Archive for September, 2011

- Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

It was an office romance that turned into a match made in heaven - but it wasn’t a lightning bolt of love as Becky explains!

“We never really spoke to each other but exchanged the odd glance across the room. We eventually started talking through email and never looked back!”

A year after they began dating Dan got down on one knee in front of family and friends at a Chinese restaurant in Durham and the fairy tale commenced.

When the couple talked about getting married they held very different views. “I wanted to stay in the UK so all my family could attend but Dan wanted it abroad somewhere like Cyprus,” says Becky. She soon came round to the idea of a wedding abroad, but wanted something more unique and that is when they came across Tuscany as a perfect location. “Money was a major factor so we started to look around to see what we could get for the amount of money we could afford.” It was then they found Tuscan Dreams, the baby of Erica Bellini who has been planning weddings in Tuscany for over 10 years. With her knowledge and experience, Erica showed Becky and Dan exactly what they could achieve with their budget and it was nothing short of perfect.

Soon a list of venues was drawn up for the couple to browse and one stood out in particular. “The second we saw Villa Gambassi we fell in love with it,” says Becky. “Erica sent us details and photos from previous weddings just to re-enforce our choice. It was just so beautiful.” Right from the beginning Erica and her assistant Nicoletta, made sure they got to know the couple inside out. “They just seemed to know what we would love. All I did was arrange the bridal parties outfits, everything else Tuscan Dreams took care of.” Wild flowers and an Italian rustic feel gave the event a sense of everything the couple loved about Tuscany, beautiful and romantic yet simple and original. Traditional floral colours such as purple, yellow sunflowers and cream were used to set the mood.

Although their biggest extravagance would be the villa as soon as the couple and their guests arrived they knew they had made the right decision. “As soon as we arrived at the villa gates we knew we were getting our money’s worth and more. There were even live deer in the grounds that you could hand feed,” says Becky. “Out of this world is how I would describe Villa Gambassi!” After spending most of their budget on a venue, Becky and Dan saved some money by making a few vital parts of the wedding from scratch. “My aunt made my veil, which hopefully will be passed down through the family. We also brought the place settings that doubled up as favours for everyone.”

After their dream wedding in Tuscany what can Becky say about the wonderful women who made it possible? “The work they must have to do to make people’s perfect day perfect is amazing and believe me they do make it perfect in every way and more,” said an extremely blissful Mrs Gill.

Becky and Dan got married at Certaldo Town Hall on 4th August 2009 and had reception for their guests at Villa Gambassi.

 

-Real Life Wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Age:

28 (Gemma), 31 (Phil)

Profession:

Account Manager for Land Rover Global Events (Gemma), Police Officer (Phil)

Where do you come from :

Milton Keynes, Buckinghamshire, UK

1. How did you meet?

At Phil’s brother’s wedding in 2003.

2. How did you get engaged?

As a surprise, Phil took me to the Landmark Hotel in London – my favourite hotel. He then took me to the diamond shops in Hatton Garden and New Bond Street, followed by a romantic dinner later that evening. We chose my engagement ring at Boodles on New Bond Street.

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

We both love Italy and liked the idea of hosting our closest family and friends at a beautiful villa in Tuscany for the weekend. When we found Villa Gambassi, we just fell in love with it and knew it was perfect for our numbers and budget. The Church – Santa Maria a Chianni – was even more perfect and meant that our guests didn’t have to travel far for the ceremony.

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

We researched the whole of Tuscany but always came back to Villa Gambassi. It ticked every box. Our wedding planners, Tuscan Dreams, were so helpful and lovely and we just knew everything was right.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?

70

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

The Menus & Order of Service

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

The 7 course meal

8. Where did you save the most money?

On venue hire.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

No. It was perfect in every way.

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

Always keep to your budgets and research the market.

The theme of your wedding  and why did you chose that theme

Vintage, Lace, Fine Art, Classic.

Colour scheme of wedding:

Creams, whites, pinks, pastels

Music/entertainment:

Harpist during drinks, Disco in the evening.

