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Wedding Belles

I had never really thought of what kind of wedding dress I wanted. I had never thought of what wedding I wanted to be honest. I was never one of those girls who obsessed over ever frilly detail and knew the exact requirements before I had even found Mr Right.

Given I was marrying in Italy, I decided on something old style Italian and based my dress ideas around vintage Sofia Loren. Vintage but classic.

The dress is such a huge and personal decision. It’s worn for one day and looked at in photos forever more. The dress choice required a lot more decision-making and dedication than I had ever imagined! Couldn’t I just wear my jeans and flip-flops?

As an only child I couldn’t do my mum out of the privilege of seeing me dressed like a bride and although I made a fuss at the dress fittings because I felt like a transvestite in fancy dress, I actually did feel really special on the day.

Here are a few of the ideas I came up with and styles that I liked, from my Pinterest board, La Mia Bella Matrimonio.

Absolutely LOVE LOVE LOVE the fish tail silohette on this Oscar de la Renta dress and the veil is just stunning! Foto

I’m not one for massively long trains but as usual Style Me Pretty have come up trumps with this just right lace train, dress by Donna McMahon.  The back is beautiful for a summer wedding and bronze exposed skin but do avoid if there is an ever so tiny hint of a back boob! Thats not a good look for backless dresses, especially on your wedding day! Foto

Again, Elegant Elegant Elegant Love Love Love! This style of dress is ideal for any woman wanting to show off an hour glass figure. Foto

Im not one for getting my arms out! Let it be said, there is nothing hollywood vintage glamour about a bingo wing is there?! I am also not heavenly endowed in the cleavage department so whilst the arms on this dress are perfect for me, the sweetheart boobie affair is not.  Still, im totally in love with Italian lace so with a bit of tweaking, this idea was top of my list! Foto

So with a few drawings and a bit of dabbling in lace and cotton thread, I came up with some ideas that would fit my Sofia Loren style, vintage Italian wedding dress theme a treat.  Keep up with the next post to found out what “the dress” turned out like!

Puffball or pleats, basque or bodice, wedding dresses are a personal choice.  What does yours say about you?  Do share!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on October 27, 2012 in London

 

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Finding “Our” Place

When the Italian and I decided to get married, it was an automatic decision that the wedding was to be held in Italy.  Other than the obvious Italian luxuries like food, good wine, prosecco and extremely picturesque locations, the Italians Nonna, who was 90 at the time, had breast cancer and couldn’t travel.  So, we wanted to bring our wedding to her.

The location choice was really hard as the town where the Italian is from is literally forty minutes drive from everywhere, in every direction: mountains, sea and city.  I knew I wanted to try to aim for an English rose garden affair, but in Italy.  That wasnt going to be an easy feat.

We started scanning the internet for ideas and locations and when we found various places we liked the look of, the Italian called and enquired about prices, menus, catering etc.  however, the huge problem with wedding planning in Italy that we came across was that the Italians just don’t use the internet.  Websites are old and pictures are ancient.  You don’t get a good feel of how a place would look in reality.  It’s still very much a case of recommendation and word of mouth, which isn’t easy when you’re trying to arrange a wedding from another country.

We had a few trips to italy to view venues and after various trips back and forth I was in love with three places.  All were very different and offered us different things but we had a strict list of considerations to stick to.  Some  our guests were coming from England so we had to consider distance from the airport, local bars, transport from the hotel and transport from the wedding venue.  So, my (I say my, because the Italian really didn’t have a choice in this one!) first choice was out because it was too far from everywhere and a nightmare to transport everyone to and from.  I was heartbroken! Let me introduce your to Castle Brando:

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I think I actually shed a tear when we realised that this place was out of our reach.  I had never imagined getting married in a castle before.  I’m much more a jeans and flip-flops kind of girl so I was quite surprised at myself that I was so upset.  Alas, there was a plan B.

