Archive for May, 2011

-Real-life wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Age : Julia - 30, Scott - 28

Profession: Julia: Julia - Crime Scene examiner,  Scott - Chef/lecturer

Where do you come from : UK

1. How did you meet?

1st April 2003, we were both travelling in Australia and I had seen Scott in the kitchen of our backpackers and plucked up the courage to talk to him in a bar later on that night.

2. How did you get engaged?

We went back to Australia (20months later) and stayed in the same backpackers where we met. Scott took me for a champagne breakfast in the restaurant where he had worked then surprised me with a helicopter flight over Sydney’s beaches. He had arranged for some friends to write a sign on a bed sheet and when we flew over North Head Look Out Point (where he had once taken me) he said “look down there, there’s a sign that says will u marry me??”

After crying lots I said yes and he gave me a ring in a beautiful box.

Then champagne with our friends at a bar by Sydney Opera House then on for a meal at a restaurant where he gave me bunches of flowers.

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

We wanted to do our own catering for the wedding and we wanted as much of the wedding to be outdoors. We have also travelled loads and wanted our guests to experience a bit of travel as well.

We had a friend who knew someone who owned a villa in LUCCA so having never been to Italy we flew over, saw a few venues and were sold. We fell in love with Lucca and knew it was exactly what we wanted. Ceremony in the beautiful town hall and then the reception back at the villa.

The ceremony (interpreter and paperwork), music and photographer was organised by wedding planners Erica and Nicoletta from Tuscan Dreams ( ). We were already organising our own food and were also organising accommodation so Tuscan Dreams was of great help for the remaining wedding parts. Erica and Nicoletta made it so easy and unstressful.

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


We visited LUCCA about 4 times before the wedding, Met with the Butcher, the wine shop, the lady who owned the villa… the list goes on….

5. How many guests attended your wedding?

48 (50 including us)

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’

  • Invitations
  • Food (Canapés, Starters, Mains)
  • Bellini’s for when guests arrived
  • Wedding Cake
  • Tables (everything was delivered and we set it all up)

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

The Villa (but we had it for 1 week and 14 friends came and stayed with us)

8. Where did you save the most money?

Food, drinks and the wedding cake

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

Had a few problems with the taxi we arranged to be on standby all night - he never turned up!!! But apart from that it was the best day of our lives and we wouldn’t change a thing.

Even now friends and family still talk about it and we love to reminisce.

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

You will have a nervous breakdown… just go with it and it will all work out on the day!!!!

Remember to spend some time with your new Husband/Wife, take time to enjoy some Champagne together and enjoy every minute of it as its all over before you know it!!!!
11.What was th
eme of your wedding? SUNFLOWERS

12. What music did you choose? Harp to walk down the aisle and then for the reception. A jazz band for the evening and then music we had downloaded. It was the most spectacular day and for us the choice of music was just perfect… everyone commented on how brilliant they thought both the harpist and the jazz band were and we couldnt have asked for more. We are so pleased with our photographs… even if we did get told off for kissing too much!!! Music and photographer were organised by wedding planners Erica and Nicoletta from Tuscan Dreams.

We wanted an Italian theme with as much of the wedding outdoors.

We wanted lots of personal touches that made it “our” wedding, i.e. the invitations, the food, decorations etc


- Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

Where do you go for the most important day of your life if you are an expert on finding perfect locations?
Travel experts Chris and Laura from Peterborough became engaged in Paris but knew Italy was the only place to hold the wedding.
Despite being experts on the region they visited wedding fairs, reviewed countless magazines and then hired Erica Bellini, Tuscan Dreams wedding planner, to create their perfect day in the Tuscan hills.

Thirty guests travelled to Tuscany for cocktails, a seven course Italian feast including truffles and lobster and dancing by moonlight in the square of Castello di Firenze.
Laura said it was a fairytale wedding. She says: “We got married on the lawn overlooking the vineyards and then partied the night away in the candle lit court yard. We wanted the day to show our guests why we loved Italy so much and the fantastic food, gorgeous location and great entertainment made it perfect – our guests are still talking about it and say it was the wedding of a life time”.

Laura says her one tip to future brides is to keep making lists as there is so much to plan and it is so easy to forget details. She made her own Order of Service cards using small ivory pearls and green ribbon to match the colour theme of the wedding which was chosen to pick up on the beautiful surroundings of the castle.


- Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

With the majority of wedding parties over the age of 30 it is almost guaranteed that some children will be present on your big day. A lot of couples would feel rude excluding children from the occasion, especially when a lot of newlyweds have babies themselves before they are even married.
Some guests may choose to leave them at home with a grandparent or nanny, but what happens when the wedding you are invited to is abroad? Most parents would not want to leave their little ones for long periods so why not use it as an excuse for a family holiday?

