Archive for November, 2010

-Real Life Wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Name : Vicky and Michael
Age : Vicky - 36, Michael - 41
Profession: Tax Advisors
Where do you come from : Michael - Australia, Vicky - Uganda

1. How did you meet?
Michael and I met at a party in South Kensington, London
2. How did you get engaged?
Michael proposed on the beach overlooking the Isle of Wight.
3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?
We always knew we wanted to get married in either Italy or France. Some close friends of ours were married in Italy and when we went to Florence we were immediately  “sold”.

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?
We took two trips to the castle, once to decide on a venue and the second time to stay at the castle and decide on the menu. We essentially began planning the wedding as soon as we got engaged but began working on details 9 months prior to the wedding date.
5. How many guests attended your wedding?
75
6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?
The wedding invitations were made in Uganda by a non-profit group based on a design and idea which Michael and I came up with.


7. What was your biggest extravagance?
The venue, Castello di Cornelia
8. Where did you save the most money?
By not having professional make up and hair people and also not having a bridal party.


9. Would you change anything about your wedding?
Nothing everything was absolutely perfect.
10.What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?
Do not get involved in arranging accomodation for guests.


The theme of your wedding ,  and why did you chose that theme?
No theme as such – It was a great mixture of ugandan and irish tradition with italian accents (food/winw etc…)

Colour scheme of wedding :
Bright pink bouquet and orchids
Music/entertainment:
3 day event with day 1: ugandan traditional wedding ceremony, day 2: dinner in village and day 3: wedding. Had a classical duo during ceremony and a Dj for reception
 

-Real-life wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Name: Deborah and Ray

Age: Deborah -33, Ray - 36

Profession: Deborah - Lecturer in English, Ray - technician

Where do you come from: Birmingham, UK

1.How did you meet?
My husband and I met on New Year’s Eve 4 years ago in an Irish pub. I was out celebrating with some girlfriends and he was out with his friends. My friend from New Zealand who was visiting decided to do some matchmaking, and told both of us that we were interested in each other. However, we didn’t get talking until we were both stood at the bar at 11:55pm trying to get a drink. I managed to get served so offered him some of my drink for midnight and the rest is history!

2. How did you get engaged?
We went to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire on 21st December 2008 to see the Christmas lights. We have been there a few times as it is beautiful and our favourite stately home. My husband was behaving a bit oddly but on the way he told me that he’d booked afternoon tea as a pre-Christmas surprise, which to me explained his behaviour. But before tea we went into the Rose Garden and he proposed with a ring he’d had made on a bench. We went for afternoon tea after I’d calmed down and he’d also arranged for my Mum and her partner to meet us there.

3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?

We decided on Italy as my Mum comes from Naples and we wanted a small wedding. We wanted somewhere where all of our family could stay together and a church wedding. Tuscan Dreams recommended San Galgano, and it was perfect. We had the reception in the grounds of the villa.

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?

I contacted a lot of companies who arrange weddings in Italy, but it took a while to find just what we were looking for. But it also helped that I could speak to Erica and Nicoletta at Tuscan Dreams on the phone, which made life a lot easier. We knew that we wanted a small wedding without too much fuss, so we didn’t have a lot of bother with outfits and things.

5. How many guests attended your wedding? 21

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

My Mum and Nonna made the bomboneire and took them out to Italy for us. My Aunt made the invitations and I made the Mass booklets and wedding information which I sent out to the guests beforehand. My brother’s girlfriend is amazingly talented and made all of my pearl and crystal wedding jewellery and hair accessories. I also made 3 lemon sponges which my Mum and Aunt decorated for the wedding party back in the UK as the wedding cake. The table decorations in Italy made by the florist were beautiful and unusual – candles surrounded by lemons and white flowers.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

Probably the string trio we had playing for the ceremony and drinks – but they made the atmosphere beautiful. The catering cost a lot but they were also outstanding at the villa.

8. Where did you save the most money?

On our wedding outfits! I bought my cream lace dress on-line from Phase Eight and it was perfect. My shoes were also from the high street, as were my husband’s suit, tie and shoes.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

Nothing at all – we had the most amazing two weeks in Italy and the wedding day itself was the best day ever.

10.What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?

Remember that it is all about you and your partner, so plan the wedding that you want rather than what is expected. The very last thing we wanted was a huge “do” in the UK where my husband and I would hardly see each other for the whole day. Remember that it is also about having those who matter most to you around you. And if you are getting married in Italy, hire Erica and Nicoletta at Tuscan Dreams because they are outstanding!

