Wedding Photographs: Godfather Style


Over the weekend I was going through a box of family photos, and came across several vintage wedding photographs.

And I couldn’t help but smile, because for some reason they reminded me so much of the movie, The Godfather.


I don’t know if you’ve ever attended one, but most Italian weddings are openly emotional.

Lots of crying, laughing, and screaming.

Italians do that normally, but during a wedding the emotions are turned up about 150 decibels.

And being from a VERY Italian family, I always remember the weddings (both the church service and reception) simultaneously having a joyous, yet serious ‘feel’ to them.

Joyous because it's what Italian people do best… celebrate LOVE as if they invented it.

And serious because I couldn’t help but notice a look of worry and warning from the mother and father of the bride, to the mother and father of the groom, as if they were saying…

“Your son better take good care of our daughter, because if he doesn't…WE'LL HAVE HIS KNEE CAPS BROKEN BY THE MOB!”

All in all, Italian people mean no harm; they’re just very protective over their family.

Protective to the point of hiring a hit man with a rope and two cinder blocks.

Here are some photographs I scanned of my mother and father's wedding. And also a few from family members that I honestly don’t know WHO they are because I wasn’t even born yet.

*notice the style of the bridal dresses.

Center: my mother and father.  Right of my mother: her father.

Isn't it funny how back then, not everyone smiled in photographs? Whoever the woman is in the front row left, she looks as though she hit the BAR several times before taking this photo. OMG...she looks as though she's going fall over onto my mother's train!

My mother and father: Mary and Frank

I have no idea who these people are. But look at the SERIOUS look on the father of the bride's face. And look at those BIG mafia cars in the background.

Right: the same gentleman (father of the bride) in the photo above.

Right after that photo was taken, I bet he took his new son-in-law into his private office and gave him an extra pep/warning talk.

Brando as Don Vito Corleone:

"Look goombah, you better take good care of my little girl. Or ELSE."


52 comments

  1. Oh, how I ADORE old photographs! These are all just wonderful. Those first two personal ones and especially the one of just your parents... stunning! Mary and Frank certainly were a lovely couple. :)

    So funny to reference the Godfather. Some of them look like that. The next to last one, the father could be saying 'Yo, Tony, you gonna take the picture or do I have to come over there and smack ya'!

    Thanks for sharing your photos. Have a wonderful week. Looks like we might be having some really nice weather days ahead.

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  2. Your mom looked radiant, Ron. It was such a pleasure for me to see your photographs. I still have my parents wedding photos but I haven't look at them for a long time.

    You're right about Italians and their exuberance. I love Italians. Although once in Sorrento I saw a bridal pair coming out of church and the bride had to cope alone with her long dress and train when she got in the car, 'cause her husband had wandered off for a smoke. Perhaps he wasn't Italian :O)

    Great post, as always. Happy Monday, my friend.

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  3. What great photos to have, Ron! I love to look at the ones of your Dad and see YOU in his face.

    My father-in-law was the only one to cry at my wedding......and yes, he is the Italian!

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  4. Rob LenihanApril 08, 2013

    I love those wedding photos, Ron! Your parents were such a beautiful couple.

    These pictures are such an important part of a family's history. They remind us that our parents were once young people with big hopes and dreams for the future.

    You're right about people not smiling back then. I don't think my mom smiled in any of her wedding photos. She was probably too nervous, the poor thing!

    Great post, buddy! It really brought back a lot of memories. Have a fabulous week, Ron...or ELSE!!

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  5. Ohhhhhhh yes.
    Come to a Jewish wedding--we don't threaten with cinder blocks and a rope--kindergarten stuff..pshaw--we go for the BIG guns--we threaten with G-D! LOLOL


    Oh, but what priceless photos of your mom and dad. Made my heart all warm to see the love in action. Clearly--it was love. And what a gorgeous dress--notsomuch the gals in attendance, but they're not suppose to upstage the bride. WOW beautiful lady--handsome fella...and rope waiting with his name on it. LOLOL
    And what fun to sift through old photos and wonder about the lives that were captured for that moment in time. I love old photos--there's a feel to them that's just wonderful. Amazing what the camera captured so many years ago. (I love the mob cars, by the way...old cars are just....cool!) I sift through old photos in antique stores and wonder--and laugh and smile. Bet the clerks think I'm a bit mad. LOL


    I'd have to frame one of those photos and put it on display! Or a grouping of them--they're too cool to shove away in a box and keep hidden.

