A Southern Wedding: Italian Style

DSC_5200Though they do not share the same nationality, Antonio Dario Guida and Jamie Gable are both Southerners at heart.

Guida is from the south of Italy—Positano on the Amalfi Coast, near the Island of Capri. It is a popular destination wedding and honeymoon spot. Gable is from Birmingham.

She spent the last two semesters of college abroad in Italy, first in Ariccia (just south of Rome), and then in Positano. She graduated in December of 2011 with a bachelor’s in apparel merchandising, design, and production, as well as with minors in business and international studies, from Auburn University. After graduation, she returned to work for a designer in Positano.

She and Guida met on a weekend trip she had taken with Auburn’s study abroad program. They met briefly at the only “disco” in town, Music on the Rocks. The next evening, he took her on their first date.

Guida proposed in February of 2013.  The idea of “proposing” is not something their two cultures have in common. “He nailed it. I really appreciated this gesture, and I know my parents did as well. I think he made a precedent as the first man from Positano to formally propose,” Gable says. “We really got the town talking when I posted a photo to Facebook a few days later.”

They married in the small town of Praiano, in between Positano and Amalfi, in a small church just a short walk from both Guida’s maternal grandmother and aunts’ houses. The location they chose for their reception was a villa with a number of outdoor gardens and amazing views of the Mediterranean and the mountain-lined coast in the day and the moon and stars at night. Their reception was beneath October’s full moon; the tables were organized by the Latin names of constellations.

In a modern media twist to this wedding, the couple participated in a TV show called 4 Matrimoni, the Italian version of the TV show Four Weddings, which aired on the FoxLife Italia network in primetime. FoxLife Italia broadcasts the Italian versions of television programs like Scandal, Nashville, Revenge, Grey’s Anatomy, and more.

“We did not win the show. We received a lot of support from the viewers on Twitter and Facebook. Fans wrote, ‘Go Alabama’ and ‘Viva Alabama,’” Gable says. “Participating in the TV program was a great experience. It has helped me to have an even greater appreciation for diversity. The show was a huge hit in Italy. They have recently opened their second season for casting.”

DSC_0509They were married on Oct. 19, 2013, as the sun set at the Chiesa di San Luca Evangelista. The couple tried to incorporate both American and Italian cultures as much as possible and make both families feel well represented. Guida said his vows in English, while Gable said her vows in Italian. The mass was given in Italian but some scripture readings and hymns were in English as well.

“I bought my dress in Italy. I went with Dario’s mom and after I had chosen my favorite dress, I called my mother and sister via Skype for the final word,” Gable shares. “I had my dress made to measure. I chose a cathedral-length veil with a lace border that was sewn around my wrists to form a sort of sleeve, to have more coverage during the church reception. We had three flower girls, my niece, Tessa, and Dario’s cousins, Alba and Aurora. My father, Philip Gable, walked me down the aisle. My sister, Cassie Shears, and Dario’s brother, Danilo Guida, were the maid of honor and the best man. Italians don’t have the tradition of the rehearsal dinner, but Dario’s family hosted a rehearsal dinner for our families after we had our rehearsal in the church.”

Gable’s family and a handful of international guests attended the wedding, but the majority of the guests were locals. (Guida and his family own and manage a hotel and rental property in Positano and Praiano. The couple’s out-of-town guests stayed at their Hotel Il Gabbiano.) It is common for people who are not invited to the wedding reception to come to the mass and throw “confetti” as the couple exits the church. “Dario and I had a ‘mini reception’ in the square (piazza) in front of the church for people who had come to support us but who would not be attending our party,” Gable says. “Dario and his family are well-known in Praiano and Positano, so we had a lot of rice and confetti thrown at us that day. Our mini reception consisted of light finger foods with lemonade and sweet tea. We released balloons into the sky to remember lost loved ones. Just before we left to take pictures, Dario’s uncle totally surprised us by showering us with paper hearts that had been cut out by hand by Dario’s aunts and cousins. First in black and blue (Inter-Milano’s colors, Dario’s favorite soccer team), followed with multicolored hearts.

“We had a pianist play Italian piano bar music while our guests were served cocktails and hors d’oeuvres,” she says. “Once we arrived, we had our first dance as a couple, then my father and I danced. The dances were a novelty to the Italian guests and television audience. After welcoming our guests, we moved upstairs to a covered terrace, where we had arranged a buffet dinner. We had two separate courses. The first included three different types of pasta, a risotto, and shrimp and grits, and the second was a selection of meat, fish, a massive piece of fresh-braided mozzarella, salad, vegetables, and fried green tomatoes. During dinner, we had a guiatarist play Napolitan music. After we finished eating, we moved to a different garden, where we cut our cake and had an extensive buffet of Italian “dolci” (sweets). We did have a chocolate groom’s cake, which was another novelty for our Italian guests.”

DSC_9819The couple had a DJ play European pop and club music until about 1 a.m. “La spaghettata” is an Italian tradition and the cure for post-party hunger. While it is typically a plate of spaghetti, the couple utilized the villa’s brick oven to make pizzas for their guests, so they wouldn’t hit the road hungry.

Once their guests left the reception, Guida and Gable stayed at the villa. The next day, they stayed in the honeymoon suite at the world-renowned Hotel San Pietro for 24 hours of post-wedding/pre-honeymoon rest and relaxation before spending the following week with Gable’s family. They took them to the Island of Capri and Castel Gandolfo (the Pope’s summer residence). “My mom is the president of the Hoover Rotary Club, so we took her to meet the president of the Amalfi Coast Rotary Club,” Gable says. “We came home to Birmingham for Thanksgiving before leaving for Costa Rica for our honeymoon.”

Guida is very passionate about his career in the hospitality industry. He was born and raised in his family’s hotel and began interacting with guests from the time he learned to walk and talk. In addition to working at Il Gabbiano, he has extensive experience working in various hotels, villas, and restaurants in Positano.

Gable is very passionate about her career in the fashion industry as well. She spent two years interning and working for designers in Italy and is enthusiastic about beginning work here as well. “While we had originally planned to return to Italy to work for another year, we realized that there would never come a convenient time to immigrate, so in February, we bit the bullet and filed for Dario’s green card,” she explains. “We are currently living in Vestavia. I am working at my father’s law firm and tax practice as a law clerk/executive assistant. We are eager to get his official documentation so that we can make more permanent arrangements. While I adored working in Italy, I am happy to be home,” Gable says.

One Response to “A Southern Wedding: Italian Style”

  1. rosamaria Sabatino says:

    The bride and groom are beautiful, seeing the photos brings many beautiful memories of my home town in Italy which I was born in, Calabria and also where by cousin was married. The photos are beautiful, I wish you many blessings on your wonderful adventure of matrimony. Tanti auguri and belle cose and ….Guida you have a wonderful mother-in- law.( I know Joanie) and you are blessed to have her in your family.

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