Mariko & Peter’s wedding – Ponte Allo Spino

Mariko & Peter asked Marry Me in Tuscany to help them organize their lovely wedding in Siena. Mariko is Japanese and Peter is Australian both living in Tokyo so you can imagine the challenge I faced with the documents for them both.

As Peter was coming to Rome to do a Masters they’d decided that Tuscany and Siena was to be the place to bring all their family and friends from all over the world together for their wedding, a friend of theirs had stayed at and recommended the lovely B&B Podere Le Vigne just down the road from where I live as a perfect venue for them to stay and also hold their wedding reception and as I know Carla and Federica really well, that’s how Mariko and Peter found me.

The Podere is ideally situated just outside the walls of Siena surrounded by olive trees and the wonderful Tuscan countryside. Carla & Federica are famous for their hospitality and made the guest feel at home immediately.

As an Australian Peter needed an Atto Nottorio and not wanting to do that before leaving Tokyo I recommended that he make an appointment in Rome as soon as he arrived in Italy. Unfortunately he didn’t and so with 2 weeks to go to the wedding he called me in a panic as the Court in Rome had given him an appointment for September! Got to love Italian logic and bureaucratic ways although not good when you’re getting married in two weeks and can’t do that with out your documents being in order. So I called my contact at the court in Siena, and Peter boarded a bus from Rome the following day and with two of my friends for witnesses we managed to get his precious Atto Nottorio sorted out in a couple of hours.

Mariko also decided that she’d do her documents here in Rome too when she arrived and so you can imagine I was starting to get a little nervous about getting the documents around the various places, the prefettura to legalize the documents, the parish priests for him to do his request to the town hall for them to marry legally in church and the town hall to lodge all the documents for the civil part of the wedding and to book the pre wedding verbal hearing for the day before the wedding. I can’t tell you how relieved I was when they got off the early morning bus on the Friday the 1st of July with Mariko’s documents. So putting them in a taxi to the Podere Le Vigne I set off to do the rounds which I managed to complete before all the offices closed for the weekend. As they both said “they couldn’t have done it without me.”

Monday we headed up to the town hall for the verbal hearing and afterwards I popped the document confirming all was in order in to Don Renato’s post box, a quick meeting with Don Angelo in the evening completed the day and we were all set for the wedding the following day.

The morning of the wedding I went down the road and started setting up the tables with Carla and her husband helped to hang the my Chinese lanterns from the beams, and put lanterns and candles all over the garden, the overall effect was stunning, as Peter and Mariko didn’t have the budget for wedding flowers I  went and collected some olive branches and rosemary and Federica’s husband bought some flowers from the Botanical gardens and we set about making some lovely simple table centre pieces.

PierLuca arrived just as I was rushing home to get changed and he started to lay the tables and get things ready for the aperitivo and the dinner, he’s a fabulous waiter (capo sala) and he was closely followed by the magnificent Georgio, a fabulous chef, my favourite boys to work with, always lots of fun and great food to be had when they are about!

I have never met a bride who is ready before the groom, but Mariko was down and dressed and having her photograph taken by the official photographer at least half an hour before the groom and how stunning she looked and I was absolutely blown away with her Mum’s Kimono, it was absolutely gorgeous.

Tuscan Church wedding, Siena

And so we all set off for the lovely church Ponte Allo Spino, a beautiful Romanesque church which is in Sovicille, just a few kilometers away from Siena.

Tuscan Church, Ponte Allo Spino, Siena, Tuscany

We had a slight panic when we went into church to set up the music system for the music, unfortunately Peter had forgotten to put a cable for the speakers  into the bag, so with the consent of Don Angelo to delay the service, Mariko was installed in the car with her dad and I hot footed it back to Siena with Peter’s two sisters to get it, good job there weren’t any police around as I think I broke a few speed limits both there and back….oops!

So with everything back on track we got the wedding service under way and finally Mariko and Peter were married and they signed the wedding registry to the cheers and claps of their family and friends.

Tuscan Church, Ponte Allo Spino, Siena, Tuscany

And the happy couple came out into the sunshine to have some photos taken with their family and friends.

Tuscan Church wedding, Siena

Then we headed back to the Podere for the aperitivo and dinner a veritable feast of 5 courses of delicious home cooked Tuscan food.

Siena Wedding, Podere Le Vigne.

Tuscan wedding, Podere Le Vigne, Siena

Which ended with the cutting of the cake..until the light of a full moon.

Italian wedding cake, Siena, Podere Le Vigne

Everyone had a wonderful evening and I’m sure that Mariko and Peter have taken some wonderful memories with them back to Tokyo and as Mariko said in her email to me last week:

“We are back in Tokyo, back to work, back to normal life, back from fantasy world of Siena. Again, thank you very much for the wonderful efforts for our wedding. Cannot believe it is done now, it was amazing!”

Wishing them both lots of happiness in the future.. I bet they can’t wait to see the official photos I know I can’t!


Marry Me In Tuscany loves…Zankyou

As most of you know by now I have been Tweeting as MarryMeTuscany for a few months now, and although I was very adamantly against it in the beginning, I have become an avid Twitter fan. It has opened up a whole new wonderful wedding world of great people that have great services to offer so much so that I just love to share these great people with you too, on the guest blog this week is the lovely Helen from Zankyou a great company that helps you with….Wedding gift list suggestions for destination couples here is what Helen has to say about this wonderful service that her company offers not just to couples getting abroad but to everyone getting married.


Getting married abroad is becoming an increasingly popular decision among couples in the UK nowadays.

The abundance of resources available for those planning a wedding abroad, which of course includes the help of wedding planners who specialise in destination weddings, means your wedding is more or less sorted before your plane even leaves the runway.

Wedding gifts for couples getting married abroad can still pose a special dilemma, however. Many friends and family members who may not be travelling to the ceremony will still want to give a gift to set you off on your new life together. Meanwhile, your guests will also surely be asking you for details of your wedding list.

While for many couples, the fact that people make the trip is enough of a gift. However, don’t be surprised if your closest friends and family members will insist.

The problem is, you may very well have everything you need and would prefer a little help with your honeymoon. Or, you might like to save up for a new house in a couple of years, instead of being forced to have a housefull of stuff right now!

You’ll also want to avoid having to carry things home after your destination wedding, especially with hefty airline charges for extra luggage nowadays.

So here’s a suggestion for a handy solution…

Asking for cash as a wedding gift has been a growing trend in the UK in recent year, with more couples taking gap years after their wedding and lots having lived together before the big day.

The good thing about money can be used at a later date, it doesn’t have a deadline for use and you don’t have to just spend it in one place.

But asking for money is awkward and putting your bank account details on your invitations is just not the done thing.

Luckily, help can be found on the Internet. There are lots of facilities available online nowadays that let you collect funds for a specific purpose. By creating your wedding list online, you give your guests a platform to make contributions and you get the money transferred to your bank account, to do what you like with it.

That way, you won’t be dragging any toasters home with you after your destination wedding!

To take a look at what’s on the market, just type in “online wedding list” in any reputable search engine and weigh up the results. Check out info on rates, availability of funds and extra planning tools before making your choice.

Helen Jones is the Editor of Zk Magazine, which is part of Zankyou, a company that provides an online wedding gift list service in 6 languages that gives you the full cash