Tuscan wedding organiser Erica Bellini, who has been planning weddings in Italy for 10 years, thinks children can easily be catered for during your day. She said: “At previous weddings we have arranged for a group of specialists ranging from baby sitters for the tiny ones to entertainers for the older children. It means children of guests can be part of the day too. ”

Erica recently organised a wedding at one of their popular locations, Villa Gambassi, for a couple called Vicki and Tony who had a 3 month old baby girl. She said. “They really wanted baby Francesca around and in each photo throughout the day so they brought along a baby sitter. This meant they still had time to themselves and to be with their guests.
They wanted her to be able to enjoy this unique day in her life as much as they did.”

Erica says. “Obviously keeping the children busy and happy became an issue that was at the top of the list throughout the planning. In fact, the organisation of the children at Vicki and Tony’s wedding was discussed with me before anything else was decided.”

With the help of professional baby sitters and entertainers children can safely play outside in the warm Tuscan sunshine, allowing parents to enjoy the day without worrying. Villa Gambassi is a perfect location for a large party with children. Guest accommodation is situated opposite the villa and the fact of not having to use transport to get to it makes its a lot easier for parents, knowing that their little ones are comfortably asleep in their room only a few metres away.

Here and some more tips to organise a wedding with children in mind:

  • Buy boxes of toys and non-messy creative items to help keep them quietly amused.
  • Don’t save on baby sitting/entertainers. Make sure you use professionals especially if 1 baby sitter/entertainer will look after more than 1 child.
  • Arrange for the entertainers to be close enough to the parents but also far away enough so that they don’t rush to the parents every time they fancy. An idea is to have the children on a lawn on a sunny day to get plenty of exercise as well.
  • Make sure the entertainers and baby sitters are specialised for the different age groups of the children.


- Real-Life Weddings by Tuscan Dreams

Name:Rachel and Dan
Age: Rachel 31, Dan 30
Profession: Rachel Fashion Designer, Dan TV Producer/Director
Where do you come from : Leeds, Yorkshire, UK

1. How did you meet? We met the first year of University in London
2. How did you get engaged? We got engaged on a remote island off the west coast of India.
3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception? A friend had been married in Certaldo town hall 5 years earlier, and I had fallen in love with the place. Dan had never even been to Italy when we came over to look at reception venues!

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding? We spoke to loads of wedding planners and got them to send photos of all the venues they used, none of them were quite right, so we visited the area 4 times before finding what we wanted. Finally we found Villa Paola and literally fell in love with the place. Tuscan Dreams helped us get all the details down to a T on the wedding day from the civil ceremony to the food and the music as well as the flowers.

5. How many guests attended your wedding? 85
6. What did you ‘make from scratch’? I hand made all of the lavender bags which were on all of the ladies place settings.
7. What was your biggest extravagance? My Vera Wang wedding dress, and Dans’ Lanvin suit.
Oh and having a wedding in Italy!!

8. Where did you save the most money? Probably by buying the huge amount of alcohol consumed by our guests after the meal from the supermarket. We emptied the Co-Op four times of Birra Moretti!
9. Would you change anything about your wedding? I would pick a day that didn’t rain!!
10. What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding? Try to be calm!!

The theme of your wedding and why did you chose that theme
We tried to keep the theme very natural, and very soft. So almost less was our theme??
Colour scheme of wedding : Soft neutral colours, with accents of  pinks/whites. The colour theme was supposed to represent summer field flowers.
Music/entertainment: A string duo to accompany the service and canapés. And then a DJ to play into the early hours.


- Real-file weddings by Tuscan Dreams-

Names: Libby and Oliver Shepherd
Age: Libby - 33, Oliver - 34
Profession: Libby - Nurse endoscopist, Oliver - Surveyor
Where do you come from: Libby - Queensland, Oliver - Australia & Sussex, England

1. How did you meet? On a sailing holiday in Greece in 2006
2. How did you get engaged? Woken up to 30 roses and a wet boyfriend on bended knee (it had been raining outside)

3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception? We both love Italy and thought getting married there would be very romantic.  We did a search on the internet to investigate where to have the wedding and came across Tuscan DreamsVilla Gambassi suited our needs precisely and accommodated all our guests in one place. The church was close by and, fortunately, beautiful.

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding? We visited Villa Gambassi twice. The first to assess the location and the accommodation and the second time was to taste the food and wine, which was straightforward as the chef that was recommended was excellent. We settled on a theme fairly quickly, but it was putting the thought and research into the small details that would make it individual that took more time. Having wedding planners with such experience of the location was extremely helpful.
5. How many guests attended your wedding? 77
6. What did you ‘make from scratch’? The table plans and name places
7. What was your biggest extravagance? The Alfa Romeo Spider Giuletta 1962 convertible. Unfortunately it rained.
8. Where did you save the most money? Having the reception where we were staying meant that we did not need a separate venue.
9. Would you change anything about your wedding? Having the speeches and first dance on photograph and film.

10. What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding? Have it over a long weekend which means family and friends can get to know each other before wedding and the bride and groom can enjoy the party even more.
11: What was the theme of your wedding? Rustic elegance.  We chose this theme to reflect the setting.
12. Colour scheme of wedding? ivory and merlot
13. What music did you choose? Jazz (at drinks reception) and pop band