Our surprise wedding vows in Tuscany

a photo diary

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I will try to set the scene for this event. Flashback to 2005, the year I would turn 50 in May. My mother was diagnosed with cancer in early January. She would succumb to it quickly, passing away in February. We had planned a trip to Tuscany for spring break and to begin my big decade birthday celebrations. My mum was very aware of our trip but what I didn’t know was that she was also aware of my husband David’s secret surprise for me. It gives me great comfort to know that she knew this.

Our trip to Tuscany was incredible. We were staying just outside of Sienna in a 1000 year old converted monastary, Pieve di Caminino. It was like living in a storybook.

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We got over our jet lag and did some sightseeing in the local towns. Our biggest trip was going to be to Florence, which was about an hour and a quarter drive away.

Upon our arrival in Florence, we miraculously found parking along the river. We wandered over the Ponte Vecchio, shopping along the bridge shops and nearby streets. We headed to the vast and stunning Boboli Gardens and had a leisurely cappuccino and cake in the cafe there. We sauntered through the garden, with seemingly no agenda.

As we started down a set of stairs through a tunnel of trees, I heard a violin, its tune wafting up through the trees. I was excited that there might be a concert in the park. The piece was Pachelbel’s Canon. David and I had walked down the aisle to Canon in 1997. I was so intrigued and felt it was just more of the magic of Italy.

At the bottom of the stairs a gentleman approached me, violin still playing Pachelbel’s Canon, and asked if I was Vicki Bouchard. I was stunned and I stammered, yes! He said, “My name is Ben Singleton. I am here for you. Angela is from the Florence Philharmonic and she is here for you. Stefano, my photographer, is here for you. We are here to reaffirm your wedding vows with David, here in Boboli Gardens. David has arranged this whole event on line with me to help celebrate your 50th birthday. (this is the same gentleman that had married Iman and David Bowie in Tuscany 9 years earlier) . I think that is when the tears started.

David went into his backpack and produced two rings, one for me and one for Victoria. They were custom made rings with engravings. I know! Ben’s wife is a florist and had created a beautiful bouquet for me of dried roses, so that I could take it home and keep it forever. Every detail had been prearranged. We had champagne and amazing images taken by our personal photographer. Here are some of those photographs. xx

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The surprise wedding vows aside, Tuscany was the most wonderful place. The hospitality shown to us at Pieve di Caminino was outstanding. I can’t believe we haven’t been back in 13 years. It’s too nice not to go back. Ciao Bella!