Chapter 7

Our weddings, not only one…two!

I must admit I love weddings. I suppose weddings totally and deeply nourish and satisfy my desire for romanticism. When I think of a bride, I think of dreams come true, I think of achieving the purpose of life which is loving and being loved.

When Jacques asked me to marry him, I think nothing counted more than marrying him and spending my existence with him.

I was conscious that marrying Jacques would have meant to leave Italy, my home, my family, my friends, everything I had here; but I never thought there was another option.

I never thought of what could have happened.

I know that someone might think it was easy because now I live here with Jacques and my mom. But at the time, I never thought of the option of coming back.

Jacques was an officer and I had to follow him.

My career would have continued also in France, even before getting married I bought a second fax machine so my mom in the future would have kept receiving my translations in Italy and would have sent them to me in France. Thing she did because I was afraid many small clients psychologically would have felt I wasn’t reliable anymore- living in France - and maybe they would have found another translation agency. And it did work

In any case, I never thought there was another option in my life.

I wanted Jacques and that was it.

I was sure I would have found the time to visit my parents once in a while and they would have visited.

In the three years I lived in France, I was often home because of unpredictable events happened, but I will tell you about that later.

I married Jacques knowing what his job was.

I took the whole package because I do believe you must take the bad with the good or it is not a relationship, it is a selfish bond.

I loved him enough to love whatever he would have brought along.

I was very determined to be his wife, his companion, his partner and I would have gone anywhere with him.

I must admit that my parents and grandparents never made me think bad, selfish or anything wrong; they all respected my love for him and were supportive at any stage of my life. This is absolutely unconventional in Italian families, because they tend to be rather selfish when it comes to the children, especially if it involves an only child.

We decided to get married in Italy at Church.

To be honest, I wanted it because I am a believer but Jacques is an atheist. He agreed upon getting married in a Church for me, for my beliefs, because he knew it meant everything to me.

I must admit that was another strong evidence of his love and support of me as a person.

I went to Church in town and the Priest said Jacques had to follow the Catholic school for couples who want to be married; I tried to explain that this was impossible, my fiancé was living in France, there was no chance he could take even two or three weeks off just to attend a quick course.

I was very disappointed .

I went to talk to the Priest of the old Abbey in Maguzzano, a stunning Abbey with cloister overlooking lake Garda, the ideal place where both of us wished to get married. He was very open to our diversity and even proposed a wedding ceremony with a religious side only for me, but Jacques said he did not mind at all.

We took arrangements for September the 8th but I needed final confirmation from my Priest.

We decided to get married in France, have our civil wedding ceremony and then come back here and advise the Priest we were already married.

It would have been unpleasant not to allow us to get married at Church.

That’s what we planned.

That’s what we did.

Everything worked out in the best possible way.

Our civil wedding took place at the Mairie ( Town Hall) of Albens where Jacques was born. There were only his family, friends and my parents.

We got married August 18th 1990 at 4 00 pm and I said “oui” in front of the French Mayor and Mitterand – in the picture, of course.

I had never attended a civil weeding before, never thought it could be so moving.

Ours was.

We had lots of issues before getting married, the permission from the Priest and the permission from the French Minister of Defense. Can you imagine we only got it at 6 pm, the night before our wedding?

My parents came to the house we rented and spent a few days with us before our wedding. They loved the place and were very happy for us. They also helped us a lot to settle in and make this new place home to us.

The morning of the 18th we drove to Albens from Valence where Jacques was stationed and we would have been married.

We left in the morning and arrived at Jacques’ parents, his mom prepared a simple but lovely BBQ in the garden.

Unfortunately I was just concerned about our wedding rings.

Can you believe that Jacques forgot to buy our wedding rings? When we discussed about buying them, he said he would take care of that since I was so busy with the organization of the religious wedding.

He totally forgot about that, even if he still states he hadn’t, and I must say as much as I adore my husband, he is that type of guy who can easily forget things that to me are so essential.

That morning I reminded him the wedding rings while he was driving and he had to admit he had not bought them yet


I told him to stop the car and my parents who were following us in their own car, stopped as well trying to understand what was going on.

They were laughing but I was so furious that I said I did not want to marry him anymore.

This is me.

Bad Italian temper!