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  6. Oh, Ron, what a fun post! Latino weddings are the same. Very emotional. People laughing, crying, screaming. Very loud! Love these old photographs. Yes, they do resemble the movieThe Godfather. I can't get over how large the bridesmaids flower bouquets are! The one of your mother and father is just lovely. They were such a handsome couple. I can see you in your dad so much!

    That last photo from the movie with captions is so funny!



    Have a wonderful week, Ron.

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  7. Hey there Rob!

    Thanks, buddy :)

    "These pictures are such an important part of a family's history. They remind us that our parents were once young people with big hopes and dreams for the future."

    You are sooooooooooo right!!!! And isn't it something to see photographs of our parents when they were younger? My god, how time FLIES!

    "You're right about people not smiling back then. I don't think my mom smiled in any of her wedding photos. She was probably too nervous, the poor thing!"



    HAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, god lover her!


    Thanks for stopping by, Rob. Have a super week, goombah!


    X

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  8. Hellooooooo Suzi!

    "...and the expressions on some of the people are priceless!"



    I agree! PRICELESS! They almost look too frighten to smile - HA!


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a faaaaaaabulous week!


    X

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  9. Hola Denise~

    " Latino weddings are the same. Very emotional. People laughing, crying, screaming. Very loud!"

    You are soooooooo right! I used to have a business doing the makeup for weddings, and the Latino weddings reminded me SO MUCH of the Italians ones!

    "I can't get over how large the bridesmaids flower bouquets are!"

    Yes, aren't they HUGE?!?!?!?!? And I love the ribbons hanging off the flowers.

    " I can see you in your dad so much!"



    Thank you, so many people used to say that.


    Have a wonderful week, girl. And thanks a bunch for stopping by!


    X

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  10. Ron, I think I told you, I was Italian in a former life, so I know exactly what you mean because my "emotions are turned up about 150 decibels". And when my sons get married I'll be the one giving the "pep/warning" talks and I already have my rope and cinder blocks ;)

    I just love, love, love those photos of your mom and dad! They actually look like they could fit in with the Godfather movie!! Your mom is simply beautiful.

    That woman does look like she hit the bar a few times. Or maybe she has a bottle hidden in her "skirt". That's just too funny.

    Speaking of the "mob"...my husband's grandfather had a bar and during prohibition my husband's grandmother used to sell moonshine out of my father-in-law's baby carriage!! My husband was embarrassed about the "stories" of his grandfather, but I think they're awesome; they're history, even if only for his family. ;)

    Great post!!

    Have a fantabulous week!

    ((HUGS))

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  11. Hiya Mel!

    "Come to a Jewish wedding--we don't threaten with cinder blocks and a rope--kindergarten stuff..pshaw--we go for the BIG guns--we threaten with G-D! LOLOL"

    Bwhahahahahahahaha! OMG, Mel...that made HOWL!!!!!

    ". WOW beautiful lady--handsome fella...and rope waiting with his name on it. LOLOL"

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! You're right! In fact, you can SEE the 'look' on her fathers face!

    " I love old photos--there's a feel to them that's just wonderful. Amazing what the camera captured so many years ago. (I love the mob cars, by the way...old cars are just....cool!) I sift through old photos in antique stores and wonder--and laugh and smile."



    Me too! And even if I don't know the people in the photographs, it's fun to look at them and try to imagine who they were and what kinda life they had.


    Thanks oodles for stopping by, dear lady. Have a lovely week!


    (((((((( You ))))))))

    X

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  12. Helloooooooooo Pam!

    " I think I told you, I was Italian in a former life, so I know exactly what you mean because my "emotions are turned up about 150 decibels". And when my sons get married I'll be the one giving the "pep/warning" talks and I already have my rope and cinder blocks ;)"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh, how funny!

