My Experience at an Italian Wedding
The rolling hills of Tuscany overwhelmed me. We twisted and turned into a tiny village called Radicondoli, outside of Siena. The long gravel road we traveled down was surrounded by olive trees planted in perfect lines. I stepped out of the car and breathed in the smell of crisp air, fresh cut grass, and lavender. Bees buzzed, enjoying the abundance of flowers. It seems no matter where you are on the food chain, everyone is happy in Tuscany. I had come to Italy with my Italian boyfriend, to celebrate this Italian wedding.
The priest–who hours earlier led us in prayer–now led us in drinking games.
The bride scampers out of her dressing room to greet us, with full makeup and a white t-shirt with ‘bride’ spelled across it in diamonds. It is so see-through that her nipples poke through the sheer fabric, but she doesn’t seem to care, and kisses us excitedly on both cheeks. The ceremony is a couple of hours away, but she seems completely calm and in no rush at all. (The complete opposite of how I imagine myself being on my wedding day). People are scattered across the property, some barefoot, others playing music, or eating. The place has a hippie feel to it, which I love. Guests were invited to stay in the villa, which the bride’s parents generously rented out for the week. We find our room, beautifully crafted in stone and wood with open windows and floating curtains.
In typical Italian fashion, an hour later we are rushing to the church in a caravan. The church is tiny and simple, sporting hard wooden pews and cold stone floors, and decorated with my favorite golden flower, sunflowers, picked from the fields we drove by earlier. The ceremony is long and in Italian, following all the Catholic traditions. Two hours later, stained with sweat, my brain aching from trying to understand the language, the couple kiss and we are dismissed, spraying rice into the air.
After the service, we are back in the car, snaking through the winding roads of Tuscany. Awaiting us on the patio at our destination is an aperitivo, one of my absolute favorite things about Italy. Bright orange Spritz and crisp Prosecco flow down my throat, soaked up by mini pizza muffins, black rice with avocado and salmon, skewers of meat, cheese, and crackers, all delicately hand-crafted by the bride’s mother.
When the dancing finished and the bottles of wine lay empty and scattered, the youngest and oldest had made their way to bed. Only a few of us remained out on the terrace, gazing up at the stars that connected us, no matter where in the world we were.
After the aperitivo, we make our way to the lawn, where tables are set up for dinner. The sun paints the sky red, orange and pink. There are no lavish decorations. There are simple white lights, beautiful flowers and the rolling hills of Italy. It’s the most perfect setting I’ve ever seen.
The most magical part of the Italian wedding was the diversity of the guests. The groom was American and the bride Italian. Both had studied and lived abroad, and had picked up friends from all over the world. I was overwhelmed by the closeness of all the people who had traveled so far to be there.
The priest–who hours earlier led us in prayer–now led us in drinking games. An accordion and piccolo set the tune for the night. We danced and weaved to what I think was a mix of Italian and Polish tunes. When the dancing finished and the bottles of wine lay empty and scattered, the youngest and oldest had made their way to bed. Only a few of us remained out on the terrace, gazing up at the stars that connected us, no matter where in the world we were.
My Experience at an Italian Wedding