- 5 years ago
- Wedding: July 2013 - rolling hills of southern italy
background: I am from a Southern California surfer beach town. I moved to Italy and met my now fiancé here, in milan.
we are not big on parties, we do not like attention. His family is from the south of Italy. In the south, traditions are very clear: a wedding is a very formal event which is as big and fancy as one can possibly afford. You invite everyone you know, and you spare no expense, mostly to avoid snarky comments from relatives you are really close to yet secretly hate.
my parents are flying with my four younger sisters to Italy for the wedding. My dad gave us ten grand and and told us explicitly to have it here, not there… See, we are moving to California after the wedding…. And that breaks an Italian mom’s heart. My family wants to support my desire to see two families together for once in our lives, and they told me to do whatever I want, it is my day, it will be perfect No matter what. I also have three close friends and my grandparents who are excited tso come, despite the cost. They keep telling me to stop worrying about hotels and cars, they can find some online, they can rent a car. They are being so awesome and make me so excited for this wedding!
Then I talk to my FMIL. I love her. I really do. We havales ways had a great relationship, and she is a great person… Extroverted, great at chatting with everyone, really hospitable, so so kind. But she has managed to make me hate this wedding experience To the core.
I mentioned my fiancé and I aren’t big on parties. We wanted to have an intimate weekend by lake como with our immediate families in a villa, nothing else. Certainly nothing that would count as a wedding. We wanted to spend our gift from my dad on our future, not a wedding. I’m that kind of girl. I mean, my e-ring cost us $75, ok? I want to be married, I want to build my future.
When we told our plan to his mother she was condescending and standoffish. We knew it might be hard because she had already practically planned the entire wedding down in the south of Italy in her head. When we told he why we didn’t want that…. She said “of course, do whatever you like, it’s your wedding– you worry about it, you plan it, you take care of it” she nixed the lake como idea immediately, begging us not to do it there. She said everyone would come up from the south and expect room and board from her. We had to invite the family, too. Otherwise we had to keep the whole thing a secret, obviously. I found her objections so forceful and filled with dread that I conceded. , so we wondered if we could choose somewhere a little further away… Still just the families.. She kept finding any minor flaw imaginable with any pLAN I had…I got very frustrated and angry because she continuously interrupted me with her objections. I cried. We didnt talk about it for a month. This all with just a six month engagement. She also made it clear that we should either invite everyone or just exclude everyone and elope. She hated my idea.
She can be dramatic. What really got me was a comment I overheard his dad saying half jokingly, half sad that in California they don’t do weddings with family. That got me thinking. Italians, you may have heard, are big on familY; and I am, after all, stealing their son.
–so we are having this 80 person wedding in this random tiny town that means nothing to us in thee southern mountains of Italy. It is amazing how easy everything became to his mother when i agreed to do it her way. voncerns about transportation? no problem! we will figure it out! well. On the bright side, Turns out city hall there is the castLe. not too shabby. i know we are doing the right thing because his dad is excited. His mom’s excitement feels less satisfying, but I’m glad it is there. She will be the star of our wedding. I know that. The majority of the guests met me once, 4 years ago. His grandma recently saw me again and when I greeted her, she said, “oh, have we met?” I know this, and it is ok. It’s ok because I take home the grand prize that day.
i even started getting excited, looking at inspiration for a rustic outdoor wedding, bought myself a simple dress, decided we could do a southern California style casual wedding in Italy if we tried, and were clear about it. I gathered pictures to show my FMIL so she would know what I hard in mind. She barely looked. She didn’t listen. She to,d me everything will turn out finE, her firend is talking to restaurants. restaurants I have never seen and who don’t have pictures on their ancient websites. Restaurants I’m not allowed to call cause they will hear my accent and charge me double.. I hate my wedding, With her pretending to be enthusiastic about a buffet style garden party only to have it inevitably turn a different way later. I hate it.
-Every idea I have gets shot down either by her immediately or someone else following. I chose the date with my fiancé. She strongly suggested we change it because her friend told her that the Vince mayor told her that those days are kind of crazy…. In a town with one street. I put my foot down. I want to scream and call everything off. I wanT to elope. I told her about a few traditions in ca weddings and she laughed at me. She laughed. At. Me. I said, hey, I’m from Cali. We can’t do everything the Italian way.
Oh, and Southern California has such a wealth of used wedding gowns for sale and artsy fartsy wedding stuff and photographers..,and all the ones in southern Italy that I have found are stuck in the 80s and I can’t even imagine how bad our photos will be. It makes me feel so sad and cut off. And I’m done. No one will read all of this novel.