One extremely hot and sunny day in July, Marry Me In Tuscany was the wedding planner for this beautiful outdoor wedding on the Tuscany/Umbria border for a beautiful outdoor wedding in this fantastic villa.
Alina & Bill had chosen this wonderful villa for a small intimate wedding, which was to take place in the gardens at 6pm with close friends and family coming from America and Italy to spend a week together.
July is so hot in Italy that it’s well worth considering a late wedding to avoid the full heat of the sun, nothing worse than melting guests or god forbid a fainting bride or groom!
However this does means that when setting up an outdoor wedding the florists and the wedding planner do have to brave the blazing heat and unforgiving sun in order to have everything perfect for when the guests arrive and the bride makes her entrance.
In choosing the flowers for the wedding ceremony we took our lead from this pretty bridesmaid dress with a blue hydrangea on the huge blue bow on the back of the dress which Alina had chosen for her cute daughter to wear. Alina wanted something elegant and beautiful and so we decided on white flowers with a touch of blue to compliment the dress.
They decided that they didn’t want a traditional arch (which aren’t actually traditional in Italy) so we came up with this wonderful idea of using silver galvanized buckets filled with white hydrangeas tied to the chairs with a blue ribbon.
And at the top of the aisle and the each side of the wedding table, which we’d borrowed from the villa, we placed shepherd hooks and hung balls of hydrangea and carnations, again tied with a blue bow.
And to finish off the whole look we put lots of rose petals down to give the aisle definition.
I’m sure you’ll agree that the overall effect was stunning, part of the fun of organizing weddings is coming up with ideas for the wedding flowers projects for couples who are thousands of miles away, working with creative florist makes this process both easy and fun and having worked with Carla & Silvia for years I know that they will always surpass the wildest dreams of the couples getting married, with a touch of Italian magic.
Whenever I look at these photos I still smile from ear to ear and remember the beautiful emotional wedding ceremony for this fabulous couple, which took place in this wonderful setting.
A Catholic religious wedding ceremony for Andrew & Karina in Monteriggioni, a beautifully preserved medieval Tuscan hill top town was the brief for Marry Me In Tuscany.
After lots of emails and having spoken to them on the phone to get an idea of what their dream wedding would be I set about putting a list of potential venues together for them so they could come up with a short list of ones that they would like to visit.
Like lots of couples, Andrew and Karina came out to meet up with me and to visit some venues, and suppliers and the local English speaking priest. On a cold winter’s day we headed off to the first venue that I had recommended for them, Il Piccolo Castello in Monteriggioni, they liked it so much that they decided that they didn’t need to see any more always lovely to know that I’ve picked up the essence of what the couples are looking for and great that Andy was so decisive!
We then headed off to visit with the priest, I always think that if you are having a religious wedding ceremony it’s a good idea to meet up with the priest who is going to marry you, makes the ceremony so much more personal. But maybe I got that wrong this time, unfortunately a slight spat between Karina’s dad Willie and the priest meant that they weren’t too happy for him to marry them so the search was on for another priest.
Andy & Karina headed back to Ireland and I continued the search for a priest that would be willing to marry them. Finding English speaking priests can be like finding a needle in a haystack, there aren’t too many of them and after a few false starts and lots of comedy moments….I found Don Angelo who said that he would be delighted to marry them and so with a sigh of relief we moved onto the finer details of the wedding.
Karina had found a photo in one of the bridal magazines, which used peacock feathers in the bouquet and as the bridesmaid’s dressers were a fabulous peacock blue I spoke to the florist and with a twist of Italian flair they produced this amazing bouquet for Karina. And not to be out done a gorgeous button hole for Andy and the men.
Some of the family arrived early to enjoy the build up to the wedding and then 35 guests arrived the day before the wedding, I had arranged transport for them to bring them from Pisa airport so they didn’t have to worry about driving on the wrong side of the road, or getting lost, we’d arranged an informal BBQ the night before the wedding, where high spirits ensued and the groom was nearly dumped unceremoniously in the pool, fortunately Karina came to his rescue and sent them all to bed!
There were a few thick heads the following morning when I turned up with the hairdresser, Andy kept appearing and then heading back to bed, meanwhile all the girls and mums were getting their hair done and getting ready.
As Il Piccolo Castello is just outside Monteriggioni we’d arranged for a bus to come and pick them up and then a shuttle mini bus to take them up to the town itself, well when you’re wearing high heels the last thing you want to do is climb a hill to a wedding!
Weddings in Monteriggioni take place in the beautiful little church in the main piazza, Santa Maria Assunta which is a simple Romanesque church, but stunning all the same.
And so the fun began, after decorating the car, I headed up to the church to wait for the guests to arrive and for Karina and her dad to arrive in the cute vintage VW beetle they had chosen for the wedding car. The pianist started to play and the soprano started singing and Karina made her grand entrance in to the church, which had been decorated with the most amazing floral displays created by my talented florists.
And how about these for pew ends..
Andy & Karina bought these wonderful Candles with them for the wedding ceremony which they had had made specially for them in Ireland.
