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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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The Colour Purple

I think I have mentioned previously that I was never one of those girls who by the age of five had their whole wedding mentally figured out.

I had never really been too bothered about it. Of course, I had always believed in the depths of my mind that I would get married one day but the finer details of the event were a haze.

Once the arranging of our Italian nuptials were underway, my friend kept asking me so what kind of dress? What kind of place? Church or hall? Summer or winter? What’s your colour scheme?. I knew about the dress but didn’t tell a soul about it, not even my bestie! I knew it would be a hall of some description and I knew I wanted it at the end of summer. It’s far too hot in Italy to have a July or August wedding and far too cold in December and November for a winter wedding!
About the colours, I had no idea at all.

Over a usual coffee and cake brunch with my bestie and made of honour, she grilled me, even forced me, into making a colour decision. Peach? No! Mink? No! Olive? No!

Every colour option just seemed a bit, well, obvious. Until she had a beautiful brain storm.

What was your Grandma’s favourite colour? As she can’t be there, choose that and you’ll feel like she’s involved in some way.”

Perfect. Purple it is!

My Grandma had passed away not long before and I was really upset at the thought of her not attending my wedding. This was a lovely sentiment and the fact that my bestie came up with the idea made it even more special (she knows me well!).

So the hunt for all things lilac and purple began. I only wish that Pinterest existed then because these pictures from my board, La Mia Bella Matrimonio, would have been my absolute guide and Bible. How lovely and rich does a purple wedding look?

Love how elegant lilac looks – so fresh! Well done Trendy Bride for putting this little collage together. foto

These delish purple cup cakes frpm Style Me Pretty are a delish alternative to a wedding cake and the setting looks exactly like where the Italian is from, at the bottom of the Dolomites! LOVE! Foto

Gorgeous outdoor weddings like this are so feminine, shame it rained.. and rained on my wedding day! Aixoo got it just right. Foto

Purple flowers, peacock feathers and candle light – absolutely gorgeous for a romantic setting.  Again, Style Me Pretty have outshone themselves! LOVE Love loooove. Foto.

And my very own wedding bouquet incorporating all my Grandma’s favourite colours and flowers!

What colour did you choose? I’m interested to know your sentimental feelings. Do share!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on October 25, 2012 in Italia

 

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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:

Foto

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:

Foto

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.

Foto

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!

Foto

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

Foto

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!

Foto

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!

Foto

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!

Foto

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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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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The Italian: A Horses Head in my Bed #2

It had been days that I had been able to keep up the facade. I ignored the Italian’s calls and purposefully didn’t return them. I deleted his texts. I gathered his belongings and packed them into a bag.

“What are’a you’a doin’a? You’a been’a stupid’a girl’a now eh?!” he said “answer your’a bloody’a phone’a!!”

After about a week, I took the cowards option again and text him to tell him to come to the flat and collect his things. Five minutes, in and out. Job done.

Having never dated a foreigner before, I was in for a shock.

He was persistent. He arrived, as usual, on time. I could tell he had made an extra effort with his appearance; nice shirt, his best jeans, aftershave.

“Now’a sit’a down’a ere’a an’ tell me’a what the hell’a you’a doin'” he said as he patted the sofa with his Mediterranean tanned, perfectly manicured yet masculine hand.

The “chat” began. He basically lectured me into understanding that if I had a problem with space, I should have told him. If I had a problem with him, I should have told him. If I had a problem being in a relationship, I should have told him. “How’a can’a we jump’a over buildings’a if’a we don’ta talk it?”.

Hurdles. You mean jump over hurdles. Talk about it, not talk it.

I listened. I argued. I explained. This was all going way too fast for me. Only a few months previous I had been free and single and actually loving it. I wasn’t ready for this. The staying over was one thing but staying over permanently was another.

To my surprise, the Italian was, as ever, accommodating. This laid back Mediterranean attitude was new to me. An Englishman would have long stormed out. The Italian, however, was strategically fighting his corner. I couldn’t help but be a tiny bit impressed.

“Guarda” (Look), he said. “You’a like’a me, I’a think’a you’re a not’a that bad’a, you either’a go’a out’a with me’a, or’a you don’t a”. I couldn’t help, again, but be impressed with his candid frankness. “But’a I’a tell’a you this a’now, I’a not puttin’a up with this rabbish, you’a not’a twelve’a eh?!”.

That told me. He wasn’t finished.

“I’a think’a that we ‘av’a good thing ‘ere’a. Now, dont’a you’a look’a ‘orse in Its’a mouth’a to count’a all Its’a teeth’a! Ok?!”.

Don’t look a horse in its mouth to count all it’s teeth?? After an enormous fit if giggles at how stupid he sounded I realised he was telling me that as we had a good thing, I shouldn’t look a gift horse in the mouth and just accept things as they were.

I did accept things and I stayed with him. I gave it a shot and with a bit more communication and a lot of patience, we both settled into our new circumstances.

It wasn’t before long that the very thing I had been running from happened.

The Italian moved in officially and that was that. I had committed to having his horse’s head on the pillow next to me forever more but promised never to look in his mouth to count his teeth!

X-O-X

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Posted by on July 20, 2012 in London

 

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