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The Great Italian Scavenger Hunt


I am not claiming to be able to complete “The Amazing Race”, but I was victorious in meeting the challenges to legally get married in Italy. At this moment it is hard to remember how it began, but I do remember the terrifying exercise of sending our original birth certificates to the Italian Consulate in San Francisco. This was followed by a series of emails that could only be described as Italian riddles.  When I asked for hints in solving these riddles, I was repeatedly informed only that the instructions were very clear. The day after I sent the requested documents to San Francisco, I was informed that the Consular went on a three-week vacation.  I was starting to get nervous as our departure date to Italy was fast approaching. It was a great relief when four weeks later I received an envelope from the Consulate with our birth certificates and presumably what we and our two witnesses needed to take along to the Embassy in Seattle.

We were excited for what we thought was the final leg of our Italian paperwork adventure. Dan, myself, and our dear friends Kendall and Cory (our witnesses) arrived in Seattle at the Italian Embassy office. The lovely consular looked at what we had received from San Francisco and declared “Oh no, he forgot to send the documents, he only sent the stamp, and now he is out of the country”.  I must be honest, I had a brief moment of despair wrapped in emotions of disbelief. At this point, we had 5 days before we departed for Italy.

I took a deep breath and looked to my bold team. They were up for the challenge of more adventures. Seven hours, two trips to a public library for internet access, and two more trips back to the Seattle Embassy later, we had our stamped documents.

Yeah, we did it!  We were triumphant. I emailed the documents to our contacts in Italy.

But alas, the day before our flight we were informed by our contact in Italy that the San Francisco consulate had made a clerical error.  We would need to attempt to resubmit all the paperwork in Naples, and it was still no guarantee that we could have a legal wedding ceremony.

Carmella, one of our fantastic Italian wedding planners, moved heaven and earth, arranged a driver, an interpreter liaison to the government, two trips to Naples, and two trips to cigar shops to purchase 3 stamps to make it happen.

Once in Naples, we waited with bated breath as Bruno, one of our Italian team members, sped through the city on his motorcycle with our paperwork. It needed to go from one government building to another.

You see, the government offices handling paperwork have very limited hours and are open on different days of the week.

Bruno returned, “Great News,” he declared, “This is a miracle, there was seven minutes to spare!”



Many thanks to the Italian Scavenger Hunt Team: Cory Morgan, Kendall Griffin, Alix Black, Michelle Meng, Bruno Sacchi, Carmella Cearano, Claire Taylor, and Efisio (our Mario Andretti of Naples).


Why Italy you might ask.  Italy was the most romantic place that Dan could think of.  Despite the required Great Italian Scavenger Hunt, I must agree.  Getting married in Positano Italy was exquisitely beautiful and steeped in romance.

You’re all formally invited to see the rest of our wedding photos at