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Almost ten years ago, I decided to take some time off from my usual life and moved back to my hometown for a little while. I was now living in the north side of Italy and just needed a break.
I had travelled to London for a holiday and then back to my hometown in Italy. After declining several invitations to meet Claudio in person, I eventually gave in and we agreed to meet in Pisa at the train station. I was travelling from Turin and he was coming from Sicily.
You might think how romantic seeing a handsome, Mediterranean man walking nervously on the platform, waiting for the love of his life.
That is what I thought as I was travelling to Pisa and that is how it all happened, but only he was waiting on the wrong platform for me.
That is one of my favourite memories I have of us together because as I looked into his eyes I had this amazing overwhelming feeling of peace and everything finally made sense. I cannot fully describe the feeling. There are no words to express it but one thing is for sure my heart found its better half in that moment.
After three days in Pisa, at Piazza dei Miracoli we pledged our love to each other, in this life and others to come.
What followed were a couple of years of long distance relationship with weekends spent together in random cities across Italy having lots of funny, silly moments that we still laugh about now.
We went to Sicily a month prior to the proposal and I had stayed only a week while he remained for a couple more weeks longer and bought what would later be my engagement ring. A few days after he returned to London we had dinner in a romantic Italian restaurant that we both loved very much. It was a small, cosy, old fashioned restaurant. We had the first and last decent snow in that particular year and before going to dinner we had a good snow fight.
Though frozen and wet we had an amazing dinner together and in the dim light of the candles, in the middle of an almost full restaurant, Claudio on one knee said the magic words while women in the restaurant were shedding tears and men shaking their heads, begging him not to do it. (He should have listened)
It was a hilarious moment and completely unexpected. I did not, for a second suspected anything even though before we left the house my family joked about me getting engaged.
Two years later, in Sicily, we went to visit a very beautiful hotel and resort that Claudio kept on telling me about for years.
We went there to look around and be enchanted by the vast beautiful gardens and left with a date and the location for our wedding for the following year.
The wedding ceremony was held at a small, beautiful church, Santa Maria Addolorata in Marsala. I arrived at the church with my super amazing mom, my brother and Imogen (the best flower girl ever) in a beautiful, vintage Rolls Royce.
My brother walked me down the aisle with the most amazing bridesmaid in the world, Imogen. My absolutely fantastic man, clearly overwhelmed by emotions, waiting for me at the altar.
Having Imi and Ruth there made the moment even more special. Ruth designed and gifted us our wedding bands. I never thought I’d have such a beautiful wedding ring. It is beyond anything I’ve dreamed of.
Sharing that beautiful moment with our loved ones, family and friends was more than we could have wished for.
We wanted so many different things for the wedding like a different car, different flowers etc. but it all fell to place in a perfect way even though it wasn't necessarily by choice.
I wrote at the beginning the phrase "how to test a man's patience" that started all.
I feel like I must let you know how it went…
It turns out he has a lot of patience but along the way, he managed, at times, to almost make me lose mine.
We started our journey nine years ago and between laughter and fun, good and bad moments, we made it this far together.
And even though we have ups and downs, it all falls into place perfectly eventually.