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Wedding Bell Blues

Aug
8
2006

A 26-year-old Italian woman was nabbed recently after holding up a neighborhood supermarket to pay for her big fat wedding.

The unnamed thief came in at lunch time and waved a kitchen knife at the cashier.

When she told the police in the Southern Italian town of about 25,000 that she needed the €900 euro (about $1,100) for her imminent wedding, they didn’t bat an eye.

Italians aren’t having big families anymore but that doesn’t keep them from having lavish weddings — and more of them. After a downward trend in weddings in the 1980s, the last few years have registered a boom (about 3,000 more couples each year than the previous year) in those taking the big step.

All those relatives, a five-course meal, wedding favors, a designer dress, an exotic honeymoon: at about $31,000 the ‘average’ Italian wedding is anything but when compared to the $18,000 to $21,000 spent in the US. The stretch? Italians also have a lower average income of about $7,600.

This is one of those stories that comes around every few years (July seems to be a peak steal-for-nuptials moment), maybe because the government promised, but never came through with a plan to change tax laws to make wedding costs tax deductible.

No surprise, then, that some Italians are avoiding marriage altogether. Italy still has the lowest rate of couples living together in Europe — but that figure has nearly doubled in the last decade to 344,000 partners between 25-40 years old.

Share  Posted by Nicole Martinelli at 5:14 PM | Permalink

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