Marry Me In Tuscany is evolving…

For many years Marry Me In Tuscany has been my baby, I have nurtured it and let it grow into a well respected business which has allowed me over the years to meet and work with some amazing people from all over the world,  some of whom have remained fast friends and for that I shall be eternally grateful.

I really did enjoy my time in Tuscany, considering I set out to stay for a couple of years I did well creating a business from an idea and living and working in the some of most beautiful breath taking places on the planet for the last 12 years.

But now it’s time for me to move on to a new chapter in my life,  new projects and a brand new country to play in. Lots of wonderful things have happened to me in the past two years, I re-connected with my first true love and high school sweetheart Roger and although we had been separated for 30 years a chance email and months of chatting and texting led to a cute meet in Rome “the Eternal city of love”  where  love was definitely in the air and we both knew that we never wanted to let the other one go again.

And so, last year I moved to Canada and the wedding planner finally got to plan her own wedding!  😉

We were married  in March this year and I can truly say I have never been happier. I now know how all my brides have felt as they say “I do” to the one they want to spend the rest of their life with. I’m sure some of you would like to see the evidence, so here are a few photos from our big day from our fab photographer, Jayme Morrison and  if you’d like to see more, they can be found on her blog  😉

 

Marry me in T uscany Founder Jackie Bradshaw, Wedding planner, Wedding Planner Tuscany.
Roger & Jackie – Just Married! 😉

Marry me in Tuscany founder Jackie Bradshaw, Wedding planner Tuscany

Marry Me in Tuscany founder Jackie Bradshaw, wedding planner Tuscany
A small intimate fun wedding at home.

It is with some sadness but also a lot of joy  that I’m handing over Marry Me In Tuscany to Hewelin Vanni. I know it will be in very capable hands and will continue to grow and evolve with her at the helm. Hewelin has many years experience working in the event industry and has helped me in the past with some fabulous weddings. I know that couples looking to get married in Tuscany will be in very capable hands.

I’d like to take the opportunity of thanking everyone for making Marry Me in Tuscany a success, I truly couldn’t have done it without my dedicated team of suppliers, helpers, friends and family and of course to all the Brides and Grooms, all you fabulous couples that chose to get married in Tuscany and asked me to help you. It was so much fun and half the time with many of you didn’t seem like work at all!

Hewelin I wish you every success as you embark on your adventure with Marry Me In Tuscany, I  know that you will continue to offer a very high quality personal service to couples with the same spirit that I set out with all those years ago.

Jackie x

Marry Me In Tuscany Loves….Celebration Invitations

Here at Marry Me in Tuscany as destination wedding planners we very rarely get involved with helping couples choose their wedding stationery, but it’s an important part of the wedding, it sets the tone of how the event will be, colour schemes, and information about the wedding. With destination weddings it’s so important to send out save the dates, guests that you really want to be at your wedding need a little advance notice so they can plan their trip and also save the pennies for your special day. I’ve known Helen from Celebration Invitations for a while now and just love her work as I’m sure you will too, so with out further adieu I’ll hand you over to Helen so she can give you the low down on current trends and the vast choice available to you for your wedding stationery.

Hi I’m Helen from Celebration Invitations  I’m the owner of  Celebration Invitations based in the Yorkshire Dales in the North of England where we produce bespoke stationery for any celebration and specialize in Wedding Stationery.   This year we have had some great requests from couples the most recent being Natalie and Joe for 2015 requesting an explosion box wedding invitations.

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Natalie and Joe
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Natalie and Joe

You’ve heard it before many times I know, your wedding invitations will give your guests a glimpse of what they are to experience on your big day, I think Natalie and Joe’s guests must be really excited. An extremely bespoke invitation including, the invitation, a gift poem, and RSVP card and self addressed envelope with Vintage Roses, Hydrangea’s, and cotton lace. The colours to be expected on the day – Light grey and pink, this delicate soft colour combination works so well together.
It’s good to stay on trend but who wants their wedding to be just like the next persons, so here at Celebration Invitations we will discuss any options you would like us to follow.

Many couples including Brad and Angelina have got their kids involved as we saw with their children drawings on Angelina’s veil  it’s a great way to include the children and make them feel part of the celebrations and preparations for the big day, here’s one of this years invitations designed by the children in the family. Tom emailed their drawings over and we incorporated them into their stationery as he requested.

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Tom and Tracey chose the popular brown kraft pocketfold invitation but please remember your postage costs which are now based not only on weight but also on the thickness of the contents. I wonder if this is why we are getting more requests for the folded card with maybe one information card to be included which could be printed on both sides like Jayne and Paul?

