-Real-life weddings by Tuscan Dreams-

Name: Julie Man Diccon Driver
Place and date of wedding ceremony AND reception: Castello di Marcialla, Tuscany, Italy. Sat 24th July 10 booked through Tuscan Dreams www.tuscan-dreams.com

1.How did you feel when you first met your husband?
Dumbstruck by his handsome good looks and boyish charm (yes he ‘helped’ me write this).

2.When and where was your first date?
We’d been friends for a while because we worked together. We first started going out after a night at a club in London called SoulSonic.

3.What’s your best memory or funniest story of your time dating?
There’s been many funny times, too many to choose a particular event.

4.Tell us about the proposal – how did it happen?
I was taken to New York for a surprise Christmas trip. He popped the question in a restaurant in Greenwich Village.

5.Were you surprised?
YES! We’d been together for 11 years and we’d always said that we were happy together. We weren’t that fussed about getting married.
6.Did he go the traditional route and ask your father’s permission? No. Although I think he mentioned it to my mum.

LET’S TALK ABOUT THE OUTFIT!

1.Where did you find your wedding dress?
I purchased my wedding dress in a shop in Bromley called Marianne Jessica.
2.Tell us the – boutique, material, designer, price, any style details…
I initially thought I’d find something on ebay.  But this idea didn’t last long! In the end I brought the dress in a lovely little boutique style shop near where I live. As I was looking through the rails I knew I’d found the dress for me the second I clapped eyes on it. This completely blew my original ebay budget, but what’s a girl to do?
As I was getting married abroad in Tuscany it had to be quite light weight, with not too much material so it was easy to transport and cool enough to wear in the heat.  It was a beautiful ivory strapless dress with a small train made from satin like material with organza over the top. It had delicate lace and beading on the edging of dress.  And the bodice was rouched and finished off with a row of pretty flowers over one shoulder, trailing down the back of dress.  It was from the collection from Augusta Jones called Kelly.

3.How did you feel when you put it on?
I’d already fallen in love with it just from seeing it. When I tried it on it just confirmed what I thought. I loved it.
4. What accessories did you wear on the day?
The dress was quite detailed so I didn’t want too many other accessories. I opted for simple studded pearl earrings, a corsage bracelet of flowers (which the wedding shop make up for me from my dress) and a few in my hair to complete the look.

5.Tell us about the – tiara, jewellery, shoes, underwear!
I was lucky to spot a pair of silver leather shoes in TK Maxx from the Paris Hilton collection as all the bridal shoes I’d been looking at looked were cream fabric which I thought were a waste as I wouldn’t get to wear them again.

6.Where did the groom buy/hire his outfit from?
He bought it from Emporio Armani

7.Did he choose it?
Yes. Being a typical man it was the first thing he tried on. At first I thought he was just being lazy. But when I saw him try it on, I had to agree, it did look nice.

8.Describe the colour/material/style
Grey fitted suit
9.How did he look when you first saw him?
He doesn’t usually wear a suit so I thought that he looked really smart.

10.Tell us about your bridesmaids – how many did you have and who were they?
2 bridesmaids.  My two younger sisters.
11.How did you decide who to ask? How did they help you?
Easy really, as I’ve got 2 younger sisters so I asked them.  I would have like to asked two of my other friends, too, but because there was only 30 guests, I needed to keep the numbers down so there would actually be someone there to see us get married.
12.Tell us about their outfits – where did you buy the dresses (boutique/designer/material/price/accessories)?
The wedding was in Tuscany, in summer, so I didn’t want them wearing something too heavy and restricted. I stared looking early in the January sales. We found exactly what we were looking for in Karen Millen and the shoes in Aldo. All with 50% off!
13.How did they fit with the theme?
There wasn’t really a theme but we wanted brides maids dresses and groom/ushers to wear grey suits/ties.

14.Did you have any other attendants?  Did you give your attendants a gift? We paid for a night’s accommodation for everyone so we didn’t spend much on presents. I bought my sisters some Selfridges vouchers. And the Bestman and Ushers got John Lewis vouchers.

GETTING READY

1.Tell us about your make-up..
I opted for shades of brown.  Nothing too fancy. Just an ‘upgrade’ from my day to day make up.
2.What brands did you use?
Clinique quickliner for eyes brown/black eyeliner and Clinique Foxy 404 eyeshadow.
3.Do you have a make-up tip for other brides?
Thought that I was going to be very tearful on the day so I did a test of a few waterproof mascaras and decided on Maybelline The Colossal Volume Express Waterproof mascara.Highly recommend it!

