Archive for February, 2009

- Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

1. Avoid anyone who will steal the scene
2. Choose a good friend that has shared your life in the last few years. A childhood friend might have lost touch with who you have become lately.
3. Choose a bridesmaid who can support you on the wedding and deal with any problem that might come up.
4. Choose bridesmaids that will get on with each other
5. Bridesmaids are there to help you so delegate!


-Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams-

1. The dress should be comfortable (you will need to spend 12 hours in it)
2. Think at shapes that flatter you. The dress should accentuate the positive and camouflage the negatives.
3. Order the dress at least 6 months before the wedding.
4. Remember to wear your wedding-day lingerie and shoes when being fitted.


- Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

1. Know where your money is coming from
2. Decide how much money you and your boyfriend can contribute
3. Make a list of your priorities (make sure you both agree on them when you talk to parents)
4. Divide up the money and decide where it will go (as a general rule catering and venue will amount to 50% of the budget)
5. Expect to go a little over budget. Everyone does! Allow for emergencies or unexpected items.


-Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

1. Watch your budget closely
2. If you need help – don’t be shy just ask
3. Learn from the mistakes and successes of previous friends and family (other brides are the best and most honest source of wedding information)
4. Make sure your wedding reflects yourself
5. Be relaxed if something goes wrong – chances are no-one will notice. Guests are not there to judge but to enjoy/share this occasion with you.


-Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

1. Don’t leave things to the last minute unless you have a special gift for speeches (Don’t improvise unless you feel really confident)
2. Don’t underestimate your audience
3. Don’t forget that the speech is about the Bride and Groom – NOT about you
4. If you tell a joke ask yourself: is it actually funny (to this audience)?
5. The 5 don’ts:
-don’t look down when talking
-don’t whisper
-don’t shout
-don’t swear
-don’t improvise (unless you are really confident)















-Weddings in style by Tuscan Dreams

Going abroad to get married is nothing new these days, but more and more couples who do choose to hold their wedding overseas are going green.

Environmental concepts are now becoming incorporated into the usual celebrations. But if the idea of cutting back on traditional food and flowers alarms you, Italian wedding planner Erica Bellini says you can have an eco wedding without compromising on the style of your nuptials.

Erica, founder of Tuscan Dreams, says the location of your day is key. She says: When it comes to finding somewhere for you and your guests to stay why not hold your eco wedding in a typical Tuscan farmhouse. You still have the advantage of having excellent quality accommodation and a pool but you can save a lot more money by staying in a farmhouse as opposed to a villa.

You don’t need to be eco minded to have a green wedding. It’s a good excuse to cut down on waste, fuss and cost and have an original wedding. Take advantage of what beautiful Tuscany has to offer, especially its tasty local produce perfect for your reception. If your visitors use local amenities and support the local community it can strengthen the economy

Fresh, organic food can easily be sourced by Erica, who has extensive knowledge of the area and its local specialities after spending the last 10 years organising weddings in Italy. She says: If your wedding is being held in or near a small town, for example, there should be plenty of local suppliers to support. By buying local, organic food you sacrifice absolutely nothing in taste and can show off the regions best produce.

As well as food, flowers are another vital part of your wedding. Erica says: Be eco friendly when choosing your wedding flowers. Small plants or herbs are a great alternative, such as lavender and ivy plants, as opposed to cut flowers. They can also be given to guests as a lasting memento.

For flower decorations use local producers of terracotta and ceramics, which are typically Tuscan, as an alternative container for the flowers. Herbs such as rosemary and sage will give you a lovely scent to your flower composition and are very reasonably priced.

Other important aspects of your wedding that have an eco alternative are:

  • Stationary such as invites made with fair-trade or recycled paper/card products.
  • Confetti which can be locally produced flower petals or bird friendly seeds. Real rice should be avoided as its bad for birds!

Another way of supporting the local community is to give your guests miniature bottles of extra virgin olive oil or wine produced locally or even within the grounds of the wedding villa itself. Local farms offer other produce from wine and honey to Parma ham and salami, at reasonable prices, adding that extra touch.

With celebrities Scarlett Johansson and Ryan Reynolds recently getting married at an ecologically conscious resort in Canada, the trend for green weddings may now be underway in Hollywood.


- Weddings in style by Tuscan Dreams -

Traditionally the cost of a wedding falls to the father of the bride, but today the bride and groom are choosing to pay for the majority of the day themselves.

According to Credit Action, the national money education charity, the average cost of a traditional wedding in the UK is about £20,000 so its not surprising couples are feeling the pinch, especially in today’s economic climate. Luckily Tuscan wedding planner Erica Bellini has come to the rescue with some practical tips on how to have a credit crunch wedding abroad without sacrificing on style.

Location and accommodation should be your number one priority when planning a wedding overseas as the rest of your plans can then begin to take shape.

Erica, who has been planning dream weddings in Tuscany for 10 years, knows the best ways to save on your big day. She says: Hire a large villa or farmhouse where you can also hold your wedding. You can save a lot and plus for you and your guests it will turn into a lovely holiday.

With so many details to consider you could consider a planner like Erica who is devoted to organising every aspect of your wedding in Tuscany, including the accommodation.

Don’t make the mistake to try and save on every item because you will not be satisfied in the end since you will have compromised on things that you cared for. Another way of saving on spending is to have guests stay where the venue is so that you save on transportation, which is an expensive item on an Italian budget.

Flowers can also be prepared on a budget. Erica says: Use seasonal flowers and local flowers which will be a lot cheaper than imported from Holland or out of season flowers. Remember that Italy is a lot warmer than the UK so the flowering time is a lot shorter.

If flowers rank at the top of your wedding budget, then make sure you pick a date when your flowers are in season. For example, Peonies are gorgeous flowers but have a very limited season in Tuscany (May), so it might be worth getting married in the period that they are in season.

Other ways of cutting back on cost for your big day:

  • Go for a traditional Italian wedding cake (Millefoglie – layers of puff pastry and fresh vanilla cream with either chocolate chips or fresh strawberries.) The cost is sometimes 50% less than a wedding cake in the UK.
  • Unless you have a friend or family member who is a professional photographer do not count on them taking snapshots. Your wedding photos are what you will have to look at in 20 years time and show your children, so make sure you get a pro to do the job.
  • Keep your guest list down. Having a wedding abroad means not all your family and friends will be able to attend so have a small wedding and throw a big party when you get back for those who you weren’t able to invite.
  • By having the wedding midweek as opposed to a Saturday means more local suppliers will be available and they sometimes charge less for catering than they would during a weekend.

Remember to save on things that don’t really matter to you