My parents had an arranged marriage! In 1945, some friends, “paisans,” knew both my mother’s and father’s families. My mother was 25 years old and my father was 32 years old.
Their “paisans” thought that my mother and father would make a good couple and that they should meet in hopes of a marriage. At this time, my mother had never dated. On a day in late summer, in August of 1945, my father’s family visited my mother’s family to introduce them. This was their first introduction to each other.
From what my mother told me many years ago, she figured he was a nice guy so she accepted to marry him. They were never allowed to be alone together before they were married.
Shortly after meeting and agreeing to be married, they had an engagement party with all of their friends and family. On November 3, 1945, they were married at St. Francis of Assisi Church on Clark Street in Auburn, NY with all of their family and friends there to celebrate with them.
My mother’s wedding dress was white satin with a long veil and she looked beautiful! Her maid of honor was my father’s sister, Francesca, and my father’s best man was my mother’s brother, Salvatore. My mother’s cousins were her bridesmaids.
Their honeymoon was a trip to visit an aunt and uncle in Indiana and my father’s parents and sister went with them. That’s the way things were back then.
The following year, 11 months after they were married, my oldest brother, Vincent, was born. My brother, Rosario, was born 4 years later and I followed a few months short of 4 years later. Their family was complete.
Years later, I asked my mother if they loved each other. She told me that they learned to love each other. They were married for 42 years until my father, Melchiorre, died of cancer in 1986. My mother, Lucia, passed away in 2006.