it’s hard to start writing again after so long…i’ve got to figure out a good place to start.
how about with…
i will recount…
The crew from My Side was as follows:
my amazing mama and my amazing (and as FL generously puts it, “particular”) papa
my weirdo, witty, handsome little brother, grant, and my spicy, beautiful, spunky little sis, quinn
my bestest buddy/cousin, James, and my adventurous, darling cousin, Claudia
my gorgeous, dearest friend Carly, and her sweet husband, Seth
my wonderful friend, Gillian
an old exchange student of my family’s/as good as a member of our family, the hilarious, the infamous, billy
we were a rag-tag team for sure, and the combination worked flawlessly.
friday night was the rehearsal dinner. FL and I had gone a week in advance to the home of some family friends who own a restaurant on the Italian/Slovenian border and put together a menu for the event.
here’s what we ate:
antipasti: afftati, a selection of their made-in-house cured meats, candied cherries, goat cheese, breads and olives
primi: gnocchi with butter, sage and nutmeg
a traditional Cormonese soup of which i forget the name…but it had onions, beans, a hearty broth and was perfect for a winter evening
secondi: mixed grill, with sausages, cotechino, veal stuffed with prosciutto and cheese
contorno: polenta, various gilled vegetables, insalata mista
dolci: various amazing cakes and crepes
The restaurant is situated on top of a hill over looking Cormons and Collio, and upon arrival the wind was strong enough to make us fear for our lives. We huddled together and shivered into the restaurant, where we were led to our own private dining room.
i was already a complete mess, held together purely by my bones and my skin, because a) carly and seth had been scheduled to arrive at noon that day and…had not. up until 7pm i didn’t know where on earth they were, whether they had made their flight, whether there had been a plane crash, whether they were lost in italy or kidnapped or…who knew. finally got a phone call from carly explaining that the man at the train ticket booth had mistaken her request for tickets to “Cormons” as a request for tickets to “Como”, so they were gonna be about 12 hours late. poor dears, but at least they were alive. and b) i had spent the morning decorating half of porchis with roses and confetti and other valentine’s day love-themed bobbles (my father refers to me as a “magpie: a bird who likes shiny things”), and when i returned to finish decorating the other half of porchis at 6pm i found that the place was still freezing cold, filthy, chairs stacked all over the place, just…NOT. READY. FOR. A. WEDDING. and the “bridezilla”, if you will, who i was so trying to keep at bay just like…reared her head and i dissolved into a state of panic.
so this was what was going on when i applied my lipstick with shaking hand and dressed myself for dinner.
Our party having, in the typical American fashion, arrived early, there was a classic 5 minute scene of complete and utter chaos re: where to sit.
we couldn’t figure out who went where…should all of us sit on one end of the table, and leave the other half for the Italians? should FL and i sit across from each other or next to each other? should we disperse ourselves, american-italian-american-italian, or should we all take one side of the table and face the other half of our group?
we were all hopping up and running around and “you go there, no go there”-ing and “oh my god, just sit down!”-ing and my heart was beating out of my chest and my hands were beginning to break out in splotches. this was the first time the two entire families had met, and i was finding it a little hard to breath.
once FL’s family arrived, however, i found that there was really no need to be nervous. language barrier and all the two families and our closest friends managed to make jovial, loving, energetic conversation.
at one point my father and FL’s father were making barnyard animal noises and sketching things out on napkins. grant learned the friulano word for “fart”.
it went great, and as i squeezed FL’s hand and took cautious sips of the delicious house wine and hugged with relief carly and seth who managed to make it to the dinner right at the tail end, i felt my pulse begin to slow and my breathing return to normal. i was happy, truly, and felt utterly and completely loved, my two worlds finally, officially combined.
FL woke the next morning, and dressed silently. he was going to go get ready at his parent’s house, and meet me at the courthouse at noon.
he kissed me goodbye and said, “well, don’t try any funny business…i’ve already had all the stables in cormons lock up their horses today so you can’t pull a Runaway Bride. and remember, piccola, it’s just me today. i’ll always be me.”
those sweet words ringing in my ears, i pulled myself out of bed on my wedding day, and went to open the shutters.
the sight was just breathtaking. outside in the courtyard an arch had been mounted over the front gate. it was covered with crepe paper, balloons and ribbon, and from the center hung a huge wooden heart, bright red, reading, “Viva Gli Sposi”. some friends of FL’s had come in the night and decorated, and suddenly i was giddy and love drunk. i popped a bottle of pink spumante, made myself a little mimosa, and drew a hot bath.
Gillian came up to the bathroom a little while later, and together we did our make-up, talked about life, and generally kept each other company and any nerves at bay.
She was the photographer for the day, as her iphone camera skills are off the charts, so while we waited for Carly and Seth to get ready we had ourselves a little photoshoot. i am so grateful for the beautiful photos she took.
the procession to the court house was surreal. there i was in my mink and my fabulous red shoes, surrounded by my closest friends and family…people were popping out of their shops to look at us, people were stopping in their tracks to whistle and wave.
when we got to the main piazza, it was packed. i zeroed in on FL and it was like a love punch to my heart.
he was dashing. he was gorgeous. he was happy, beaming, zeroed in on me.
(he was also wearing a bizarre orange and wool coat circa 1970′s of his father’s, but i forgave him because he is such a BABE no matter what, and also it was below freezing)
at least 60 people came to the civil ceremony, which surprised me as i had no idea beforehand what it would be like. i thought it would be just us and a handful of family signing papers, but it turned out to be singularly the best experience of my life.
there was so much love, support, joyful tears, encouragement and happiness packed into that gorgeous room, i wanted to bottle it all up, keep it on my person, like an elixir for any future doubts, fears or blues.
in my eyes the whole event was shimmering and golden, but, as i said…i was love drunk.
the mayor of Cormons officiated, and he led us through the ceremony…do we promise this and that and all good things…then quinn came up and gave us our rings…and then he said we were man and wife…and then we kissed for what felt like an eternity. and when we stopped kissing i said, “busemi di corse, amore”, and he kissed me again.
then it was time for our “testimoni”, or our “best men”, basically, to do their part…we each had to chose someone to vouch for us, to sign their names and take an oath on our behalf, to shoulder some of the responsibilities and promise to take care of us as a couple and to promise to the community to do what they can to see we remain a happy, healthy couple.
FL’s testimonio was Pic, his best friend. mine was davide, who, since my sister couldn’t do it (the person has to speak italian) was my most obvious, best choice. davide’s my best friend here, and i love him, and he is just wild about me. he said me asking him to be my testimonio was one of the greatest honors of his life. he was proud.
he cried during the ceremony and didn’t even try to hide it.
and when it was all over, the mayor made a little speech and said how happy he was and how happy cormons was and offered us an amazing bottle of wine on behalf of the community and then…
all hell broke loose.
it felt like papparazzi. FL and I posed for about a million photos, with our siblings, with out best men, with our parents, with whoever…there were flash bulbs going off from all angles and in none of the photos are we all looking at the same camera. it was madness, and i was full of joy.
kisses on a hundred cheeks. sparkling wine. bouquet of roses. the people from the shops around the piazza came out and threw rice and gave us hugs. we were led into the enoteca di cormons and served Franciacorta.
FL never let go of my hand.
we hopped into the Fiat and sped off the the reception…
to be continued…