“Some people are blessed with an inner light which shines so brightly that it is almost too difficult to look in their direction…”
This was Baxter’s initial thought as a journalist on meeting Linzi for the first time when sent to interview her during a preliminary competition for the Miss America association.
His initial impression was not altered as he watched her walk towards him during their wedding blessing ceremony, held on the terrace of the world famous Villa del Balbianello.
When their relationship began, Linzi saw a photograph of Baxter sitting on a bench alone by the silent waters of Lake Como. Seeing this image made Linzi realise that her true place was not only beside these romantic shores to keep Baxter company.. but to remain faithfully by his side forever..
This was one of the main reasons they decided upon such a stunning lakeside location in which to publicly declare a private sentiment. As they remembered the day their stars aligned, the Native American Indian traditional importance of ‘going to the water’ as an act of purification and blessing was re-enacted.
Ceremony and ritual have always been of central significance to this deeply spiritual ancient culture and Linzi and Baxter were passionate about honouring Baxter’s roots.
Sweetgrass signifies positivity, strength, connection to the Creator and relations. When braided, it represents love, peace and harmony in mind, body and spirit.
Home-grown sweetgrass, which was harvested and braided by Baxter’s Mother on Choctaw land in Oklahoma, was lit by Baxter’s brother Spencer to represent the purifying element of fire. Its sweet smoke sanctified the terrace space and ceremonial participants.
A quartz cluster, held and blessed previously by family and friends, was placed inside a copper pyramid by Linzi’s beautiful Grandma, Adrienne.
Words from Victor Hugo’s ‘Les Misérables’ read by Jennifer, Sister of The Bride, perfectly evoked the smouldering romantic and spiritual atmosphere:
“…it is the divine spark; like it, it is incorruptible, indivisible, imperishable. It is a point of fire that exists within us, which is immortal and infinite, which nothing can confine, and which nothing can extinguish.
We feel it burning even to the very marrow of our
bones, and we see it beaming in the very depths of heaven… “
Linzi, who is an extremely elegant model and actress, once played Éponine in a stage adaptation of this universally acclaimed work. The inclusion of this extract was a touching recognition of her talent.
As the heavenly smoke permeated the air and our senses, a collective acknowledgement of goodness and sacred wishes upon the couple were carried skywards. This formed a clear signal of happiness in marriage to those ancestors whose days upon the earth will never be forgotten.
The Bride and Groom chose to combine this profound moment by paying homage to Baxter’s Paternal Cherokee lineage through the “The Rite of the Seven Steps.”
With linked pinky fingers and mutual gazes which never faltered, each took seven steps in a sunrise direction around the pleasant sweetgrass aroma, while pledging promises of unwavering support, undying faith, patience, growth, respect and joy.
And with the crowning moment of artfully presented personalised vows, the destiny of two unique souls was celebrated under the one vast summer sky. Beauty, elegance and ancient ritual transported everyone to a place where only truth and inner goodness dwell.
These breathtaking images are reminiscent of a golden age of glamour and the protagonists shine even more because of the beauty of their inner beings and we are honoured to have been a part of their divine memory.
Photos courtesy of Jules-photographer
Original text by Diane Rossi – Copyright © Blessings From Italy BFI European Independent Celebrants ®