4. How about hair – did you and your maids hire a hairstylist? If so who, and what did she do?
I knew roughly what I wanted and use the hairdresser that the wedding planners recommended.
It was lovely for me and my friends all having our hair done at the same time, with a glass of champagne before the ceremony to calm my nerves. Mine was quite simple with lose curls in a bun put up to the opposite side of the train of flowers on my dress. I also had some flowers left over from my dress which I attached to hair pins and then they were put in my hair.

THE CEREMONY

1. Tell us about the ceremony …
The ceremony was a simple affair in the sunny grounds of an Italian castle ( Castello di Marcialla booked through Tuscan Dreams www.tuscan-dreams.com ).
As neither of us are religious so we opted for a celebrant rather than a priest.
2.Did you have readings and/or music?
We had my husband’s mum and our friend Mel do a reading.
3.Who walked you down the aisle?
My mum walked me down the isle

BIG DAY DETAILS

1. How did you create your fabulous big day look? So tell us all about the suppliers you used.
We used Tuscan Dreams wedding planners.  Erica/Nicoletta from Tuscan Dreams made planning our wedding very easy from booking our venue to making sure our day went smoothly. Their details are:- dream@Tuscan-dreams.com www.tuscan-dreams.com
As I didn’t know how I wanted to get married it took us a while to come up with ideas.  It wasn’t until someone at work said that they were getting married in Tuscany that I thought that could work for us seeing as we wanted a small wedding, outside in the sun, with tasty local Italian food.
2. What was your theme?
We wanted to use local flowers so there were lots of sunflowers and herbs for the table decorations and white roses and herbs for the bouquets.
3.Where did you get your stationery?
My husband works for an advertising company so he came up with the idea. For the invites he designed a 70s style postcard to invite our friends to come on a ‘holiday’ with us. The table plan and order service tied in with our sunflowers theme we had on the tables.


4.What transport did you hire/borrow?
No transport was needed as everything was under one roof.
5.What decorations did you buy and how did you decorate the venue?
Tuscan Dreams did a fantastic job of decorating the venue with lanterns, tee lights, ribbons, lights in jars on bird hooks and waxed candle bags.
6.Tell us about your cake – did you buy it, made it, order it? Tell us about the flavours/topping…
We didn’t have a traditional wedding cake we opted for a locally produced cake called Riccotta di Chocolate, which was lovely
7. Were you inspired by any celebrity weddings? If so, who?
If anything, seeing how some celebrities did it made us sure of how we didn’t want it to be.

THE RECEPTION

1.Tell us about the reception – where was your venue?
The reception was in the old castle where we were all staying. ( Castello di Marcialla booked through Tuscan Dreams www.tuscan-dreams.com ).
2.How did you do the table plan – was it a traditional top table?
We wanted all our immediate family on the top table and then we just tried to spread everyone else out so they would be sat with people they knew.
3.How many people did you cater for? Did more arrive later?
We catered for 30 people.
Canapes and Prosecco to start with after the ceremony and a hogroast meal when we sat down.
No one turned up later.
4.Tell us about the speeches – what was memorable? What made you laugh/cry/throw plates?!
We kept the speeches to a minimum. My husband did an amusing ‘Thank-you’ speech and his bestman was very funny. But then my husband is a bit of a wally, so he plenty of material to work with.

EVENING DO

1.What was your entertainment – music/band/DJ?
We had a DJ. But we gave him exactly what we wanted him to play. Wedding DJs can be pretty awful and especially in another country where we thought he might not speak much English. At first he was a bit reluctant to play our music but by the end of the night he’s liked it so much he asked if he could keep the mix we’d given him!
2. Tell us about the first dance – what song did you chose and why? Did you choreograph a routine?
We chose a song by the French band ‘Air’. It was a song my husband used to play to me when we first met. Our dance was more ’school disco’ than ’strictly’. We hadn’t really thought about until about a minute before the song came on.
3. Describe your favours (if you had them)… were they different for male and female guests?
Didn’t have any
4. Tell us your most memorable moment…
The whole weekend was unforgettable. Close friends and family. Great food. Bright Sunshine and the beautiful Tuscan countryside. I can highly recommend getting married in Tuscany. And can highly recommend Tuscan Dreams.

TOP TIPS

1.Based on your own experience, give us some top tips…
For brides - Keep it simple. Don’t panic. Enjoy it. If a little thing goes wrong, don’t let it ruin your day just have another glass of Champagne and go with the flow.
For grooms - Erm…pick someone you love.
For keeping to a budget - Get married abroad. It’s a lot cheaper than you think. The food is better and there’s no corkage!
“If we could do it all again, we’d…” wouldn’t change anything!

2.Tell us about the honeymoon – when/where did you go? what did you do?
As we were getting married in Tuscany we decided to have a few days after the wedding there, bit like a minimoon, which was lovely after all the rushing about. In September we’re off to Kenya for beach and safari. (I’ll be on the beach, my husband will be off looking for elephants!)

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