I was expecting the call, I knew it would be soon. My dear friend Luigi who now lives in London with his fiancee (now his wife) Luisa telling me he was going to get married. He has invited me to his hometown on countless occasions, telling me how beautiful it was, but I had just never made it.
As I promised I would attend his wedding he was giving me fare warning that I had to be present. Luigi and I have been friends for many years he had come to New York to further his studies where we met and had became close friends.
The Journey Begins
Once it was time to travel, I flew to Paris, France, for a few days to visit with friends. I then took a direct flight to Brindisi to get to Corsano, which is on the southern coast of Italy. You must fly into Brindisithe closest airport in the south, then a two-hour drive is required or a train to Corsano, where the wedding would be held. I choose the train and the ride was absolutely amazing. It provided an exquisite view of the country side, the rows and rows of olive trees and the interesting architecture of the region. I wanted to absorb all the beauty the country had to offer.
I arrived in Corsano the day prior to Luigi and Luisa wedding. That night, the couple arranged for a few friends who had traveled from various parts of the world to attend a intimate dinner. They wanted to reconnect with each guest acknowledging their presences and significance and this made us feel so welcomed.
The Wedding Day
The wedding was held in the oldest and biggest church in the center of the town of Corsano it was a magnificent structure and it was filled to capacity with wedding guest. It was a traditional Catholic service that lasted a little over an hour, during the ceremony the bride and groom were presented with a letter of blessings from The Pope showing the long relationship they had with the Catholic Church . After the service as it is customary, many of the town people gathered outside the church to see the newly married couple to give their blessings-showering them with rice keeping with the wedding tradition.
For the reception we then drove for about 45 minutes to “Villa Vergine” which is an amazing estate where the reception was held.
As we pulled into the brilliantly lit estate, I could not help but be in awe of the perfectly manicured lawn. The tree-lined property is spectacular. The arriving guests were then ushered into a reception area where we enjoyed a reception of seafood delicacies and champagne for about an hour and a half until the bride and groom arrived from their photo session.
As the night progressed, the transition was so seamlessly executed that the dinner portion of the evening took us to various parts of the estate while enjoying several types of cuisine prepared for us. It was so well choreographed that you were not disturbed by the shifting that took place during your dinner experience. I was most impressed with the way Luigi and Luisa executed everything.
During the course of the dinner we enjoyed a constant selection of music from a piano player and a band. The music was so well orchestrated it blended into the atmosphere.
Once again we were moved to another part of the grounds where the couple was now presented to their guest as Mr. & Mrs. and the building was then lit to prepare us for the fireworks that would take over the decor of the entire building for a duration of twenty minutes.
It was magnificent.
Meet The Couple:
Luigi: Luigi De Giovanni Luisa: Luisa Agosto
What is your cultural background Both: Both white, born and raised in the south of Italy, Christian Catholic
What is your occupation Luigi: I work in the financial industry sector Luisa: I am an architect
How did you meet Luigi: When you live in a small town with 5000 people, almost anybody knows everybody. Luisa was also one of my mother’s student in the elementary school. So I’ve been knowing her since we were kids, but never got the chance to meet and know her better. Until we met one evening at the beach: it was just me and her, the moon rising over the sea. It was magic.
Luisa:We met in a late afternoon of summer on the beach. After my daily run around our hometown I used to go swimming to the beach which is really close to our village and I met Luigi. We were alone, the beach was desert and we started to chat. I remember the first thing he said was “Are you getting a tan by the moon?”. Then we decided to go out on a date the following evening and now here we are after 7 years.
When did you know she/he was the one Luigi: After we met I came back to New York where I was based at the time. Since then, not a single day passed by without speaking to each other despite the long distance. It was a reciprocal need and feeling that made me understand she was special. Luisa: I understood he was the one from the beginning. During our first date I was really nervous and I remember saying my mom: “He’s the man of my life”.
What does love mean to you Luigi: Looking in your loved one’s eyes and understand everything is going to be alright. Luisa: Love is giving without expecting to receive anything in return.
What was the most important thing about your wedding Both: We had guests from all around the world: New York, London, Switzerland, Milan, Rome. Family and friends we had not seen in a long time. Having them there was a sign of their love for us.
What does marriage mean to you Luigi: Desire and awareness to spend the rest of your life with that special person. Luisa: For me marriage is the highest stage of a love relationship, the closure of a circle. It is the desire of two people that want to stay together for their entire lives and that want to create a family. It means being one thing only and look to the future in one direction.
Where did you get married: Both: We got married in the old church of our hometown Corsano. The reception was at Villa Vergine in Cutrofiano, a beautiful villa built at the beginning of the XVIII century, spotting a Liberty style, surrounded by a majestic garden with plants and flowers from different parts of the world, fountains and baroque statues.
Why did you pick your location Both: The villa is elegant with attention to details and signs of sophistication. The colors and lights create a soft atmosphere, completed by live jazz piano music during our dinner.
What was the inspiration for your wedding
Both: Like in a fable, we want to live a story that starts with “Once upon a time there were Luigi and Luisa…” and will end by “…they lived happily ever after”.
What did you wear (he and she) Luigi: A classic midnight blue tuxedo by Canali Luisa: A bespoke dress by Errico Maria
Give us one message you want to share with the world about love, diversity and culture why is love needed so much now Both: Love is the only path to follow against violence, discrimination, intolerance leading to one common shared world of freedom and happiness.
Carl Nelson is a producer of socially conscious plays and events and an international traveler. He is also co-creator and co-producer of an annual event in New York City by the name of “Drums Along The Hudson” for the last 14 years.
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