On January 31 this year, Cam and I celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. It’s hard to believe it’s already been a decade, and we laugh more now, understand, chat and cuddle more than we ever have. Our wedding was in Launceston, Tasmania, and was, in my eyes (as most brides would argue), the best wedding ever. Being the planning queen (but hopefully not a Bridezilla), every little part of the day was tweaked to tell the story of who we were, and how we wanted our friends and family on the day to feel – comfortable, surrounded by beautiful things, full and satisfied.
We knew we wanted to celebrate our ten years in a special way, and initially, a Vegas Chapel was the plan. Who doesn’t love an Elvis wedding?! Then with our European trip planning underway, we thought instead an intimate ceremony in an old Italian church, with bricks that could tell of centuries of happiness, devotion and commitment would be perfect. With our Umbria stay being the longest part of our Giro d’Italia, I started Googling around our house; and spied, just 2 minutes down Monte Corona, the Abbey of San Salvatore founded in 1008.
There is an upper church, built in the 1200s which is also beautiful, but there was something about the low archways, columns and ceiling frescoes of the lower crypt that we fell in love with, and we went about trying to get in touch with the local priest to see if he could help us with a service. Don Renzo was very casual on the phone when I attempted to call from Australia and organise dates and times “Eh” he muttered in fast, slangy Italian “let’s just organise it when you get here”(words of dread to a super-organiser like myself!)
A dressmaker friend found a remnant of the softest cream silk in her cupboards of “I’ll make it one day” pieces, and created a dreamy 40’s style blouse. The girls already had cream and black dresses, and Cam found a perfectly fitting cream shirt for himself. A mini wedding party was created!
Everything else we sorted when we got here. No months of calling, planning and saving a fortune to pay for it all. Don Renzo suggested a photographer when we met up with him; I bought some fabric flowers at a local market because I couldn’t find a florist anywhere, and with a bit of hacking off of plastic gyp and sticking together with black electrical tape we found at the house, a bouquet was created. I also found a local hairdresser to pop my hair up (which cost an outrageous 7 euro, or $10…I think I found over $10 worth of pins in my hair afterwards), and the lady who cleans the house also cooks at a local restaurant, “Locanda Appennino”, so we enjoyed a fabulous Umbrian dinner of rabbit, stuffed pigeon, pasta with baccala and white chocolate mousse with blueberry sorbet there afterwards.
A couple of minor hiccups did occur on the day however.
1. Don Renzo called to let me know he was sick, and in hospital! He’d rounded up a ring-in, and the lovely young Don Domenico, with runners and a soccer shirt under his vestments read the service, all in Italian.
2. The water at the house decided to switch off for the day, which meant showers were actually standing in the bath with a bottle of “fill-your-own-for 5 cents” mineral water from the town square. Brrrrrr. Refreshing!
But what a perfect day. Our photographer, Roberto Dominici, was one of the sweetest, most gentle men we’d ever met. The crypt was filled with expensive fresh flowers from a wedding that weekend (yessssssaaaaaa!); Cam’s mum, Deb was on hand to share the day with us and wrangle the kids; I found a four leaf clover minutes before the ceremony; Don Domenico said the loveliest things (see below) as he held our hands and blessed us in his homily; and I got to marry my best friend all over again!
After the ceremony, we cracked open a bottle of Prosecco from the crazy Baron’s vineyard, and enjoyed it in the car-park. The girls ran to catch the cork and spun about in their pretty bridesmaid dresses. Can’t wait for another 10 years so we can do it all over again!
“When a husband looks at his wife, he sees love; and when a wife looks at her husband she sees love. Cameron, you have a name for love, and its name is Daniela. The best gift you can give to your children is to let them see your love for one another every day – face to face. God’s love for you is undying, as will your love be for one another.” (it was all in Italian…this is what I can remember that I translated to Cam)