Wedding honored their heritages and their ’50s era-rockabilly roots

On Feb. 17, rockabilly couple Angela Bettencourt and Marc Bottini whisked their wedding guests back to the 1950s. Candy cigarettes, ham sandwiches and Buddy Holly helped make this San Diego couple’s day a nostalgic and rockin’ good time.

ROCKABILLY LIFESTYLE: Angela, the director of the Roger Hedgecock Show on KOGO/AM 600, and Marc, a plumbing contractor, met in April 2001 during the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekender. Six months later, they began dating. Both embrace the rockabilly lifestyle. Angela, 29, is in a “jacket club” (like the Pink Ladies in “Grease”) called “Shady Ladies,” and Marc, 30, is in a car club called “The 500’s.” They enjoy swing dancing, 1950s rock ‘n’ roll and the decor of that era. “Marc and I are fully aware that we live in 2007,” Angela said. “We just like the time and we like the fashion of the 1950s better.”

THE VENUES: Angela’s maternal great-grandparents helped build Our Lady of the Rosary Parish in Little Italy. Angela’s maternal grandparents, as well as her mother and father, were married there. “There was no doubt in my mind of where I was getting married,” said Angela, who is of Sicilian heritage. Angela booked the church within one week of Marc’s proposal in 2005. Angela’s maternal grandfather was a prisoner of war in World War II in Germany. His lifetime rights allowed Angela and Marc to have their reception at Admiral Kidd Club, located at the Naval Training Center in Point Loma.

MASS: The ceremony was a traditional Catholic Mass with a few twists. Since Marc is Italian and Scottish, Angela surprised him by having a Scottish bagpiper play music after they were pronounced man and wife. Also, the unity candle had a Celtic knot on it.

PINK CHEVY, BLUE CHEVY: After the ceremony came the caravan. Marc and Angela led the pack to the reception in a 1956 Rolls-Royce. The bridesmaids followed in a 1955 pink Chevy limousine. The groomsmen rode behind them in a 1955 blue Chevy limousine. The convoy drove through Little Italy, with a stop for photos underneath the Little Italy sign. “Everybody in Little Italy came out of the restaurants and cheered us on,” Angela said. “They were screaming Italian words to us. People were waving to us.”

A VINTAGE RECEPTION: Angela and Marc knew it would be impossible to make absolutely everything at their reception say “1950s,” but their goal was to have it reflect as much of the decade as they could. Pink and white tulle was draped around the room. Giant Mylar balloons of a 1957 Chevy, a pink flamingo and a jukebox added color. Pink carnations, which were popular at the time, outlined the bottom layer of the all-white cake. A horseshoe emblem, which means “lucky in love” and is big in the rockabilly community, was printed on the napkins and other paper products. Instead of floral arrangements, Angela used vintage cake toppers as the table centerpieces; she found all 36 of them on eBay.

BOBBY SOCKS NOT WELCOME: Some of the attire worn by the guests added to the 1950s feel at the reception. “We said, if you want to dress vintage, that’s great,” Angela said. “But I told them it’s not about poodle skirts and bobby socks – this was really formal stuff.” Many of the 260 guests got out their 1950s formal best and dressed the part.

1952 REPRODUCTION: Angela wanted a 1950s wedding dress. The problem was that most of the dresses she found were no longer white – the fabric had yellowed over the years. So, she found a 1952 party dress pattern she liked and had it reproduced. Imported Italian lace details and cuffs added to her look. Her headband also was a ’50s-era reproduction. The bridesmaids were in 1950s-style pink dresses. They wore petticoats underneath and bolero jackets on top. Gloves, pearls and traditional ponytails accented their outfits. Marc and the groomsmen wore white suit jackets, black pants, and bow ties. Marc kicked up his look with black and white wingtips.

SWINGIN’ STEPS AND TUNES: Approximately 70 percent of the music played during the reception was 1950s rock ‘n’ roll. During the cocktail hour, guests were treated to swing dance lessons by two professional swing instructors. Angela and Marc did a fox trot to Buddy Holly’s “True Love Ways” for their first dance.

THE CANDY SHOP: Angela and Marc decided to forgo the open bar concept and had a 1950s candy shop instead. “If it wasn’t sold in the 1950s, it wasn’t on the table,” Angela said. Guests delighted in filling bags with Abba-Zaba, Atomic Fireballs, Mary Janes, Root Beer Barrels, Wax Bottles, candy cigarettes and pumpkin seeds.

ALL NIGHT CAFE: The menus were designed to resemble diner menus. The art deco font, pink checkered border and horseshoe graphic highlighted the long list of eats served at what Angela and Marc called the “All Night Cafe.” The reception began with a cocktail hour featuring food stations. Then, guests indulged in a sit-down dinner of salad, pasta and a choice of prime rib, chicken Kiev or veggie lasagna. Following dinner, spumoni ice cream was served, in addition to wedding cake and Italian cookies. It’s an Italian tradition to have a plate of homemade cookies on each table. “My mom, grandma, bridesmaids – they spent the last two weeks before the wedding making cookies,” Angela said.

HAM SANDWICHES: Back in the day, many weddings were held around the lunch hour. Receptions didn’t feature elaborate meals. Rather, finger foods and sandwiches were served. Ham sandwiches were all the rage. Angela and Marc thought it would be nostalgic to serve ham sandwiches to the late-night crowd. At around 10 p.m., the sandwiches were brought out.

THE GRAND MARCH: While the reception was strongly influenced by the 1950s, it was also about honoring Italian tradition. They gave guests what is known as the “confetti,” or candy-coated almonds, as party favors. Confetti is a staple at many Italian weddings. Angela, Marc and the guests also performed a Southern Italian dance called the tarantella. Before the cake cutting, they did the Grand March to “When the Saints Go Marching In.” During the Grand March, everyone marched two-by-two in a line – with maracas and noisemakers in hand – throughout the Admiral Kidd Club. “I think it’s important to keep tradition because if you don’t, you’re going to lose it,” Angela said.

Article From San Diego Union Tribune 🙂

Published in: on January 20, 2010 at 7:40 PM  Leave a Comment  
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