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!

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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MMIT present Adorn wedding invitations

Once  you’re decided for a destination wedding and found that Marry me in Tuscany is your wedding planner it’s time to start thinking about sending invitations!!

First step will be sending save the date cards: for all these couples planning a destination wedding this is really an important part of the process as it will give your guests the idea of the theme of your special day. Moreover they’ll know when and will start saving pennies for the big day a lot in advance!!!As destination wedding planners we are rarely involved with helping couples choose their wedding invitations but as professional “helpers” we are very often asked about help with theme or colors that will have to remind about the style of the venue, of the city or simply something typical of the region like here sunflowers or  olive branches.

I just had the opportunity of visiting a couple of wedding fairs in Italy and Uk  where I took some pictures of wedding invitations, from simple ones to very trendy

 

but one I really loved was this one in black and white paper with matching black bow around

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invitation brown lace

most of them like these are very elegant but to be honest I really like something more  coloured for this day like this romantic one with birds hidden under a paper tree laser cut sheet.

invitation cage brids

I just had the opportunity browsing my favorite app (Pinterest) to know Eloise from Adorn invitation  a company specialized in wedding invitations based in London who sent me the preview of a great work they’ve done for the famous actress of Ugly Betty and Desperate housewives, Vanessa Williams.

 

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Vanessa Williams and now-husband Jim Skrip first discovered Adorn Invitations on Pinterest whilst gathering wedding inspiration. The couple loved Adorn’s invitations so much that they got in contact with the London- based design company straight away to see if they could help create a custom invitation with matching wedding stationary.
The Adorn team took this as a great opportunity to showcase their full design abilities; and after gaining as much information and inspiration about the couple and their wedding details as possible, the team got straight to work. With the knowledge that Vanessa and Jim met in Egypt, and were therefore basing their wedding
theme around that exotic destination, Adorn compiled hundreds of colour, texture and pattern combinations to pitch to the couple. Mood boards were created and continuous samples were sent to the couple, along with endless amounts of back and forth communication, before coming to a final design decision.
Vanessa had shared so many of her wedding details with the Adorn team that they were able to match the couple’s wedding invitations perfectly to reflect the soon-to-be extravagant wedding. The laser cut design on the front of the invitation was a pattern replication from one of Vanessa’s wedding gowns, the theme colors of gold and Marsala complimented the flower centrepieces and table décor that were to be present on their special day, and the 14-carat gold plated lotus leaf that was hand-applied to every single invitation was designed to reflect the lotus leaf that Jim had incorporated in Vanessa’s personally designed engagement ring.
Adorn approach every custom design order with this amount of commitment; which is why regardless of the couple, their invitations are always strikingly unique! With the permission of many couples, Adorn have made some of their previous custom designs available to the public, which has added to their already impressive vast range of invitations. After working with so many different couples the Adorn team have mastered the art of predicting invitation trends, regardless of the time of year.
Outdoor weddings are always extraordinarily popular throughout Spring and Summer; with this in mind Adorn have created a range of stunning laser cut pockets that reflect glorious natural settings. These pockets then house inner cards with romantic floral designs in a range of different colours, or can frame a simplistic singular background colour. The Adorn team strive to impress their customer which is why they deem pop-up invitations as one of their favourite styles. Pop-up invitations are so intricate and unique that any guest receiving them will be blown away by the technique and effort that goes into producing every single one of these invites.
Another style that Adorn raves to be extremely popular is the combination of rustic themes with elegant metallic. Rustic weddings are suitable for any time of year, and can be celebrated in any form of venue – inside or out. Brown textured craft paper is an effortless way to add a rustic vibe to any invitation; the earthy colour
and texture is a perfect reflection of the countryside theme. Contrasting this carefree look with a classy foiled print, and vintage white lace-styled laser cut, really do prove that opposites attract!IMG_39612
Adding a 3D embellishment such as twine or ribbon will bring any invitation to the next level! Elements that encourage your guests to physically feel your invitation, rather than just look at it, are more likely to evoke their senses and expand their appreciation for the effort that you, and your designers, have gone to in creating such a beautiful piece of artwork.
Much Like Vanessa and Jim, the Adorn team know that modern couples want every single item of their wedding stationary to completely match. Continuity has never been more important throughout a wedding which is why Adorn have ensured that all of their invitations offer at least 12 matching accessory cards per invitation design. Keeping your wedding stationary matching looks professional, and allows one to leave a memorable impression of their wedding theme that guests are sure to never forget!

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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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

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..

 

 

Marry Me in Tuscany Loves – Don’t tell the bride

I’m happy to say that from my experience as a Destination wedding planner in Tuscany I’ve found that in recent years it’s been the groom that makes the first contact to ask for information about getting married here. Let’s face it we all have busy lives, and work, the home and social life can get in the way and the modern man is learning to take responsibility.

