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Mark + Lia | married

I don’t even know where to begin writing about my Rome experience, and the fabulous Vatican wedding of Mark + Lia. We met over a year ago at Dan + Amber‘s wedding in Chattanooga, and Lindsey and I were thrilled to hear of their engagement, then thoroughly excited to hear that the ceremony would take place inside the Vatican!

Once the wedding party (and it was a party!) arrived in Rome, we all got together for a fantastic Tuscan-style dinner at Il Buco. Later that night, I had fun accompanying Mark and Lia to the famous Trevi Fountain, where they wished their wishes, and tossed in some coins.

The next morning, all of the festivities began. After getting ready at the Hotel Eden, I followed Lia and her two sisters (they’re triplets!) to St. Peter’s Basilica. Though I had studied the Vatican extensively in college, nothing could have prepared me for the scale and grandeur within.

Mark + Lia were married in the Chapel of the Choir, inside St. Peter’s Basilica by Father David, a priest from their hometown of Knoxville, TN. It was a beautiful ceremony, and I remember it for the opulent beauty, and the golden glow of the room itself, not to mention the glow that seemed to emanate from Lia as soon as she saw her groom.

There are lots of interesting things I could mention about the ceremony, but I’ll only tell one story, which can be seen later in the pictures. So as one of the main priests was escorting the bridal party, (yours truly in tow) amidst the vast crowds of tourists, he had this way of stomping his foot (I guess that’s a universal language…) and he somehow ‘parted the red sea’ so that we could pass through. Once inside, and before the wedding ceremony started, a pair of the Swiss Guard closed a heavy curtain to keep the ceremony private and quiet from the rest of the Basilica. However, as we were preparing to leave following the ceremony, the curtains opened to a veritable paparazzi of tourists, hoping to catch a glimpse of whatever ‘celebrity’ must have just been married. They swarmed, videos recording, cameras flashing…and thankfully a few strong foot stomps from a determined priest allowed us to leave!

Later, the party continued at the amazing Hotel Hassler, whose banquet hall and its panoramic windows were absolutely stunning. The food was absolutely incredible, with course after course of innovative cuisine. The Spanish Steps were a great backdrop for a final session in Rome with my super-fun bride and groom. You can see a few of my favorites below, make sure you sign their guest book to see ALL of the photos when they are available.

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