An Italian Wedding

100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go
June is the classic month in which to schedule wedding, and this holds true in Italy, too. Therefore, with the marriage month fast approaching, I am delighted to be able to provide readers with an excerpt from Susan Van Allen’s wonderful new book 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go.

An Italian Wedding

If you get an invitation to an Italian wedding, don’t waffle about how you’re going to pay for airfare or take time off work. Go for a once-in-a-lifetime unforgettable event. Prepare yourself for an extravaganza of delicious food and dancing until the wee hours.

It’ll be a rare invitation. These days Italians say it’s not practical to get married, so most are shacking up together for years, and the statistics for Italian marriages are at a historic low. Along with that, there’s the trend of “mammoni” or mamma’s boys, that is, men living at home and having their mothers cook for them and do their laundry until they’re well into their thirties. It’s inspired the government to step in to get things moving, and beginning in 2008 tax breaks will be offered to those earning low incomes who leave home to live on their own.

Still, if you’re in Italy, especially in June (thanks to Juno, Goddess of Marriage), you’ll run into Italian weddings in churches. I spent a week in Palermo one June where almost every church I peeked into had a marriage ceremony going on, with wonderful music and stunning get-ups from the bride on down. You’ll never see a real Italian wedding on a Tuesday or Friday, as that’s considered not a good day to begin any venture. Which is why when I was last visiting Ravello’s Villa Cimbrone on a Friday, the wedding party posing for pictures were Americans from Massachusetts.

Speaking of which, you may be considering getting married in Italy. It’s naturally a great place for a wedding, completely romantic, with locations from castles to vineyards to cliffs overlooking the sea that can satisfy every fairytale fantasy.

A major advantage to getting married in Italy is that you can cut your guest list down to a core group of dearest family and friends, who’ll be thrilled to be in on the adventure. Plus, what
better place is there for a jumping off point for a honeymoon?

As far as the nitty-gritty, it’s better to have a symbolic wedding in Italy rather than an official one, as the paperwork to make things official is complex and time consuming. To help get things set up, here are some companies that specialize in Italian weddings:

Doorways, Ltd.
One of this company’s top “I Do” spots is a sixteenth century villa on the outskirts of Lucca, which sits on 300 acres of vineyards, olive groves, and woodlands. A special perk is a pre-wedding cocktail party exclusively for the bridal couple and all the service people involved in the festivities. Here, according to Doorway’s President Kit Burns, “Everyone becomes a family and the bride’s pre-wedding anxiety vanishes when she’s met everybody who’ll be doing
the work.”

There’s a fantastic frescoed bridal suite at the villa, an arts and crafts workshop area for younger guests, and it’s perfectly located for day trips before the big event, such as a boat ride to the Cinque Terre.

Italy 4 Real
Intimate country weddings in Tuscan and Umbrian agriturismos, are Italy 4 Real’s specialty. The company’s philosophy is for clients to fully experience the environment they’re in, so they bring in local expert chefs and musicians and it’s all very traditional. Marriage ceremonies feature stunning backdrops of vineyards and olive groves. Brides and grooms are whisked off to nearby picturesque hill towns such as San Gimignano or Assisi for photo shoots. The company is owned by Rem Malloy and his Roman-American mother, Deborah de Maio, who Rem made a point of telling me he does not live with.

The Italy Specialists
Silvia Giardin, company founder and Veneto native, has been planning Italian weddings for thirty-three years. “Nothing is impossible” is her motto. I would love to have been invited to just one of the weddings she told me her company put together: a sunrise ceremony on a Venetian dock where the bridal couple wore pajamas and the party continued with a palazzo brunch…an extravagant affair at the Lake Como estate now owned by George Clooney…a wedding in Taoromina, Sicily where the ceremony took place at the Greek amphitheater and was followed by a reception at The Grand Hotel Timeo.

RECOMMENDED READING
Italy, a Love Story edited by Camille Cusumano
In Love in Italy by Monica Larner

“An Italian Wedding” has such excellent tips for a destination wedding in Italy. But it is only one chapter in a book chock full of fun Italy travel suggestions for women. Van Allen also pays homage to must-see works of art, tiny villages, spas, shopping, family-friendly places, and other sights and activities that have either a feminine bent or that hold certain appeal for the female traveler. I especially love that Van Allen has included a calendar of Madonna Holidays and Female Saints’ Feast Days.

If you haven’t figured it out already, 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go is a fantastic gift for the Italy-loving woman in your life.

(Thanks to everyone who participated in the iPhone app giveway! The contest is now closed.)

Want to know another great gift? The ’100 Places’ iPhone App! Publisher Travelers’ Tales has created a lightweight app that you can use as a reference on your trip to Italy or when you simply want to do a little armchair travel while standing in line or sitting in the waiting room. And, I’m offering Italofile readers the chance to win a copy of the iPhone app:

100 Places iPhone App Giveaway
To win the 100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go iPhone app, simply comment on the post below or re-tweet this post using the hashtag #100places. Deadline for entering the contest is 11:59pm EDT on June 3, 2010.