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This Scripta Invitation is a timeless classic  which can be colour coordinated with your Wedding theme, Anniversary or Vow Renewal using some of our fabulous ribbons. It could be used for both Day and Evening guests with the appropriate wording used on the insert. It is available in Opal, Ice white and Quartz pearlescent card and a ribbon of choice.

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Then I couldn’t resist and had a little play with it and added a pocket, and some embossing and of course a little bling!

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We offer a full range of stationery from ‘Save the date’ through to  ‘Thank you’ cards, we’re  a kind of one stop shop, including, guest books,table plans,place names, table numbers, menus, handmade truffles for favours or gifts, Order of service, confetti cones, biodegradable dried petals and baskets to put them in so you don’t have to go looking around from one company to another to complete the look you’re after. We deliver anywhere in the UK and are happy to discuss posting abroad.
It’s a good idea if your marrying abroad to send out Save the date cards in good time, perhaps the year before if you can, so guests are able to plan ahead both financially and to book time off work.

Here are a few of examples of ‘Save the date’ cards  used by two couples, their stationery coordinated throughout.

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Abi and Thomas  –  Photographer http://heidimarfitt.co.uk/

 

However recently, we had  two couples who wanted something different and  although all their Wedding Day and ‘On the Day’ stationery co-ordinated they chose to use their wedding photos for their Thank you cards.

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Catherine and Matthew

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Photographer https://www.facebook.com/lauragracephotos

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I hope this  shows you how versatile we are at Celebration Invitations. You can make your stationery  as unique as yourselves, limited only by your imagination. Here are a few more images to give you a flavour of what we could do for you.   You can find more information on our website www.celebrationinvitations.co.uk and you can contact us at info@celebrationinvitations.co.uk  and we’d love you to like us over on our page on Facebook  by clicking on this link.

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Real Wedding – Rebecca & Andy – Cortona

Marry Me In Tuscany was delighted to be the wedding planner for Rebecca and Andy who got married in beautiful Cortona in September 2012. Cortona was once an important Etruscan centre, Cortona and is perhaps now best known for the book and movie  “Under the Tuscan Sun”, which put it firmly on the list of top 10 places to visit in Tuscany.

It’s a quaint town with lots of churches, museums, bars and restaurants and is perched high on a hilltop and on a clear day you have the most amazing views of Lake Trasimeno and the valley below. There are lots of wonderful places close by to explore, Perugia, Arrezzo and the Val di Chiana, Pienza, Montepulciano and of course Siena isn’t too far away.

But back to the wedding, Rebecca and Andy choose a beautiful villa complex so that all their friends and family could stay together and enjoy a week’s holiday together. The morning of the wedding, I rolled up with the caterer to transform the poolside area into the dining area for the wedding breakfast and for the bar and dancing late into the night.

The wedding ceremony took place inside the medieval town hall which has imposing steps and a Romeo & Juliet balcony sadly not the one the two lovers used but couples can have their photos taken there after the wedding ceremony.

After the wedding they had their cocktail hour in the piazza so that they could go off with Andrea Pitti their wedding photographer and get some fabulous photos and their guests could soak up the atmosphere of this wonderful medieval city whilst being serenaded by Sara the harpist who had also played during the wedding ceremony.  Then it was time to head back to the villa to relax and enjoy the wonderful food prepared by the caterer.

Rebecca chose a gorgeous 50s style tea length dress and she looked absolutely stunning. As you can see from the photos below they had a wonderful fun time.

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Thanks for letting me be part of your special day.

JX

 

 

 

 

 

 

Real Wedding – Laura & Ben – Torrita di Siena

As a wedding planner in Tuscany we’re always looking for unique places where you can get married other than the local town hall. Don’t get me wrong some of the town halls aren’t too shabby  especially when you think of the beautiful Palazzo Publicco in Siena or the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence.  Laura and Ben got married just over 2 years ago in Torrita di Siena a small quaint little hill top town about 25 miles south of Siena.  Torrita di Siena also has a famous Palio race in March – the Palio dei Somari which is a rather fun donkey race.

There have been days when I’ve been there that the only thing you see wandering the streets is a local cat although of course the bar in the centre of town is always a hive of activity!  So if you’re looking for a beautiful sleepy Tuscan village with a magnificent place to get married then Torrita di Siena may well be the place for you.

