Wedding portrait of Olivo Giovanni & Annie Biollo, Winnipeg, MB, September 10, 1907

Wedding portrait of Olivo Giovanni Biollo and Annie D’Mitruzinski, Winnipeg, MB, September 10, 1907. The couple was married at the Holy Ghost Church. The bride was 16 years old.

The following year, the Biollos moved to Edmonton, and in 1914, they were among the founding settlers of the farming communities of Venice-Hylo, established by Italian immigrants. The couple had 10 children but separated in 1943.

Marriage is one of the seven sacraments of the Roman Catholic Church. As a result, it has always been an important occassion for a Catholic Italian-Canadian family. In recent years, it has also proved an occassion for extended celebrations, with family, friends, and colleagues all invited. A event ladden with symbolism and status, the wedding has also turned into somewhat of a small business venture. Guests often bring a "busta" -- literally the envelope. Originally these envelopes with cards and cash were meant to provide a small start-up fund to help young newlyweds begin their life together.