Certaldo Alto, Tuscany - John & Lorraine

HewelinFebruary 3, 2011
Reading time: 6 minutes

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!

Photo credits:


  1. Love the blog Jackie! you summed our day up perfectly, and it was just that - a perfect day. The Palazzo Pretorio in Certaldo was just the ideal setting as it is in the open air, it was such a hot day! Reading all about it brought it all back to us, it was so special having all our family there too. Thanks again for everything you did for us, and really looking forward to seeing you for the Palio in July.

    Lots of love xxx

  2. Jackie, loved the blog, brought some fantastic memories, of what was a stunning day and evening. We all had a fantastic day, everything run so smoothly- thanks to your brilliant organisation. It was lovely for you to share John and Lorraine's wedding with us, you really felt like part of the family.

    Mick and I are both looking forward to seeing you in Siena for a glass of wine... or 5!!!!

    See you Soon


  3. Hi Jackie, I'm John's sister and would just like to say it was such a beautiful day. The day was just beautiful from start to finish. The setting was just perfect and so romantic. Certado is such a lovely village. It brings back such wonderful memories. Lorraine looked absolutely stunning and my brother scrubs up well too!!. You did them both proud. It was lovely to meet you and wish you well for the future.

    Kind Regards

    Diane Auvache.

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