Vatican City WeddingElizabeth & Ken

Elizabeth & Ken’s Vatican City Wedding

The last night that I was in Rome, the three of us, Elizabeth, Ken, and I, grabbed a drink at an outdoor cafe close enough to the Pantheon that the spray from the fountain occasionally drifted onto us. While we sat and chatted about the amazing week that we had, I realized that I wasn’t their wedding photographer anymore; we were friends.

Elizabeth is a writer. Who can say that? Tons of people claim to be something that they occasionally like to fool around with. She, on the other hand, is a legit, published writer with a sense of curiosity and creativity that makes everyone want to be her friend. Just being around her you get energized to go explore and soak in life like a kid again. Ken is a musician and actually found out while we were in Rome that he was going to be going on tour. The task of photographing the wedding of two such creative, talented and genuine people for a week was a bit intimidating :)

They originally were going to get married in Asheville and then head to Italy for their honeymoon (they both love traveling and go as often as possible). One of them said jokingly, we should just get married at the Vatican! After a ton of paperwork and phone calls, it happened. I found out that it’s not especially easy to get married in the Vatican; quite the opposite actually. Calling and asking me to be their wedding photographer was probably the only really part :)

They kept their plans to get married at the Biltmore Estate (that will be another blog post) the week before Rome and celebrate with their friends and family. One of the things that made it slightly easier to get married in the Vatican is if they were recently ‘civilly married.’ So that’s what they did: got civilly married at Biltmore and then flew to Rome, got married at St Annes in the Vatican and then 4 days later meet the Pope and have the marriage blessed by the him. Sounds like a dream right? It was.

Following a bride (and groom) around Rome in a white dress is an experience I will not forget soon. In case you didn’t know, there are a lot of people in Rome and in the Vatican – like, a LOT! They were being stopped, congratulated and photographed continuously throughout the day. The joy was so palpable that I was beaming ear to ear, as if I had just gotten married. The pinnacle of the day, for me, was watching Ken lead Elizabeth away from me and our route, neither of us knowing his plans, and then watching him spontaneously pull her in for a first dance by a street performer. No planning, no fear, pure romantic. I forgot for about 10 seconds that I was supposed to be taking photos.

There are a week’s worth of stories, and I’m sure that Elizabeth can write about them better than I, but for now, I’ll let the photos do the talking.

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