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Multiethnic wedding in Florence

This lovely couple contacted me in early January, they live in Uganda. She is American and he is Ugandan and this posed the biggest challenge for them to fulfil their dream of getting married in Tuscany. Benjamin had to travel many times to Kampala to be able to receive his certificate of capacity .  The process for Catherine was much easier as she could do all her paperwork here in Tuscany.
It also entailed many calls, Skype calls and WhatsApp calls between them, their French wedding planner and myself, often over bad lines. They had so much difficulty in getting their paperwork from Uganda, including when the certificate of capacity came through to Rome. My assistant had to travel to Rome in order to get it from the Ugandan embassy there. They issued an incorrect document and we had to request it to be done over twice! Finally, after having to send the text to the Embassy which should have appeared on the document, we received the third document and it was correct!

Mosaic on the Giardino Bardini
On the benches of the Giardino Bardini

When they arrived in Italy, they went to the tribunal to obtain their first Atto Notoria and then the document at the US embassy in Florence was easy to get. It was very important to Benjamin and Catherine that they receive their legal wedding certificate so that their union be recognised in both the United States and Africa and so all of this effort was worth it for them to achieve this goal.
Once they had their Nulla Osta legalised, they were ready for their pre-verbal the following afternoon. The day after was the day of the wedding.


They finally pronounced their vows to each other in a lovely ceremony on a sunny day in the beautiful Giardino Bardini in Florence, surrounded by their families from the US and Uganda. After so much effort to get all the documents (it really as a nightmare to get all of them), it truly was a joyful celebration of love! The couple mode then to the city center to take some picture close to the River Arno and the carousel of Piazza della Libertà: I really love this style and cannot be more happy to have worked again with Sebastian for this wedding in Florence!

Claudine and Paco Religious wedding in Tuscany

The first time I met Claudine and Paco, I had the strong sensation of when you meet a couple of friends. They are a young successful couple. She comes from Switzerland, he is from Peru and so we had no problem in speaking both Italian and Spanish with them, something that made me feel at ease from the first moment.
We had a look at 3 Villas and the last one was the perfect place for their romantic wedding. Being close to one of the most beautiful Romanic churches in Tuscany, it was easy for them to decide to get
married there.
The weekend started with a buffet party the night before in the courtyard of the Villa. All the guests helped themselves to the generous food and we had a suckling pig prepared just for us that people from every part of the world would have enjoyed – our Porchetta is world famous!!
The next morning, we went to the beauty centre for a manicure with the bride, where I got a fine on my car as I didn’t pay attention that the streets were going to be cleaned the same morning… 🙁 We
had a rushed trip back to the Villa for hair and makeup, getting the bride dressed and everyone ready and then finally proceeded onto the church.

Lovely light with vintage bulbs for the night setting

The couple chose rustic, elegant decorations for the church to match the gorgeous setting and let the beauty of the venue shine through. It was a touching ceremony with violin and trumpet music from
“The Italian wedding band”. Once back at the Villa, guests enjoyed an aperitif with Class Ricevimenti,

Table dinner
Table dinner
Cutting the cake

took advantage of the fun photo booth with props and the reception dinner started. The table was one long setting, with stunning décor from Agriflor and the most amazing single hung lightbulbs provided from Wedding Music and Lights which looked incredible once it got darker. Several courses were served, which is typical of Tuscan food, and a delicious millefoglie cake to cut for dessert.
Before we knew it, it was time for the first dance and just after, an epic battle with a Star Wars theme entertained all the guests. Open bar was organized by the professional Nicola of Eventin Exclusive Bar   who created a wonderful piece of furniture just for these guys but it was really worth the effort! I love love love this style!

The night was truly full of fun as the couple danced until 3am with all their guests, enjoying the cool Tuscan night. Of course this could have never happened without my great assistants, Claudia and Letizia who helped me during the whole day and also thanks to the wonderful job of Claudia and Luca of Rossini Photography, two of the most professional people I always love to work with. A huge thanks to them all for a perfect days that this couple will always remember!

 

 

Summer country wedding in tuscany

Last summer I was honored to celebrate a family wedding, one of the funniest I’ve ever had. Megan and Dillon chose to get married in Tuscany, in a beautiful Villa in Valdambra that Megan’s family has rented since she was a young girl. Their family and closest friends decided to join them for this happy event and it was a celebration that lasted 3 days, full of food and happiness!

