IMAGES: © RONALD ASHRI

Newly married Angelo Sangiorgio gives us a man’s view of the build-up to his super Sicilian wedding


STEFANIA AND I have known each other since we were at school together,’ says 26-year-old Sicilian Angelo Sangiorgio. ‘We didn’t look at each other until about four months before we were about to leave secondary school, and since then we haven’t looked at anyone else!’ Angelo and his beautiful fiancée Stefania were married in June of this year in the handsome Baroque town of Modica in Sicily.

‘We started dating eight years ago,’ he says, ‘and stayed together all through university.
We both studied in Pisa, but after graduating we decided to come back to our native Sicily where our families are. I suppose it came down to deciding whether we wanted to have big careers in one of Italy’s cities or have a quieter, and probably a simpler life in Sicily. But now we’re back we’re really happy.’

THE BIG QUESTION


Both fresh graduates, the first thing on their mind back in Sicily was beginning their respective careers. But before long they were talking about their future. So how did he pop the question? ‘Well,’ says Angelo, ‘the proposal was a bit different. One evening at the beginning of last year while we were talking, Stefania turned to face me and asked: ‘What do you want to do?’ It took me a moment, but then I understood what she meant and I said, ‘Would you like me to ask you to marry me?’ She said yes, so I did, and she said yes again. I suppose the whole thing took me a bit by surprise but it was absolutely the right decision. And once it sank in, it was really exciting. Our parents were delighted for us, though I remember the look on my mother’s face when she realised I wasn’t going to stay at home for the rest of my life. But Italian mothers are like that.’

So now they’d decided to get married, who took care of all the organisation? ‘We did everything together,’ Angelo says. ‘With both of us working, we did most of the planning at the weekends, running about having invitations printed and booking the restaurant and the church. We had originally thought of getting married in Modica’s fabulous Baroque duomo, but it’s booked so far in advance that they tell you when you can get married, and as Stefania had dreamed that our big day had to be on the 8th June, that didn’t work in with our schedule… So we chose the town’s second church, La Chiesa di San Pietro, which is also very beautiful.’

…we chose the town’s second church, La Chiesa di San Pietro

GIVE A LITTLE, TAKE A LITTLE…


It’s during this planning stage that many couples begin to feel the stress. Was it the same for them? ‘No,’ he says laughing, ‘we just agreed to compromise. Actually, I became very good at compromising.’ He laughs again. ‘No, really, everything went well. Though I do remember one particularly long weekend looking for bomboniere (favours) with Stefania, and both our mothers. I had no idea that picking the perfect wedding favour could be quite such a dramatic affair.’

Angelo continues: ‘Another slight difference of opinion arose over my suit. Stefania was much more worried that it be of the right cut, from the right tailor and matched with the right pair of shoes, whereas I really just wanted to be comfortable. And I know she was worried about her dress. She kept saying to me ‘I hope you like it! I hope you like it!’ In the event, I was so preoccupied on the day that it was only about a couple of hours after we’d been married that I actually noticed the dress! Although I have to say it was very beautiful.’

But there was also lots of fun. Angelo remembers: ‘One thing Stefania really enjoyed on the run-up to the wedding was the wedding list – choosing lots and lots of beautiful items and not having to pay for them. I was a bit worried that she’d pick up bad habits that would be difficult to break later on, but I needn’t have worried.
The purse strings are safe with her!’

I hope stefania agrees! - married life has improved what was already a great relationship
ALL’S WELL THAT ENDS WELL


And the actual wedding? ‘The day itself was fabulous,’ says Angelo warmly. ‘The church was beautiful, we got through the ceremony without any problems (I only lost my glasses once), and afterwards had the most fabulous party with our 240 guests. (We compromised on the number: 160 guests from her side, 80 from mine.) It was just the most incredible way to end a perfect day.

So now that the big day is over, what’s the verdict? Angelo has no doubts: ‘From my point of view – and I hope Stefania agrees! – married life has improved what was already a great relationship. Just knowing that when you get home after a hard day’s work there’s someone to share your day with, talk to and plan your future with, is one of the best feelings in the world. I think what Stefania likes best is getting to organise things: our weekends; our budget; the way I should dress.’ But it’s clear from his laughter that nothing could please him more…