    I remember watching a documentary on the movie, "Moonstruck", and the screenwriter (who was actually IRISH) said that people used to ask him HOW he could have written a movie so accurate about Italians, when he was NOT Italian. He told them, "EVERYONE is eventually Italian." HA!

    "I just love, love, love those photos of your mom and dad! They actually look like they could fit in with the Godfather movie!! Your mom is simply beautiful."

    Aw, thank you :) She was a very lovely and gentle lady. She passed away when I was only 6 years old, but I can still remember the close bond we shared.

    "That woman does look like she hit the bar a few times. Or maybe she has a bottle hidden in her "skirt". That's just too funny."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! She looks PLASTERED!!!

    "Speaking of the "mob"...my husband's grandfather had a bar and during prohibition my husband's grandmother used to sell moonshine out of my father-in-law's baby carriage!!"

    OMG...what a GREAT story, Pam!!!

    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a FANTABULOUS week!

    ((((( You )))))
    X

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  13. Ron, I'm half-Italian (on my mother's side), so this post touched me! Italian families are nothing if not emotional -- funerals, confirmations, graduations, etc. bring that out, too, don't they?
    The Irish in me is fascinated -- if a tad overwhelmed! -- at all the emotion. And the drama! Everything is a Screaming Capital Letters sort of thing, and it must have been a hoot when my dad's parents met my mom's -- at the wedding, no less!
    Thank you for a fun trip down Memory Lane. I love your mom and dad's wedding picture -- she was a beautiful bride!

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  14. Dianne WilsonApril 08, 2013

    this is fabulous!
    and so true


    the photo are treasures
    I love how the bridesmaid dresses look like wedding gowns
    that would not be tolerated today


    Mary and Frank are gorgeous
    Love her dress and his hair reminds me of Vic Damone and Dean Martin


    and the old cars!! now they were comfy


    wonderful post Ron
    hugs from me and Hope

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  15. Helloooooooooo Debbie!

    OMG...you're half ITALIAN?!?! From your blog, I thought you were all Irish. My stepmother was Irish as well.

    "Italian families are nothing if not emotional -- funerals, confirmations, graduations, etc. bring that out, too, don't they?"

    They sure do. Italians cry over a Hallmark card - HA!

    " And the drama! Everything is a Screaming Capital Letters sort of thing, and it must have been a hoot when my dad's parents met my mom's -- at the wedding, no less!"



    Which is SO true, because if you notice....I will often use CAPS when leaving a comment or within a post - HA!


    My stepmother (who was Irish), was totally floored when she married into our Italian family because she was at first, really taken back by all the yelling, screaming, and noise that Italians make - especially at the dinner table!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, dear lady. Have a wonderful week!


    X

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  16. Hello there Lisa!

    Aren't vintage photos the coolest? Even if you don't know the people in them, it's so much fun to try to imagine who they are, their background, and what they were like.

    I have some old photos of my grandparents that look more like someone attending a funeral with the somber faces! Of course, we're mainly German...so that may explain a lot from a "reserved" perspective; until you add beer, of course. :-)"

    HILARIOUS, Lisa!!!!!

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my friend. Have a wonderful Monday and week!

    X

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  17. Can't say I've ever been to an Italian wedding, but I'd love to go for one reason alone:


    The food at the reception would be fantastic.


    I know what you mean about people not smiling much back in the old days. My mom has some old framed photos of her grandparents and great-grandparents getting married, and you'd think they were just given six months to live judging by the dour expressions on their faces!

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  18. what beautiful photos, ron. makes me curious as to which camera and film the photographer used. yes that woman looks like she had some punch before the wedding and is about to tip over. love the photo of just your mom and dad. the dresses are beautiful too.

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  19. Howdy Mark!

    "The food at the reception would be fantastic."

    You said it, buddy! That's another thing Italians are notorious for....TONS of food!

    " My mom has some old framed photos of her grandparents and great-grandparents getting married, and you'd think they were just given six months to live judging by the dour expressions on their faces!"

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Exactly! And judging from a few people in THESE photos, that's what they look like. They are soooooo serious!

    Thanks for stopping by, Mark! Have super week!

    X to you and Tara!

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  20. Hey V Girl!

    Thank you :)

    "makes me curious as to which camera and film the photographer used."