He was not concerned at all, he said there was plenty of time to go to Aix-les-Bains and buy them. We did that but his fingers are very slim so we could not find a good wedding ring and he had to go back at 3 pm to get his adapted ring.

Can you imagine?

I think I would have killed him.

Thing is, when I saw him in his wedding outfit, I completely forgot I wanted to kill him.

He was so handsome. I just adored him.

The ceremony was really lovely, the Mayor made it very long and interesting because his secretary was Jacques’ mother and I think he wanted to make it more special.

We had a lovely party at the Mairie Hall : beautiful food and drinks Jacques parents offered us all. We were about 60 and the reception Hall was delightfully appointed by his mom; she used fresh flowers from the fields, it was rustic, lovely and very cozy.

I had become Madame Ducroz and I could not be happier.

After the first wedding , he went back to work and I came back to Italy to organize the “Big Italian wedding” at Church here.

Three weeks were very long, I missed him so much.

He arrived here in Italy only the day before, just on time to attend the rehearsal ceremony at Church.

We had organized a fantastic wedding dinner and party in our garden.

My parents converted part of the loggia in a stunning wedding reception terrace where the catering people displayed 10 tables for 10 people each. We were 100 people and that wedding – my friends and family said - was the most amazing and beautiful party they ever attended.

Before speaking about the reception and dinner, I must say I was very moved wearing my mom’s wedding gown. She proposed to give it to me and I only changed it a bit.

It was beautiful French macramé lace and I added a long silk gown.

It was very sober, very elegant but sober.

I wanted to have something simple and elegant.

I don’t like frills and I think that wedding gown was absolutely incredible.

My friend from America with other friends came, they were my witnesses, other friends from France arrived so our wedding was a three language business!

The night before, while we were doing the rehearsal, it rained.

No, it was more than rain, almost a storm.

I was so concerned, so unhappy.

Rain would have really damaged the reception, the dinner and my wedding gown and our wedding day could have been a disaster.

At night, I could not sleep much thinking about the weather. When I got up at 7 am, what I saw was the most beautiful blue sky you can think of.

I had a lovely morning taking a soothing bath and getting ready. I had my hair done but little make up, I am a simple person and dislike brides who look like Hollywood actresses.

Right for other brides, not for me.

Much before 4 pm we left, my Father and I were driven by a friend who was our chauffeur that day.

We arrived too much in advance, the ceremony was at 4:30 pm but both my dad and I belong to that type of humanity who are always in advance. Always.

So we spent at least a quarter of an hour hidden on the hill above Maguzzano waiting to arrive at a more reasonable time.

A bride is not supposed to arrive twenty minutes before anyone, but this is me. And my dad was the same.

When, at last, we arrived at Church and he walked me down the aisle, I think it was the most moving day of my life, until the day our son was born.

I was proud of being walked by my beautiful Dad and I think he was too.

Once I arrived at the altar, Jacques was already there waiting for me and all the guests were at their place at Church.

I was so moved, I was shivering but, as it often happens in my life, after the first couple of minutes, every fear disappeared and I just enjoyed each instant.

The ceremony was beautiful.

Everything was like I always dreamed.

The Priest did a fantastic speech and I was even asked to go up to the altar and do my own speech in English and French to welcome and thank our foreign guests.

Jacques was asked too but he is much more reserved than I am, so I did it.

It was beautiful, so meaningful.

We had the pleasure and honour of being able to have our photos taken by our friend at the cloister as well as at Church. I still think this Album is full of beauty and love and very often Jacques and I go and have a look.

The reception and dinner party was much better than anyone could have expected because everything turned out to be perfect: the weather, the people, the food, the wine, the wedding cake, the music.

Our garden that night was our magic place and I must say I could have never dreamed of a better evening.

I had my friends, my parents, my grandparents, all the people I loved there with me, everyone attended both the ceremony and the dinner reception.

Our wedding was a dream come true, it was as romantic as I am, as moving and meaningful as I hoped.

I was grateful and felt so blessed.

Jacques and I would have been together forever now.

Unfortunately, Fate has its own Path which often does not coincide with our hopes.

We left to reach Annecy for our honeymoon because I wanted to get to know all places where he was born and on the third day of our sweet and romantic honeymoon, very early in the morning, the phone rang – Jacques, being an officer had left all numbers - and Jacques answered without saying a word.

I understood strictly nothing.

But obviously something was wrong.