Marvin and Sandra are a young married couple who approached me with a very specific request: to create a ceremony for them in two languages, Italian and German, that would honor the language and country of origin of both and that would manage to involve relatives and friends beyond all geographical and language barriers. I accepted this challenge with great joy and embarked with them on an intense and exciting storytelling journey that lasted months and led us to design together a symbolic wedding ceremony that fulfilled their every wish.Today I want to tell you about them and their beautiful wedding at Villa Grandinetti, in the wonderful land of Calabria.
Choosing the “right” location for the wedding ceremony
Among the most evocative and romantic locations in southern Italy where I perform weddings, a special place is undoubtedly belongs to Villa Grandinetti in Nocera Terinese, in the province of Catanzaro, a place in Calabria so famous for its breathtaking sunsets that it has earned the nickname ‘The Coast of Sunsets’. And Villa Grandinetti was the fairytale location chosen by Sandra and Marvin to hold their symbolic wedding ceremony and to celebrate their most beautiful day with family and friends.
The love story of Sandra & Marvin
Sandra and Marvin are two people who love traveling and who feel, and are, citizens of the world: Sandra is Italian, born and raised between Calabria and Germany; Marvin is German. At a certain point in their lives, they both find themselves in Malta; Sandra for work and Marvin for a professional update. They meet by chance in the flat of a mutual friend, with whom they spend a few days together, and there is immediately a spark between them. After that first meeting, they will never leave each other again and decide to embark together on the most exciting adventure of all: moving in together and sharing every challenge and every moment of their lives. Marvin and Sandra move to Germany, to Stuttgart; but when Marvin’s marriage proposal arrives and when they decide where to celebrate the wedding, there will be no doubt: Calabria will have to be the setting for their wedding and the perfect location will be Villa Grandinetti.
Planning Sandra & Marvin’s wedding: the most exciting challenge
When you decide to plan and organize your wedding there are so many choices to be made and details to pay attention to. Even more so, when you decide to do it independently without relying on the advice of a wedding planner agency; Sandra and Marvin, in fact, want to do everything themselves. The wedding ceremony is undoubtedly the most solemn moment of the day, because it is during this ceremony in which they exchange rings, their mutual vows and in which their love story will be told. The choice of who will celebrate the wedding becomes, therefore, of crucial importance for Marvin & Sandra. After much research, their choice fell on me and, for this reason, I was delighted and honored to have been the humanist celebrant chosen by Sandra and Marvin for their most beautiful day. Undoubtedly, having chosen such a romantic, elegant and scenic location, on the beach, with the backdrop of the sea at sunset, gave that extra touch of magic to their special day.
Villa Grandinetti: a seaside location of great elegance
For the ceremony and wedding banquet, Sandra and Marvin chose Villa Grandinetti, on the Sunset Coast in Nocera Terinese; a location with its own private beach and a verdant park with palm trees and Mediterranean scrub to frame the ceremony and wedding banquet. The ceremony took place on the beach, with the sun casting itself into the waters of the Mediterranean behind the bride and groom and the persuasive lapping of the waves of the sea crashing calmly on the shoreline. This melody of nature, together with the musical notes beautifully performed by a female voice accompanied on the piano, provided a magical soundtrack to the narration of this beautiful couple’s love story and their vows.
The entrance of the bride and groom
The entrance of the bride and groom was worthy of a fairytale: while Marvin waited for his bride on the beach, surrounded by the affection of family and friends, Sandra could be glimpsed from afar, in her white dress, bathed in her veil tousled by the sea breeze, on her father’s arm. A long walkway, strewn with flower petals, had been laid out to make the bride’s gait confident and elegant. And so it was: in the ever-warming light of the sun, Sandra made her entrance and joined Marvin, also very elegant in his suit in shades of blue, complete with waistcoat and with a detail to embellish his outfit: a small flower inserted in the buttonhole of his jacket.
My task as a lay-humanist celebrant
My task as a lay-humanist celebrant was to tell the wonderful love story of Sandra and Marvin, starting from their first meeting in Malta to the present day. In the months of preparation for their ceremony, I listened carefully to their stories, asked them questions that could recount the salient and significant moments of their life together, and searched with extreme care for the right words, in Italian and German, that could render the beauty and power of their love story. A love story that begins with a real love at first sight and then grows and strengthens, every day, until the natural and necessary decision to take the plunge and get married.
Sandra & Marvin’s personal vows
The most moving moment of Sandra & Marvin’s wedding ceremony was undoubtedly the one that preceded the exchange of rings and formal vows: the bride and groom chose to exchange their personal vows, words they had thought of and written in their own hand, to express in the most intimate and personal way, their love and their will to always be present in each other’s lives, with care and dedication. As their celebrant, I accompanied them on this creative journey, with delicacy and sensitivity: I asked them a few questions and explored with them some aspects of their story together, leaving them, with due respect, the creative and content phase of their precious testimonies of mutual love. My advice as writer and celebrant was limited to helping them formulate these promises, already splendid in themselves, in the most effective way and stylistically in line with their intentions. Sandra and Marvin moved everyone present and, I too, found in their words, the mirror of their souls and the depth of their love.
The exchange of rings
After the personal vows, I asked the bride and groom the ritual questions followed by the exchange of wedding rings. This moment was very intense: as the celebrant, I wanted to introduce the exchange of rings with a brief account of the symbolism of the circle, of its peculiarity of having neither a beginning nor an end, of being a circle, round like the moon, like the symbol of infinity and… like the sun, just like that wonderful sun that illuminated the whole of the splendid wedding ceremony with its warm and embracing rays, which took place against the splendid backdrop of the beach overlooking Villa Grandinetti.
The Handfasting Ceremony
At the bride and groom’s request, to seal the exchange of rings and the marriage pact, we concluded the wedding ceremony with the Handfasting Ceremony, during which I joined Sandra and Marvin’s hands with ribbons of four different colours, red, white, green and blue, each symbolizing respectively an element of Nature and a gift, a quality, of love, such as passion, devotion, abundance and depth. To perform this rite, I also involved the groomsmen and groomswomen, to symbolize the support and affection they pledge to give Sandra and Marvin during their journey together.
The proclamation and exit of the newlyweds
The long-awaited moment when I pronounced the words: “And now I pronounce you husband and wife; you may exchange a kiss!” was greeted by all the guests with great emotion and joy. And as Sandra and Marvin finally exchanged their first magical kiss as husband and wife, overwhelming music enveloped those present, involving them in an imaginary dance of jubilation in honour of the newlyweds. A shower of rose petals enveloped the exit of the newlyweds who danced on the beach beside the sea, illuminated by a breathtaking sunset. Then they reached the park of the Villa where the banquet had been laid out, amidst palm trees and romantic candles, and toasted to their new life together.
A fairytale banquet in the park of Villa Grandinetti
When a wedding ceremony tells such a beautiful and profound love story, the choice of the right location, most in tune with the character and tastes of the bride and groom, becomes the icing on the cake that gives that touch of magic and elegant uniqueness to an already memorable day. For me, as a celebrant, being able to tell the story of my bride and groom with the gentle lapping of sea waves, on a beach at sunset, in complete harmony with nature, is the deepest joy. And the fairytale setting for such a beautiful love story ensured that this day remains and will remain forever in the hearts and memories of the bride and groom and all the loved ones who participated in their joy.
Write to me and book your free video call!
Do you want a wedding ceremony full of charm and beauty too? Write me a WhatsApp message and book your free video call: I will be happy to help you and start thinking and planning your unique and unforgettable wedding ceremony, in the mood and location that speaks the most about you and your love story.