in Italia is quite a different esperienza to what we’re used to in the UK. In la bella Italia marriage is still sacro (sacred) and very tradizionale. I have been to a few now and there is definitely a common theme; il cibo e’ la cosa piu’ importante! (food is the most important thing!)
Conversely to our alcohol-laden weddings involving dancing and general merriment; the Italians take a more civilised approach, focussing most of their time (and budgets) on the food.
La cerimonia (the ceremony) is important too of course and that is almost always in one of the migliaia (thousands) of gorgeous churches dotting the country. Anche se (although) it is becoming a little più comune to have weddings all’aperto (outdoors) in some parts of the country.
La sposa si veste di bianco (the bride wears white) but le damigelle (the bridesmaids) are usually only young children, and the madre dello sposo (mother of the groom) walks him down the aisle before the padre della sposa leads her to join him, whereas in England it’s only the father who does the walking.
When la coppia unita (the united couple) emerges from the church gli Italiani buttano il riso (Italians throw rice) instead of confetti as a buon augurio (good omen) and in true Mediterranean style there are tanti baci pure (lots of kisses too)!
Then it’s on to the reception; where an aperitivo (aperitif) is usually served before gli ospiti (guests) are seated for the main event; il cibo! Around 10 courses is typical; including tre antipasti (three starters), tre primi (three first courses, usually pasta), due secondi (two second courses, usually meat or fish), un buffet di dolci (a buffet of desserts) e la torta nuziale alla fine (and the wedding cake at the end).
I’m sure you’ll agree that’s a heavy line up, and usually so do the guests! So there is very little room for drinking and very little energy for dancing. I won’t deny it is utterly delicious and the setting is usually stunningly beautiful; but overall I prefer the British approach of getting tipsy and dancing ‘til you drop in celebration!
Ci siete stati ad un matrimonio Italiano (have you ever been to an Italian wedding)? What was it like?