Friday, February 6, 2009

How to Throw a Surprise Wedding (Part Four)

February is the month of romance, love, and St. Valentine (more on him next week). In honor of such romantic pursuits, I am sharing the most romantic travel story I know. Traveling with me is always fun, but this was an exceptional trip. This is the last part of a story which began...
Step Four: Hold Your Breath

Now, if you have never had the opportunity to take a silver 1921 Bentley through the streets of Rome, freshly washed with the rain… well, to quote Ferris, “It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up.”

I had no idea where we were going or what we would find when we got there, so I just had to make small talk – and avoid the topic of the cocktail party completely. So, I did what I do best: I played tour guide. There’s the Vatican. That’s where I stayed when I was here last spring. That’s the most exclusive hotel in Rome. This is the Tiber. We ate dinner there Friday night. That’s Augustus’ tomb. I knew where we were. I just had no idea where we were going.

And then the car stopped.

“Stay here,” the driver told us. It was drizzling. So, we waited.

R emerged, soaked through and through. Oh, this was going to be a story! Later the boys would regale us with stories of saleswomen named Olga who helped a completely drenched groom find a suit at Gucci. The pants were too long. The jacket needed to be tailored, but in the end Kevin looked fantastic!

R snatched up his things with some excuse about changing in a store and tore off to get dressed.

The Bentley was hot and stuffy, but because I had no idea where the boys were or what the plan was I couldn’t let Kelly get out of the car.

“I am so hot,” she whined. “I am getting out.”

Sweltering, I lied, “It’s not so bad. I am just going to give them five more minutes. I don’t want my hair to get wet.”

All the while I am pointing out well-dressed people who MIGHT be coming and going from a cocktail party with the giants of the Roman publishing world (there were very few on the streets at half past five).

Please, God, please let her just stay in the car. Please make those boys hurry up. I can’t hold this together much longer. I sank into a gloomy silence hoping to make it uncomfortable enough that Kelly wouldn’t want to talk any more so I wouldn’t have to lie any more.

Finally, with another lame excuse about some lost Michelangelo doors around the corner, R comes to retrieve us from the car.

The rain has stopped...

Kevin is waiting at the door. We enter a little corridor, passing a sign for a church. Did she see it?

There are indeed some beautiful wooden doors, and when Kevin opens them, my heart stops…

The church is ugly, but there is Brenda, bouquet in hand. And Kevin says something endearing to his wife… and suddenly she realizes that she has been fooled. Her face lights up. And then Brenda puts the veil on her head.

White roses in hand, Kelly walked up the aisle on Kevin’s arm. R and I beamed as they vowed to continue to love and honor each other, to grow old together and to care for each other. Still shocked, Kelly dabbed her eyes and looked adoringly into Kevin’s.

And then it was over. But the glow lasted long into the night…

We drove to the Colosseum where they had glorious photographs taken, and we all shared a glass of Asti and a toast to the happy couple.

Finally, the four of us enjoyed a lovely dinner at Hostaria del’Orso – a restaurant in what used to be a medieval inn. Italians are romantics, so they gave the bride and groom the best table in the place and greeted us with champagne. The whole house toasted Kevin and Kelly… it was a grand way to end a grand voyage… and a beautiful way to begin another.
The photographs of the bride and groom in this post were taken by Alessandro Zingone , a fantastic wedding photographer in Rome.  


Jennifer said...

LOVE IT! So romantic!

Mara from Motherofalltrips said...

I enjoyed this series so much! And got a tear in my own eye reading this last post. How spectacular.

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh! You make me long to travel again and again! What a fabulously romantic post.

Dominique said...

A picture-perfect end to a great story!
Thanks for sharing.

Jessie V said...

just lovely!

Soultravelers3 said...

What a wonderfully romantic story! What a great friend you are!

Vera Marie Badertscher said...

Well Told! But my heart was broken by the Bentley. SIGH!

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