My Big Fat Roman Wedding

6 May

Well, I wasn’t planning on posting any photos from my wedding or honeymoon, but due to requests from my blogger buddies as well as a handful of my former guests who have stayed in our apartments, I’m caving in and sharing a few from my wedding day. I usually don’t put anything about my personal life on the blog because I like to keep to the Rome (and Italy) only theme, but hey, we are talking about a wedding in Rome, so I guess I can make an exception…just this once… I mean, had I seen it with my own eyes I would have taken photos for you guys to talk about “this girl who was walking down my street to get married…” so…

I’m the one in the white dress. (Cue drums and cymbals… Thanks folks! I’ll be here all week!)

And yes, I walked down my street to the church. Usually about a 10 minute walk, but we went extra slow because at 10 am when the ceremony was supposed to start, we got word that there were “technical difficulties” at the church. (I later found out that this meant there weren’t any guests yet.) Tell the Italians your wedding is at 10 am if you want them to show up at 10:30. So, it was at a snail’s pace that we made our way to Santa Maria in Trastevere, in my opinion the most beautiful church in all of Rome.

Quite the memorable experience getting to walk, especially given that I was blessed to have about 25 or so American relatives and friends following me, as well as a few of my closest Italian friends as well. The rest were waiting in the church… eventually!


Um, basically when the photographer had me stop here to take some shots, what you don’t see is the main street of my neighborhood, Viale Trastevere, to my right. Where a large garbage truck was passing by and then slowed to a stop, with two guys around my age inside. They started yelling over to me: “Auguri! Auguri!” (like congratulations or best wishes). When they saw I spoke Italian as I yelled back a thanks to them, they got on a roll and yelled back to tell me that it still wasn’t too late, and did I want to run away with them in their garbage truck?

I hollered back that under normal circumstances I would, but unfortunately on this particular day I wasn’t dressed appropriately. Laughs and smiles were had by all (minus my puzzled relatives), and another runaway bride episode was thus averted.

Only in Rome, people, can you be hit on by garbage men on your way to the altar. Can’t beat that!

Here we are in our getaway which was kindly provided by Ale’s sports car-loving uncle.

Chances are good that if you pass by the “Fontanone” on the Gianicolo Hill on a Saturday or Sunday anytime from morning to mid-afternoon, you too might spot a newly married couple taking photos. It’s a great place for them, and speaking of it, I just saw a couple there as we drove by this afternoon.

Now. If I ever get around to it, I plan to write a series of posts about all the bureaucratic nonsense you have to go through just to get to the altar. It’s Italy, so getting through the red tape is the hardest part! I took a couple gem photos, even one inside a public office which I am sure must be punishable by death, but you see, for blogging, my courage knows no bounds.

And I just want to say thank God you only plan a wedding once.

Or do you?

When I mentioned this as I was hanging out chatting to my friend and hairstylist Alberto at his salon about a week or so before the big day, he was working on a woman’s hair and she heard this and looked at me from the mirror with a steely glare and said, deadpan, “Non è detto.” (Not necessarily.)
Um, yeah. Not exactly the best thing to say to a soon-to-be bride. But funny Roman spirit all the same. Don’t ever expect a Roman to hold back what he or she really thinks…

In any case, should you be planning to get married in Rome as well, I HIGHLY recommend these friends of mine:

Hair and makeup: Alberto at Laboratorio Figaro, Via dei Conciatori 22 (Testaccio), Tel: 06 5758099
Photography: Massimiliano Uccelletti, www.maxu.it
Flowers: Rosa Manzone, Via della Settima Coorte 7 (Trastevere), Tel: 06 5815387

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45 Responses to “My Big Fat Roman Wedding”

  1. heather May 6, 2007 at 6:06 pm #

    First of all, you look positively gorgeous. Just beautiful and glowing! Congratulations!Secondly, Santa Maria in Trastevere is absolutely the most beautiful church in Rome! When I was there a couple of summers ago I spent hours there! I cannot wait to visit again when I am back in Rome this summer.Finally, thank you so much for sharing these beautiful pictures!

  2. Shelley - At Home in Rome May 6, 2007 at 6:36 pm #

    Ciao Heather! Thanks for the kind compliments. And I’m happy that you agree with me about Santa Maria. Even though it’s so big, I have always felt that it’s such a spiritual and special place. So much history… it was built around 313 AD and the first church where Catholic mass was openly celebrated…

  3. liuia drusilla May 6, 2007 at 7:17 pm #

    Auguri!¡Oh my God! ¡You were absolutely beautiful!I can’t wait to read more about your wedding :).I must confess we didn’t visit Santa Maria in Trastevere last time ^^U. Well, then we must do it next time :).