One one of our trips I had convinced the Italian to visit a place that I had found on the internet.  Their website was ancient and photographs were terrible so he was really reluctant.  However, when we got there it was amazing! It was a Venetion country palazzo adorned with old furniture and regal looking decor.  The gardens were breath-taking and again, I was in love. Let me introduce you to Villa Luppis:

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We were treated to a fabulous dinner at Villa Luppis and even today, I still remember how good the food was.  It was definitely the best food were tasted from all the venues we visited.  I loved everything about Villa Luppis but the only thing that we had an issue with was space for the children.  We had a handful of children at our wedding and this villa, although stunning, is a very grown up, very sophisticated kind of place.  That was the only thing that we stumbled on.  So, cue more tears and side step to plan C.

A neighbour of the Italian’s parents told us about a venue that their daughter had recently got married at and suggested that we definitely take a look.  I wasnt convinced.  Knowing his parents neighbours and their daughter, I wasnt sure her taste of venue was exactly and true match for my taste.  Nevertheless, we made a trip for a viewing.  How surprised we were!

We drove through a small town and followed the directions up a meandering hill, into and above the prosecco vineyards of Conegliano and then, there it was.  Let me introduce you to Casteletto.

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Turning the corner through the vineyards to discover the iron gates that led to a gravelled driveway was a surprise.  As we approached the top and walked forward we were totally blown away by the view.  It was stunning!. There it was, a tiny little castle with a chapel, on the hill, hidden amongst the trees.  From the outside it was perfect.

Was this really a castle fit for a princess?

Did you have the in love feeling when you found your venue?

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 28, 2012 in Italia

 

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A Band of Gold

When the Italian and I started to look at wedding rings he knew instantly that he wanted something Italian, traditional and durable. For him the choice was easy: a plain yellow gold band.

I on the other hand initially started out looking for all the flashy diamond bands: half bands, full bands, bands with filigree detail. I think I was so overcome at the absence of an engagement ring that I was trying to make up for it in the wedding band. How silly.

After walking inches off the Italians legs through Hatton Garden in London, I discovered that all the flashy bands didn’t suit me. And so plain Jane struck again, a simple gold band it was to be for me to.

However, on one of our wedding arranging trips to Italy, I was introduced to a jeweler in the Italian’s home town. He told me about Damiani. I fell in love. Their designs are so classic and understated yet elegant and pretty. Not at all plain.

Damiani are most famously known for being the wedding ring designer of choice for Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston. Brad and Jen designed their own rings but Damiani controversially used the design without their permission (allegedly).

Although the rings didn’t hold much luck for Brad and Jen’s life time commitment, I wasn’t put off. I chose a simple gold band, squared at the edges, with one simple solitaire diamond embedded into the middle.

Here are a few pics I took of the latest Damiani collections on my last trip to Italy. You can also find them on my Pinterest board, La Mia Bella Matrimonio.

LOVE LOVE LOVE the Damiani bands!

And, if you’re going to have a diamond necklace, have a Damiani heart full of them!

Anyone for tennis….bracelet? Si Si SI!

Love diamonds, love Damiani!

Is your band of gold plain and simple?

*All fotos are mine

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 13, 2012 in Italia

 

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A Little Diamond

When the Italian proposed, it wasn’t like every girls dream where the knight in shining armour races in on a horse then gets down in one knee to reveal a giant whopping platinum diamond ring.

Believe me, I could forego the knight and horse no problem but if I’m really honest, the ring would have been nice. However, at the time the Italian was a mature full-time student so I knew I was about to say yes to marrying him because I saw a good future with him. That meant that in the present, some things had to be sacrificed including the whopping diamond ring.

To my surprise, I didn’t care thatmuch. I was just happy to be marrying him. It doesn’t harm a girl to dream, does it?

Here are a few whoppa’s from my Pinterest board La Lia Bella Matrimonio, that, given half the chance, I probably wouldn’t have turned my nose up at!

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This is massive and way too big for me but I can’t help swoon!

