The Wedding

nella Chiesa di San Pancrazio in Colle Grande, a centuries old Benedictine Abbey Church

The wedding itself took place at the Chiesa (Church) di San Pancrazio in Colle Grande which is a fratzione (nearby town) di Roccascalegna. This small country church was the church of the Benedictine Abbey of Saint Pancrazio founded over 800 years ago. The Abbey is gone but the church remains, considerably modernized as you can see in these photos.

After the Bride left the morning reception for the Church we all got in our cars and went after her. I don’t know how to describe the drive. We are in the country. The roads are narrow and picturesque. And the speed limits are …. well the polite way to say it is …. ignored.

When we got to the church after a beautiful drive up into the hills of Abruzzo we drove up a long winding driveway to the church. Everyone was standing outside in the sunshine as the bridal party got organized and then one by one we all went in.

After everyone went in the Bride was left alone with her father waiting for the service to start,

Barbara and Manuel sat at the front of the old church which had been beautifully decorated for this special day.

The Bride’s mother and father, Luciano and Antonina sat amidst friends and family.

I sposi, the Bride and Groom, were as perfect as a young couple could be and they were so very obvious in their affection for each other.

This was a wonderful old church. Like most churches in Italy, it was well cared for and well used. The setting, the day, the sunshine, created a mood of celebration. It was wonderful to be there! Because the Catholic Church is world wide and using the same liturgy everywhere, the ceremony seemed familiar and comfortable. It was, of course, in Italian, but that is becoming pretty familiar to me now. And everyone was in such good spirits.

Although I was just a guest, I had all of my equipment with me and was taking lots of pictures. I was not using a flash and trying to stay out of the way of the photographers there who were working, but I was still able to take some nice pictures. You can see that most of the time no one was looking at me because they were listening to the real photographers.

After the ceremony, as people filed out, family and wedding party pictures were taken at the front of the church.

Barbara and Manuel with Manuel’s parents who came from Venezuela for the wedding of their son.

In this picture, Luciano and Antonina stand with Barbara and their new son-in-law.

The bridal party.

Another photo of the bridal party.

Rice! It is a tradition all over the world but it began right here thousands of years ago.

Part of the decorations was a big balloon full of smaller balloons. Manuel is about to prick it with a pin.

As Barbara and Manuel came out of the church everyone crowded around for pictures.

The big one exploded into a shower of small balloons that leapt into the sky announcing the wedding to all.

Everyone crowded in for a picture with I sposi in front of the church. You can tell from the faces the joy of this day!

I sposi, the bride and groom, were so obviously into each other that they made the occasion really special. I think that this wedding was one of the prettiest and most touching of all the weddings I have been to. It was just perfect!

And finally, before they left for the evening reception, Barbara and Manuel shared a glass of bubbly.