  4. JennDZ May 6, 2007 at 9:17 pm #

    Beautiful Shelley!Congratulations! I love the garbage truck story, I am sure that got rid of any nerves you might have been having! LOL!Thank you for sharing these stories with us!You must show us, less fortunate, who have never seen Santa Maria a picture of this beautiful church!

  5. sebs May 6, 2007 at 10:04 pm #

    It’s the first time I write a comment on your blog, I’m a kind of “lurker” I often read your posts after my first visit (I found your site by a search about the mitico arrotino)I find your point of view very interesting, and I realize that rome and the italians can result a little strange for you, it’s funny!Besides I read your post to try to practise my poor english, forgive me for my bad writing. Anyway the comment was to give you my best greetings, for your weedding, in the pics you look beautiful, augurissimi. Thake a look of my blog, should be an honour for me, un saluto. Sebastiano

  6. Keeneye May 6, 2007 at 10:13 pm #

    You look amazing. Simply beautiful.Thank you for sharing your photos.Now we won’t be mad at you for taking such a long break!

  7. David Ourisman May 6, 2007 at 11:40 pm #

    Let me add my congratulations! You were a radiant bride, and I loved the picture of the two of you in front of the Trevi Fountain. I wish you a lifetime of happy memories together.

  8. Carole D. May 7, 2007 at 3:31 am #

    Shelley, grazie per sharing the pictures. I didn’t want to come out and ask you to post them because they are private moments, but I was dying to see them and am I glad you posted them!You are the most beautiful, glowing bride I’ve ever seen. The photos belong in a bridal magazine.Here’s another idea of a business for you: wedding coordinator in Rome.I’m putting Santa Maria chiesa on my list to see.Che bella coppia!Ci vediamo il 29 di maggio.

  9. Texas Espresso May 7, 2007 at 4:09 am #

    Congrats! and thanks for sharing those pics AND the funny story about the garbage guys. So funny.You look lovely and so happy =)

  10. sognatrice May 7, 2007 at 5:31 am #

    Sei bellissima Signora! Auguroni :)

  11. Gracie May 7, 2007 at 7:47 am #

    You really look stunning! You were indeed a beautiful bride, too pity the rain, but you know what they say “Sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata”!Thanks for sharing.Have a very long and happy life together!

  12. Shelley - At Home in Rome May 7, 2007 at 8:30 am #

    First, GRAZIE to everyone. I’m blushing from your kind compliments, truly!Liuia: Yes, S. Maria is a MUST SEE on any Roman itinerary!Jenn: I will get some pics for you ASAP! I will use any excuse to stop by the church, I love it there and in fact I just now am realizing that I’ve never written a post on it… thanks for the great idea.Sebs: I love meeting new lurkers! :-) Will be visiting your blog more often, as I haven’t found too many in Italian that I follow… and your visit was an honor for me! Ciao!Keeneye: Thank goodness the pictures make up for my absence. I was worried! ;-)David: I fooled you with my picture, it’s actually at the Janiculum hill, it’s known by locals as the “fontanone” or big fountain…Carol: You aren’t the first to suggest this, but after having planned my own wedding… I realize that despite my obsessive organizational skills that would definitely be perfect for a wedding planner, I would never want the responsibility on my shoulders of planning someone else’s big day! Troppo stress!Texas: I know, isn’t that story classic? I swear these things can only happen here…and I love it!Sognatrice: *gulp* Hai ragione, sono signora, mamma mia, pesante!Gracie: Everyone was telling me that, it’s true. But more than anything all the Italians kept asking “Non hai freddo?!?!” and not one American asked. So amusing. We have such different concepts of “cold.”

  13. Michellanea May 7, 2007 at 8:41 am #

    You look gorgeous, dahling. That goes without saying. Don’t even get me started on people not being inside the comune (in my case) on time for the wedding. My one diva/bride request was that people be inside and and in their seats for my arrival. My tough New Yorker girlfriends assured me that despite the language barrier, they’d have those Italians in their seats and waiting patiently. Didn’t happen. I think Italians like to see the bride arrive (surround the car and snap photos as if she were an exotic animal at the zoo – I hate that) while we enjoy seeing the bride as she walks down the aisle. Were the spazzini cute?