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I do like matching ring sets but I feel they’re a bit over done these days. Still, I wouldn’t say no if I was gifted one!

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When we went window shopping to Hatton Garden I tried on mostly precious stone rings as solitaire diamonds don’t suit my hand. I absolutely adore sapphires and this vintage style sapphire and diamond ring is right up my strada! Yes please!

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I could also be partial to an emerald. In fact, I have four lovely little emerald stones sitting in a box in my bedroom that were gifted to me by a friend for my 30th birthday. One day I’ll turn them into something beautiful!

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I think Aquamarine is also really elegant and obviously paired with diamonds it’s just stunning. I always swoon over the massive rock that Kirsty Allsopp wears on Location, Location, Location. And, Mummy Rates It… Don’t think I didn’t notice yours! Stunning.

And last but by no means least, any of these would go down a treat – I’m not fussy! (and if you believe that, you believe anything!).

Was your other half a little diamond by gifting you with a stunning gem?

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 12, 2012 in Italia

 

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It’s Only A Suggestion!

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Firstly, I apologies for not keeping the momentum of the whole Italian Wedding thing going at a smooth steady pace.  As you may imagine, I have had rather a lot going on recently but alas, without further ado, I will continue:

When we got back to London we called our parents to break the news of our engagement.

My mum was delighted. The Italian, in her eyes, is a good man who will look after me. He made quite a few sacrifices to be with me and she has always admired him for it.

The Italian’s parents, as usual, had something to say. Why didn’t we tell them when we were in Italy? How long have we known? You get the picture. Well, we’ve known for like, five hours, and we didn’t tell you in Italy because it only happened, like, five hours ago!

Like any Latin mother, this opened the flood gates to various “suggestions”. Where we should do it, when we should do it, who should be invited.

The Italian is rather stubborn and immediately his mind was set: wedding in Italy (fine by me), in the autumn (fine by me), only close family, no aunties/uncles/cousins that we don’t see regularly (fine by me, not fine by his mother).

I can count my favourite relatives on one hand so I wasn’t put off by this arrangement at all. His mother however had already drawn up “her list” and had pulled it from her handbag quicker than Clint Eastwood can brandish a pistol from a holster!

The list consisted of venues, invitees, thoughts and ideas. Thanks but no thanks.  The Italian was quick to draw a line through the various names of neighbours, cousins that lived hours away, aunties and uncles that never telephoned him let alone visited.  It was only bound to cause controversy.  Pens at the ready! On the list, off the list, on the list, off the list!

My spoken Italian back then wasn’t great, which in hindsight, really was a wonderful thing as it didn’t allow me to tell her where to shove it!  The Italian did a pretty good job of that on his own.

We were on a tight budget and the Italian spent a lot of time on the phone making enquiries.  His mother in law couldn’t believe that we, mostly he, could organise a wedding in Italy, from England, using the internet and the phone.

Meanwhile, my mother kept herself busy organising my hand-made wedding dress and bridesmaid dresses, at my pleasure and request, whilst his mother kept herself busy “making suggestions” and getting annoyed when we said thanks but no thanks.

That was the first sign that I was marrying in to a Latin family and probably faced a life time of suggestions.

So before it got too out of hand, the Italian thanked his thoughtful mother for thinking of us and being so helpful but for now we had everything under control.

We had a tiny, friendly suggestion for her…….Back off!

Do you have issues with your mother in law? Do share stories!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on September 9, 2012 in Italia

 

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The Italian: All Too Much

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Sometimes being married to an Italian is HARD WORK!!

Usually I can’t fault him. He cleans (more than I do). He cooks (better than I do). He does the washing (not better than I do but at least he does it without me having to ask/remind him).

However, there are a few things lately, just a few, that are irritating me.

I apologise in advance for the rant but needs must.

In following the SatNav, I say to him “get in your right hand lane”. He doesn’t and in his refusal to believe for a split second that I might actually be right, he ignored me, took a wrong turning, got us lost and added half an hour to an already long journey!

