This real wedding of Elena & Giacomo shot by Giulia Castellani is a wonderful introduction to an Italian wedding. Giulia is a great wedding photographer and the Italians are such a sophisticated bunch, better food, finer wine and great style. Just seemed like to the perfect real wedding to share inspiration with all you brides off to wed and looking for ideas.
Held in a small church in the Ravenna province, northeast Italy, the friendly town of Bagnacavello was the host. If you’ve ever looked at the pictures in any of Jamie Oliver’s Italian cook books you’ll now exactly what I mean when I say that Bagnacavallo is one of those place where you see the friendly faces of the little old Italians watching the world go by from their doorsteps. Very traditional.
Following the church ceremony, the reception was held at Centry Country House which is a splendid wedding venue with perfectly manicured gardens for the bride and groom to enjoy the romance of the occasion in a magical setting. The location was incredibly versatile, allowing the photographer to take the couple down to the sea and up to the hills with very little effort.
SO WHAT IS A TRADITIONAL ITALIAN WEDDING?
It’s still much more common for Italians to get married at church, than it is here in the UK and after travelling from the church to the reception other subtle difference appear, it’s traditional for the wedding party to get straight into it , so that’s a wedding P.A.R.T.Y. The tradition is for Italian newlyweds to make a toast on arrival at the reception and then the DJ kicks off.
Some of the traditions that still remain in Britain are the cake cutting and bouquet tossing but in Italy the garter is still thrown. As you can imagine this all adds to the excitement of the wedding day and you’ll find Italians launching into wedding games early in the celebrations, one of which is really lovely, ‘the shoe game’.
The bride and groom swap one of their shoes with the other, so that they’re wearing a mismatched pair of his and her shoes. This represents the union between the bride and groom, with the bride taking part of the groom as part of her and vice versa. Then as the united lovers sit side by side the guests asking them questions, a bit like the TV show Mr & Mrs but without the booth, or the prize money.
All weddings are wonderful things but when you hear about some of the wonderful subtle differences enjoyed by other cultures, it brings a smile to your face.
FINAL THOUGHTS FROM THE PHOTOGRAPHER
We asked Giulia Castellani what her most enjoyable moments were as a photographer and she had the most elegant answer, “The most pleasant time was definitely the one in the Golondi theatre. The magic that one breathes in an Italian theatre, especially with this young, beautiful and collaborative couple – working with Elena & Giacomo was enjoyable from the first moments until the last shot.