  14. Isabelle May 7, 2007 at 8:51 am #

    These photos are delightful, you look GORGEOUS !What a beautiful place to get married ! Santa Maria in Trastevere is one of my favorite churches in Rome (with San Luigi dei Francesi of course ;-)And as we say in French, “mariage pluvieux, mariage heureux” (“when there’s rain on a wedding day, there’s happiness during the wedded life”) ;-)))

  15. Ash May 7, 2007 at 9:36 am #

    You look absolutely beautiful! What a wonderful bride you made :)

  16. Ms Adventures in Italy May 7, 2007 at 10:26 am #

    when the post first came out it said i was spyware so it didn’t let me comment – weird :( so a little belated….but you look AMAZING and I love the photos!!!!!!!!Yes, you’re a “signora” now. One of the drawbacks :)

  17. Molly May 7, 2007 at 11:34 am #

    Congratulations and welcome back! So glad you shared some photos – absolutely beautiful. And, true to form, you made me laugh out loud with the story of the garbage truck. Laugh and the world laughs with you!

  18. Shelley - At Home in Rome May 7, 2007 at 12:07 pm #

    Mich: See, even tough NY girlfriends are no match for the Itals. Go figure. It was incredible how when the wedding march music started up, there was such a hub-bub and commotion outside, around me, and I was like, hello, people? This is my moment, have we forgotten we are supposed to be INSIDE the church? But miraculously when I walked down the aisle, everyone had somehow made it to their places! And, just to show you how immersed I am in Rome life, the only term I knew for garbage men in Italian was “monnezzari” don’t even know the spelling b/c it’s Roman dialect…shame on me. The Milanese would turn up their noses for sure.Isabelle: We have “sposa bagnata, sposa fortunata” ie, Wet bride, lucky bride. Sounds better in Italian I’d say.Ash: Grazie bella!Ms: Argh, Blogger. I know its days are numbered for me but it’s a matter of figuring out how to make the leap. I’m a signora like you, but don’t you always picture anziane when you think of signora?Molly: Thanks! I just kept thinking, this white dress and that garbage truck will not mix well. :-)

  19. Jeff Gromen May 7, 2007 at 12:12 pm #

    Well it’s all been said but once again, incredible photos and you didn’t have to put them up but we’re all glad you did.I can’t believe you got married in such a famous church. Wait, I forgot how famous you are becoming.Jeff

  20. Shelley - At Home in Rome May 7, 2007 at 12:24 pm #

    Oh Jeffy, come on now… famous. You remember that whole radio gig, of course. Well in typical Roman style I was offered the prospect of a permanent guest spot as well as my own (?!) daily radio show for an hour, and then… never heard from the guy again! Ha! As always, in Italy you can only believe it when you see it in writing, and even then it’s not that trustworthy. So, alas, I continue on with my humble, non-famous existence. But I’m sure that down in your neck of the woods you’ve made quite a name for yourself, especially what with going around filming pizzas with boobs and all… ;-) I tell ya, if Italy isn’t a blogger’s gold mine, I don’t know where is…

  21. Cecilia May 7, 2007 at 12:47 pm #

    Shelley, you look radiant!! Thanks for sharing your pictures and memories, it all sounds so romantic (except for the italian beurocracy part, of course).Tanti Auguri!

  22. J.Doe May 7, 2007 at 1:09 pm #

    Thanks for the photos. You guys look great!and Auguri!

  23. nyc/caribbean ragazza May 7, 2007 at 3:11 pm #

    shelley you look stunning!! thank you for sharing your photos with us. I agree with you regarding Santa Maria. It’s one of my favorite churchs in Rome.A.p.s. I tagged you.

  24. Violette May 7, 2007 at 3:28 pm #

    Wow! Thank you for sharing the special day. It certainly adds a personal touch to a wonderful blog about Rome. You look absolutely gorgeous.I wish you much happiness.

  25. dmarie May 7, 2007 at 7:36 pm #

    I’m so glad you decided to share your beautiful photos! I was hoping you would :) Congrats!

  26. African Kelli May 7, 2007 at 8:10 pm #

    Shelley, you have never looked more beautiful or happier as long as I’ve known you! I am so, so pleased you chose to share these beautiful photos! I wish you two the best. :)

  27. J May 8, 2007 at 12:07 am #

    You are absolutely stunning. Congratulations on your wonderful life together!

  28. TinkerBlue May 8, 2007 at 2:08 am #

    Stunning! You look gorgeous and very, very happy.Congratulations.Are you used to saying “my husband” yet? (or the Italian equivalent).

