Posts Tagged ‘ Certaldo ’

- Real-Life Weddings by Tuscan Dreams -

Name: Mawgan and Tom
Age: Mawgan - 28, Tom - 27
Profession: Mawgan -Mother to Caleb 15 months , Tom - Banker
Where do you come from : Mawgan - Nottingham, Tom - Surrey

1. How did you meet?
We met at Bath University in 2001 when I was in my final year of my Economics degree, and Tom was in the third year of his five year Structural and Civil Engineering Masters degree
2. How did you get engaged?
Tom proposed early one morning at home. I was so shocked I made him ask me again!
3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?
We looked at various places in and around London but none suited what we wanted.  A family friend had got married the previous year in Italy and that inspired to look into the possibility of getting married there.  We went backpacking in Italy in 2002 and had a wonderful time so it seemed like a great place to get married.

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?
We looked at lots of websites and then contacted Tuscan Dreams.
We got married in the magic Medieval hamlet of Certaldo and the venue was Villa Gambassi.
All the guests were also staying on site which made things very practical logistically.
5. How many guests attended your wedding?

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?
We put together a booklet with information on the surrounding area, travel, car hire, restaurants and sent them to all our guests.
7. What was your biggest extravagance?
Photographer and wedding dress

8. Where did you save the most money?
Compared to the UK, the food was incredibly good value.  We also did our own music so that we had complete control and only paid for the soundsystem.
9. Would you change anything about your wedding?
Nothing at all!
10. What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?
Enjoy it and don’t get too caught up in the little details.
11. Colour scheme of wedding : FLOWERS - white and light pink calla lillies in tall vases.
As favours we had lovely bottles of Limoncello for the ladies and Grappa for the men to give it that Italian touch.

12. Music/entertainment: String quartet during ceremony and canapés then own music for the evening.


-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.
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-

Name: Eleni and Julian

Age: Eleni 39, Julian  40

Profession: Eleni Teacher, Julian Accountant

Where do you come from: Bristol, UK

1. How did you meet?

We met through close friends some years before getting together in 2005.

2. How did you get engaged?

On Christmas morning 2006, the Engagement ring was hanging from Christmas tree!

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

We chose Tuscany having travelled there in 2006, then Tuscan Dreams helped us choose a location for the civil ceremony (Certaldo) and the wedding ceremony (Castello di Marcialla) using maps & photos. Both venues seemed very intimate & romantic and were suitable for the size of our wedding party & in close proximity to both Pisa & Florence, so our guests could travel easily as well as enjoying the sites.

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

We took a 2 day trip to the area in March 07, met up with Erica & Nicoletta, organised the official paperwork, visited the Certaldo Town Hall & the Castle. Initial discussions took place regarding flowers, food & music and we left Tuscany knowing exactly what we needed to do & what decisions we needed to make. After the trip, we spent time researching menus, wine, music etc, using Erica & Nicoletta as guidance all the way.

5. How many guests attended your wedding?


6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

Invitations & Order of Service cards.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

Possibly the food & wine, but considering the quality I would say we got value for money.

8. Where did you save the most money?

Compared to prices in the UK, I think the cost of renting a castle in Italy saves a huge amount of money.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

We loved the live folk music so much that we would probably ask them to play again in the evening.

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

Definitely visit the area first & work out the travel & accommodation plans well in advance. We found June a lovely month to have a wedding, warm & sunny but not too hot. Arrange a group meal or social engagement the night before the wedding through Tuscan Dreams so that all the guests get to know each other really well before the actual wedding day. If possible, try out the accommodation so that guests are not disappointed. We preferred that everyone stayed away from the castle, so that it was a complete surprise on the day of the wedding.

Colour scheme of wedding: Lavender, pink peonies & crème colours were combined in the floral arrangements, whilst men wore mostly light-coloured or beige suits with white rose button-holes. The table settings had a simple glass vase with hand-tied flowers which matched the bouquet. The general tone was fairly informal, matching the relaxed mood we wanted to have with an alfresco wedding.

What music did you choose?

A classical duo of violin & cello played before, during & after the ceremony, a mixture of well-known classical music and one or two favourites from West Side Story (ably sung by my sister & brother-in-law)! A fantastic folk trio played during the meal, which surprised & thrilled everyone!


-Real-life wedding by Tuscan Dreams-


Name: Juliet and Edwin
Age: both 40
Profession: Juliet - Investment Analyst and Edwin - Card Scheme Director
Where do you come from: London


1.How did you meet? 