The theme of your wedding: On all of the wedding stationery was a picture of the Chapel. Lemon/cream/citrus was the kind of theme, because it seemed to suit Tuscany and the colours there.

Music/entertainment:

Classical string trio/own music for dancing after dinner.

 

-Real-life weddings- by Tuscan Dreams

Name: Laura and Chris
Age: Laura 29 and Chris 31
Profession: Laura – Account manager - Travel sector, Chris – Head of sales – Travel sector
Where do you come from: Chris is from Manchester and Laura from Liverpool.  We now live in Peterborough in Cambridgeshire.

1. How did you meet?
We meet at work and got on like a house on fire from day one. We went on our First date on the 11th September (this is why we choice this date to get married)

2. How did you get engaged?
Chris booked a surprise trip to Paris as a Christmas present. The night we arrived he proposed and we went to the George V for Champaign to celebrate.

3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?
We spent hours looking for the perfect location online in the UK, We both love Italy for its natural beauty and picked out a number of different venues to look around. Castello di Firenze was the first Castle we went into and we both instantly fell in love with it, nothing else we saw that day compared. Once we got home from our visit we book the venue straight away, wit the help of our wedding co-ordinators. We had the whole day at the castle ground. Tuscan Dreams helped us to arrange the whole day from start t finish, we got married out on the lawn looking over the Vine yards and then Partied the night away in the candle lite court yard. Perfect!

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?
We went to wedding fairs, reviewed magazines and talked to our wedding co-ordinator lots, she advised us were we could try and save money and recommended things that had worked well before.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?
We had a total of 30 guests at our wedding.

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?
I made the Order of service from scratch as I was running out of time to get these done. They were very simple with Olive Green ribbon and Small ivory pearls attached to front.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?
Probably the Food, we had a 7 course Italian feast, fit for a king, with Truffles and lobster.  If you are ever going to be guaranteed to have fantastic food it is in Italy. We wanted to give our guests a taste of why we fell in love with this country so much.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?
No it was like a fairy tale, it really couldn’t have been anymore perfect. Our guest are still talking about it, they call it the wedding of a life time

10. What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?
Lists! Lists! And More Lists, there is so much to plan with a wedding and it is very easy to forget things, I had list for each month leading up to the wedding so that I could tackle each bit at a time. Remember that it is your day and you are only going to do it once so you want it to be perfect.

11. What was the theme of your wedding? Colour scheme of wedding: Olive and Ivory with a touch of Platinum.

12. What music did you choose?
violin for the Cocktail party, Lorenzo and a pop duet in the evening, both were fantastic and very professional.

 

-Real life weddings - by Tuscan Dreams

Name: Dan and Becky
Age: Becky – 23, Dan - 35
Profession: Becky – Secondary Teacher, Dan – Service Duty Manager
Where do you come from: Becky – Washington, Dan – Newcastle, both Tyne and Wear in north east England.

1. How did you meet?

We met each other at work in 2007. We never really spoke to each other but exchanged the odd glance across the room. One day I was talking to one of my friends at work and Dan started making his way over to the two of us. I thought I was going to get told off for talking too much and not working but he was just coming over to speak to my friend about work. Once Dan returned to his desk he emailed me just to make sure I did not think he was some sort of tyrant. We got talking through email and he asked me out the pictures that evening. Dan picked me up from my parent’s house, where I was living at the time, and from there we went to the cinema. From then on we started dating and we have never looked back.

2. How did you get engaged?

It was just after our year anniversary together and we had a family meal for Dan’s birthday arranged at our favourite restaurant Fat Buddha in Durham, a few of my friends had said he would do it there but I said they were wrong as it was his day, his birthday. I was wrong! At the end of the meal Dan said a few words to say thank you to everyone coming to the meal and as doing this he pulled out the ring from his pocket, made his way around to me at the other side of the table and on one knee asked me to marry him and of course I answered yes along with crying yet laughing at everyone else crying around the table.

3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?

Money was also a major factor for us so we started to look around on the internet to see what we could get for the amount we wanted to spend. We found the Tuscan dreams website and liked the look of the properties and previous weddings they had planned and conducted. We emailed our interest and Erica/Nicoletta replied with a variety of villas for us to look at. The second we saw Villa Gambassi we fell in love with it. From letting Erica/Nicoletta know we wanted this villa as our accommodation they then sent us details of the two nearby town halls and again as soon as we saw Certaldo we fell in love and the decision was made. Erica/Nicoletta sent us details and photographs of previous weddings they had conducted at villa Gambassi and Certaldo which just re-enforced our choice. It all was just so beautiful.

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?

