Chapter 3/4: and now you're beside me and look how far we've come.
Done for life
The wedding was scheduled to start at 16.00
, and I arrived with my guys around 16.05, knowing that Lindsey would be late, as every bride should be. All the guests were already there, and I recognized almost all the faces. Lindsey's family was there, my family was there (except my father, smoking a cigarette outside the chapel, and my sister, with Lindsey), Lindsey's friends and mine were there too. Good, nobody died or got seriously injured the night before.
The Meister-team sat and waited.
Me, Beppe, my best men, representing Italy, Ian, who would be the M.C. of the day (with a very short notice! Thanks again dude), representing my years in London, Dominik, representing Poland and Andy, representing South Africa and the only guy actually allowed to signed my marriage certificate...
. And waited. For a good 19 minutes. Then I heard the London cab arriving (hired for the occasion! Come on, you all knew I like symbolisms) and finally the bridal party approached the stairs leading to the chapel. I could see the flower girls (Kaitlin and Jade, Lindsey's small cousins); the bridesmaids (Shari, Kirsten, Olga and Jill, the maid of honor) but I couldn't see Lindsey and her father from my angle.
The only thing that made me realize that Lindsey didn't run away and they weren't coming down just to tell me "Olaf, we're sorry" was hearing Lindsey's giggle. She made it through the stairs, which from the first time we selected the venue was the biggest concern for someone like her who doesn't really wear high (or even medium) heels everyday.
Then I finally saw David, with Lindsey. They stopped a second at the entrance of the chapel, ready to walk the aisle, and for the first time I could see the dress that Lindsey decided to keep secret all these months. She looked absolutely stunning. I've never seen her so beautiful, so happy, so ready.
She walked the aisle towards me, smiling and crying at the same time. After saying goodbye to her father, she joined me by Pastor Carter, the pastor of her local community that knew her since she was a little girl, and the service began.
Unlike other weddings I've been in, the pastor kept his early promised and the service was short and enjoyed by everyone, even those that couldn't understand much of what was going on. We sang the chosen hymn (over the music of Amazing Grace), then exchanged our vows, our rings, our signatures and we were done. Jill sang a song for us, and the photographers went crazy to get that perfect shot of the beautiful couple. Somehow in the middle of the service I scratched my bum but hey, at least guests will have something to remember me forever.
Did I say that Lindsey looked absolutely gorgeous? Well, I looked quite sexy too.
After the ceremony and while the guest were enjoying some Pimms, me, my wife, our bestmen / bridesmais and our families moved to the green area outside the restaurant, by the river, to take part of a long photo session. If you have been married you know what I mean. An hour of smiling, posing, changing position and so on, with all the different people in all possible configurations. Luckily Just Shoot, the company we hired, did an amazing job to keep everyone alive and happy, and the football (the same one I used previously) completed the job. You will see those pictures soon, when I finally get the proof cd from the photographers (in the meanwhile you can see pictures taken by friends!)
After the long session it was time for Ian, our American MC, to introduce Olaf and Lindsey Olgiati to the guests. Before my mum and Lindsey's mum gave us salt and bread (some polish tradition, I almost choked), and then we walked in the beautifully (and simply) decorated room to join our main table (all the tables were named after football team, our table was A.C. Milan), and to finally eat. Wait, something happened before.
You see, I enjoyed the wait. The ceremony. The photos.
But the best part of it was the speeches.
Ian, who did a fabolous job as Master of Ceremonies, opened and invited David and Jenny, who started with a beautiful speech about how they are proud of Lindsey. Then, unscheduled, my mum decided to read some poem in Italian, English and polish.
My dad decided to say something in Italian, but he got too emotional to finish his sentence. Giuseppe, who was just supposed to say something in Italian for my part of the guests, surprised me with a speech in English who was moving and funny at the same time.
Then it was supposed to be my turn, to close the speeches and start the party. Instead, the microphone landed in Lindsey's hands who broke the traditions and read her speech. In Italian. It was probably the most moving moment of the night.
My sister helped her and she managed to deliver in a nice Italian. You can hear it in the video (and see my face!)
Finally my turn. I had a speech the day before, but got drowned with my camera. So I did what I do best: improvise.
I don't really remember what I said until days later when I saw the video, but I think that every speech that mentions Terminator 2, Rocky I and VI, and some considerations about religious differences it deserves a prize.
Plus, I don't think that many speeches closed with "I thought that the best day of my life before the day I proposed to you was when Italy won the world cup in 2006. I was wrong, the best day of my life is today"
Doesn't it sound like a line from am movie?
Then we danced. Oh yeah baby, I danced.
You don't know, but prior to the wedding me and Lindsey decided to make the first dance special by choreographing something. We went to a dance studio and after deciding the song ("So Close", freshly nominated for the Academy Awards, from the - surprisingly good for a Disney movie - film Enchanted). It took forever for a retarded like me to learn the steps that Chantal, our choreographer, created for us, by the final result was quite good (as you can see from the youtube movie. Forget my stiffness, just look at the elaborated dance moves!)
It was great to surprise all our friends with the dance routine. It really felt like a scene from a movie (well, most of the wedding seemed a big giant movie set) , and the best was yet to come.
And then the food arrived, and soon after the dances began. It was great fun. People either dances or drunk whatever was available on the generous tab that I provided.
It lasted hours, and nobody (especially my dynamite mum) ever stopped dancing. And then everything was over. People left and only the closest family and friends (i.e.: all the people coming from overseas) stayed at Glenburn for one last night.
Many things and stories happened that night, but this is not the best place to talk about it. People stayed up the whole night and enjoyed the drinks that I left in some chalet.
But these stories don't have a place here.
The same night another story started, the one that sees Olaf and Lindsey beginning their life together.
And hopefully it will have a Hollywood ending.
Thanks to you all, it was a pleasure. And Lindsey, I love you.
Videos of the speeches:
David, Jennifer and Ania
Giuseppe and Eugenio