Engagement?????

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Engagement?????

Postby nrepole » 06 Oct 2013, 23:20

Hi all
I am a little confused. I have a photo dated November 1902 (see link) and it appears to feature a couple (my relatives) on their wedding day. But I have their wedding date as May 1903, in Trenton NJ. Could the photo have been taken on their engagement day? Was it a tradition of the time to dress up like that for engagements?

See:
http://img196.imageshack.us/img196/3863/m692.jpg

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated,
Nick
Surnames: Repole, Pinto, Patrissi, Schettino, Sisti, Melli, Del Gaudio, Garofano, Gambuti, Parente
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Re: Engagement?????

Postby Italysearcher » 07 Oct 2013, 09:09

Is it possible they married in the church in November either in Italy or America so they could live together and then married officially the next year?
In Italy, the civil ceremony at City Hall does not require formal attire such as this if the couple will marry later (or before) in the church. If they married in the USA shortly after her arrival, she may have brought the dress with her and they married immediately in the church since it is the most important for Italians. Then later at City Hall.
Ann Tatangelo
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ANNOYING THE SAINTS - Stories of my Life in Italy. http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-b ... ly/7731505
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Re: Engagement?????

Postby erudita74 » 07 Oct 2013, 13:08

Italysearcher wrote:Is it possible they married in the church in November either in Italy or America so they could live together and then married officially the next year?
In Italy, the civil ceremony at City Hall does not require formal attire such as this if the couple will marry later (or before) in the church. If they married in the USA shortly after her arrival, she may have brought the dress with her and they married immediately in the church since it is the most important for Italians. Then later at City Hall.



Based on NYC marriage records I have, the opposite of what Ann has stated seems to be true. I found that Italian immigrants married first at city hall by an alderman and then at a later date in a Catholic Church. What they wore at the city hall though, I can't say, as I don't have photos of those marriages. These ancestors then did not live together, and did not consummate their marriages, until after their church weddings had taken place.

Also, this may be going off track, but I take issue with the comment that the church is the most important for Italians. For centuries, the Catholic Church in Italy, as a wealthy landowner, did not treat poor southern Italians and Sicilians very well. In fact, Italians had more devotion to their saints than to the church itself. Even once they arrived in the U.S., they were discriminated against by many of the churches which already had members from other nationalities. In NYC, they were forced to worship in the basements of the churches, as the Irish who were already there did not like them. It took a while before some of the churches had Italian priests who had some understanding of their needs. Many men never went to church, even in Italy. It was the women who would attend the Sunday services, but all participated in the feasts of their saints. Some men in America never even went to church when one of their own children was being baptized. I know my one great grandfather stayed at home and then objected to the name that had been given to his one daughter, and the women had to return there and change it.

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Re: Engagement?????

Postby nrepole » 27 Oct 2013, 06:12

Thanks Ann and Erudita.
Very interesting information. Wow! I had never heard that Italian immigrants married at city hall prior to being married in church. Seems to explain photo.
Best regards
Nick
Surnames: Repole, Pinto, Patrissi, Schettino, Sisti, Melli, Del Gaudio, Garofano, Gambuti, Parente
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Re: Engagement?????

Postby erudita74 » 27 Oct 2013, 13:37

nrepole wrote:Thanks Ann and Erudita.
Very interesting information. Wow! I had never heard that Italian immigrants married at city hall prior to being married in church. Seems to explain photo.
Best regards
Nick


Happy to help.
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