This wedding was quite spectacular with everything in abundance…chandeliers, flowers, musicians, candles, guests and, above all, bishops and priests! And the groom designed the flowers!
The couple and their families were so lovely and gracious and their two hundred guests had all flown in from Indonesia for the celebration. It was a sight to behold in one of Rome’s many extraordinary churches.
So when we started out the couple planned to have about 80 guests which little by little over the next 9 months grew and grew. 120, 140, 170 and finally about 200 people in total traveled from Indonesia to partake in the marriage of Devi and Ivan. It was all quite grand. Their families are Catholic and the church and their faith is very important to both families. To travel to Rome to be married at the heart of the Roman Catholic church where the Vatican presides was very special to them and their guests. In addition Devi travels to Rome frequently with her Catholic charitable work.
The celebration began with a private, after hours tour of the Vatican museums and Sistine Chapel for all the guests. It is a privilege to be in the museum when it is closed to the public and you are the only ones there. If you have never been to the Vatican museums they are always full of people as it is a rare jewel and an incredible experience with or without the other tourists. After the tour we had arranged for a group dinner in Trastevere at the Trattoria degli Amici. This is one of Devi’s favorite restaurants as not only is the food very good and typically Roman but they are managed by the local church, Sant’Egidio, cooperative and employ both professional and handicapped wait staff side by side.
The wedding ceremony took place in the morning at the church of SS Giovanni e Paolo. It is one of the most requested churches in Rome as it is stunning with its dozens of chandeliers. An interesting side note is that the chandeliers in the church were actually imported by an American Cardinal from a hotel in NYC that was renovating and selling off their chandeliers. Funny the little side notes of life. Up above in the organ loft the music was provided by the historic organ, a string quartet and 8 singers. You couldn’t see the musicians but the music seemed to descend from the heavens and it was quite spine tingling and appropriate for such an exquisite and formal ceremony and wedding.