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17 Responses to An Italian Wedding

  1. Melissa Muldoon May 25, 2010 at 9:14 pm #

    curious…so who won the Year in Italy video? I didn’t see a post about it and find that you can no longer leave comments on that blog entry. Inquiring minds and all….a presto!
    .-= Melissa Muldoon´s last blog ..• deliziose espressioni del giorno =-.

  2. Melanie May 25, 2010 at 9:24 pm #

    Melissa,

    Chalk it up to my inexperience with giveaways! I announced the winner of the “A Year in Italy” contest on my Facebook page instead of listing it in the comments. But, I did close the comments on the DVD giveaway post at the deadline. My mistake. Ana H. of California won the DVD.

    I guess now you’ve commented on this post, so you’re entered in the iPhone app giveaway! Good luck!

    Melanie

  3. Melissa Muldoon May 25, 2010 at 9:45 pm #

    Great for Ana! oops…didn’t even know I was entering another contest…just wanted to leave you a comment on the other contest…but hey, I love being in this new contest too (hmmm guess it’s time to get an iphone! I have 2 macs – a laptop and a tower, but I am the only one in the family that doesn’t have an iphone…I’m such a dope too because when I heard about the “Michelangelo in Florence” and the “Uffizi” iphone apps I purchased them thinking – insert stupidly here – that they would work on my ipod. ;-) They are just waiting for the day when I can put them to good use!
    .-= Melissa Muldoon´s last blog ..• deliziose espressioni del giorno =-.

  4. janelle May 26, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Sign me up!!!! Sounds wonderful; I love the idea of a list of go-to places in Italy! I have had so, so much fun exploring Tuscany—and a little beyond.

    anche http://www.familyfrolics.com

  5. Denyse Bridger June 1, 2010 at 4:16 pm #

    I’ve read “In Love In Italy” and it’s fabulous – I’ve been looking at this one for awhile, too, and I know I have to have it for my collection!! I get lost on this site every time I visit, Melanie – it’s gorgeous!!!

    Abbracci sempre….
    Denyse

  6. Scintilla June 2, 2010 at 1:05 pm #

    I’m about to publish about doing weddings as a Positanese rather than a tourist in Positano. Shall link back to this…Italian Weddings are FAB!
    .-= Scintilla´s last blog ..‘100 Places in Italy Every Woman Should Go’ CONTEST!!!! =-.

  7. Susan Van Allen June 2, 2010 at 6:55 pm #

    Grazie to you romantic commenters! Always so happy to meet gals like you who share the passion for Italy–Best wishes to you for this contest–
    Susan

  8. Melanie June 2, 2010 at 7:14 pm #

    Congratulations, Susan. You’ve just entered yourself in the giveaway! :-)

  9. Susan Van Allen June 3, 2010 at 12:42 am #

    NO! I’m a good-wisher, not a commenter!

  10. Alison June 3, 2010 at 6:22 am #

    My mom & I are planning a trip to Italy next year so this would be great! Interesting article, I enjoyed reading it.
    .-= Alison´s last blog ..North Carolina Wine Country =-.

  11. Melanie June 3, 2010 at 9:08 am #

    I know, Susan! Just kidding. Thank you for stopping by and wishing everyone well. And also thank you for mentioning the contest on your Facebook page.

  12. Melanie June 4, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Congratulations, Janelle! Just did the drawing on random.org and you won the iPhone app! I’ve emailed you to confirm this. Thanks again for reading and commenting. Best, Melanie

  13. GG Husak June 10, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Once we saw an Italian bride arrive at the church. She was pulled on an open cart while barely balancing standing up! Families and friends cheered her arrival and ushered her inside.
    Thanks for helping me remember.

  14. bernard pollack June 16, 2010 at 4:11 pm #

    Just saw italofile.com from a post called “50 Awesome European Travel Blogs,” you are doing terrific work, and we’d would love you to consider a link exchange.

    My partner Danielle and I are currently traveling to nearly every country in Africa (we are writing now from Dakar, Senegal) meeting with farmers, workers, NGO’s and community groups writing about innovations and projects that our working to alliviate hunger and poverty. We travel blog everyday at BorderJumpers (www.borderjumpers.org). We are trying to highlight stories of hope and success.

    Thanks so much for your consideration! My email is [email protected]

  15. Alexandra June 23, 2010 at 2:44 am #

    The trend these days amongst my 30-something friends is to have a baby, and skip the wedding. Maybe they’ll get married later, I don’t know. In the meantime we’ve been “cheated” out of at least 3 perfectly good Italian weddings, but that means three fewer expensive dresses for me, and that’s okay too. Once you’ve been to half a dozen or so, they get repetitive.

  16. Melanie June 23, 2010 at 6:28 am #

    That is the trend, though I’m not sure if it’s a good one. I guess as an American I’m a traditionalist

  17. Riccardo August 26, 2010 at 9:48 pm #

    I was in Italy last year to visit my family…it was my 4th time back and I cant wait to return. I think it’s a country that every person should visit at least once in their lifetime!!

    Ciao

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