February 29, 2024 | Rome, Italy

C’è la partita!

By |2018-03-21T18:25:52+01:00November 1st, 2007|Lifestyle Archive|
“Brides to be in the Castelli Romani area unite!”

ver the last few months Fabio and I have been on wedding watch. Now that we’ve actually decided to take that step, it’s interesting to look at the effort other couples put into preparing their big day.

Since Fabio has no clue about planning and I can’t budge him from the couch while the Milan Channel is on — the hosts talk 24/7 about anything and everything concerning his favorite soccer team, A.C. Milan — I’ve begun doing a little of my own research.

Fabio has made it very clear what he does and doesn’t want. The central request is no surprise: “Basta che non c’è la partita.” Basically, our wedding date can’t fall on the same day that either A.C. Milan or Reggina play (since most of the guests will be Calabrese).

Admittedly, I had already had some idea about the Italian approach to weddings. It’s big business with everyone looking to cash in. Take the Fiera di Sposi, a wedding fair hosted twice annually in Italian major cities. I attended one last year with an engaged friend and one word comes to mind: terrifying.

People literally attack you with brochures, pamphlets and free samples. To haul them all home you’d need a suitcase. I found brides-to-be planning weddings two and three years down the line. No wonder the men in attendance were hitting up the free champagne table or scanning the bar for fair game. That’s where I’d probably find Fabio.

But my turn is on the way.

I’ll be attending a fair with my futura suocera (mother-in-law) and Fabio’s sister. That promises to be one for the books and I’ve already started doing my homework.

It began with Google, which took me to iosposo.it and matrimonio.it. I used the excuse of planning a friend’s bachelorette party as an opportunity to browse the sites.

They provided loads of useful information about reception sites, party favors, wedding gowns (probably not impartial; the site needs its cut, right?) They were also honeymoon ideas and etiquette tips for future brides and grooms.

What most intrigued were the forums, each broken down by categories: regions, planning ideas, weddings in 2007, 2008… and, gulp, 2009. To participate, you register, list your profile, and provide details about your wedding date. I joined and posted: “I’m new here. I need to plan my friend’s bachelorette party in Rome. Any ideas?”

Responses flooded in immediately.

My favorite was from Maria, age 32. She married Roberto in June 2005. “My friends took me to Charro Café, a Mexican restaurant where they hold lots of bachelorette parties,” she wrote. Nice, but I couldn’t help wondering why she’s still an active member of the site and advising future brides when she was married in 2005.

Um, okay: freak.

More browsing brought other interesting categories: “Brides to be in the Castelli Romani area unite!”, “Brides in September 2007,” and my absolute favorite, “Future Brides Pizza Outing — Part 2.”

For now I think I’ll stick to what I know I don’t want: Rowdy men listening to their radio-phones clinking glasses half-way through dinner because La Reggina just scored.

Fabio, you’re included.

About the Author:

Nicole Arriaga wrote features and a column ("Bella Figura") between 2004 and 2012.