On a warm, autumn day in October Ciro and Monica renewed their wedding vows, four children and 30 years of marriage later. This couple have an international background both Italian by birth, they met and had their first child together in Spain. They spent the first 5 years of their married life as parents before moving to Bologna, Italy.
I started to work with couple back in 2018, when they initially planned to have their vow renewal ceremony in Sardinia July, 2020, everything was booked and they had invited 20 of their close friends from all over Europe. Then the Covid virus hit in February 2020 and as you can imagine this somewhat threw their plans up in air. They had their hearts set on a sunset ceremony on the beach in front of their sea home in Sardinia, however after spending their summer holidays in Sardinia they quickly changed their minds due to all the new restrictions to enter Sardinia.
While Italy is now in a much safer position after the first Covid outbreak due to a longer lockdown, the nation is still continuing to take steps to protect each other. The main difficultly for this couple would have been the organising the arrivals of their non-Italian guests to come to Italy and the quarantine rules on arrival to Italy. The unpredictability of the Covid still hovers like a black cloud and we could face another lockdown at any given moment. So are we really prepared to wait for the Covid to pass, well, the answer is no!
Finding solutions for Vow Renewal Ceremonies in Italy during the Pandemic
After a month of contemplation, Ciro and Monica decided to host their ceremony in 500 acres of garden and open spaces in their family home in Bologna, Italy. It certainly cut out a lot of stress and negotiation with local venders and they still had their ceremony in person and recorded it on zoom so their international friends could follow and participate at the same time.
As gorgeous as the day, this beaming couple enjoyed a relaxed micro ceremony with 15 family members present and 20 international friends online. The ceremony was conducted partly in Italian and English enhanced by their garden setting littered with fairy lights and candles. Their dog Lola carried a basket with a gift from Ciro to Monica. They splashed out on some lavish catering, plants and flowers, a singer, who was a member of their family accompanied their guests until midnight. There was less pressure and expectations from everybody and this had the reverse effect on the ceremony as the day superseded expectations.
The renewal of vows ceremony and everybody was very relaxed and the setting was beautiful although less formal. So much thought had gone into this ceremony and everybody was thankful to be there to participate, the mood was emotional and yes there were fountain tears of laughter and joy too. They were able to transform their home nest into a truly personalised cosy space where family could help out. There were aspects of the ceremony that were able to take place because of the location, they would have never taken their dog to Sardinia for example. I as their celebrant felt relaxed, I had time to rehearse with the couple and the distancing was not a concern, I was seen and heard by everybody.
No need to put life on hold
The day after the family sat down in the living room rejoicing their ceremony and watching their videos over and over while eating pancakes and leftovers from the day before. The peace of mind of being able to create something so magical that initially was unthought of but also being able to fulfil plans, dreams and milestones has become a more important lesson to this couple. There is no need to put life on hold, just simply do things differently. Sardinia can wait and a sequel ceremony part 2 is in the pipeline for 2022.
Con amore Michelle.