In terms of research and planning before the wedding most of it was conducted by Nicoletta and Erica in Italy. Right at the beginning they asked about us and what we were like as people, what style we liked and what sort of things we would want at our wedding. Again they sent through examples in photographs for us to see of their past work which helped a great deal. Even without this though, they just seemed to know what we would love. All we did was arrange my wedding dress, Dan’s suit, the bridesmaid and flower girl dresses and the favours. We found some favours/place settings we wanted to use so we bought them ourselves prior to going but yet again Nicoletta sorted them all out when it came to the day. It was offered within the fee’s for us to visit the venue which is an excellent idea but because of all the photographs and how friendly and helpful Nicoletta and Erica were we totally trusted their judgement and did not feel this was necessary. I do not know how they do it, the work they must have to do to make peoples perfect days be perfect and believe me they do make it perfect in every way and more.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?

We had 18 adults and 3 children attending our wedding including ourselves.

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

We made a couple of items ‘from scratch’. The first would be my bridal veil, the whole wedding I wanted to be ours and my Aunt Michelle is very good with a sewing machine and offered to make me a veil. We looked at a variety designs and styles and in the end came up with our own design and the end result was amazing and will hopefully be passed down through the family. The second thing we made ‘from scratch’ was our name cards. We bought place settings that doubled up as favours for everyone from the internet, again saving money.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

Our biggest extravagance would have to be the villa itself. We thought we were paying a lot of money for the villa but as soon as we arrived at the villa gates we knew we were getting our money’s worth and more. The villa was absolutely amazing!! All of our guests felt the same too. Everything was just perfect, the staff, the room’s, the private pool, the surrounding views and then we realised that there was actually live deer on the grounds with us that you could hand feed. Out of this world is how I would describe Villa Gambassi!

8. Where did you save the most money?

We feel we saved the most money on the wedding itself. By deciding to get married in Tuscany we had guaranteed beautiful surroundings, good weather, great help (Nicoletta and Erica) and overall by far better quality of everything on the wedding day than if we had planned it in the UK.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

The only thing we would change about our wedding would be to make it last longer as we did not want it to end. It was so beautiful, delicate, extravagant and perfect. Thank you Nicoletta and Erica.

10. What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?

If I were to give advice to someone planning a wedding I would say get married in Tuscany, everything and everywhere is so romantic and gorgeous. My second piece of advice would be use Tuscan Dreams, they work magic, and even if you do not know exactly what you want they will be able to help and find what you want and work so you can have what you want.

The theme of your wedding and why did you chose that theme.
The only theme we had if any would be wild looking flowers and an Italian rustic feel. The reason for this being the same reason we chose to get married in Tuscany, it is everything we love, beautiful and romantic yet simple, original and different.

Colour scheme of wedding :

The colour scheme was traditional floral colours, so purple, yellow sunflowers and cream.
Music/entertainment:
Although the options given to us for music and entertainment would have been again out of this world we decided to use our own iPod and docking station. We were offered string musicians, dj’s and speaks etc for our iPod but we chose to do that side ourselves. This was solely so we could save money and have more money to put elsewhere in the wedding that was more important to us.
 

-Real Life Wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Age: Both 28

Profession: Systems Support Assistant, Aberdeenshire Council

Where do you come from : Ellon, Aberdeenshire, Scotland

1. How did you meet?

In our town’s local nightclub, it was the only place to go on a Friday night! We had gone to school together but never knew each other. Ryan never went out on a Friday as he played Junior football every Saturday, it just happened this Friday he was injured so had gone out to meet some friends for a drink.

2. How did you get engaged?

We had spoken about it for some time as we had been together 8 years, our parents had started to give up hope and we got up one Sunday and went in to town and bought a ring. We had both sets of parents coming for supper that night anyway as it was Mothering Sunday and we announced it then. I think they were all surprised I do remember my mother in law jumping up and down in the middle of our living room!

3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?

We never wanted a big wedding, just something small and intimate so we thought about going abroad, the thought of a wedding and holiday all rolled into one really appealed. We had always wanted to visit Italy (Tuscany in particular) but we had never managed, so we thought Italy was a perfect location and when we found Tuscan Dreams we knew it was the right choice. The Villas were amazing and the testimonials from other Bride and Grooms just made it sound magical. We choose Villa Napoleone. Tuscan country side lived up to all our expectations. The ceremony in Siena was a perfect!  I must admit on my wedding day I never thought I would be strolling through Siena, eating ice cream in my wedding dress!!

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?

We spend a long time on the internet and speaking with different Wedding Co-Coordinators’ from different companies but in the end the decision was easy, Nicoletta and Erica were just so fantastic they knew exactly what we wanted and could provide it with ease.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?

