Tuesday, May 11, 2004

Wedding Day Recap : Antonello: 1 , Jackie: 0

It was the sunniest, brightest day all morning on May 8th, and, as I walked around, I couldn't help but smile. It was my wedding day, and look at the sun, the blue sky! It was beautiful. I hoped it would stay that way, but it didn't seem to matter. I saw the clouds roll in from Antonello's house around 1 pm, and then, as I walked back to my house after lunch to prepare for my wedding at 5 pm that evening, I began to hear the thunder. I hurried back to my cave apartment just in time to avoid the drops of rain, as they began to splash against the cobblestone pavement. I cringed. It was raining, and hard. I had two hours to hope for it to stop.

By 4:30, my friend Deborah arrived to help me with last minute stuff: Does my hair look okay? Am I wearing too much eyeshadow?--you know, the serious bride questions. She looked at me, in my thin little dress, and said "It's cold out. You look cute though!" I grabbed two jackets and covered myself up, the top half of me looking warm and cozy, the bottom half a gauzy thin skirt ready for summer, and a pair of tiny sandals. I didn't care. We ran outside to meet Alessandro (my testimony for the wedding) who was waiting with his car to drive us up to the main piazza, where Macerata's Commune is, and where I was to be married.

It was still rainy, but a hazy type of rain--misty and not really overly wet, which was lucky for my hair (I had spent an hour just trying to figure it out--finally ending up with a few curls and some bobbypins to hold it into place. I am definitely no hair stylist!). We drove into the main piazza and saw that Antonello had already arrived. I secretly cheered--he was early for our wedding! Deborah gave me a bouquet of tulips--pastel and beautiful and as springtime as you can get--and we were all smiles as we headed into the commune, where other friends were waiting underneath the canopy of porticoes, wondering exactly where to go. I greeted everyone and took a deep breath. We opened the doors and headed in.

I had never been inside the Commune before, which is a huge building standing opposite the duomo in Macerata's main piazza--Piazza della Liberta'. Ever since Antonello had explained that this was the building where the wedding would take place, though, I had good visions, for outside it is serenely cute, with a little courtyard in the center and a fountain that has goldfish swimming around inside. As we entered, I was greeted by a regal set of stairs, and as I walked up, there was Antonello atop it, standing in his grey suit and sky blue tie, a little Prince Charming. It was my wedding day, and as I walked up those stairs with my flowers, I felt very much like a bride.

The wedding was simple and elegant--taking place in the large great room that is used for government officers to make province-related decisions. It's walls were a deep red and the ceiling, as I remember, had a simple fresco on it. I could barely see straight, though, and I found my way to a pair of velvet chairs, me sitting in one and Antonello in the other. Between us was a centerpiece of daisies. The man presiding over the wedding came in and explained who he was, that he was appointed by the mayor to do these sort of things. He began to explain the purpose of the Commune and, as it seemed he was going into some sort of political speech, I looked around the room, every once in a while to see my friends taking photos of us and our little velvet chairs.

Eventually we said our "si" s and had the "kiss the bride" moment, leaning over the daisies with careful balance. Then, as the speech continued, our presiding official stated the legal facts of our wedding: Antonello Compagnucci, born in Macerata, Italy, resident of Macerata, citizen of Italy; Jacqueline Goyette (the official glanced at me with the pronunciation of each syllable to make sure he was right--he did fine and I nodded in agreement), born in Lafayette, Indiana, resident of the United States of America, citizen of...India.


I was very confused and Antonello and I glanced at each other, each mouthing "India!" in shock. We let him finish up, as he did, and then quickly made our way toward him to explain "but I'm American!" He laughed and said the mistake had been because I was from Indiana, and they thought that maybe that meant I was Indian (I know, it's stupid). I said "okay, but it will be fixed immediately, right?" I could just imagine my trouble trying to get back to the states this June, them stopping me at the border because I don't have the right documents from India to get into the states and me saying, as the drag me toward the next flight to Mumbai, "but I'm not Indian! I'm from Indiana! It's those Italians who got it wrong!"

The wedding ended with photos and laughter, and, as we were about to leave, our dear friends Giampaolo and Luciana stunned me by pulling out a bright orange tie with bats on it, and a little caver, for Antonello to wear. W're talking florescent orange, okay? It was horribly bright, and I was sure that you could use it as one of those orange traffic cones or something. Antonello stunned me as well--a smile growing on his face as he gladly put it on, wearing it even out to dinner later, as other tables stared at the bride and her florescent-orange groom. Finally, after much pleading, he removed it, but only to put it on again later (it is currently lost, thank goodness, as I stole it after the wedding and made sure to forget where I hid it).

During dinner, as he became exceedingly strange and actually put on his caving harness over his nice grey suit, while confused waiters and other diners looked on, I turned to my friends and said "I swear he was never this weird before the wedding..."

So, I, with my loss of American citizenship and orange-tied groom, must get negative points on our wedding day, but even with these things, I happily served up strawberry shortcake at our wedding dinner and enjoyed the company of great friends and new family. It was a wonderful occasion, and we had a great time celebrating. Even in an orange bat-tie, Antonello is a terrific person. I love him very much, and I am very happy, and lucky, to be his bride.

But I am keeping my mouth zipped about the location of his tie!



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