And so with the wedding ceremony over, the newly weds headed out into the sun to have some photos taken, and I started dismantling the flowers from the church to take back to the hotel, I was just lifting the flowers from the altar, something I know you shouldn’t do as they are supposed to be left as a gift, but I’m a northern girl so like to make sure that my clients get the full benefit of everything, when Don D crept up, so I made it looked like I was repositioning them, I think he was eying the rest but too but I was way too quick for him and had already loaded them into the van…;-D
And a little stroll round the town…
Before heading off back to Il Piccolo Hotel for the aperitivo and a scrumptious dinner..
Where Andrea captured this wonderful photo of Karina with the playful water fountains in the pool.
After dinner in the veranda, the tables were cleared and the craic began, with dancing to Guty and Simone the greatest wedding singers in Tuscany, we were all having such a great time, that it was difficult for Andrea the photographer and Simone the videographer and I too leave… in fact we were dragged on to the dance floor to enjoy the fun, till the wee small hours…..Irish weddings I love them!
And to finish how about this wonderful shot of Andy and Karina with Monteriggioni in the background, I think you’ll agree it’s the perfect location for a church wedding, it’s certainly top of my list.
Casey & Phil chose Castellina in Chianti as their wedding destination, and they asked Marry Me In Tuscany to be their wedding planner.
I first met up with Phil, Casey, Jackie, Charlie (Casey’s mum & dad) and Bob & Jo (Phil’s mum & dad) as seen in the photo above, at Dievole their chosen wedding venue and then we set off to view potential wedding venues for the civil ceremony. We dashed from Radda in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti and Siena stopping on the way for a long lunch and at the end of the day over a glass of Novecento back at Dievole they decided that Castellina in Chianti was the place for them, more relaxed, more low key than Siena but nothing was low key for their wedding!
Emails continued, they all came out several times before the wedding, to finalize details and Jackie took these opportunites to bring out cases full of things for the wedding which she left in storage at Dievole for the big day ranging from butterflies to decorate the marquee, games for the children, a tea set for the table decorations and fans for all the ladies. It was lovely to see that the grooms parents were included in all decision and they were all thoroughly enjoying being involved in the planning of their childrens’ wedding.
The week of the wedding and over 90 guests arrived at various stages to enjoy the pre-wedding barbeque and wine tasting tour that was organized for them. Everyone was in very high spirits and were all determined to have a great time. They had exclusive use of Dievole so there were no worries of upsetting other guests with their high spirits and late nights.
After the verbal hearing I went back to Dievole and helped Jackie make the bombonieri (bags of sugared almonds) for the ladies, and to drop off the bag of small Chianti bottles I’d got for them for the men.
The day of the wedding arrived, the hairdresser arrived and as Casey had already had a trial on a previous visit he set to work on Casey and the bridesmaids and the mums, all very relaxed, Andrea the photographer arrived and started capturing those important preparation moments, and I decorated the car, a beautiful Austin Healy which Charlie had driven down from England especially for the occassion.
The flowers arrived, Casey had chosen these beautiful Picasso calla lillies with lavender.
Jackie and her friend started to put together the table centre pieces using the tea cups as the holders for the flowers. The finished result was amazing.
The bus arrived to take Phil and all the guests to the wedding, and all the ladies were given fans to keep them cool in the heat as they boarded the bus. Meanwhile back in Casey’s room, Charlie was giving Casey some dutch courage! The bottle was passed round and we all had a slug of the hard stuff.. 😉
And then it was time to go, I love this photo of Casey and her mum Jackie going down the stairs, Casey looks like she can’t wait to get there!
And so we all arrived in Castellina in Chianti, weddings here take place in this beautiful Castle (the Rocca).
These page boys though were more interested in the lizard that was basking in the sun than Casey making her entrance into the piazza in the Austin Healy…
Phil’s brothers were the ushers and as the room is small they effectively marshalled all the guests up to the Sala del Capitano for the wedding ceremony and then Casey and her dad and the final guests made their way up the stairs…
As you can see from the next photo, the room was packed to the rafters with friends and family who had come to witness Casey and Phil get married in Tuscany, a wonderful atmosphere for a very special couple.
After the wedding ceremony, Casey & Phil went up to the roof top with their guests to enjoy the view over the Tuscan country side and have a few photos taken..
And then it was on to the bar in the centre of Castellina in Chianti for a few beers and some light snacks.
Then it was time for all the guests to get on the bus and head back to Dievole and for Phil to drive Casey back in the Austin Healy, the plan was that we would stop on the way for some photos, but the best laid plans of mice and men meant that we found Casey and Phil back at Dievole tucking into some chilled wine, way to much fun on your wedding day, so we whisked them off into the vineyard for some quick shots.
They headed back before the guests arrived so they would be there to greet them.
Everyone then tucked into the aperitivo organized on the lawn in front of the villa accompanied by an accordian and mandoline which added the Tuscan touch to the festivities.
A dip in the pool for some guests proved a good way to cool down before dinner Casey and Phil disappeared only to reappear moments later on the balcony for an impromptu photo opp they even looked like royalty up there..!