Laura, Ben and I went to the town hall for their pre wedding declaration and when we asked to see the wedding room (the Mayor’s office) we were also told that it’s possible to get married on the stage in the Teatro di Oscuri which is right next door to the town hall. When the doors we’re opened for us to take a peek, as our eyes adjusted to the light each of us gasped in amazement, this small theatre dating back to the 1800s with it’s balconies, booths and plush velvet seats all beautifully restored. Laura & Ben decided instantly that they had to get married here, a no brainer really! They decided not to tell there guests and so on the day of the wedding the guests were suitably surprised as the wooden doors were opened for them to go in.

Laura and Ben took centre stage and were married under the spotlights and as they were pronounced untied in matrimony took their first kiss as many leading men and women have done in the past on those very same boards.

After the ceremony we hopped over to the local bar for a few drinks before, Laura and Ben and guests headed back  to the villa they had rented for a BBQ that their friends had organized for them.

Thank you for letting me be part of your special event.

Jackie x

 

Marry Me In Tuscany loves …Lucio – Le Fiabe di Lucio

As a Destination wedding planner in Tuscany I sadly don’t normally get involved with helping a bride to find her perfect dress and only see the breath taking gowns in the flesh either as I’m running them to the Lavanderia to be pressed pre wedding or on the morning of the wedding usually hanging up all ready for the bride to step into it and look utterly gorgeous. So you can imagine how delighted I was when I got invited to meet wedding gown designer Lucio Antonucci from  “Le Fiabe di Lucio”  (Lucio’s fables) and visit him at his studio, which is located just a stone’s throw away from the famous Ponte Vecchio in Florence.

I first met Fabio his marketing manager on the famous bridge and we walked the short distance to meet the maestro, when the door to his studio opened I was greeted by the sweetest, kindest man who welcomed me as an old friend made me a delicious strong Italian coffee and made me feel at home instantly. I felt as if I had known him for years as we chatted about his work and all things weddings.  I can see why brides would trust him with the most important decisions for their wedding, he’s fun and so easy and interesting to talk to that you can easily be swept away with the creativity which is buzzing in the room.

Lucio’s studio is like an Aladdin’s cave and there are so many wonderful things  to fest your eyes on it’s difficult to know where to begin… Lush fabrics are just about everywhere, the mannequins’ with dresses seemly ready for the bride to pop in for her next fitting and finished dresses hanging up just waiting to be collected for their grand entrance be it in a church or civil ceremony you just know that the bride is going to feel like a million dollars, the groom is going to be blown away with how wonderful she looks and the guests will gasp when they see her in her unique “Lucio” creation.  There are shoes, veils  and accessories and boxes and boxes of wedding goodies all beautifully arranged, I was like a kid in a sweetshop with all those tactile, yummy fabrics to touch and see and there was lots of oohing and ahhing coming from me during my visit.

Lucio Antonucci, is a designer of Haute Couture, high end  totally unique wedding dresses, no two designs are ever the same and his wedding gowns are almost etheral, so light and playful, just perfect for a hot summer’s day wedding in Tuscany. He works closely with the bride to come up with the perfect wedding gown for the occasion and then sews them all by hand, a true labour of love and as you can see from the images below there are some truly gorgeous creations.

As I left Lucio he gave me a wonderful little gift of a black feather brooch which will no doubt make many appearances at future weddings and something that I will cherish for a long time to come.
Thank you Lucio for giving up your morning to give me a glimpse of your wonderful Haute Couture world, now all I need is a bride who would like one of Lucio’s wonderful gowns so they have a truly Tuscan wedding.

JX

Real Wedding – Martin & Dawn – Villa Cini

Marry Me in Tuscany was delighted to be the wedding planner for Martin & Dawn’s relaxed fun wedding which they held at Villa Cini near Bucine which is located about 20 minutes south of Siena. Their brief was “somewhere really chilled out where everyone could stay and they could self cater their wedding as they and their friends loved cooking ;-)”.

The villa was the perfect location for them and their family and friends who would spend a week together relaxing and having various events between the various villas and the wedding mid week. Villa Cini has lots of spaces which work brilliantly for a wedding, the garden in front of the villa is perfect for a symbolic wedding ceremony and the pool area lends itself very well for the aperitivo or BBQ pool party and in front of villa Casanova which is located behind Villa Cini is just perfect for the wedding dinner and after dinner dancing. There is also Villa Vanneschi which completes the villas which form part of the property, which is located across the road and also has it’s own private swimming pool  and could be another great venue for a dinner during the weeks stay to mix things up a bit.

