A picturesque wedding scheduled for August 31st at a lakeside Italian resort is hanging in the balance for a Massachusetts couple due to an unexpected canine mishap. Donato Frattaroli and Magda Mazri, residents of South Boston, may have to bid farewell to their dream destination wedding in Italy after their cherished Golden Retriever, Chickie, decided to snack on the groom’s passport just last week.
The couple’s wedding is set to take place on the enchanting shores of Lake Garda in northern Italy. Typically, renewing an expedited passport through the U.S. State Department takes 5 to 7 weeks, a timeline that now threatens to derail their plans.
Frattaroli expressed his disbelief, stating, “It’s completely absurd. I can’t sleep.” Their looming predicament has rapidly become a viral sensation, sparking a frenzy on social media that initially swept through Boston and is now spreading nationwide.
Social media users have been quick to share their thoughts. One commenter on Instagram, @ka1i_ma, remarked, “No way is this the first time this dog has done something like this,” in response to an entertainment outlet’s post. The post garnered nearly 400,000 “likes” and over 3,000 comments within the first 12 hours.
The couple had anticipated nearly 100 guests from the United States, Australia, Morocco (where the bride has family), and Italy (the groom’s relatives) to join them at the idyllic resort. Surprisingly, their 1½-year-old canine, Chickie, seemed disappointed not to be on the guest list and chose to munch on Frattaroli’s passport during a celebratory dinner just after they filed their marriage intention forms at Boston City Hall.
Frattaroli, torn between frustration and affection, said, “She’s too cute to stay mad at. She’s done nothing wrong since we got her — and then this happens.”
With their wedding hanging in the balance, the couple finds themselves at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy. They’re praying for a miracle and have sought assistance from their elected representatives in Washington, D.C., reaching out to both Sen. Ed Markey and Rep. Stephen Lynch.
One Instagram user, @luke_momocusco, lightened the mood by joking, “Someone named Donato Frattaroli should be allowed to enter Italy even without a passport.”
Chickie left no page unturned as she devoured Frattaroli’s passport, rendering both the front pages, including proof of identification, and the back pages with a cherished stamp from Mexico (where the couple got engaged in early 2022) unusable.
Frattaroli, who initially reacted with frustration, admitted, “I can’t be mad at Chickie because I’m the idiot who left the passport out where she could get it.” However, he soon realized he needed to find a solution.
Frattaroli promptly had a new passport photo taken on Monday and remains hopeful that he’ll receive the new document in time for his wedding. However, he’s also formulated a Plan B, stating, “Tell everybody that’s going to have a great time enjoying the beautiful event that Magda spent the last 18 months planning. I’ll see everybody when they get back.”
Despite the uncertainty, the couple remains optimistic. Their Italian wedding is a heartfelt tribute to their diverse heritages, with Frattaroli’s father hailing from Italy and Mazri’s father from Morocco, though she’s of Italian descent on her mother’s side. They initially crossed paths when Mazri worked as a bartender at Frattaroli’s Italian-inspired seafood restaurant, Victory Point, overlooking Boston Harbor.
Gianni Frattaroli, Donato’s younger brother, seems unfazed by the drama, joking, “He couldn’t have just had the wedding down at Cape Cod like everybody else.” He quipped, “If he can’t go, I’m still going. That thing is booked and paid for. We can Zoom him in.