Being mainly a wedding photographer myself, it has been quite a thing to be on the other side of the camera for my own wedding a few months ago. It definitely made me grow as a photographer but most of all it has been an incredible human experience: Riccardo and I have been lucky enough to have Johanna & Dylan of The Kitcheners with us for this special occasion and, besides the wonderful pictures they gave us, what amazed us the most has been being able to get to know and spend some time with two wonderful people. Surprisingly enough, while organising our wedding day we soon realised we were interested in having beautiful pictures (of course), but most of all we wanted to be surrounded by people we were actually able to connect with, “our people”, even when it came to choosing who would have worked with us on the day. Johanna & Dylan have been a delicate and gracious presence during not only the wedding day, but also when we met in Venice a couple of days before to get few pictures in this city that means so much to me and Riccardo. [here after just a few images of our day in Venice, see their full blog post here]
We’ve been very lucky with all the people involved I have to say, Benedetta of I Fiori di San Lorenzo has been the loveliest presence and she did an amazing work with the church and the centrepieces for the tables, Aldo Coppola team pampered me in every possible way and I couldn’t be happier with the hair & makeup, plus all the team of Caffé Dante has been just incredible… honestly, flawless. This was definitely one of the most important things to us indeed, we wanted to spend some good time with our friends and family while having good food and good wine, and… God, we got that indeed! I’m so looking forward to going back to Verona for Christmas and have dinner there again (and again and again). We designed the day around our beliefs, our story and our guests, so even though every choice has been made with our whole heart and mind, everything was designed to be pretty effortless as well. If you are any curious, here a few words about some of our choices:
- My wedding dress: although I adore fashion and this may have been an issue when coming to decide for a wedding dress, one day I saw this dress on ASOS and I thought that was actually quite the way I wanted it to be. I ordered it just to give it a go and basically it just… was it. It felt just right, so I stick with it, even though it wasn’t quite the “buying process” I had in mind at first. I loved it and I’m now altering it in order to use it further, probably with a wide velvet black belt with a bow.
- My (not-present) bouquet: I love flowers, but I wanted my hands to be free to squeeze my loved ones (and most of all my loved ONE!) during the whole day, so I thought to have no bouquet at all… I just got a flower crown, which I loved.
- Accessories: Riccardo wore my grandfather’s cufflinks and I wore special artisanal earrings from Sardinia, the region his family comes from. It has been a nice way for us to pay respect to our roots in the day they were to be mixed.
- Ceremony: we got a mixed ceremony which was reflecting both mine and Riccardo’s beliefs and the priest asked if someone of our friends and family wanted to say a few words to us… we were pretty surprised when a lot of them actually got there to tell us how much they love and care for us. It was a wonderful and emotional moment we’ll definitely never forget. A special thank also to Giusi of Pearls to Pigeons who gifted us with the loveliest booklet for our guests to have our chosen readings to keep.
- Managing the loss ones: or better to say, the lost one. It goes without saying that I missed my father, who I lost almost 8 years ago, on my wedding day. I was a bit worried it would have been an issue on the day, but I gave it a deep thought and I decided to have few olive trees inside the Church, close to the altar: olive trees remind me of him (he was solid, generous and modest as well) and it has been a gentle way to have him close to me in such an important moment in my life.
- Venue: being born and raised in the city centre, Verona’s ancient walls have been more or less the borders of my life up to 16 years as well… even today having a walk in the ancient city centre is one of the first things I do when I’m back home, and it always calms me, making me feel close to where my roots lie. Deciding to have our reception in one of the main squares, in Verona’s ancient heart, under the eyes of a lot (A LOT) of tourists has been one of the weirdest yet better decision we’ve taken: it was pleasant to have a walk through the city centre from the church to the restaurant, it didn’t broke the atmosphere and there have been no cars involved… plus all the guests had their rooms inside the ancient walls as well, so they had no issues in trying the amazing wine all night long (!).
- Books: Caffé Dante was an ancient literary café in one of the oldest squares in Verona, dedicated to Dante Alighieri who wrote “la divina commedia“. In Italian schools we study the whole thing, but if you don’t know it… well, it’s just beautiful, art in one of its best expressions. The last words of the whole poems are a description of God, which says “the love who moves the sun and the other stars”, and we thought it pretty much express what we both believe, even though we don’t have the same faith. Benedetta of I fiori di San Lorenzo created wonderful centre pieces for our tables with ancient books… we loved it!
- Portraits: we took roughly one hour for ourselves to go to Giardino Giusti and having a few portraits done. Although we always thought that we would have liked to keep things as short as possible in order to enjoy the party as much as possible, having a break to be just the two of us was exactly what allowed Riccardo and me to enjoy the party the most once back to it. The wedding day may be really overwhelming, it has been so good to have a walk in the ancient gardens on the sundown and enjoy the quiet for few minutes.
- First night: honourable mention to one of the loveliest hotel I’ve ever been to, The Gentleman of Verona. Waking up as husband and wife in the beautiful oriental suite, being surrounded by beauty and having our breakfast on our own before going back to our families has been priceless, one of my favourite memories of the whole experience indeed.
Here a few of my favourite pictures and moments of the wedding day, you can see the whole post by The Kitcheners on their blog as well.
I think that the most important thing I’ve got the chance to think about has been the confirmation about something I’ve always believed: when you do things in a genuine way, listening to your deeper inner voice, you create your own heritage day by day and this is absolutely priceless to me… this is something I utterly loved about our wedding day and a lesson that I treasure in my heart for the years to come.
From the wedding a few things have changed, some good and some bad ones. The worst one, my friends and I lost one of us. We miss and we’ll always miss him, there are no right words to describe such a feeling and the net is probably not the right way to talk about this… but I’ve always felt that as per many things in life, it’s never about sharing itself (which most of the time I’ve found actually useful, even to create meaningful connections), it’s always about why you do it. I always thought that since dying is something that will happen to all of us, it doesn’t say anything about who we are: in fact, about this we are all the same. What makes an huge difference is the way we live: he has been an example in terms of living a full and fearless life, and when they told me he wasn’t with us anymore the only thought that was able to quiet the pain in the following days has been thinking that he hasn’t wasted any minute of his life. Maybe he was reckless at times, but I doubt he had many regrets. Writing about this is my way to give memory to the wonderful person he was, and still is in our hearts… we should all try to fill our lives with what resonate the most with ourselves and not allowing ourselves to have any regrets. I feel this is the best way to fight fear and give thanks for the time we have. Every time that I feel fear about something new, something closer to what I truly am, I hope I’ll be able to learn from him and be as courageous as he’s always been.
The best one, quite different, is that Riccardo and I are expecting a baby. We didn’t think it would have happened that quick (and this is pretty much an understatement itself) but here we are, almost 6 months on the way. Pregnancy is pretty much a weird thing, where you more or less loose control on your body (you don’t even get to decide what do you like food-wise anymore) and people around you tend to go a bit crazy, in one way or another. Eventually, you get a bit crazy as well. We’re very grateful we’re having the chance to live this experience and we decided to take things as easy as possible, meaning I’ve basically been living my life as nothing happened until the last couple of weeks… when my body started to give me some indications about “you’d better stop doing *this*” (put here any kind of activity including but not limited to put together a 3 seat sofa with chaise longue alone, travelling each and every week with more or less heavy luggage, doing house works and counting something like 20,000 steps a day). Now the season is over and I’m taking things slower, so I guess this winter will be all about “nesting” (they say it happens) and enjoying the last months we’ll be sleeping all night long.