Megan’s mom visited Tuscany in early December to meet with the caterer and view the church where the couple would be married. The family was delighted with the quantity of food prepared for them, so much so that they couldn’t finish even half of the meat! The Villa they choose is close to one of the most beautiful romanic churches of the area: Don Pierluigi recommended us and english speaking priest who helped Megan and Dillan in preparing their order of service giving hints for the readings too.

Time flew and before they knew it they were in Italy to start preparing their documents. After a few days spent in and out of offices to take care of the legalities,Megan and Dillon were ready to be married and their special day arrived. The couple rented a house in Valdambra for all the guests to stay. The ceremony was held in August in a stunning church with beautiful floral arrangements of olive tree foliage and white roses.

Once they came back to the Villa all the guests were having an aperitif and some yummy appetizers with a typical Tuscan aperitif al fresco.

Their day was full of sunshine, good food, happiness, friends and family and to round off an incredible time in Italy their wedding day ended with a disco until late into the evening.I’m sure their families will never forget this nice day in Tuscany! 

 

A real winter wedding in Florence

Have you just started planning your wedding in Tuscany, perhaps in Florence but have no idea of where  to start?? I’m sure this post will give you a lot of hints of what to do next.

Doesn’t matter where you come from, if you are british, you come from the Us, New zealand or Siena, simply ask a friend who got married there and when you start talking about document required they’ll all show the same face :”WHAAAT? Are you really going to do it all by yourself? No kidding, ..it will be a nightmare!!”

This is what most of the people are told when facing with italian bureaucracy. Speaking with some colleagues we always tell us about our stories in the different town halls ,with civil officer and while some of them are extremely helpful and try to make your couple feel relaxed even if they have no passport to show, most of them if not all:

1) don’t speak a single word of english and refuse to understand anything that doesn’t sound italian.

2) have no idea of what office hours are and can go for a coffee even 5 minutes before the ceremony begins  ( happened to me next May…)

3) can switch office, close the door to work without anybody else disturbing them and decide that all the papers you’ve prepared for the most important day of your life can wait until before the wedding day to be processed (if you don’t believe it have a look at this review)

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So with the lovely picture of this Christmas tree in the main square of Fiesole, think a lot before starting doing all the legal side by your own and above all start inquire for a good wedding planner!! Whan I received Alexandra’s email I thought, oh my God, the town hall will never accept a wedding on December 23rd but this exactly what they did!

Fiesole's terrazza
Fiesole’s terrazza
A kiss with a view
A kiss with a view

 

They arrived just a few days before in order t one able to get the doucemts at the American Embassy by the lungarno: once we had our precious declaration we headed straight onward to the town hall with my car: I was driving like a crazy to get there before 12am when the office close. I’m really lucky because the girls working there are fantastic and more important than this they are used to deal with couple arriving late due to the times of offices !!!

Anyway on the following day they got married inside the Council room as the chilly temperatures didn’t allowed us to stay outside . As they choose this lovely city the Deputy gave them tickets to visit the Roman Theatre who’s just a few steps far from the town hall. They got there with a couple of friends to take some pictures before heeding back to Via Tornabuoni where they had a lunch booked. The talented photographer, Sebastian Bonacchi was there to help them capturing this special moment and if you like to see more pictures just scroll down. I’m sure you will love his style and if you are thinking about getting married in Florence, Fiesole cold be the right choice for you! WEB - 152WEB - 142WEB - 134WEB - 121WEB - 109WEB - 089

Wedding tuscany – Casa Elena

First time I read an email from Kathy it was one year and a half before her wedding day: after a couple Skype calls she introduced my to her lovely mum who was the one who came first to Tuscany to select the right venue. She was really a big help and took care of every detail of the wedding even of the decorations, as Katy decided to fly to the Emirates to start her new career in a big company. dsc_0032

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wedding tuscany- hairdresser at work!
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wedding tuscany- bride hangers

After a couple of visits to different farmhouses with Kathy’s parent she came back to me with a decision, Villa Elena was the right place for their wedding tuscany. And so a long year and a half of planning started, with options for both a symbolic ceremony at the Villa and a civil one in the amazing townhall of Siena . Time flew by very quick and the big day approached fast so last details were decided directly at the bride arrival in Siena. Kathy had a busy working trip before getting to Tuscany so I didn’t want to stress her with some many details and just and a short meeting in the afternoon to finalize a couple of things.The following day was the big day: the sun was shining around the Chianti hills and everything looked perfect for the blessing in the garden. I took care of the flowers and decoration with the help of Kathy’s mum and when the bride came with her bridesmaids everything was ready for their moment:

As the Villa host a very famous restaurant the dinner was prepared by the house chef and was served by the pool. As the sun went down all the guests moved to the area inside for the dance. dsc_0165dsc_0171 dsc_0178dsc_0205

As the sun went down it was time to cut the cake and the bride that asked for an ice cream cart enjoyed her favorites gelato while some pictures where taken.