    Funny you mentioned that because I was thinking the SAME THING! I was imagining one of those old-time cameras that had the gun powder in the flash, so that then when the photo was taken, you would see a big POOF of smoke! I also love the sepia tone to the images.

    "yes that woman looks like she had some punch before the wedding and is about to tip over."



    Isn't she a RIOT? She might have been one of my mothers cousins. I wish I had asked my father who she was while he was still living because he would have known.


    Thanks so much for stopping by. Hope you had a great Monday. Wasn't the weather today GORGEOUS? Felt like summer!


    X

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  21. Ron, I love your reference to the movie, The Godfather, because that's what it looks like! Also, that's one of my favorite movies. What a cast!

    You cracked me up about the woman in the photo (bridesmaid) being drunk! Great photos! The one of just your mother and father is so beautiful. What a striking couple they were.



    Killer ending photo, Ron!

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  22. Hiya Matt!

    That's the FIRST thing I thought of when I was looking through these photos....The Godfather! My favorite Godfather movie was the first one. Yes, what a cast is right! I forgot Diane Keaton was in it?!?!

    "You cracked me up about the woman in the photo (bridesmaid) being drunk!"

    Looks like she getting ready to TOPPLE over - HA!

    Thanks for your kinds words about my mother and father.

    Hope you had great Monday, buddy. Enjoy your week!

    X

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  23. These are so fabulous! Yes, that bridesmaid looks like she was hiding a bottle in her bouquet. Your parents are such a lovely couple and your mother looks stunning! I love the formality of the bridesmaids with their gloves. You just don't see that elegance anymore. Thanks for sharing!

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  24. Hey Chrissy!

    "Yes, that bridesmaid looks like she was hiding a bottle in her bouquet."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! You said, girl! She looks LOOPED!

    " I love the formality of the bridesmaids with their gloves. You just don't see that elegance anymore."

    Oh boy, are you ever right! You just don't see ELEGANCE anymore, do ya? Or GLAMOUR.

    Thanks so much for stopping by. Have a super-duper week!

    X to you and the gang!

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  25. Herman TurnipApril 08, 2013

    "she looks as though she hit the BAR several times before taking this photo"

    I looked again after reading this and yep, she definitely looks schnocker! Heh....that's too funny.

    And those photos do ooze a "Godfather" vibe. I can picture an uncle in a darkened back room somewhere before the ceremony, holding court and granting favors for other favors for some time in the future. And in another room behind that room is a guy approaching a horse with a VERY long knife.

    Heh...man, see what you started. Now I can't get this image out of my head. Argh! :-)

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  26. Hey Herman!

    "I looked again after reading this and yep, she definitely looks schnocker! "

    Three too many MARTINI'S!!!!

    "And those photos do ooze a "Godfather" vibe."

    Yes, don't they?? And the CARS in that one photo look like MAFIA cars. I almost expected to see tiny bullet holes in car doors - HA!

    "And in another room behind that room is a guy approaching a horse with a VERY long knife."

    HAHAHAHAHAHA! OMG....that scene in the movie will be engraved in my brain forever! I can still hear him SCREAMING.

    Thanks for stopping by, bud. Hope you had a super Monday and super week ahead!

    X to you, Karin, and Mr. Super Hero Tyler!

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  27. Oh WOW these photos are AMAZING. I LOVE old family photos... these are just incredible... the history! The clothing! The family! WOW! I smiled through all the commentary too - the drunk bridesmaid is CLASSIC! These are truly pictures to treasure.... I love the photos of my parents' wedding - Dad was in his Navy uniform and they went under the swords going down the stairs after the ceremony. Thank you for sharing these... they made my night!

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  28. Helloooooo Katherine!

    "I LOVE old family photos... these are just incredible... the history! The clothing! The family! WOW!"

    Aren't old family photos the best? You're right...it's the HISTORY that touches me the most. Even the people who I don't know, I find it so interesting to wonder who they are and how they knew my family.

    "These are truly pictures to treasure..."

    They are, and I really need to have them framed for safe keeping because right now I have them in a plastic bag in a box.

