Tuesday, August 16, 2011

A Southern Italian Wedding (Palazzo San Gervasio Basilicata) Part 4

The Wedding Reception

We arrived at Hotel Villa Ester shortly before the appointed time of 2:00 PM. It was a hot, summer afternoon and it was nice to find the long, patio walkway covered, providing much needed shade.

A toast to the lovely newlyweds.

Long tables lined the walkway with trays of wonderful appetizers. Waiters walked amongst the guests with platters of delicious treats.

Lots of beverage choices, pitchers of iced fruit juices, wine and prosecco.
Wonderful meats and cheeses

My daughter Aria whispered to me that I should probably pace myself as this hour on the patio was just the beginning of what would prove to be a dinner party that would last for the next 8 hours!

We then entered a lovely ballroom where about 300 guests were treated to a multi-course extravaganza served by white gloved waiters who moved in almost synchronized motion.

One may ask how does a meal last for hours upon hours? How can one eat so much?

Well I can tell you "it is possible." I think there was at least two hours of feasting then an intermezzo of a sorbet to cleanse the palette before the 2nd half of the feast took place. As the night went on between all the wine and dancing and entertainment I started to forget how to take pictures. Here are some from early on in the meal:

Mixed fresh local cheeses...

Cold seafoof risotto..

Mixed seafood platter..

a stuffed pasta...

I missed photo ops for the mushroom risotto, roasted meats, various sides, dessert and gosh who knows what else. Food just kept coming and with every plate, waiters would swiftly remove china and silverware and replace everything anew with each course.

Plenty of red and white wines adorned each table... including the "Paradiso" wine from Nicola's family vineyards. (see red label on table for Paradiso wine)

The first dance was lovely.

Mike and I are truly overwhelmed by this memorable event.

Aria and Daniele, we were so happy to share in his families joy.

Between each course there is much time to dance. Everyone young and old are wonderful ballroom dancers.
Lots of crazy fun on the dance floor as well.

Then at 10:00 everyone was exiting to the outdoor patio. I thought the reception was winding down but really it was going to continue in full force outside. This is what we saw:

More guests arriving for the outdoor party! Tables and chairs set up on the patio and on the grassy area.
Although we had been served dessert at the end of our meal, we were astounded by long tables of every kind of dessert imaginable in the garden area. Luscious cheese cakes, tortes, cannolis, cookies, gelato, panne cotta and all kinds of cakes. Plus more wine. Truly amazing

In the lit shell is the huge wedding cake

It was at this time that we were again treated to a magnificent fireworks show especially for the bride and groom.

The band has now moved outside and the dancing continues outdoors. Now the time is moving on...the warm summer night is as beautiful as the sweetest dream. Now I see waiters carrying out platters of food and I am thinking "it can't be" but "Yes it is!" I am now told we will be eating pasta at midnight! Oh my goodness and YES I did make room for more food. I ate my plate of pasta and it was delicious.

Before the nights end the mothers of the bride and groom are standing by a long table filled with wrapped gifts for the guests. People line up by the mothers and we are guided to line up too. One by one the mothers hand a wrapped sweet bread and a beautifully boxed gift to each person with a handshake and a thank you expressed. I am overwhelmed by this generosity.

We are also given a flower basket filled with jordan almonds and a nice message thanking us for attending the wedding.

The gift each person received was a specially ordered lidded sugar bowl with ceramic spoon. Hand painted. Stunningly beautiful. I will treasure it always as a keepsake from our first italian wedding.

See "A Southern Italian Wedding part 5" for our last day in Palazzo San Gervasio. The celebration continues!


menehune said...

Ahh, only Italians with their fine wine, superb food and mega families could share a repast for hours on end. I say that from experience. How wonderful that you could partake in this memorable moment in the lives of this family and have these memories, both photos and keepsakes, to reminisce and bring them all back to life again. Thanks for sharing.

Virginia said...

I'm speechless over this fabulous wedding.Thank you for taking the photos so we could all share in the evening. I can't imagine all the food and drink. :)

fourkidsmom said...

Wow what a wedding. I have never been to anything quite like that. Absolutely gorgeous. Thanks for the pictures and also thanks for checking in on my blog as well. Love your comments.

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

I once attended a weekend wedding in germany... that lasted the whole weekend.
This wedding looks amazing!

I'm glad you figured out the linky thing! :-)

barb cabot said...

Sandi I seem to recall you flying over to Europe for a wedding or two. I love weddings and its such a treat to experience a tradition like this in any country. Some things are common threads everywhere and then of course the many variations. Such a momentous happy time for a family.
Thanks so much for helping me out with the linky technology.

Unknown said...

Hi Barb, Just saw this. Beautiful pics and nice show of the town as well. Is it hard to get to PSG? I'm not the world's most confident driver. What's the best way to get there (from the States)?

Related Posts Widget for Blogs by LinkWithin