THE good old custom of "keeping company," as distinct from being formally engaged, obtains among the gondoliers' families at Venice.When a young man finds that a damsel eyes his suit with favour, he informs a friend, and the two don their best clothes and make a ceremonious call upon the girl's father.
In many parts of Italy the dowry is brought with great pomp to the bridegroom's house the day before the wedding. When not dancing, teens gather at local clubs to eat and talk. In Finland, as many as 30 teens may attend a movie together. Couples often go to dinner parties, barbecues, or the beach. When of age, most boys and girls date in large groups, going out together to weekend dance parties.On the day before the wedding he must send a box of bon-bons, on the top of which is a little sugar baby, to the bride's house, with two bouquets, one of real and one of artificial flowers, and a present of jewelry, a brooch or earrings.It falls to his lot to provide liqueurs and wine for the wedding supper, four candles for the wedding mass, four gondolas to convey the guests to the inn for supper, and satisfy the demands of beggars and children, who cry "Evviva la sposa," at the church door. In Italy the dread of a wedding in May seems to be universal, and in Venice people marrying are very much restricted with regard to suitable days.
Marry on Monday and you are sure to go mad ; on Tuesday, and there is the prospect of endless suffering before you ; " while Thursday, as the witches' combing-day, is out of the question.