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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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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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Dates Gone Bad: Camel Mike

As you may remember, I saw Marie Claire magazine tweeted about one of their bloggers, Lucy Robinson, and how she had been on hundreds of disastrous dates and ended up getting a two book deal from Penguin.  So, I set out to document a few my own.  It was quite hard to dwindle down but due to the feedback I’ve received, it looks like I chose well.

You can read week 1, Elbow Boy, here and you can read week 2, Posh Boy, here.  Now lets move on to week 3, Camel Mike.  Enjoy!

Some years ago, again with the friend who made me blog, I packed my backpack and headed off on a trek around Morocco.  It was when it wasn’t cool to go to Morocco and Marrakech hadn’t yet been discovered by hordes of Easy Jet tourists.

We thought we were brave and well-educated but in hindsight we were quite naive. That adds to the enjoyment of the trip in my opinion and I’m sure she would agree.

We got up to no end of debauchery on that trip: picked up on the train from Rabat to Fez by a guy who was our ‘friend’ (he ended up selling us to a madam in the seediest Hammam known to man where someone’s grandmother stripped us of our underwear and an old toothless woman repeatedly shouted “Tony Blair” at my friend, we were proposed marriage at least a million times, we were stalked by a man wearing a wooly blanket who took it upon himself to enter our hotel and find our room (scary!), my friend got married to the man who herded our camels across the Sahara and I snogged him under a camel blanket…which, I hasten to add she then repeated, to everyone, at my wedding!!

So you see, it wasn’t actually an arranged date, more an impromptu act of madness.  Nevertheless, I do feel compelled to set the scene of the hilarity.

A few years previous we visited a psychic woman who told me I would have a relationship with a man called Saíd. No way. There is no way on Gods earth that would happen. Foreign men just weren’t my thing (and now I’m married to one, go figure!).

With the psychic’s prediction well and truly forgotten, off we headed to camel trek the Sahara. It’s worth noting here that having spent a night or two on the edge of it, we were totally awestruck at how handsome (probably mysterious) the men were. We had found ourselves in a sand pit of Omar Sherif’s!

Mike, as he was known to Westerners, greeted us at our Auberge. Donning his white Saharan turban and his blue desert dress, he was a vision of wonder. He was the owner of the Auberge and proudly showed us around before introducing us to our camels.

We spent three days and three nights trekking up and down sand dunes, from one oasis to the next and even got caught in a rather frightening sand storm. Eventually we figured that we hadn’t ventured very far at all and had probably been going round in circles for the past 72 hours!

To end our camel trek on a high, once we got back to the Auberge, we sent a bunch of nomadic teenagers out on their bicycles to the nearest hotel to stock up on beers and vodka.

Considering the Saharan Tuareg are Muslim and supposed to be dry, they did a fair old job of necking the vodka! As did my friend and I. We were soon downing shots, passing around the shisha and causing an untold amount of hysteria in the village.

The Tuaregs were having so much fun that they didn’t want my buddy and I to leave. Camel Mike proposed to my friend and held a defend desert wedding under the stars. She However had her sights set on a cute American who had been part of our camel crew.

Very late into the night, Camel Mike took us on to the roof of the building to show us the stars. Pretty goddamn amazing to see how clear the sky is over the Sahara.

It’s also pretty goddamn amazing how I found myself under a camel blanket, one that we had been sitting on, that the camel had been sweating on, for the last three days, when the sun came up. I had no recollection of what happened in between!! Worse still.. Camel Mike and his Camel riding buddy were also under the camel blanket!! WTF?

As Camel Mike asked me “where’s my turban??”, the surrealism of it freaked me out and I scurried down to what should have been my actual sleeping place.

When I opened the door, I saw my friend that made me blog sprawled across a double bed looking like she had died and unwillingly come back to life.. “I’m so hung over, we are in the desert, with no water, I am seriously about to die!!”. “At least you didn’t sleep all night under a stinking camel blanket with a camel herder!” I retorted. “I know! I can’t believe you snogged Camel Mike!!” she said with every ounce if effort she had left in her body.

WHAAAAT?? I snogged the camel herder, under a stinking camel blanket! This readers, was an all time low.

So the moral to this story is this: never get trollied in the desert!

Oh, and by the way, although Camel Mike lived in the desert, he did have email. I know this because as we were leaving he handed me his business card (and Camel herders need business cards why?)…. Saíd.Camel@hotmail.com.

This obviously wasn’t his actual email address but note that his name was Saíd, not Mike. Our meeting was in fact written in the stars as seen by the psychic woman. I wish she would have told me to his profession, I’d have run a mile!

X-O-X

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2012 in London

 

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Amore Mio

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs in one go.”

 –Truman Capote

Just one Cornetto..

Whilst Venice is the most romantic city in the world, I have a tiny bit of it at home: my husband.  However, I don’t think he got the message, let alone was in the queue, when the Italian Stallion romance cards were handed out.  He’s not the best at gift buying if previous Valentine gifts are anything to go by:

  • A pair of eyebrow tweezers with a light on – he thought they were practical so I could see the tiny hairs I always miss.  He was either telling me that I was useless at plucking my monobrow or trying to blind me with the light!
  • A pair of skiing salopettes – we’ve never been skiing!
  • A cuticle oil – that he had bought at Christmas on a 3 for 2 special offer.  He had given the other two to his nonna and sister and saved the last one for me!

I never hold out much hope for Valentines where my romantic Italian husband is concerned and I’ve stopped hoping that he will eventually get it right.  I don’t need tweezers or ski pants or cuticle oil.  He’s my best friend and the best daddy, that’s gift enough for me!  (but I wouldn’t turn my nose up at the odd box of Ferrero Roche!).

Ps, I secretly hope he reads this and realises the error of his ways – who am I kidding??! 🙂

 
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Posted by on February 14, 2012 in London

 

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