In August 2015 two beautiful and vibrant young women from New York contacted me feeling stressed. They were under immense pressure to find a Celebrant at the eleventh hour…
September is one of the busiest months for destination weddings and miraculously the date they requested was available. We held a Skype later that evening and in the course of our correspondence I realised they would remain in my heart as friends.
The emotional and personal ceremony they dreamed of was to be held not far from Florence on 2nd September upon the manicured lawn leading to the stunning Renaissance Villa Il Poggiale, in San Casciano, Val di Pesa.
Cathy and Lauren are incredibly loving, spiritual and sensitive souls, who longed to declare their eternal love, witnessed by family and friends, in the dreamy sunlight of a romantic Tuscan landscape. Of fundamental importance too was that their Celebrant could form a close working rapport and would fully appreciate the essential nature of their relationship.
By their own admission, each possess very different characters but it is these complimentary aspects of their personalities which inspire them both daily to achieve success.
This incredible couple are truly a divine combination of ‘Anema e Core’. This is the title of a classic Neapolitan song, which literally means ‘Heart and Soul’.
As they tenderly lit a candle representing the light of their affection, the moment was romantically serenaded by vintage Italian romance:
With All My Heart and Soul – Composer: Salve d’Esposito
Original lyrics: Tito Manlio
“I have but one desire
And it’s to love you
With all my heart
With all my soul
My whole life through
From stars I’ll build your crown
And kneel before you
I pray you’ll take my hand
For I adore you
Open up the door leading to Heaven
A Heaven, mine and yours,
Anema E Core”
Cathy and Lauren share a common interest and passion for music and dance. Rhythm and melody ignited the spark of Cathy’s interest by the spectacle of Lauren’s ‘dance off’ to the 80’s hit ‘Thriller’ by Michael Jackson. Cathy watched open mouthed, unable to believe that..
“…such a vibrant and big personality was booming from such a petite and previously quiet person. With hearts in my eyes, it was in that moment that I felt such a connection and admiration.. and knew I needed her in my life.”
Lauren was intent on impressing Cathy on their first date and was clearly besotted from the first..
“Cathy was really beautiful and made me very nervous. I was so nervous to meet her! I wore my best three piece suit and my favorite shirt with cufflinks in the hope it would impress her… I remembered having such intense butterflies…’
Lauren’s immaculate look had the desired effect and Cathy was unable to resist also because Lauren soon proved to be an exceptional person. The two became instantaneously inseparable and their unique bond deepened over the years.
Lauren is indeed a class act and her ingeniously creative surprise marriage proposal to Cathy occurred on stage. Years before, Cathy had encouraged Lauren to pursue a long held interest in improv comedy.
Enlisting the collaboration of secret conspirators, who were mutual friends and family, Lauren arranged the performance of a lifetime, and guaranteed an enthusiastic acceptance from an emotionally stunned Cathy who was sitting unexpectedly in the audience.
“After one of Lauren’s fellow improv-mates finished the intro, she gave strict instructions to close our eyes. I started hearing the beautiful song, ‘Unconditional’, by Katy Perry, and the sound of footsteps on the stage…
Someone yelled to open our eyes and when I looked up, I saw two rows of people with a sheet of paper covering each person’s face. One by one, they each turned over the sheets in a wave and I realized that each letter was spelling, Will you marry me?
Then I realized that the people holding the letters were our families and my best friends… It all hit me at the same moment and I was completely and utterly overcome with emotion. It was at that moment that Lauren ran out from backstage, ran to me, got down on one knee, told me that I was the love of her life and asked me to marry her. I was crying so much that after a minute, her mom shouted, Well?! And I shouted YES!
We both hugged each other so hard and I just couldn’t believe that after six years, the moment had finally come… I think I cried for about six hours straight that day!”
Lauren and Cathy’s outdoor symbolic wedding ceremony reflected their fun, creative and open natures. They love one another purely and unconditionally..
In fact their special song is Katy Perry’s beautiful anthem for acceptance, ‘Unconditional’ in which she pleads for a love with tolerance and without conditions or limits.
“Acceptance is the key to be..
To be.. truly free
Will you do the same for me?”
An instrumental version of this song, which is loaded with meaning for these incredible women in love, was played skillfully on classical guitar and accompanied a pivotal moment.
When these brilliant Brides each read their personalised and epic vows there fell a kind of hush and vibe of pure, tangible, and unbelievable love..
Everything Lauren and Cathy believe and experience is in accordance with a solemn pledge to always be there for one another.. to fight injustice, to endeavour to enlighten the minds of those who fail to comprehend the beauty of their story and to one day raise a loving family of their own.
These are brave, sincere and strong women who have captured my heart and they most certainly have real soul.
They are my forever friends and I’m proud of who they are and they should be too.
Original text by Diane Rossi – Copyright © Blessings from Italy
Celebrant: Diane Rossi
Location: Villa Il Poggiale
Guitarist: Ranieri Sessa