Amber and her brother...and oops, Vincenzo picking his nose in the background.
Day 7 consisted of only wedding activities. In retrospect, I wish we had gotten up earlier and gone for a walk in Bologna, but we didn't. We woke up and went to breakfast...which was fantastic. Hands down the best breakfast we had in Italy, mainly because of the large variety available, but also the fantastic blood orange juice. We took our time over breakfast and then headed up to get ready for the wedding. I must say, I love dressing up, I think it is great fun, it is actually one of my favorite things about weddings. They are like grown-up proms. We aren't sure about calling for a cab, so we actually hoof it to the train station and catch a cab from the cab stand.
Amber and her father
Somehow, we were much later than we anticipated and at 11:50 we are just getting into the cab for the wedding which starts at noon. Luckily, we were not far and the wedding was clearly operating on C.P. time. There were a lot of people milling about, including the bride and groom, which is unusual. We recognized some faces and said our hellos, before going in and having a seat. Everything was very informal, we just picked a seat and sat. The church was beautiful, I was thinking that if I ever get married again I would like it to be in one of these fantastic churches. My opinion changed 30 minutes later when I was dying from heat exhaustion. The wedding was unlike any I have ever gone to, it's hard to say if it was because it was a Catholic wedding or because it was an Italian wedding, or maybe the combination of the two.
"With this ring..." At least I assume that was said!
It was very ceremonial...and to be honest I have no idea what was going on or what was said. I will say that I couldn't help but think of my wedding for several reasons; the most obvious, it was the same date, but also, the American getting married in a different country aspect, and the reading, which was the only part in English, was the same reading from my wedding...I Corinthians, 13. I realize that is a common one, but it still made me a little sentimental. Oh well! The singing was beautiful during the wedding, and I felt like the not knowing what was being said made it all the more beautiful. It seemed like it ended abruptly, but it may not have. The people on Vincenzo's side started leaving and we were just like, "Is it over?" We kind of hung around like idiots for a couple more minutes before we decided it must indeed be over.
Waiting, and waiting, and waiting...
As we left, someone poured rice in our hands so we could toss it when they came out of the church. I thought that would be soon, but 30 minutes later my hand was cramping from holding this rice, not to mention it was sticking to me because I was sweating, and the pigeons really wanted it. I would say by the time they came out I only had half left and it didn't go anywhere when I tossed it, it just stuck to my hand. The bride and groom went to take pictures and we just milled about waiting for them. Angela began talking to this Italian guy Davide (I think that's how it's spelled) and he looked like an Italian man from the magazines. He was just so perfectly, adorably Italian, right down to his accent.
When Amber and Vincenzo returned from taking pics, we walked right over to the reception around the corner.
Rice action shot
It was at an Indian restaurant and there was Indian music playing and Indian dancers, and we got a dot on our foreheads and they were passing out drinks... I think it was the most clever reception I've been at. The seating for the table appeared to be an older section (and kids) and the younger section. Amber also took the time to arrange seating so that each person at each table could communicate with someone else. Amber's friend Ashley was at our table and she was the resident bilingual person. There were bottles of wine at each table and it appeared to just be free flowing and the food just came continuously and was all fantastic. Angela was very tired and left pretty early. At one point I was near dropping and had to resort to a coffee pick-me up.
India - the locale of the reception
Every so often, the Indian dancers would do a performance at the front of the room. Then came the time for Amber and Vincenzo to join them, which we all got a laugh from. They did a pretty good job. Then everyone joined (well, not everyone, but everyone was invited to). I have to say I absolutely loved this reception. I used my phrasebook a lot here. Dario, that sat at our table, got a kick out of reading some of the stuff in the book - especially the profanity section!
Following the meal, a dj set up and started playing music. Now, the first song he played was "4 minutes" by Justin Timberlake and Madonna and Samantha said she had never heard of the song. Which I found extremely strange since she is a 20 year old American girl.
Ring around the Rosy
But, whatever! Following that song, I hadn't heard of anything else. We did stay on the dance floor though, for no other reason than to laugh hysterically at the Italian men dancing. I took video of it because it was that entertaining. They have no sense of embarrassment (or rhythm it appeared). I loved it! Meanwhile, the Italian women just sat by watching. It was a complete role reversal of an American dance floor.
The dancing part of the reception seemed quick to me. Then the cake was brought out and champagne. We did a toast, had some cake, and then people started drifting out, including us. I didn't think the reception seemed long, but Angela said it was the longest reception ever (granted she wasn't there).
Me, Amber and Samantha at the wedding reception
I think it was about 5 hours. If you consider that most receptions start in the evening around 5 and go until 11 or so, I would say it was average. Anyway, it was a perfect reception and Samantha and I headed out for the long walk back (both of us had brought flip flops to change into. We stopped and looked in a couple of stores on the way but everything was closing up. There was a condom machine on the street by our hotel that I planned to take a picture of when we walked by it, but as we got to it and I pulled out my camera, a young couple came up to use it. I thought that it would be wrong of me to take their picture too, but I was very amused by this machine...just like an ATM. (I got the picture the next day).
Condom Machine on the street
Anyway, we had perfect timing, because we got back to the hotel and by the time I made to my hotel room, it had started to rain! I spent the rest of the night on the computer trying to plan what I would do if I got stuck in Amsterdam on my way back to the states (which I was not so secretly hoping for)! Before going to bed we noticed that it was extremely hot in our room. We know this is our fault because of our call the previous evening. So we call again to ask if they could turn the air back on. Well, our trusy Italian phrasebook didn't help much and it really was a converstion going nowhere. Finally, someone else gets on the phone...an Australian guest that just happened to be at the counter listening. I explain to him the situation and he says..."Open your window." And that was that! End of day 7.