Archive for June, 2012

- Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

More and more brides build their special day around a theme and Demetria Maratheftis of Greek origin and her groom Alex Alibert, were no exception. They were determined to have a wedding in Tuscany themed around the celebration of the senses.

The day began with a beautiful catholic ceremony in the Santa Maria a Chianni, followed by a gorgeous reception in the beautiful Villa Gambassi, situated in a small ancient hamlet in Tuscany.
The luxury villa with a private pool is steeped in history and surrounded by idyllic countryside with several acres of oak forests. The property has been completely renovated and it is the ideal setting to organize small to medium size weddings.

Erica Bellini, founder of Tuscan Dreams, planned the couple’s wedding, with a request to cater for all the senses throughout the day. With over 10 years experience organising weddings in Tuscany, Erica knows that with careful event planning couples can achieve their perfect day in a perfect setting, no matter how elaborate or different their desires!

Erica says: “This wedding was very much a feast of the senses. Demetria had bouquets of ivory, lavender, rosemary scents. Candles were placed everywhere as the smell of wax is connected with the Greek Orthodox religion as well as the notion that the flame of a candle is a symbol of passion, and it points towards Heaven.”

There was also a Greek marriage ritual in which the bride’s mother placed incense sticks around the room and wrapped a red scarf around the bride three times. “This symbolises fire and was thought to protect the bride from evil spirits in ancient times” said Erica.
Their wedding was held in September, a time when the vineyards will either still be full of ripe grapes or without grapes but the leaves will have turned into a million shades of colours, either are a feast for the eyes.
Other months perfect to get married in Italy are:
• May/June when the countryside is still green and poppy fields still in bloom.
• July if you love the sound of sunflower fields and golden wheat fields/

Demetria and Alex’s guests dined on a feast of fresh and organic food from local suppliers. Erica says: “If your wedding is being held in or near a small town 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.”
Entertainment came in the form of a string trio and soprano during the ceremony and during the evening a DJ played traditional Greek songs as well as English tunes that got everyone up dancing.

Other ways to entertainment your guests and to save money are:
• Spend money on an incredible band, rather than lots of entertainment.
• Live music as opposed to pre-recorded music makes a terrific difference to the party.
• Downloading music to an iPod is the cheapest option but make sure not to over use it. For the most emotional (the ceremony) or energetic moments (evening dancing) of the wedding day make sure that you have live music to make it unforgettable. You can use the iPod during canapés or as background music during the sit down dinner.

• It’s a great plus to have musically talented friends or family perform during the wedding day. It will make the day unique and special.
Reflecting back on her day, Demetria said: “We laughed and giggled from beginning to end and I wish we would do it all over again. Obviously the weather helped but everything else fell into place seamlessly – the church, the candles, and the fine wine!”


- Weddings in Style by Tuscan Dreams -

It was ball of wool that initially brought Richard and Kirsten Hossack together.
Kirsten, 37, had bought the wool to try and teach her niece to knit and on the way to the canteen began talking about it to fellow IT consultant Richard.
Within a year the wedding was booked despite the fact that Richard, 34, later admitted he hadn’t got a clue what Kirsten had been talking about but hadn’t said anything because he didn’t want to appear stupid!

Both loved Italy and wanted to marry in Certaldo, the home of the Italian language but realised very early on they needed expert help to make it happen and to make it happen for £2500!
Erica Bellini, Wedding organiser for Tuscan Dreams, specialises in Tuscan weddings of all sizes and has arranged more than 50 celebrations so she quickly arranged the small but exquisite ceremony, wedding breakfast and accommodation.

Kirsten says: “Once we had called Erica all the horrors of organisation simply melted away. The wedding was perfect. We flew both sets of parents out and had the most beautiful day. Half way through the ceremony the Mayor, who was performing the service, took a phone call and we heard him say he was in the middle of a wedding so could they please call back later!

“When we were declared man and wife we kissed and there was a huge round of applause. The whole town had come out to see us and had crept in quietly and then kissed us and shook our hands as we left. It was just amazing”.

Following the service the party of seven went to a local restaurant for a superb Italian dinner, complete with harpist.
Kirsten, from Ascot in Berkshire, says: “The wedding was the most amazing day of my life. I can’t relate to people who talk about weddings and stress, this just wasn’t the case at all for us. Erica took care of everything; she found us the most beautiful flowers and even helped at the hairdressers as the Italian weather treats English hair rather differently so insider knowledge was a godsend! She was like a fairy godmother – everything came together seamlessly and amazingly.”

Erica says: “Arranging a wedding in Italy can be difficult unless you know the customs and can speak the language and you really do need to use good local suppliers to get the best food, wine, flowers and transport. Every wedding is unique and individual so it doesn’t matter if you want a tiny wedding like Kirsten’s or a big celebration for 200 people, we work with you to make sure it is exactly what you want minus the stress!”