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I Now Pronounce You – i sposati
Part 1 of 3: An Italian Wedding
Since I was only ten, a lot of the details are sketchy, but what I do remember is it being very hot (it was August), the church service was a typical Catholic wedding ceremony, except that the church was packed. Alessandria del Carretto is a very small town and everyone either knows everyone else or is related to them, so it seemed like the entire town was there. After the wedding ceremony, everyone walks from the church to wherever the reception is – the bride and groom leading the way through the town's streets, the bagpipes and the tambourines next, and everyone else following behind throughout the entire town. The thing about this wedding that stands out in my mind is that when we finally arrived at the reception, the men went to one building where all the food and liquor was, the women and children went to a different building for coffee and cake. I remember sitting next to my mom, seeing my father across the courtyard and waving to him. At some point, both groups of men and women began congregating in the courtyard and everyone started dancing the tarantella. I was very familiar with this dance because every family party we ever had growing up ended with the furniture being moved out of the way so we could all dance while my dad, uncle and grandfather played the tambourines and concertina.
Fast forward some forty years later and I find myself in Italy going to two weddings while I'm visiting. It truly does seem that the more things change, the more they stay the same because these weddings, although somewhat more modern, were very reminiscent of my first Italian wedding experience.
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