I’m pregnant. Iwas tired. I needed to go to bed. I said to him “would you mind taking the washing out of the dryer and fold it before you come to bed”. He did take it out of the dryer, whilst it was still damp and left it in a pile on our spare bed. Not only was the duvet now damp but my work clothes were not dry and they were also now creased to high heaven!

I was at work. Busy. I said to him “please can you call the estate agent today and confirm the details”. He didnt’t. His excuse? Didn’t have time! What? In between afternoon snoozes, feeding the ducks and having coffee in the park with your daddy mates. So so busy! Funny how he can walk around the house wearing the floorboards out when he’s on the phone to his family or friends but as soon as he’s in the street he can’t walk and talk at all. Incredible.

It’s just all too muh! Is this the stubbornness of a foreign man or just men in general? I find Italian men to be particularly selective in the hearing department. This then causes their understanding of normal everyday concepts to be extremely difficult! Perhaps I should just stop moaning and sod off to the park, apparently life is much better there!

Men eh! Who needs’em?!

X-O-X

 

 
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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in London

 

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The Italian: A Romantic Proposal?

It’s been a while since I wrote anything on the story of how the Italian and I came to be in wedded bliss but you might recall I told you about how we met, our first date and how we came to live over the brush.

You would think that dating, let alone being married to an Italian means that i wake up every day to a rose on my pillow, sweet nothings whispered in sensual Italian in my ear and that I’m showered with romance at every given opportunity.

If you think that, you would indeed be incorrect. Our engagement is a perfect example of how romance doesn’t feature much in our lives.

We had been visiting the Italian’s family and friends in Italy and despite the usual rows with parents, we had had a wonderful time. We were both sad to be going back to london, leaving behind great weather, good food and fabulous friends.

When we got to the airport, I saw a vulnerable side to the Italian that was quite endearing. He is normally the type of person who talks incessantly, sometimes mostly rubbish just to fill the gaps, he’s not overly tactile or overtly emotional for an Italian and often prefers to keep his true feelings hidden rather than get into a situation where he feels the need to explain himself.

He was very quiet. Subdued almost. As we approached the gates to departure we thanked his parents for a lovely time and for the first time I saw the Italian get emotional upon his leaving his folks behind. This wasn’t normal, he usually can’t wait to leave.

Once we were through customs, I asked him if he was ok.

“I’ad a loverly time you’a know. This’a time. I’a always enjoy’a myself when’s you are’a by me.” he said softly, almost thoughtful.

“I’a don’a ever wan’a be in a situation when’a you’re’a not ‘ere.” he continued. Then, out of the blue, right there in the middle of the departure lounge, like it was an everyday statement, he looked me straight in the eye…

“I think’a we should’a get married!!”.

A statement. Not a question. Not on one knee. A statement. In the middle of the departure lounge in the most rubbish airport in the world (it didn’t even have a duty-free where we could by champagne!).

“Well that’s not what every girl dreams of but on then.. Let’s get married!”.

Like every other little girl, I had imagined fairy tale romances, hearts and flowed, candle lit dinners and a Milk Tray man delivering my enormous diamond engagement ring via circling helicopter over a snow-capped mountain!

“You really mean it? Married? Are you sure?” I double checked.

“Look’a, I love’a you, you’a love’a me…..”

“Ok!” I said rather blazé like we had just had a normal conversation and not like we had just made a life changing decision at all.

As we headed to the departure gate to catch our flight to London Stansted, we grinned from war to ear at what had just happened. When? Where? There was a lot to decide!

Once we had boarded our Ryanair flight and made ourselves comfortable, we started the celebrations straight away, with two large coffees and a large bag of peanut M&Ms!!

And that was it, our romantic airport proposal. There was no down on one knee, no ring, no fuss. It was perfect!!

How did your man propose? Do tell!

X-O-X

 

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2012 in Italia

 

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