    "I love the photos of my parents' wedding - Dad was in his Navy uniform and they went under the swords going down the stairs after the ceremony."

    Oh, Katherine, I would LOVE to see that photograph, along with any others you might have.

    Thanks a bunch for stopping by, my dear friend. Hope you had a lovely weekend. Enjoy your week ahead. They weather is supposed to be stunning this week here.

    X

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  29. Ron, and isn't strange how he looks a bit like Truman Capote? Particularly in the first shot.

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  30. OMG Robert...you are so freakin' right! Yes!! He does look a bit like Capote!!! Not only in the face, but in his whole stature!


    Good eye, buddy!

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  31. Hi there Ronnie,

    How are you doing, hon? Great, I am hoping. Monday is always my "manic day"( I have special work to do each Monday) so, I sometimes get to glance.

    I saw your photos and went "Wow!!. You know how much Genenalogy buffs(like moi) can & do go ape about old fam photos. These are incredible; I am enjoying the fashions, hair and expressions of the wedding parties. And, your parents were real LOOKERS!!

    Please confirm to me if the following is the same( as in France) on old family photos: only very rarely does someone note names, dates or places. Do you have the same? This is very unfortunate, even if you don't do Genealogy because the identity of these people in the photos are lost when the older generations pass on. I have the same in the photos here; tons of photos where the people are unknown.
    Thanks for these precious black and white "Godfather style" memories :).
    I love them!
    xox

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  32. Bonjour Barb~

    Yes, being someone like you who is a Genenalogy buff, I KNOW how much you love old family photos. Aren't they the coolest? As I shared, I'm not sure who many of these people are, but it's still neat to try and imagine how they knew my parents. It's like looking at a piece of history.

    "Please confirm to me if the following is the same( as in France) on old family photos: only very rarely does someone note names, dates or places. Do you have the same?"



    It's funny you asked that because on MANY of my family's old photographs, someone actually wrote the names of the people IN the photo on the back of the photo. And the date (on photos from the 50's) is stamped on the white border around photo. But unfortunately, the ones I shared here had no information as to who the people were.


    Thanks so much for stopping by, my friend. Have an AWESOME week!


    X to you and D!

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  33. Did you ever see "Capote" with Phillip Seymour Hoffman? It's SCARY how much he looks and acts like Truman.

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  34. Did I ever see it? I OWN it!!! Hoffman is sheer BRILLIANCE! His voice was so Truman!!!

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  35. "I don’t know if you’ve ever attended one, but most Italian weddings are openly emotional. Lots of crying, laughing, and screaming."

    Oh yes, indeed!

    And these photos? Are utterly breathtaking!

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  36. I KNEW you could relate being half Italian!


    Thank you :) When I saw these photos last weekend, I just had to share them.


    So glad to see you back blogging again. You have been sooooooooo missed!


    Hope you're feeling better....


    (((((((( You )))))))


    X ya!

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  37. I love those photographs! I grew up with my mother's best friends who are Sicilian. I so wanted to be part of that Italian family. I guess in a way I was. I just remember the food and the warmth. And, I did go to all of the weddings. I even had one of their family who had a bakery make my wedding cake. Found a photo of a Sicilian cake and had that person replicate it. So amazing!

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  38. Hiya Jen!

    OMG...I LOVED your comment, girl!

    " I even had one of their family who had a bakery make my wedding cake. Found a photo of a Sicilian cake and had that person replicate it. So amazing!"



    How AWESOME!!!!


    I remember watching an interview with John Patrick Shanley, who wrote the screenplay for the movie, "Moonstruck." And he said that even though he was Irish, he had always felt a part of the Italian culture, growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y. Which is where he got the whole 'Italian flavor' for characters in the movie!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, Jen! Have a super weekend!


    X

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  39. Awwww. Thanks, doll! I love you!

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  40. Hey ho Robert!

    ". We Italians are a crazy bunch, aren't we? There is so such thing as lukewarm to our emotions, just HOT."

    Amen! No such thing as lukewarm. When my stepmother first married my father, she asked him WHY all our relatives we so MAD at each other at a dinner we attended, because everyone was sceaming. He said, "Hell, they're not mad...that's how we act NORMALLY!"