We had 16 guests, all family and close friends

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

I made all my Save the date cards and wedding Invites myself, I also made my place settings which were the back of cars saying “Just Married” with our guests names attached, they were attached by ribbon to their napkin on the wedding table. I also make all my wedding favour tags with our names and wedding date, the men’s with a Scottish thistle on them and the women’s a rose to coordinate with our flower choice for the day.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

Our biggest extravagance was the meal and wine but to be honest we are the biggest pair of foodies you ever will meet and I guess that was one of the big reasons for choosing Italy. The thought of canapés and champagne, then a 5 course meal + wedding cake really won us over, I was surprised I still got into my dress for the party we had when we got home!

8. Where did you save the most money?

We found Nina shoes on the internet, which retail for about £90 in bridal boutiques but we got them for £10 each in an Amazon sale. I also had 2 nieces as bridesmaids, alongside my sister. There dresses were going to cost as much as my sister’s bridesmaid dress and they are only 9 and 6 years old. In the end were bought there dresses from an American company over the internet, which saved us £300.00 and were fantastic exactly what we wanted.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

To be honest I know this sounds like a cliché but no, not a thing. It was perfect, different to your traditional wedding but exactly what we wanted in every way.

10.What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?

Find a great wedding planner they are a god send and they keep you on the straight and narrow. I think my stress levels would have been a lot higher without them, they were worth every penny. A wedding is not something you can do on your own.

Colour scheme of wedding: Red, Cream and Black

Music/entertainment: We had a harpist who played during the ceremony and back at the reception during the canapés and champagne. We choose songs which meant something to us for during the ceremony and provided sheet music and she played them for us. For the reception we let her play a mixture of her own choosing.

Evening entertainment we provided ourselves, people had taken their iPods and created play lists etc for the day so it was fantastic to have a range that suited everyone.

 

-Real Life Wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Name : Kirsty and Neil

Age Kirsty – 27, Neil - 31

Profession: Kirsty – Human Resources Advisor, Neil – works in the Automotive Industry

Where do you come from : Staffordshire, UK

1. How did you meet?

We met at a house party in 1996 but I don’t actually remember Neil being there but remember his friends. We met again a few years later and eventually he asked me to be his girlfriend in February 1998.

2. How did you get engaged?

We’d been together for 9 years by the time Neil proposed in August 2007. Neil told me he was talking me away as a surprise. He took me to Paris for 4 days and it rained the whole time we were there. On the last night we went for a meal and then sat on the grass beneath the Eiffel tower. Neil got down on one knee and asked me to be his wife. I just couldn’t stop crying and of course, I said yes!

3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?

We’d been on holiday to Tuscany in June 2007 with my parents to a farmhouse in Montespertoli. This was before we were engaged but whilst there we did say how lovely it would be for a wedding. Tuscany was so fresh in our minds when we got engaged and then we found tuscan dreams on the internet and decided to contact them. We visited Villa Gambassi in March 2008 and then again in January 2009 to taste the food for the wedding and see the church, Santa Maria a Chianni. We loved everything about it and knew this was where we wanted to get married.

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?

Once we’d found Tuscan dreams and confirmed our wedding booking with them, they were excellent in helping us with all the research and planning in Italy.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?

We had a small wedding of 30 family and close friends in Italy, and then had a party back in the UK with 150 guests.

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

We made the table plan ourselves but ended up having to stick it together when we arrived in Italy so that it didn’t get too bent in the suitcase! We also created the order of service ourselves but unfortunately, left it until the last minute and ended up having to get them photocopied on the day we were flying to Italy and then we didn’t have enough copies for everyone!!

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

Probably actually getting married in Italy but we knew that it was what we wanted and just hoped that everyone would be able to be there to share it with us.

8. Where did you save the most money?

Probably in only having 30 guests in Italy. We could have asked more people but would have meant the food would have cost more

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

No, we’ve both said we have no regrets and everything was just as we wanted it

10.What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?

Be organised. You always think you’ve got ages to do things. We had 2 years between getting engaged and getting married and it just flew by! We thought we had ages to do things but all of sudden it’s there and you still have things to do.

The theme of your wedding and why did you chose that theme
No particular theme – blue and silver
Colour scheme of wedding: Navy blue and silver
Music/entertainment: On the wedding day – organ at the Church and then violin and cello back at the reception venue.  We had a further reception party back in the UK to celebrate with family and friends who couldn’t join us in Italy.  We hired a band called Hipster – they were excellent and everyone boogied the night away!!