Just three days from the day of the wedding we did not have a wedding to celebrate. On this day our caterers told us we no longer had a venue. Our venue was the beautiful Villa Webb and the gardens of Villa Ada, belonging to the commune di Bagni di Lucca. It must be peculiar to Italy and to this arrogant mayor, to think that preparations don’t matter, but in their book, the insurance was the problem…. Jaqueline received a phone call from the caterers while she was at the hairdressers getting extensions. But, she was told, we were told last Friday and didn’t want to worry you so we have found you the perfect alternative and set it up – you are not to worry, it will be perfect… It’s not perfect yelled Jaqueline – I don’t want it there….. The caterers cancelled everything. The wine, the flowers, the dishes and glasses, the tables and chairs, the food…. We had nothing left … nothing. The caterers were hurt, not another thing on their shoulders put. Michela had disappeared and would not pick up her phone. Her husband came to visit to pacify us and explain why we were not having a wedding, but we obviously didn’t understand. We begged them to reconsider – but it was not possible even while the husband continued to justify the actions… We began to look at alternatives, the backyard, church halls – and it was raining and the little chapel in the mountains was not looking good – definitely a change of venue there too….
The next day, emotions had been soothed, the caterers were consoled and we once again had a wedding, though much reduced, as so much had been lost in all the cancellations. We were back at the venue that Jaqueline didn’t want. Jake, indignant, was resisting the whole thing and just wanted to turn it all into a wonderful mayhem party, very cheesed off at being dictated to his choice… but everyone saying, please, lets relax, the work involved preparing food for 70 odd people was too much to consider, lets go with it, it’ll still be fun – aaagh he wasn’t happy – please, says Jaqui, lets go with it, all those people to consider….
The church had to be changed, the tracks to the little chapel too wet. Pieve di Monti di Villa became the chosen church and it is really beautiful and would definitely fit within its walls all the guests. So appropriate, too, attending the church in Pieve, so significant to our new life here, this little village having our first real home in Italy… Flowers to find for the church, had Michael and his sisters and me in the car searching for good florists in the area. We soon found one in Ghivizzano down the road and they were lovely helping us to choose a beautiful array of white flowers that would be set amongst the greenery… slowly stress pouring out the open windows and fun coming into everyone’s eagerness to help and participate. The rain stops and the overcast sky lets in fingers of warm light. Friends start to arrive from afar and bit by bit the uncertainty is forgotten and the party begins.