Once they have narrowed down several venues they will both come out and look at the potential venues and although the bride may have the final say they do talk to each other about the pros and cons of each venue according to their wish list and the guests that are coming to the wedding. During the planning process they then actively take joint decisions on what they want and divide up the individual elements so that each person has their role in creating their perfect day. Possibly a huge difference between weddings at home and weddings abroad is that both parties actively take part.

But as a romantic old softie and lover of all things to do with weddings I have to admit that I have become addicted to the BBC3 show Don’t Tell The Bride. The concept of the show is brilliant and the fact they are currently looking for couples to take part in Series 6 means that like me lots of people tune in to see whether the poor groom is going to pull off a wedding fit for his FW2B and if the B2B is going to throw her teddy out of the pram, she usually does, Fantastic TV!

For those of you how haven’t seen it, there is a couple, usually very strapped for cash and desperate to get married. The producers of the show Renegade Pictures give the couples £12,000 to spend on the wedding and in the presence of a solicitor they agree that they will have no contact for 3 weeks until the actual wedding day, so no phone calls, meetings, text messages oh and the groom gets to make all the decisions!

The thing that strikes me of all the couples on the show is that the girl that will openly tell the viewers that she wears the trousers, makes all the decisions, and generally thinks that the poor boyfriend has no clue about anything, pretty standard in a relationship I guess where us women think that there is only one way to skin a cat and that would be our way…thank you very much,,,but it does make you wonder why they’d  want to hand over the reins of organizing their most important day of their lives…but they do!

As one bride told her boyfriend before leaving, “don’t mess it up, it’s my day and you should make me happy” my jaw dropped but quick as a flash he replied “but it’s our day and we both should be happy” tearfully she replied “but if I’m happy you’re happy!” Absolutely no pressure then!

But I do think that quite often we ladies do forget that a wedding day is about 2 people becoming one, it’s a partnership and decisions should be made together, I love the Italian wedding ceremony as it focuses very much on the fact that you are a couple and decisions taken about your family life together should be made together, that you are both important in the relationship.

But back to the program! With a tearful goodbye, the bride generally moves out of the family home to stay with mum while the groom who is then joined by his best man sets about planning the wedding, which usually involving a trip to the pub and countless bottles of beer to pluck up the courage to face the task at hand of getting in touch with his feminine side and start planning the wedding.

The poor groom, who has often never been able to make a decision and probably has no idea about what the love of his life would want has to plan the wedding from scratch..but the thing I don’t understand is that if these girls have been planning their big day since they were little why don’t they share their ideas with their partner? To be honest it’s probably best that he hasn’t got a clue as he is then free to put his own stamp on the day and include his own personality rather than just turn up which is often the case in weddings organised solely by the bride.

The world is his oyster and he sets off to choose the venue, flowers, invitations, favors, cake, cars, hair & make up, colour scheme, entertainment, photographer, menus, his suit, hen and stag dos and most importantly the wedding dress, bridesmaids dresses shoes and accessories all in three weeks…god love him!

Meanwhile the bride is generally bitching about whether he’ll do a good job, looking at their dream location for the wedding which would probably blow the whole of the budget for the wedding alone trying on their perfect wedding gown and sobbing that if the dress he picks isn’t up to their liking then they’ll stamp their pretty little feet and refuse to wear it.

I know that it’s probably all part of the format of the show but why would you put yourself through all that…why would you go to a fancy smancy stately home when you know that you’re not going to get it, let alone afford it? And why oh why would you try on wedding gowns that are worth thousands of pounds when you want a wedding with a hundred guests and you have a budget of £12,000.. I know a girl can dream but I do think that some of these girls do need a bit of a reality check sometimes!

As the wedding day approaches the groom is often getting a little stressed bless him and having made the crack about becoming a professional wedding planner at the beginning of the program have come to the conclusion that there’s a lot of work involved in organising a wedding and they can’t wait to get back to work!

The feel good factor of the program is the wedding day itself, the poor groom is a nervous wreck usually rushing around putting the finishing touches to things, dropping off bridesmaid’s dresses and feeling sick with worry about whether she’s going to like everything he’s done. Generally they do and even surpass the expectations of the brides. Way to go boys! Many of the brides do admit that they probably wouldn’t have done such a good job. Hopefully they go into their new married life with a new respect for their partners and hand over some of the responsibilities that they so staunchly held onto before the groom showed what he was made of.

I take my hat off to all the grooms in the program and admire the girls that can admit that they did a fabulous job, and I love the girl that does the commentary her down to earth approach and funny comments make me laugh out loud. If you haven’t seen it then you must you’ll become hooked like me. It’s on BBC3 on Monday night at 8pm or like me you can catch it on BBCiPlayer.