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I love every wedding I organize but this was special because I spent many many years of my life living just in front of Casa Elena so still keep good memories of these hills, their colors and their perfumes… Chianti Classico, such a nice place to have your perfect wedding!!

A huge thanks goes to Federico Pannacci www.fedepan.net for the hard work and great job he did with my couple… always a pleasure to work with you guy! 😉

Legal requirements for a civil wedding in Italy

Having to deal with italian bureaucracy is never easy, above all when you have to understand their way of work and don’t know a single word of italian….. this is what wedding planners are for. Your wedding planner should be able to guide you through the different steps of obtaining the legal requirements for your civil wedding before the “most important day of your life” gets closer.

I’ve had so many brides panicking after contacting Embassies, consulates and lawyer that it will take me a full day to write a post so I’ll just tell you about one I had in July: first time Sonia called me I was having another wedding . Of course told her to write me an email as I couldn’t help her in that moment but I was very curious as she was really crying hard at the telephone… so as soon as I came back home, late night, I had a look at my email and oh my God….! she was  going to get married in 2 months!! They choose one of the most romantic places in Chianti,  a church wedding with more than 100 guests and she had just discovered that she couldn’t do it because her husband already got married by the church in LA!!!

She was italian living abroad and her beloved had Dutch citizenship, living in London with her and still had not registered his divorce in Italy: looked like a hard work but at the end and after couple of visits to priests and local Curia office ( the church office dealing with documents in Italy), we were lucky to obtain the famous Dispensa Arcivescovile ( a kind of document issued by the Bishop) in time for the wedding. Of course this was just  the religious side: as they also wanted the wedding to have legal validity she had to go through the Italian Consulate in London to obtain the famous “Pubblicazioni” document and he had to do the same through the Dutch consulate in Rome to get his precious nulla-osta-olanda. Please, if you are thinking of doing the same be prepared to wait a minimum of 1 month as normally Consular documents can take from 1 to 4 months depending on the country of origin.

At the end the Italian Consular section was very kind and they sent all the papers to the townhall in Chianti in time for the wedding to take place but thinking about how stressful all the wedding process has been for the poor Sonia I’l highly recommend you to : 1) ask at least 8 months before the wedding what are the documents required for your country; 2) After confirming this with the townhall you are supposed to get married in, ask how much time in advance do they need the documents. 3) Investigate very well about the life of you husband to be 😉 This is something that even the best  wedding planner cannot help you to deal with!!!

Lots of love and kisses xx

Hewelin

PS should you have more doubts about legal requirements, my post Legal requirements for civil weddings in Italy is still good. I’m going to write a new one about other nationalities soon so stay tuned!

 

Wedding in a villa Chianti Classico

Everybody has in his life a certain number of places where you feel like at home: a summer house where you spent holidays when you wee a child, a nice garden where you used to play, a shop in which you only buy a certain kind of clothes ….. well, this wedding reminds me of a lovely period spent in one of the most romantic and lovely places of the world, Chianti also known by the english people as “chiantishire”monika-marcel-1094

 

It was’t difficult for Monika and Marcel to choose their final wedding venue once they tried the delicious menus prepared from the house chef: from salads made with organic vegetables to pastas and scrumptious meat paired with wine sauce, the coupe was delighted to start planning their dream day at Villa Delia.

The planning task was really easy as the bride already knew how the day had to be : something simple but elegant, in the middle of the country with the closest family and friends. They decided to get legally married in the townhall of Siena, then to have a symbolic ceremony back at the villa. We created a board on Pinterest where we could share ideas with our florist and then the idea of creating some decoration with fruits and flowers for the dinner appeared. It could have not been possible with the creativity of the bride who wanted something elegant and natural, so silver cups and tea pots, lots of season flowers and peaches were the main theme.

The ceremony was in the garden overlooking the valley under the shadow of an old oak tree:

After the ceremony all the people had an aperitif  in the small garden where all the guests enjoyed a glass of bubbles with some tuscan delicacies. The table for the wedding breakfast was set in the same spot of the ceremony with some country lights hanging from the trees: the dancing floor was in the main stables to allow the couple to dance the night away until very very late….! At this time I was luckily at home but I’ll remember this wedding as one of the best I’ve ever had in my life. If you like this wedding and want to see more pics from the talented Rossini Photography  just scroll down!! Ciao ciao Hewelin XXX

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