I must admit that I was a little nervous when Martin and Dawn said that they and their friends would self cater, I know from past experience when friends and family think it’s a marvellous idea while your planning the wedding in the winter but once out in the summer sun in Tuscany with lots of places to visit, wine to drink, food to eat and a good time to be had lazing beside the pool with a chilled white wine quite often the bride and groom are left disillusioned and very stressed about the work involved that they have been left to do….happy to say that this wasn’t the case – Dawn & Martin clearly knew everyone really well and their guests happily mucked in, making and hanging paper pom poms for the trees, countless dishes or delicious home cooked food, plates of cold cuts and cheeses for the wedding buffet which we laid out in the main dining area of Villa Casanova, painting signs with the order of the day, directions for where things would be taking place and the betting board for the first dance song, hanging fairy lights and bunting for the dance area and generally having a great time while they did it.

We brought in hired, tables, chairs, plates, cutlery and glasses from a local catering firm which meant that after the wedding no one had to don the rubber gloves as it all goes back dirty major result which means everyone could let their hair down and have a really good time and that’s exactly what they did.

And to finish the dinner off Martin and Dawn donned their aprons and straw hats and set up their “Gelato” Station which was a great success. Being in the music business Martin sent me a huge list of equipment to hire for the party after the wedding and persuaded his friends “Human Live” to come out and join the festivities and play a little set for them and then the DJs in the party kicked it up a notch and if there wasn’t enough food, pizza was served late into the night.  A great time was had by all.

Thank you Martin & Dawn for asking me to be part of your special day, your wedding is one of the weddings that still make me smile and was a truly lovely event, made even more special by Martin’s dad being able to join them to help celebrate, something which at times we all thought wasn’t going to be possible.

JX

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marry Me In Tuscany loves Ballooning in Tuscany

I love my job as a wedding planner, in September I was contacted by Maryse from Ballooning in Tuscany asking me if I would be interested in proposing balloon flights to my couples and their friends and family that come out to Tuscany for their wedding.  Would I ever!! Hot air ballooning has for as long as I can remember been on my bucket list so when Maryse invited me to take a flight over Tuscany I just jumped at the chance. So one day in early October I left Siena with my friend Silvia to drive down to Montisi where the balloon launch site is.  As we all gathered excitedly in the field waiting for the ballooning in Tuscany team to unload the basket and the envelope we were all giddy like school kids going on a school trip.

With expert precision they inflated the hot air balloon first with cold air and then put the burners on to heat the envelope up and as it started to fill the basket flipped upright..brilliant!  October is the end of the season as the weather can be a little temperamental and as there was a big black cloud lurking our captain Chris did some final weather checks to see if we would be able to go up, as a great believer in the sun dances and positive thoughts for the weather we all blew the clouds away and we were able to climb into the basket there were 16 of us on this flight so there were 4 of us in each compartment of the balloon with Chris in the middle flying the balloon and with a blast of gas we finally took off. The balloon lifted so gently off the ground and gained height a group of walkers had stopped to watch so we bid them farewell and headed off on our adventure.

Ballooning really does give you a birds eye view of the countryside and as we floated over Montisi you could almost touch the roof tops.. we saw wild life wild boar running through the woods, deer and rabbits and with the changing colour of the trees we got to see autumn from a very different angle.

I always imagined that it would be windy up there but Chris explained that you only feel the wind when you are changing direction and it’s true there was a calmness in the balloon that was so peaceful just you and the wind taking you on an adventure where you hardly feel like your moving. It was exhilarating!

After drifting over the countryside and spotting wild boar and deer and almost peeping into people’s homes we made it over the Siena-Bettole Road and came down to the smoothest landing – I think I can safely say now that the landing was the thing that had worried me the most, images of the basket tipping, and various other things had gone through my head with the possible scenarios of what I would do if that happened… with their expert team I think I can safely say that we were all in very safe hands and that I have an imaginative mind… 😉 I guess I wouldn’t be good at my job if I didn’t do the what ifs?? 😉

We drove back to the launch site and were greeted with a lovely breakfast buffet of cold cuts, cheese and of course a well deserved glass or two of bubbly to celebrate our unique experience of ballooning in Tuscany.

I really can’t think of a better way to finish off or start your wedding celebrations in Tuscany than taking a balloon flight with your new husband/wife or of course you could hire out the whole balloon and take the wedding party up there and if you wanted somewhere totally unique for a small symbolic wedding, why not take a wedding celebrant with you and exchange your wedding vows in the clouds with glorious views as far as the eye can see.

Thank you so much Maryse for fulfilling one of my dreams and for such a wonderful morning floating above Tuscany.

JX

 

Just a few photos of our fabulous balloon trip with Ballooning in Tuscany.. to whet your appetite..