But somehow, someway my parents made a way to integrate the Italian culture even though we were FAR from it living it the sunny state of AZ. We attended lots of Italians gatherings and had a lot of friends we called Aunts and Uncles and their family we would call our family. If you know anything about the Italian culture you know we do everything BIG! The food is a BIG, our music is a BIG, the memories we create are a BIG, which makes our celebrations VERY BIG, which then leads to the LOVE we feel, express and give is VERY BIG too. To people we might sound like we are yelling at each other but all that is, is the passion we have to LOVE so BIG that we just can't help but to yell and sometimes YES when there is a disagreement that breaks out you better believe there is some REAL YELLING going on too, haha! There is no shame in hiding or expressing our feelings.
Every culture has something we gotta work on right, haha!
I say all this to express the joy I felt attending and capturing this beautiful engagement party. It felt like home to me, the minute I walked through the doors people I didn't even know were greeting me with hugs and kisses and even the soon to be Brides Nonna starts speaking to me in Italian. I would just smile and node my head just the way I used to do with my grandmother and what was so great is she even did what my grandmother used to do, she would grab my face and think the world of me too, lol! I left with my heart filled to the max and the minute I walked out of those doors I called my mom and went straight to my parents house to give them a hug. I know family is something not everybody has nor do you stay on good terms with. Trust me we have plenty of that in our family too. But can I just say no matter who you call family make time to hold them close. If you have kids teach them the essence of what Family looks like and teach them to celebrate life, food, people and culture in a healthy and beautiful way. It may be foreign to you or it may be very close to you. Either way I encourage you to discover it and create it today. We can all learn from each others ways and see culture and diversity as a beautiful thing. So, today I am happy to share my beautiful culture with you along with some very beautiful people that have worked so hard to be where they are today.
Meet Evan and Erika, they have been dating each other for nine years. Over Christmas Break Evan propose to Erika in the beautiful Napa Valley, CA.
Evan Graduated from ASU with a four year degree in Criminal Justice with moving onto one year in the Police Academy. Erika has a Masters in Speech Pathology from ASU, and studied abroad three different summers in Italy. To see their family and friends come along side them, support them and now celebrate them was a very beautiful thing to witness.
All the food and pastries you see was all made from scratch even down to the herbs and lemons straight from the backyard and much much more. I shot over 500+ images and somehow narrowed it down to 230+ but here on the blog I am sharing as many as I can with you. This celebration was one to remember and I hope as you look through these pictures you are inspired to celebrate life, share life and create one beautiful life to live.
Thank you Brenda for this wonderful opportunity to allow me to capture a very special moment in your family's life. Evan and Erika I will always and forever remember this beautiful celebration. What a beautiful life you have ahead of you. Wishing you the very best.
And Nonna thanks for making snagging me away to capture this sweet moment with you. I felt my grandparents smiling down at me this evening and it felt like home.