Since 1908 the n.1 source of all things Italian featuring Italian news, culture, business and travel

Issue link: https://italoamericanodigital.uberflip.com/i/1391219

Contents of this Issue


Page 1 of 39

THURSDAY, JULY 8, 2021 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano 2 A wedding isn't all sunshine and rainbows. When we think about the perfect cer- emony, the first thing com- ing to mind are the bride's dress, the location, the party with friends and family, the presents. According to the latest 2019 ISTAT data, however, people in Italy get married less and less and, when they do, they go for a civil, rather than religious ceremony (2.3% in 1970, against 52.6% in 2019): still, a per- fect wedding is way more than a "yes." When it comes to organizing that "spe- cial day," starting well on time is essential – in Italy, some book their location up to two years in advance! -- and there are hundreds of things to think about before getting the rings out. If it's true that social habits have been changing – we get married later, life partners are four times more common than 10 years ago and in one in every five ceremonies, one spouse is at the second marriage– there is something that hasn't changed at all: costs. While we, of course, no longer speak about dowry like in the Middle Ages, expenses remain high: the average price of an Italian wedding is between 15 and 20,000 euro (between 18 and 23,000 USD), but some easily rise to 30-40,000 euro (35 to 47,000 USD), even for families of non particularly high income. That said, if you think that extra-luxury weddings, in the 80 to 100,000 euro bracket (95 to 120,000 USD), are a rarity, you'd be mistaken. All this reveals that, behind "the hap- piest day of our life," there's an immense business, which has a significant weight in the country's market and employment sector. Between clothing, decorations, favors, flowers, make up Y o u r " h a p p i e s t d a y " i s m o r e t h a n t h e perfect dress: in Italy, it's a business From the Editor artists, hairdressers, photographers, car rentals, party venues, wedding planners and so on, the wedding business in Italy is worth around 40 billion euro (or 47 billion USD). Covid imposed a forceful stop to one of our economy's driving forces. The impossibility to gather was an immediate set back for wed- dings, which are the epitome of hugs and embraces, of kisses and mingling of younger and older generations – all so incred- ibly dangerous with Covid. The drop in comparison to 2019 was already evident in the first trimester of 2020: 20% less civil unions and weddings. In the second trimester, because of the heavy restrictions imposed by Italy's spring lockdown, there were 80% less wed- dings and 60% less civil unions. What does this mean? That, in a typical case of trickling-down effect, several other sectors have been affected. In 2018, Italian florists made a total of 5 billion euro (5.9 billion USD), mostly thanks to weddings. During the lockdown of 2020, Assofioristi (the Italian association of florists) noted, many florists had to discard an enormous amount of plants and flowers, that equaled a loss of 200 million euro (236 mil- lion USD). Every year, photographers in Italy make an average of 400 million euro (470 million USD) only with weddings. Among the country's small and medium businesses, about 700 produce bomboniere (favors), with about 6,000 stores, 30,000 people employed and yearly earnings of around 800 million euro (945 million USD). And then, we shouldn't forget that 90% of all furniture is bought by newly weds or future couples. And behind it, there are dozens of billion euros and hundreds of workers. We only need to think about the construction sector, with all its plumbers, electricians, blacksmiths, carpenters, painters. Even the trade fair sector owes a lot to the wedding industry: in the 2017-18 season, 80 small and large fairs were dedicated to it. RomaSposi, during its last, pre-Covid editions, was visited by 30,000 people! A study commissioned by Il Sole 24 Ore (Italy's leading financial newspaper) found out that, in 2016-2017, almost 57,000 businesses were somehow tied with the wedding indus- try. And then, there's catering. One meal at a wedding dinner is worth about 100 euro (about 120 USD), which go towards the restaurant and the waiting staff, but also towards buying the food itself – fish, meats, wines, local and DOC products, and so on… Clothing: a handmade bridal gown costs an average of 5,000 euro (5,900 USD), that is, if you pick something simple. Just the veil may set you back a good 2,000 euro (almost 2,400 USD). And it's not only the bride who gets dressed up: every person invited buys a new outfit, a pair of shoes, a handbag, they get their hair done…So, there are also beauticians and hairdressers (from 100 to 500 euro, or 120 to 590 USD), car rental (up to 1,500 euro, or 1,800 USD), printing invitations and "save the date," music and entertainment, honeymoon. And how can we forget jewelers? Wedding bands can cost up to 1,000 euro (1,200 USD). Did you know that 1 kg (about 2 lbs) of rice "that doesn't stain clothes" to throw at the newlyweds outside the church/town hall costs 15 euro (almost 20 USD)? Traditionally, in Italy people get married in April, May and during the summer, which means outdoor parties, dancing by the pool until sunrise and toasts under the stars. Many couples who had chosen June postponed their wedding. July and August are booked up now, but this is not enough to make up for two years of losses and the money spent to comply with the current health regulations: detergents and hand gels, reduced number of tables, no more buffets… Weddings are a fairytale, but everyone – brides and grooms included – only wants one happy ending right now: that of the pandemic. Simone Schiavinato, Editor Simone Schiavinato NEWS & FEATURES TOP STORIES PEOPLE EVENTS Member of FUSIE (Federazione Unitaria Stampa Italiana all'Estero), COGITO L'Italo-Americano 610 West Foothill Blvd. Unit D, Monrovia, CA 91016 - Tel.: (626) 359-7715 PLEASE SEND CORRESPONDENCE TO P.O. BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003 www.italoamericano.org L'Italo-Americano Newspaper (a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization), www.italoamericano.org, is the largest and longest-running Italian newspaper in America, not to mention the cultural and news resource for all things Italian in the US. A bilingual newspaper which represents an historical landmark for the Italian American Communities in the West Coast and throughout the US. L'Italo-Americano benefits from subsidies by the Italian Government, Memberships and Donations intended to support and not interrupt a mission that began in 1908 to preserve and promote the Italian language and culture in the USA Periodicals postage paid at Monrovia, California 91016, and additional mailing offices. PUBLISHER Robert Barbera Grande Ufficiale EDITOR IN CHIEF Simone Schiavinato ADMINISTRATIVE MANAGER Patrick Abbate EDITORIAL COORDINATOR Barbara Minafra COPY EDITOR Francesca Bezzone LOS ANGELES CONTRIBUTOR Silvia Giudici SAN FRANCISCO CONTRIBUTORS Catherine Accardi Serena Perfetto SEATTLE CONTRIBUTOR Rita Cipalla CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Mariella Radaelli, Francesca Bezzone, Luca Ferrari, Stefano Carnevali, Chiara D'Alessio, Paula Reynolds, Nicoletta Curradi, GenerosoD'Agnese, Fabrizio Del Bimbo, Maria Gloria, Alfonso Guerriero Jr., Anthony Di Renzo Serena Perfetto, Kenneth Scambray, Chiara D'Alessio © 2020 L'Italo-Americano Membership: One year $59 - Single copy $2.25 POSTMASTER: Send address changes to L'Italo Americano PO Box 6528 Altadena, CA 91003 Mail form and check to L'Italo-Americano, P.O.BOX 6528, ALTADENA, CA 91003

Articles in this issue

Links on this page

Archives of this issue

view archives of L'Italo-Americano - italoamericano-digital-7-8-2021