A delicious dinner created by resident chef Enzo was washed down by Dievole’s own wines Novecento is my personal favourite, rich and fruity and then to finish the wedding cake made of cheese, with a selection of knives to cut it!
The fun then continued with dancing to the fab wedding duo Guty & Simone, and in the very early hours of the morning everyone headed off to bed after a wonderful day, another successful Marry Me in Tuscany event.
Phil & Casey now have a beautiful daughter called Siena, and hope to come back to Tuscany later this year to show her the city after which she was named.
Certaldo Alto is a great place for a wedding, and this is where Lorraine & John decided to hold their civil wedding in Tuscany. They asked Marry me in Tuscany to be their wedding planner when I first met them when they came over to check the venue they had chosen. On a bright sunny day in April we sat chatting easily about the wedding over a glass of wine with John’s brother Mick and his wife Kay, I knew instantly that it was going to be great fun working with them.
John and Lorraine had been together for years and have a son Ryan and had decided that the time was right for them to get married and they wanted a small family event. They chose Tenuta Quadrifoglio in Gambasse Terme as their base for the week, where everyone could stay together. Quadrifoglio is a beautiful agriturismo (farm holiday) which has a lovely villa which is rented out for the day of the wedding, fabulous gardens for the aperitivo and terrace for after dinner dancing and drinking, and great staff too!
When I meet couples I always like to know how they see their wedding, what their hopes and dreams are for their special day and then get all the elements together to make sure that the day is even better than they imagine. Lorraine and John wanted a wedding that was relaxed but elegant but above all fun.
With the excuse of the impending wedding, John, Lorraine, Mick and Kay made several trips out to Tuscany and so I got to know them really well after visiting suppliers and finalizing details we could generally be found drinking in a bar in a piazza and having a great laugh.
Lorraine had her wedding favours made and shipped out from England, a large very light box arrived at home some weeks before and on the day of the verbal hearing, DISASTER!!! I bent down to pick it up to take it with me and bang went my back….of all the times you need that to happen, but strong pain killers are a wonderful thing and being a tropper I carried on as if nothing had happened and went to meet John & Lorraine, for the pre-wedding preparations.
The day of the wedding arrived and the whole show swung into action, Kay the make-up artist flew out from England and did a wonderful job doing the hair and make-up for Lorraine, the bridesmaids and the mums, the florist arrived and set to making the tables look wonderful, and deliver the beautiful bouquet of white calla lillies, the bridesmaids bouquets and buttonholes and corsages including one for me too! Andrea the photographer came and started snapping away and then the car arrived a beautiful Alvis TA21 in cream and brown which matched the colour scheme for the wedding perfectly.
And so the convoy set off for Certaldo, as Certaldo Alto is so small it’s not possible for everyone to drive up and park their car so we decided to leave the cars at the bottom and take the funicular up to the top, as we were parking the cars, Lorraine shot past in the Alvis, didn’t think that they could go that fast and they’d left 30 minutes after us. A quick chat with the driver slowed things down so that John could get up to the old town before her while I got 25 guests through the turnstile and onto the funicular for the short trip to the top.
With everyone in place the wedding started, I always like to look at the groom’s face when the bride comes in and the delight on John’s face was captured beautifully.
Wedding ceremonies in Certaldo Alto take place in the courtyard of the Palazzo Pretorio and with the sun shining John and Lorraine finally tied the knot in front of their families accompanied by a classical guitarist.
And so with the deed done, it was time to relax and have some fun, John was so happy that he did a little jig with his brother and best man Mick, much to the amusement of all present.
The guests got into the spirit of things too and thoroughly enjoyed having this photo taken…
Certaldo Alto is so pretty that it’s an absolute must to have some photos taken around the small town, so with the guests happily having a much needed drink in a local bar we took John & Lorraine off to get some shots..
And with great views over the valley below it’s the perfect location if you want to avoid the big cities.
As John & Lorraine had chosen such an amazing car for their wedding we couldn’t resist taking them off and getting some shots with it.
After the photo shoot we headed back to Quadrifoglio stopping on the way to put the roof on the Alvis as Lorraine was getting Bridget Jones hair, they were greeted with cheers and then it was time for some much needed bubbles and the aperitivo in the garden.
And some more photos where John & Mick had some fun with the hammock!
So on to dinner a veritable feast laid on by the Quadrifoglio in house caterers, the food and wine were delicious and I was honored to be invited and treated as one of the family. The beautiful table arrangements brought everything together perfectly.
After the hilarious speeches, we retired to the terrace for the cutting of the wedding cake and dancing, I finally crawled into bed in the early hours of the morning, happy that another perfect wedding had gone smoothly and that John and Lorraine had had a brilliant day and that they and all their family would go home with wonderful memories.
The following day I sneaked out early to head over to Casole D’Elsa where Claire and Stephen were waking up and getting ready to celebrate their wedding..
Lorraine, John, Mick and Kay are coming back out to Siena this summer for the Palio and I can’t wait to see them again!