 

-Real-life wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Age: Both 32

Profession: Steve - Business Travel Consultant, Fiona -   Buyer – now full time mum!

Where do you come from: Aberdeen, NE Scotland

1. How did you meet?

We got talking at a Christmas night out in 2001.

2. How did you get engaged?

Surprise proposal whilst walking along the beach at Findhorn Bay, Scotland.

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

We decided to have a small and unique wedding abroad, we had been to Italy numerous times on holiday and love the country. Having searched the internet for a wedding planner Tuscan Dreams (www.Tuscan-Dreams.com ) were extremely helpful and arranged for us to view various venues. We decided on our venue – Villa Gambassi as soon as we saw it. The nearby church suggested by Erica & Nicoletta was the ideal venue for our religious ceremony.

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

For the religious ceremony there was a lot of paperwork to be completed In the UK and Italy. We used the internet and wedding magazines to research flowers, favours, dresses etc. Erica & Nicoletta were invaluable at offering suggestions and options.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?

We had 24 guests in total.

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

Favours, Place cards, Order of Service, Invites & Thank You notes.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

The hire of the villa for one week for all of our guests – well worth it to have such a memorable week with our family and friends!

8. Where did you save the most money?

The whole wedding, the food & drink is more reasonable than the UK. Plus for the same or less cost we were able to enjoy a week with our family and friends instead of a few hours. We also saved money doing our own stationary.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

Not a thing!

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

Try to keep calm and enjoy the planning. Trust your wedding planners advice - they certainly know their stuff!. Finally enjoy the day - it goes far too fast.

The theme of your wedding and why did you chose that theme

We wanted the theme to reflect the Tuscan countryside; Cream, Gold and Chocolate Brown colours on the stationary. The flowers followed the same rustic theme – lavender on the napkins and country blooms in the church. For the favours we used traditional scented soap from the nearby village for the girls and a little bit of Scotland for the boys In the form of whisky. Bridesmaids were in Sage green.

Colour scheme of wedding :

Cream, Gold and Chocolate Brown colours

Music/entertainment:

The music was brilliant! another great recommendation from Erica and Nicolleta – a special thank you must go to Lorenzo who played the organ in the church, violin during aperitifs and the keyboard with the band later on which kept everyone dancing until 2:00am.

.

 

-Real-life wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Name: Sharon and Carl

Age: Sharon - 43, Carl - 57

Profession: Both Chief Executive Officers of organisations

Where do you come from : Near Brisbane in Queensland, Australia

1. How did you meet?

At work

2. How did you get engaged?

On a very small tropical island near Noumea, New Caledonia in the Pacific Ocean

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

We were looking for somewhere different and special, somewhere where most Australians would not think of.

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

Lots of research using the internet but mainly relied on Nicoletta and Erica from Tuscan Dreams to make the arrangements.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?

Four, two from Melbourne, Australia and two from Pittsburgh, USA

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

As we had to travel half way across the world nearly everything was bought except the owner of the villa we were staying in brought roses from her garden on the day of the wedding.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

Lunch/dinner on the veranda of the Hotel Le Fonti overlooking one of the valleys of Tuscany which went for about ten hours, had nine courses and cost about 1000 euros.

8. Where did you save the most money?

By using Tuscan Dreams to arrange nearly everything we needed for the day.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

Only try and have more friends and family there.

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

Use Tuscan Dreams, they were terrific and I doubt that we could have arranged everything without their help. Also don’t cut corners for the day as you may only do it once in your life.

The theme of your wedding: The theme was Italian and our invitations featured scenes from the town of Volterra, outfits were blue to make the blue Tuscan skies and the atmosphere remained relaxed and informal.

Colour scheme of wedding: Blue

Music/entertainment: We had no formal entertainment but the Maitre at Hotel, Francesco was amazing to watch as he served the meals, told us about the food, decanted the wine and gave us a detailed background on the wine. He made our celebratory lunch/dinner an extremely memorable occasion.