  29. Madelyne May 8, 2007 at 5:29 am #

    You look truly beautiful. And you and Ale make a gorgeous coupleAnd thankfully you didn’t run off with the garbage guys:)

  30. Annika May 8, 2007 at 6:18 am #

    Beautiful, just beautiful! We saw a wedding photographer in action in front of Colosseum… everybody was watching as the poor bride had to lie down on the grass in front of her man, and then when the wind took control over her dress they all whistled and yelled ancora, ancora :)

  31. Lauren May 8, 2007 at 3:12 pm #

    Gorgeous! What wonderful photos. Glad you had a wonderful wedding and everything worked out despite the Italian red tape!

  32. chris & erin May 8, 2007 at 6:20 pm #

    bellissima!

  33. cheeky May 8, 2007 at 10:23 pm #

    You were absolutely exquisite.I did let a out a *wow* when I saw the photos.I completey understand wanting to keep things private. A big Thank You for allowing us, in this public forum, to have a peek in to your wedding day.I love your spirit and I could almost hear you as you described the garbage men scenario. Very funny.I’m sure you will both reflect on this day for years to come. Many blessings to you and yours.I can’t resist, where did you honeymoon?

  34. Julie May 9, 2007 at 3:05 am #

    Congratulations! You finally had the big day! And you look absolutely beautiful! Its like a fairy tale! BTW- I love that car!

  35. Cynthia Rae May 9, 2007 at 10:49 am #

    You are such a beautiful bride! Thank you so much for sharing the photos of your speical day!Cyn

  36. odessa May 10, 2007 at 7:26 pm #

    hi shelley,found your blog via delightful.com. i love, love, love your wedding pictures. and your garbage truck story – precious.i’ve always wanted to live in italy. thanks to your blog i can now have a taste of ‘la dolce vita’. will come back and visit your site for sure.cheers!~odessa

  37. jessica May 11, 2007 at 3:32 am #

    lovely photos. your story is lovely too. the garbage guys made me smile. much happiness to you!

  38. Kataroma May 11, 2007 at 10:13 am #

    Congratulations!!!

  39. Wanderlust Scarlett May 11, 2007 at 7:43 pm #

    You do look very, very beautiful. CONGRATULATIONS!! That’s really cool that your friends and family from the states got to be there. The garbage truck story is priceless… had a good laugh about that.Thanks for sharing, we were all waiting to hear anyway – looks like it was perfect! (except for those guests running on Rome time… but I do that here in the states.. soo… yah).Best wishes in all your days to come!

  40. my melange May 13, 2007 at 11:56 pm #

    Bella, Bella! How beautiful you look and how wonderful to get married in Rome, Italy!! I was at the church you were married in on vacation in 2004…I think I actually ate at the cafe below your apartment….I can’t imagine anyting more romantic..unless it were me of course…..

  41. Expat Traveler June 9, 2007 at 3:45 am #

    ok – first off Congrats! I’ve had like no time to read since I’ve been busier than one should be,…And you are so beautiful!!! Your dress is just incredible too..Let me say, I really wish we had been able to meet up but Shelly your husband is a lucky man!you guys look so wonderful and happy together!

  42. Marion Rechsteiner June 24, 2007 at 7:50 am #

    My daughter, Mary Lea Cox, will be staying in one of your apartments in Rome in July. She learned of you in New York Times. Today she sent your blog address with stopry of your fat Roman wedding
    and it was delightful. Thnaks to you, I am sure her visit to Rome will meet expectations.

    Marion Kallfelz Rechsteiner Esq.
    (Affiliate Member of Delaware State Bar Association. Delaware Bar highly recognized in U.S. and abroad. Several large corporate law cases are tried here in Chancery Court.Journalist,
    I write for law publications. You write very well.

  43. Sharon July 10, 2007 at 11:17 pm #

    I don’t mind being number 43….as I get to read all the other comments. You made a very beautiful bride. All the photos are great. You have sparkling eyes so I imagine you were enjoying your wedding day. Auguri!!

  44. Janeah July 28, 2007 at 5:21 pm #

    I am ashamed that its taken me this long to check out the picts. You are the picture of a perfect bride! Beautiful, glowing! I imagine the pictures didn’t even do you justice! Congrats!!!

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  1. Still the Best Hairstylist in Rome « - March 16, 2012

    [...] crazy American girl who might possibly sometimes get her hair done” which then brought her to this post, and come to find out, she’s been going to fantabulous Alberto for three years now, and [...]

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