We met many years ago when we were at school, but Edwin joined the army and went abroad, so we lost touch. Then 18 years later he went to a school reunion and met a friend of mine who told him where I worked. I remember being at work and being shaken to receive an e mail from him. We met for lunch and became friends before realising that we had fallen very much in love with each other again. 

2.How did you get engaged? 

Edwin whisked me off to Florence in February for my birthday and we spent a very romantic long weekend there. On the final day we walked up to San Miniato, at the top of a hill overlooking the city. On the way he bought me the most beautiful red velvet rose. When we got to the top he started to ask me and I was too nervous. So we walked back down into the city and stopped for lunch and he confessed that I had ruined his proposal plans and we got engaged there over pizza and a rather good bottle of chianti. 

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

Our first holiday together was in Tuscany (I absolutely love Italy) and luckily Edwin fell in love with it too. He said at the time that he wanted to marry me there, that was just a few months into our relationship.  

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

Very little really. We googled to find out about getting married in Tuscany and we were incredibly lucky that, just on the basis of  their prompt and helpful reply to our first e-mail, we chose Erica and Nicoletta at Tuscan Dreams as our wedding planners. They were absolutely fantastic and kept emailing us options for the venue through to the flowers and musicians. It was unbelievably pain-free. We did go out to see the villa where we would be staying and having the blessing, but by then it had already been booked. Luckily it lived up to all the beautiful photos that Nicoletta and Erica had sent us. 

5.How many guests attended your wedding? 

We had just six of us at the civil ceremony in the beautiful hilltop medieval town of Certaldo. Then two days later we had the main event – a blessing in the gardens of the stunning villa at which we were staying. There were 17 guests for that wedding. 

6.What did you ‘make from scratch’? 

We decided to write out place names for all our guests and put quotations on the back. Many were romantic ones that were special to us but there were some humorous ones too, and we tried to make sure that they were appropriate to each guest.

We also wrote our own vows for the blessing so that we could make promises to each other that were special to us. 

7.What was your biggest extravagance?

Making the decision to have the civil ceremony in Italy and not in London was a little extravagant, but it was well worth it. It was incredibly romantic sitting in the courtyard of a medieval town hall, in the stillness of the midday sunshine and being married in Italian.

Although I imagine that it was probably two of our guests arriving by helicopter that was the most extravagant gesture. 

8.Where did you save the most money?

We didn’t have chauffeur-driven cars. My husband drove me to the civil ceremony in the open-topped mini we had hired – his equivalent of a white charger. Then the blessing was all based at the villa at which we were staying. 

9.Would you change anything about your wedding? 

Absolutely nothing. 

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

Go to Italy – it’s incredibly beautiful and very romantic. But do use a wedding planner as dealing with all the paperwork would be a real headache without one.



The theme of your wedding: Being able to have two weddings in Italy meant that we could have two entirely different styles for each. The civil ceremony was black and white 1950s. The blessing was just all about romance. 

Colour scheme of the wedding: The civil ceremony was black and white and the blessing was blue/purple and white.

Music/entertainment: We had a tenor sing at the ceremony and while people enjoyed prosecco and canapés. We both love opera. Then we downloaded music to play in the evening – a combination of songs from when we first met all those years ago to more modern tunes that had become special to us when we got back together.




- Weddings in Tuscany by Tuscan Dreams-

The lower and residential side of this town is just like any other towns in Italy. But just a minute away higher up hides like proper treasures do, a neat and undiscovered Medieval hamlet. It is almost as a small village on its own quiet and well preserved a real step back in history and a simple journey into time lost Romanticism.

Palazzo Pretorio with its pretty courtyard is a stunning setting for the wedding of your dream. The Palazzo built in 13th century as the residence of the Lord of this area seems to have been especially thought for weddings. The courtyard with its frescoed ceiling and beautiful ancient well, the back garden and the views that one can enjoy from its main tower make Certaldo a unique backdrop for such a special day.


- Weddings in Tuscany by Tuscan Dreams -

One can be amazed by the beauty and the history behind most Tuscan Town Halls. Each individual Hall has got its own characteristics linked to the history of the city.  If you wish to tie the knot in Tuscany and do this in a civil ceremony then here are the top 5 Town Halls.

In terms of legality you should hire an interpeter to take care of the paperwork.