Can a Sicilian father really not refuse a request on the day his daughter is to be married?
What are some legitimate cultural wedding practices? One thing that I am used to in Western Pennsylvania but others find odd is the insane amount of cookies served during the cocktail hour. I’m not sure the origin, but I assume it’s a Slovak, German, or Polish thing.
In Hindu weddings (YES I AM TALKING ABOUT BEING INDIAN!) there is a lovely quaint custom. The sisters, female friends, and female cousins of the bride, gather together and steal the groom’s shoes. The male friends, brothers, and male cousins of the groom attempt to get them back. If the girls can keep them hidden until after the wedding ceremony, the groom must pay to get them back. Sometimes it’s straight up cash, more often it’s small gifts, like rings or such. It’s great fun.
I ran the bar at a Jewish wedding some years ago and the guests were pinning money on the bride’s dress. There were some big notes too and I guessed several thousand pounds. They did wait until a good deal of alcohol had been consumed
I assumed at the time that it was a Jewish custom, but apparently not so. I think that some of the grandparents were from Poland so it may be more Polish than Jewish.
I don’t know if this is an Italian custom, a Pennsylvania custom or an Altoona custom, but family weddings ALWAYS have a Dollar Dance. You put your dollar in a jar and you can dance with the bride (or groom, if you’re a woman). It’s supposed to be a little nest egg for a couple starting out life together. Considering that these were never huge weddings, it was more likely a way to defray the cost of tips to the waitstaff and bartender.
I’ll be kind and refrain from mentioning the Chicken Dance…
Roma collect money at weddings. Sometimes it’s done with the dollar dance. Other times a hollowed out loaf bread (which some of my aunts have informed me is truly the old tradition), a decorated box or purse is used. It’s considered another gift to the couple and also allows people to who were invited on the spot (traditionally no one is turned away at a wedding though they can be kicked out later) to give a gift (defray the cost of feeding and entertaining them). Some families have a breakfast the morning after of the wedding to display the sheets from the night before if the bride was a virgin. All of the groom’s family is suppose to give the bride money or jewelry there.
A local custom that I don’t know the origin of is for the groomsmen to steal the bride from the reception and take her to a bar or two or three. I find it an appalling custom as the bride should be there for the dances, extended family, etcetera. My friend’s groomsmen tried it but she had brought some personal sercurity - a couple of college football players - to guard her. She was successful and happy.
No shoes? Not such a great idea at a Jewish wedding…
In the opening of the movie “Sorcerer” about transporting explosives in a South American oilfield, the vignettes about how the characters ended up there - one was involved in robbing a wedding party in New York (Italian?). I seem to recall it involved a large number of money gifts to the bride, pinned to a small tree or plant in the front room of the reception hall - so for a large wedding, it was a decent haul.
Yes, Dollar dance gave us spending money for the Honeymoon from our Indiana County wedding (holla). I am assuming it’s Polish, because the music is traditionally polka. Not sure if you have the same tradition, but after people dance with the bride they continue to form circles around the bride and at the end the groom has to get in.
It depends on the families. I have been at one wedding wherein we stole the shoes and his brothers didn’t even try to find them! I’ve also been at weddings where you can steal them back and forth all day.
You go barefoot anyway. It’s not considered proper to wear shoes in a holy place, or really anyplace indoors. Any Indian wedding has a shoe place outside where there are piles of shoes.
After the wedding has ended, and before the bride parts for her new home, sometime in the early part of the reception is the “deadline”. It’s usually flexible and loose, but eventually the sisters have to show up with the shoes if they want to get paid. No shoes, no payment!