by Melinda Gallo

Ci siamo sposati!

After the sun set and the full moon began to shine brightly, Alessandro and I exchanged our vows in my sister's garden standing next to a fountain. We had talked about getting married months ago and when we talked about going to the US together, that was what we wanted to do. It wasn't until the week before I left for the US that our plans of getting married might be possible.

Living in Florence :: Ci siamo sposati!

Many things had to fall into place, like my divorce being finalized and my receiving the divorce decree on time. We also feared that we'd be spending most of our time in the US at the county courthouse to have a civil ceremony. So, we weren't completely sure it was even going to happen.

My sister who lives in Los Angeles had organized a dinner for us tonight and when I told her that we were wanting to get married, she decided to help us. She made a few phone calls and hired a woman to come to her house to marry us. The woman would do all the paper work for us and we'd just have to pay her and sign papers, which is what we did.

My sister ordered flowers, my bouquet, and a wedding cake for us. So, when we arrived, all I had to do was find a dress to wear and buy rings, which we did do about a half hour before we were to be married. At first, I wasn't sure that I even wanted a ring, but the more I thought about it, the more I wanted one. I realized that there is something significant about having a man place a ring on my finger. It doesn't make the marriage, but it is a beautiful symbol.

Unfortunately because of the late notice, I could only get my best friend who lives in Los Angeles to come. I had also wanted Alessandro's parents to come, but everything was finalized so late that it wasn't possible for them to come. Had it not worked out tonight, we had planned that we'd return in November with them to get married.

I have never liked public ceremonies and have not been to any for myself; I didn't go to my high school or university graduations. And, when I got married last time, we eloped and had no family or friends present.

I was happy to have my sister, her family, and my friend and her fiancÚ with me as I exchanged my vows with Alessandro. It was very meaningful for me to have the people who have been supportive and loving towards me, especially this last year.

Alessandro and I both had tears in our eyes when we exchanged our vows, which I had to translate into Italian for him. I loved it when we put our rings on each other's fingers and had our first kiss as man and wife.

Friends of my sister arrived a few minutes later for dinner and we celebrated all night. My dear friend Karen whom I met earlier this year sent us a cake cutter with our names and date inscribed on it. We cut our wedding cake with it and it made our dinner even that more special.

I did tell a few of my friends before I left Florence of our plans. It was important for me to tell them because I am not one to talk about the future as I fear I might jinx it by talking about it too much. The last time I got married, I surprised everyone and I realized that this time I wanted more people involved than last time. Alessandro told his parents, but wanted to surprise his other friends even though most of them already knew that we had already discussed it and were planning it.

A friend of mine who is an astrologist told me back in April that I'd probably be married again by the end of the year. When she told me that, I told her that that wouldn't be possible. First, because I thought the divorce would take longer and second, because I was newly separated. But, as the months passed by, it began to feel like a natural decision to make.

Our marriage today wouldn't have been possible if it hadn't been for my sister who organized everything and for Dave who got our divorce certificate and sent it overnight to my sister's house. And, my lucky stars that brought us both together and made our wedding go so smoothly.

We won't be going on our honeymoon until the beginning of next year. We just planned our wedding in a week, so I'm sure we won't be planning our honeymoon until at least a month prior.

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