No-Waste Rural Italian Wedding with Drag Queens

Francesca Vecchi

May 31, 2024

Despite living 200 miles apart, Sonia and Gloria met in a nightclub in Bologna. It was love at first sight with Gloria joke-proposing 10 days later! It took 10 years for them to actually get married, but they finally sealed the deal in the picturesque backdrop of Antica Corte Ortalli in Reggio Emilia. They wanted a rustic vibe with a big party feel.

“We live in the countryside and have always known that we wanted something that represented us – in a rural style, but at the same time elegant and colourful”, they told us. “We didn’t want something banal or overly traditional, we didn’t want a boring ceremony. Our no-waste idea was developed with the help of our wedding planner. We used potted plants, seasonal vegetables and pasta as centrepieces, all of which was then available to the guests to take home. Everywhere there were vintage cans of tomato sauce and biscuits, aromatic plants and wildflowers. The wedding favours were replaced by a donation to a charity organisation for animals.”

Held in a beautifully minimal stable which they decorated with greenery and macramé, their symbolic ceremony was simple yet deeply touching. Marry You by Bruno Mars was played by two guitars – acoustic and electric – as they walked down the aisle together. They did a ring warming, where their wedding bands were passed through the hands of all the guests, ‘warming’ them with their blessings for a happy marriage, before they exchanged them.

The reception was filled with music and dancing. The couple arrived to a All I Want for Christmas (the wedding was in June so it made people laugh!) and they had a surprise performance by two drag queens. Instead of a traditional first dance, Sonia and Gloria performed a choreographed routine to snippets of songs representing each year of their decade-long relationship.

“We practiced secretly in our tiny house and had so many laughs!” Sonia recalled. “The guests also organised a flashmob, dancing together to the tune of Redefinition, and we couldn’t help but join in! As per our wish, the party lasted for several hours with dancing, DJ sets, cocktails and mini burgers.”

Looking back, Sonia and Gloria wouldn’t change a thing about their wedding day. “It was a real summer party, full of colour, nature and surprises for everyone,” Gloria shared. Their advice to other couples is to make the wedding day a true reflection of themselves, and not be bound by formality or traditions. “Make each other happy,” she concluded. “There is nothing more beautiful than seeing your spouse happy and proud of what they have achieved for the big day.”