Well, going into the whole wedding deal, I didn't know a lot of details and was relying on the Italian elder involved. I left Ancona around 7:45 and arrived precisely three hours later at the castle - absolutely everything you would imagine a small, Tuscan castle to be.
As I met people and talked to the wedding party, I figured out that this was a young, American couple who just really wanted to have their wedding in Italy. The groom's whole family was there as well as the bride's father. In attempting to plan this wedding from the U.S., they did a websearch for a non-denominational, non-Catholic, church and came across the Church of Christ site and contacted the elders in Rome. When they found out that they wanted it done in English, they then contacted me. About a dozen believers from the churches of Christ of Rome, Prato, Pistoia and Florence were there as witnesses. There were three of us performing the ceremony.
It really was a pretty hodge-podge service, thrown together at the last minute with the poor bride trying to answer questions through a translator. The elder really held an evangelistic focus throughout the service, having those in attendance read Scripture and sing hymns. The keyboardist that the castle owner had contracted to play was clearly more used to performing in night clubs as half-way through the service he played a jazzy version of the Beatles' 'Yesterday', at the end, running his fingers down the keys and saying 'yesterday' in a breathy voice.
Apart from the awkwardness and unpreparedness, it really was a beautiful, little wedding. There is a chapel in the castle, small, with tall, tall ceilings. It is poorly lit and adorned with all the normal Catholic paraphernalia. The bride looked wonderful in a beautiful dress - the groom, of course, dashing. They were very patient as the ceremony was performed in two languages and as they learned some Italian customs as they went. The parents of the bride and groom were in tears by the end and were so grateful for our willingness to come.
Afterwards, the family ate a lunch together and the rest of us gathered on a terrace in the woods outside the castle walls to eat an Italian picnic. There was poetry, jokes, hymns and prayer and then we left to go home, happy to have been able to serve a family and hoping that our words and actions ministered to them and helped the young couple get their new life together off to a good start.