I’ve had to take a few days to find the words for this wedding. For Gloria and Eric. For Sorrento. For places visited and new friends made. For a wedding that was so much more than a single word can suggest. So please bear with me as I form the sentences to tell this incredible story. I need to do this justice.
4.30am Friday and I’m up. Half an hour later I’m checked in and by 11am I’m in Naples. By 1pm in Sorrento and the adventure is underway. I met with Gloria and Eric at our hotel and was immediately taken with them. Massive enthusiasm and joy at the day to come. An evening walk into Sorrento with a lazy dinner in the square before returning to prepare for the Saturday ahead.
I begin with Gloria the following morning. And a room full of laughter led by the bride herself and Julie, who turned out to be invaluable throughout the day. Eric having to hit the floor and do push-ups to be allowed in the room. A lovely tea ceremony in honour of parents flown over from China. From the hotel we all walked to the stunning Villa Antiche Mura and where I saw my friend Michele and his wonderful team. As we arrived the sun shone for Gloria and Eric, and didn’t let up for the rest of the day. Sun shining on the warmest group of people you could wish to meet. Alongside me two incredible videographers (also very fine photographers) in Alfonso and Gaetano who I left Italy counting as friends with plans of visiting them and learning more about their incredible country and region. Truly this was some day to be a part of…
A beautiful ceremony conducted by Steve flowed into the afternoon and a short drive into the centre of Sorrento. You have to really when you’re given these locations and that light. Walking around to cries of ‘auguri’ from the locals and enormous smiles from Gloria and Eric. It doesn’t get much better than this.
So it’s probably time to talk about why we were all there.
Gloria and Eric. A very, very special couple. Warmth and generosity beyond measure. Such easy company. Dearly loved by family and friends. Utterly together for their future lives.
During the speeches it was mentioned that Eric and Gloria were a chance meeting, engineered by those dear friends, and how unexpected their love was at the beginning. As I listened I recalled a line from the superb Douglas Coupland book ‘Microserfs’:
“Anyway, I want to remember that love can happen. Because there is life after not having a life. I never expected love to happen. What was I expecting from life, then?”.
And for me it made absolute sense. That many people don’t expect love to happen, but that without it we are essentially empty vessels. It fills us, and it sustains us. All of us. When it comes down to it we’re all the same. The human need to love and be loved is legion, and I witnessed it right there that day.
I arrived back at my hotel late that evening, and by 6am the following day was on my way back to Naples for a long delay (thanks to Storm Katie) and a pretty interesting decent and landing into Gatwick. But throughout that journey back my thoughts turned to back to the previous day and what I’d been lucky enough to photograph.
Days like this are a gift. To all present. People like Gloria and Eric are gifts to those who know them.
To you all, my deepest thanks and warmest of farewells. This really was some day….