There are people in our lives whose presence remains strong long after they leave us.
It is difficult to even write about Alyssa and Collin’s Tuscany wedding as the experience was bigger than this page, than any image I could ever make. We were all at the Vicchiomaggio, the castle in Greve, Italy where Leonardo Da Vinci began painting the Mona Lisa. The castle itself dates back to the 1400s and was known during the Middle Ages as a defender of Florence during its battles with Siena. There were spirits buzzing about, this was certain. In Greek culture (and maybe Italian too?) rain on a wedding day is a good omen. “Kathari Arxi” my Grandmother used to say. “Clean Start”. We forewent pre-wedding portraits due to the unbearable heat and humidity. The temperatures in the church were easily in the mid 90s. Our cousin Dean was fanning Alyssa and Collin as they stood at the altar sweating. Then all of a sudden it came. Drizzle, wind, showers, rain, thunder, lightning, darkness. There was a raging storm outside the tiny chapel and I couldn’t help but worry about who would spot me with an umbrella on the way back to the castle.
And then something happened.
Seconds before the processional began, the rain went away. The exact moment that Alyssa and Collin stepped out of the church the sky lit up. Moments later the sun broke out in a way a photograph could never explain. You had to be there to feel it. In the garden outside of the church the ground was barely wet. If I hadn’t seen it myself I never would’ve believed that a lightning storm had taken place minutes beforehand.
Everyone there knew who was responsible.
There are places on earth where the light is nice, there are places on earth where the light is beautiful, and there are places on earth where the light will bring you to your knees.
There are people in our lives who love us, there are people in our lives who love us deeply, and there are people in our lives who love us with the power to open up the sky, to start and end lightning storms.
Alyssa and Collin, on June 30th 2011 in Greve, Italy, a lightning storm was orchestrated for the two of you. Everything was washed clean.
I love you both.
A heartfelt Gratzi to the following wonderful people and places:
Ann and Elizabeth of Original Tuscan Wedding for their wedding planning perfection. They pretty much did it all…
Gino and Castello Verrazzano for an unforgettable evening on the eve of the wedding.
Castello Vicchiomaggio, our beautiful home for three days…we’ll never forget you.
Violamalva for the unbelievably gorgeous flowers.
Firenze Classica for the lovely music. It was the real deal.
Private Tuscany Tours: They got us everywhere we needed to be in style.
Alyssa and Collin for your beautiful, shining spirits and for entrusting me to capture such a precious day in your lives. It was the greatest honor to have been there.
Lee and Mary Ann for believing that having us there was worth it all…we are forever grateful for your kindness, generosity, and love.