Firstly, I apologies for not keeping the momentum of the whole Italian Wedding thing going at a smooth steady pace. As you may imagine, I have had rather a lot going on recently but alas, without further ado, I will continue:
When we got back to London we called our parents to break the news of our engagement.
My mum was delighted. The Italian, in her eyes, is a good man who will look after me. He made quite a few sacrifices to be with me and she has always admired him for it.
The Italian’s parents, as usual, had something to say. Why didn’t we tell them when we were in Italy? How long have we known? You get the picture. Well, we’ve known for like, five hours, and we didn’t tell you in Italy because it only happened, like, five hours ago!
Like any Latin mother, this opened the flood gates to various “suggestions”. Where we should do it, when we should do it, who should be invited.
The Italian is rather stubborn and immediately his mind was set: wedding in Italy (fine by me), in the autumn (fine by me), only close family, no aunties/uncles/cousins that we don’t see regularly (fine by me, not fine by his mother).
I can count my favourite relatives on one hand so I wasn’t put off by this arrangement at all. His mother however had already drawn up “her list” and had pulled it from her handbag quicker than Clint Eastwood can brandish a pistol from a holster!
The list consisted of venues, invitees, thoughts and ideas. Thanks but no thanks. The Italian was quick to draw a line through the various names of neighbours, cousins that lived hours away, aunties and uncles that never telephoned him let alone visited. It was only bound to cause controversy. Pens at the ready! On the list, off the list, on the list, off the list!
My spoken Italian back then wasn’t great, which in hindsight, really was a wonderful thing as it didn’t allow me to tell her where to shove it! The Italian did a pretty good job of that on his own.
We were on a tight budget and the Italian spent a lot of time on the phone making enquiries. His mother in law couldn’t believe that we, mostly he, could organise a wedding in Italy, from England, using the internet and the phone.
Meanwhile, my mother kept herself busy organising my hand-made wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, at my pleasure and request, whilst his mother kept herself busy “making suggestions” and getting annoyed when we said thanks but no thanks.
That was the first sign that I was marrying in to a Latin family and probably faced a life time of suggestions.
So before it got too out of hand, the Italian thanked his thoughtful mother for thinking of us and being so helpful but for now we had everything under control.
We had a tiny, friendly suggestion for her…….Back off!
Do you have issues with your mother in law? Do share stories!