    "The guy in the last two shots looks like a he's definitely mafiosa!"



    Yes, definitely. He's a little guy, but he looks LETHAL - HA!


    Thanks so much for stopping by, buddy. Have terrific week!


    X


    P.S. I forgot how many awesome actors were in The Godfather.

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  41. Well, being Italian myself I can attest to what you said about the emotions being 150 decibels when it comes to weddings. We Italians are a crazy bunch, aren't we? There is so such thing as lukewarm to our emotions, just HOT.

    Ron, this post cracked me up. Love your banter between each photo! And the vintage photos are really, really beautiful. Especially the one of your mom and dad. The guy in the last two shots looks like a he's definitely mafiosa!

    Love the last photo of Brando and Caan in the background!

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  42. I love "vintage" photos! Thanks for sharing your family's Big Italian Wedding shots. I have some old photos of my grandparents that look more like someone attending a funeral with the somber faces! Of course, we're mainly German...so that may explain a lot from a "reserved" perspective; until you add beer, of course. :-)

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  43. Hey there Lady Dianne~

    Aw, thanks, dear lady :)

    Yesterday, when I rediscovered these photos, I how to post them.

    "I love how the bridesmaid dresses look like wedding gowns that would not be tolerated today."

    Hey you know what? You're right, they DO look like wedding gowns!!!

    " and his hair reminds me of Vic Damone and Dean Martin"

    Bwhahahahahahahaha! OMG....that was HILARIOUS. And you're right...Vic Damone and Dean Martin!!! Isn't it funny how everyone's hair back then was DARK. I mean you hardly see and blondes in photos.

    "and the old cars!! now they were comfy"

    They were the size of BOAT! Isn't funny how everything in this generation (cars, cell phones, computers) is getting smaller.

    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady. Have a wonderful week!

    X and hugs to you and Hope!

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  44. These photos are AWESOME!!!!! Love the dresses, and the expressions on some of the people are priceless!

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  45. Thanks, Bijoux!

    " I love to look at the ones of your Dad and see YOU in his face."

    It's funny because EVERYONE says that. People used to tell me that I was carbon copy of my Dad. Yet, it's funny because I have my mothers lower half of her facial features, and my father's upper half.

    "My father-in-law was the only one to cry at my wedding......and yes, he is the Italian!"



    HA! See! What did I tell ya....EMOTIONAL!!!!!


    Thanks for stopping by, my friend. Have a fabulous Monday and week!


    X

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  46. Aw...thanks, Valerie :) She was such a lovely, gentle lady. At times, I think I look like her, and then other times I think I look my father.

    "I still have my parents wedding photos but I haven't look at them for a long time."

    Aren't looking at old photographs FUN? I hadn't seen these in so long. I was cleaning out my closet yesterday, and found them!

    "Although once in Sorrento I saw a bridal pair coming out of church and the bride had to cope alone with her long dress and train when she got in the car, 'cause her husband had wandered off for a smoke. Perhaps he wasn't Italian :O)"



    OMG....how FUNNY!!!!! The NERVE of him!!!


    Thanks for stopping by, dear lady. Have a wonderful Monday and week!


    X

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  47. AkelamaluJuly 07, 2013

    I love old wedding photographs, yours are great! I think the bride's parents at every wedding give that warning to the groom. LOL

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  48. Good morning Pearl~

    Thank you. I had so much fun digging through all the photographs and trying to figure out who everyone was.

    "I think the bride's parents at every wedding give that warning to the groom. LOL"



    Yup...I think you're right!


    Thanks you for stopping by, m'dear. Have a lovely week!


    X

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  49. Hey there Mary!

    Aren't old photographs FUN?? I could just stare at them and notice all the little things within the photograph. And why is it that in vintage photographs, everyone looks MUCH older than what they were?!?!

    "The next to last one, the father could be saying 'Yo, Tony, you gonna take the picture or do I have to come over there and smack ya'!:

    Hilarious! Yes, it could!!!

    Thanks for stopping by, neighbor. Yes, I heard that this week is getting up into the 70's! Yesterday was gorgeous. I spent the day outside, soaking up the sun in the park.

    Have a vunderbar week!

    X

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