Anna was going to a wedding and invited me to tag along. The wedding was taking place in the town church where everyone from the town gets married and it’s where Anna got married about 25 years ago. I felt a bit odd crashing the wedding but Anna said it’s normal for townsfolk to go to the church service even if they weren’t exclusively invited. It’s a community event. So, I put on my best outfit and set out with Anna.
The bride and bridegroom hadn’t arrived yet when we got there; everyone (invited and non-invited guests) waited outside the chapel. The groom arrives. A big hurrah erupts from everyone. Next to arrive is the bride. Or what looks like to be a bride except for the five o’clock shadow, masculine features and an appalling blond wig. Aha. Not really the bride but one of the groom’s friends dressed (very poorly) as a bride. The groom plays along and greets his ‘bride’ with a big kiss on the cheek. The crowd is laughing along with the fake bride and the real groom. The fake bride ends up wearing his ensemble (including fuzzy panda slippers) throughout the entire church service. Kudos to him for not breaking character.
I find out that it’s tradition for friends and family of the to-be-wed couple to play pranks before, during and after the ceremony. Anna told me about another joke played on newlyweds that she saw at another wedding. At the reception, there was a raffle of home goods for the guests. Guests bought tickets for a chance to win a prize and the money went to the newlyweds. As the items were paraded out for the guests to win, the couple kept noticing that everything being raffled off looked really similar to what they had at home; the plates were the same set they had and the TV was the same brand and model. And then after a bunch of items were won by the guests, they finally realized that all of the raffled off prizes were from their own home. Someone ransacked their place and sold off their stuff to their wedding guests. That’s pretty good. Anna didn’t mention if they got their stuff back at the end of the night.
So, after the ceremony, the newly wed pair exit the church and are greeted by everyone cheering. And then they take notice of their completely saran-wrapped car that they’re supposed to drive away in. Haha. I’m handed some rice to throw at the couple so I can join in on the rice and confetti throwing. I look in the palm of my hand and notice the short grains of the rice. Of course it’s Arborio rice. I’m in Italy. Uncle Ben’s just wouldn’t work here.