On 18th June 2016, Giovanni and I had the privilege of celebrating our union with friends and family from 19 countries and at least 25 nationalities on the beautiful Italian Riviera. It was an accumulation of the love that we have received during our work and travel around the world in the last 15 years. Of the 100 people who attending our wedding, we had the fortune of celebrating with 23 classmates and teachers from Les Roches.
However, it was not easy getting everything together, as the planning of this wedding took 18 months and was done across 7 different countries.
As it was an international union, in addition to parental approval, we also needed to seek legal permission from both our nations’ governments! In between sorting out the paperwork, Giovanni and I had moved to 3 countries each – since his graduation in Switzerland, he had moved to Bahrain and recently to Scotland for work, and in my case, I had moved from the UAE to Thailand as part of the MIT program and then back to Malaysia at the end of the contract before joining him in Italy.
We had spent hours of research on the Internet and made many phone calls to our respective embassies in the different countries we were in to ensure that we had taken care of all the required red tape. We were most fortunate in that the administrators whom we encountered were extremely patient in assisting us and providing all the necessary information.
Logistically, it was about getting what we needed, making sure that it was not only of quality but also met our budget. We also had to be able to ship it back to Italy in time for the wedding. The benefits of globalization is that we were able to source our decorations, guest book, dresses and party favors internationally thanks to a simple Google search and websites like Etsy and Amazon. One of my favorite items was a world map which a designer from the US helped us with for our guests to sign.
Throughout the planning process and on the day of the wedding, Giovanni and I received an overwhelming outpouring of love and support from the people who attended, as well as the many friends and family around the world who were not able to be there in person, but who sent their love through emails, Facebook and WhatsApp messages. It really shows that friendships transcend geographical boundaries. Despite having known each other years ago, the memories that we shared then have been preserved over time. We are also extremely grateful to our families for all their support and encouragement, as they have been with us through every step of the way.
That fateful Saturday, Giovanni and I really felt that the world came to celebrate our union and we are privileged to have that honor as the starting point of our lives together.