The first civil ceremony marriage at the former Florio factory on Favignana was celebrated 22nd of June.
The bride-to-be, based at Casa Faro with family members, emerged resplendent from the villa to be met by her father in a chauffeur driven car which carried them to the centre of town much to the delight of a few children who were eager to get a glimpse of “the princess”. The bride did not want to be seen by the guests before she reached the altar. She looked serene and beautiful and her appearance belied how nervous she felt. “Months of preparation for something that was now happening in moments. . .” she confidentially shared with her father during the ride.
On arriving at the Florio factory, her father Mark expertly accompanied her to the altar. They were greeted by musicians playing violins, the excited groom, their guests, and the mayor.
James, a renowned architect who was born in London and resident in Italy and Karly who is a native of Washington DC, chef-owner of a popular Florentine catering and private dinners company, were united in marriage.
The location for the ceremony was impressive. The tuna factory or tonnara is reminiscent of Favignana’s ancient history, culture, and work ethic. The decoration for this special event was by choice minimalist, however it included a notable Sicilian flavour. Bunches of wild flowers and straw bales for benches complimented the magnificent ancient tonnara boats. Mayor Giuseppe Pagoto was the celebrant and performed admirably if a little shyly. It was a privilege to conduct this unique event in the tonnara, a marvellous example of industrial architecture and now a museum.
The guests arrived from many parts of the globe including Florence, where the couple will live, the United States, England and Russia.
The warm greetings and exchanges for the brides and groom from the people of Favigana denoted a familiarity with the island and its people. They chose Favignana following a vacation there when they fell under its spell. When asked ‘why Favignana’, Karly’s answered surprised me: “I have Sicilian origins, but don’t know exactly from where. When I first visited Favignana, I felt such a strong connection with this island that I decided I originally came from here.” Thus her choice to get married on this island was a natural step in the direction of a reunion between one of life’s most important events and her family of origin. In appreciation the couple donated, among other things, some children’s games to the town.
Word spread of the special wedding taking place at the former Florio factory. This was unheard of in the history of Favignana and the curious rushed to witness the event. Despite being “foreigners” the bride and groom and their respective guests were accepted as family!
The weather was a little cloudy and a few drops of rain fell but no one was worried. They were thrilled and happy to be present with James and Karly. The seaside dinner was accompanied by a spectacular orange sunset. “You couldn’t dream of such natural beauty , let alone pay for it” Karly’s father Mark enthused. A grand success overall.
To be married at the former Florio factory you must submit a formal request to the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage in Trapani and Favignana. Thanks to the notable efforts of the wedding planner team, Making Partners Srl, James and Karly celebrated a very special day. Following their example, it is now possible to celebrate rites of this type on Favignana. Getting married on the island gave the guests an opportunity to experience a unique and fascinating location for the first time, and combine it with a wonderful and relaxing holiday.
Special thanks to Alessandro Ghedina for his photo service: www.alessandroghedina.com