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Old 11-05-2007, 11:56 AM   #1
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Wedding customs.

The Italian wedding soup came up in the different thread. So I decided to explore this a bit.

I just read the recipe for the Italian wedding soup and found it to be very simple. And probably, actually very good, but wedding?????????????? Do they really serve it for wedding? In Ukraine, if I were to serve something like this for the wedding the people probably would take the whole pot and poor it over my head. And that is where the question of customs comes.

For example in Ukraine the wedding feast would consist of numerous appetizers, of fish and meats. Smoked, salted, processed, made into salads and simply sliced. That would be served alone with numerous salads. Next there will be main course during which there will be again numerous main dishes served on platters alone with numerous side dishes served also on big platters so person could choose whatever he/she wants.

The same thing will be for deserts. There would be many different cakes and sweets served, as an opposite for one main wedding cake, like it is done here in America.
What about other customs. I see here in the States it is either buffet stile or if it is seat down diner a person brought one portion of something and it is all you get. To me an American wedding party is a big joke. People invite 200-300 hundreds guests and then have no food, no drinks, no alcohol. Okay it is not always like that, but I have been to few weddings that barely had any foods. There were a lot of music and dancing, but I am sorry to me, and this is obviously cultural thing, party must have a lot of foods.

My wife is American so it was a mixture of both, we had tons of hors d’oeuvres, open bar, but then seat down diner were portions were served and if you were still hungry – too bad. I simply do not understand that. I do not understand why invite people if you can’t provide drinks and foods. One wedding we went bride and groom simply left and went to bar next door to have drinks, huh… what’s with that, how rude.

Anyway fire away. Tell me about customs you know of.

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Old 11-05-2007, 12:52 PM   #2
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Italian Wedding Soup

Charlie, If I remember correctly the "wedding" in the soup means that the vegetables and various ingredients are married together in the soup. I suppose the soup could be served for wedding occasions, but the "wedding soup" pertains to the soup recipe itself. This is what I've read.
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Old 11-05-2007, 12:57 PM   #3
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Hm, go figure
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:13 PM   #4
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Thumbs up Ukrainian weddings etc.

Yep, but it's the truth. Thanks for sharing your customs from the "old country". I've seen some pictures of Ukrainian special occasion tables loaded with a big variety of most excellent looking food. You're kinda making me hungry. At the International Festival in Columbus, Ohio this weekend I did kinda over-eat from around the world. Progies as usual were among my favorite - the saurkraut filled especially.
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Old 11-05-2007, 01:18 PM   #5
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Quite often people simply cannot afford to do it all. My father has four daughters. Two of us have been married twice. Trust me, you simply cannot afford to do it all for everyone SIX TIMES. Well, I guess there are people richer than my family. I paid for both of my own weddings (once was just a pass through the local JP; another was a beach on Hawaii wedding -- that one took, going on 25 years -- ). But on occasion my parents have sprung for wine for the wedding toast and a couple drinks per person, but after that a cash bar. I don't think that that is unreasonable.

This is not a "tradition", it is just a way for my parents to throw huge parties (you have to understand, hundreds of people from all walks of life, many of whom were total strangers to my parents .... heck, to me when I married.

Real wedding traditions? Well in my family it is the daughters' dance, for obvious reasons. We collect every song known to mankind about daddies and daughters, and play them. It takes a lot of songs for the four of us to dance with Daddy, and now there are neices as well, not to mention my mother.

I've lived many places and I've found that one wedding tradition that goes across many cultures is what I call a dollar dance. The bride dances with anyone, and during that song, anyone who dances with her pins money to her gown and/or veil. The assumption being that they are starting out in life and need a boost. I've seen versions of this in both European and Asian weddings.

Thowing rice at the couple as they leave the church or reception. Rice is a symbol of so many things; fertility, which is what so many cultures want. Wealth; a full stomach. lovely.

One time I was strolling through China town in Honolulu, and was just picking up a bit of this and that for my sister, for a shower. I found some lovely chop sticks. A Chinese-American man approached me and asked, "you are buying this for a wedding present?" Yes. "How appropriate!" Huh? I was just buying them because they were pretty and she might enjoy them. He told me that the chop sticks were, in his language, a play on words. It can be interpreted as "fast children" and they are considered a very good omen, a perfect gift to the new couple. We've laughed over the years, my sister did eventually have two lovely children.

Being born Catholic, I have been to very many Catholic wedding masses. I remember giggling while one of my sisters got so nervous that we could see hives breaking out (she was the maid of honor).

But I think that all of the wedding traditions come to this: A parent lovingly turning over their children to another.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:08 PM   #6
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Well, maybe it is just me, but if there is no money, one simply should only invite as many guests as he/she can afford.
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Old 11-05-2007, 02:18 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieD View Post
Well, maybe it is just me, but if there is no money, one simply should only invite as many guests as he/she can afford.
Or go into debt to have a wedding you cant afford.
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Old 11-05-2007, 04:46 PM   #8
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Guess there's no limit on the potential cost per head. Having attended the weddings of people of modest to well off (but not multi milionaire) means I've enjoyed fire-house wedding parties that were doable at $25 - $40 per head and hall or hotel weddings running $50 to $150 per head. It's a great way to find out what your friends and relatives are made of when the value of their gifts are compared to the cost per head. I will not go to a wedding unless I'm prepared to gift an amount that is at least equal to the host's cost per head. The two best wedding parties that I have attended consisted of one at a fire house with as much pieroges, beer, etc . as one could consumed and one at a fancy hall with all kinds of hot and cold hors d' oeuvres (including mountains of shrimp) and drinks before the sitdown dinner and a rolling bar during the sitdown dinner. The former was for a coworkers daughter and the later was for a girl who worked for me whose daddy was in the garment industry. I'm really not partial to standing on lines (had enough of that in mess halls and company cafeterias) so I dislike buffets. How about you?
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Old 11-05-2007, 05:01 PM   #9
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I have two comments here sort of on this topic.

First, I have a very small family (my dad, sister and two nephews who live across the country). My DH has about 200 relatives and then there were our friend - separate and together. This was my second marriage and his first and while we wanted to keep it simple, his side wanted a huge reception. There were other family squables and we also realized we didn't want to spend that much or wait a full year to marry (because of his job) so we ended up getting married in our back yard with two witnesses and the marriage commissioner. The DH pulled out the BBQ and we had steaks with all the trimmings, Caesar salad, etc and a cake that my sister bought on her way to stand up for me. We planned the whole wedding in 5 hours and it was awesome!

Secondly, I cooked at a youth camp this summer and we would have 600 people per meal 6 out of 7 days and then drop to a humble 170 on the 7th. We had a lot of teenagers helping us in the kitchen and one of their jobs was looking after the condiments - 60 tables worth! When we had chicken fingers with veggie trays and fries for example there would be 1 ketchup, 1 ranch dressing and plus 1 each of BBQ, honey mustard and plum sauce for the chicken. When the bottles came back we would ask some of the kids to "marry" them together so we weren't adding new stuff into old bottles. Every week we got new helpers and every week we delighted at their reactions to Marrying condiments! Also I made Italian wedding soup (knowing the true meaning of the name) and it was fun to listen to two helpers joke "who's getting married?"..."I think it is the Ketchup and the Mustard!"
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