SAY I DO IN TUSCANY

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An Alfresco destination wedding in Tuscany

What is a destination wedding? Put simply the bride and groom choose a destination that is not their home, invite their guests and go there to get married.

But for me, an Alfresco Wedding destination wedding in Tuscany is more than that and it was brought home to me this summer, on a warm, balmy evening late in July. The bride and groom had been pronounced husband and wife and the wedding party had just finished a delicious alfresco dinner.

Sudddenly, what sounded like Greek music, to my untrained ear, began to play and the majority of the wedding party jumped up onto the dance floor.

A Greek wedding you might think? But no, we were in the heart of Chianti in Tuscany, on a beautiful garden terrace overlooking vineyards, and the guests had just been served a dinner of hand made ravioli filled with spinach and ricotta served with butter and sage, potato gnocchi with pesto and green beans and roasted duck with red wine sauce and lemon. The wedding was being hosted in a prestigious winery and the surroundings couldn’t have been more Tuscan.

In actual fact the music was Croatian and it was precisely at that moment that I realised why I love what I do and what is so special about Alfresco destination weddings in Tuscany.

There is no better feeling than watching a couple get married and helping them organise their special day filled with love, romance and perfection. We share their joy with them but they also give something to us.

An Alfresco destination wedding isn’t just a couple deciding they want to get married in Tuscany but the coming together and fusion of many different cultures, backgrounds and lifestyles, all under the Tuscan sun.

That particular day we had organised the wedding of B from Croatia to K from Bulgaria. Seeing as both Boris and live in Vienna there were also a large number of Austrians at the wedding.

The week before J and C from South Africa had been married in a Catholic ceremony celebrated by JJ, the bride’s uncle who now lives in the USA.  The bride’s mum has Polish heritage and brought her typical songs and joy.

This summer we’ve also had weddings between B and T from California, C and S from Ireland and J and G from London with their amazing Indian themed wedding party complete with Bollywood dancers.

Perhaps the most memorable destination wedding was last month when we organised the marriage between E from Lebanon and L an American-born Chinese. E had been brought up in Sweden so at this destination wedding there was also a large number of Swedish guests.  In this particular wedding we celebrated a “normal symbolic ceremony” a “Persian ceremony” and a Chinese “tea ceremony” so we put together three different cultures and shared their their traditions

All these couples are united by  one thing, their love for each other and their love of Tuscany. They choose us to help them share this love with friends and family by giving them the wedding of their dreams but at the same time they too share something with us, a part of themselves and an insight into their worlds.

This is what makes our destinaton weddings so special and I will never tire of that!

East meet West

EAST MEET WEST

XingNi write:

How I met Bea

After deciding to tie the knot in Florence, I knew I would need someone there to help me plan the wedding, if I want to enjoy it at all.

I researched for about 20 different wedding planners on WeddingWire and Bea was the first one I interviewed, I instantly liked her but decided to talk to more people as I did not want to settle for the first person I met. However, the more planners I talked to, the more I was convinced that my instinct was right. Not only was Bea reasonably priced (compared to some outrageous rate), she was genuine, friendly, and has the most heart-warming laugh.

Working together

It took us a while to build the trust, especially at the beginning. Imagine talking to someone half way across the world, whom you have never met, and ready to put down thousands of Euro based on her suggestion. Was she really giving me the best rate? Was she understanding fully what I envisioned? However, these doubts slowly faded through more than a year’s almost daily Email exchanges. Bea is filled with endless patience and passion for her work.

Once the trust was built, working together became very easy. In most cases, Beatrice would give me a few options for each type of vendors, and I just had to pick one, or I would give her a budget for a specific item and she would recommend someone within that budget. I definitely achieved a lot more than I possibly could have done by myself. Barring all the efforts saved from contacting and discussing, negotiating with different vendors listed on the Internet, Bea went the extra mile to give us options that was not even listed through her vast contact web in Flrence.

She found us a 10 bedroom building owned by her friend Stefano in the center of Florence and we rented it exclusively for 3 days to accommodate all the young people in our wedding party. It was the best decision ever, everybody loved it and they all hang out on the terrace where you have an amazing view of the Duomo. I had not even seen a picture of this place prior to the day before our guests’ arrival since it was newly renovated, and Stefano was not the greatest with taking photos, but I am so glad that I trusted Bea and Stefano was definitely a top apartment manager.

The 3 day event

Simply put, it was three best days of our lives.  From the welcome dinner at the cosy Il Pannello recommended by Stefano, to our traditional tea ceremony, to the actual wedding and even the brunch the day after, I did not have to worry about a thing. Anything I could have thought, Bea thought about it before me; every time I had questions and doubts, I just had to turn around, and Bea was right behind me and coming up with solutions fast.

I would not have changed a thing in those three days. (Well, maybe I’d have tried not to cry so much but who could complain about tears of joy.)

After

Or wedding in Florence is over but our friendship with Bea will not end.  She is beautiful, loving, genuine, patient, and as mentioned, has the most heart-warming laugh that will always bring out the

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How I met XingNi

I received the first mail from XingNi on  March 2015, the mail had 16 questions than I carefully answered.

I didn’t know who they were and from where they wrote, they contacted me after my answer and we set a skype call.  At this point they told me that Xing Ni is Chinese and Dennis Philippine grow us in US.

It was great to talk the first time with them, they were so nice, not as the first impression with the 16th questions…. Contrary to other European couples they were looking for a wedding planner agency and not just  a venue.

HOW WE WORK TOGETHER

Xing Ni had clear ideas of what she wanted so it has been really easy to liaise with her, she has been always very accurate and precise,  from the first email.

She is famous for her Excell spreadsheet…. The more difficult part was to find a place where everyboy can stay, our friend has a beautiful big palace with apartments, perfect for the group, but they weren’t ready till May. This was difficult to explain the apartments without any photo supports, they should believe me and buy something without seeing it.

 The 3 day event

One putting everything together, it was easier to handle the group. XingNi and Dennis are a beautiful and so nice couple, we worked hard but we laughed harder with them, we were part of the group, welcome as friend and not as just wedding planner.

The white dress wedding day everything had a Chinese touch, all flowers were red, red peonies, table cloth red and underplate gold as well as everything was red and gold. The bouquet and all the flowers were magnificent. The theme was red and gold, from the menu to the fab. Wedding cake.

I put all my efforts and knowledge in order to be everything perfect. The wedding day is one shot, but a friendship remain forever even in two different part of the World and this is the magnificent part of this job that is not just a job it is life.

 

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A Wedding in 2017 – Is it too early to plan in Tuscany?

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  • 25 May 2016
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You’ve decided to have your wedding in 2015. Congratulations! You’ve also decided that your dream wedding can only be held in Italy, in the glorious region of Tuscany, with its ancient towns and vineyards set in the inimitable rolling countryside.

You may think that it’s too early to plan your 2015 wedding, but at BeA Alfresco Wedding we can assure you that if you’ve decided on your date then you must choose a venue as soon as possible. Many of the prime venues, caterers and photographers will be booked solid before you know it. But where to begin?

Your first step is to look at all of your options and make your decision on the kind of wedding you want and the amount of money you are prepared to spend. If you are planning a destination wedding in Tuscany which will include family and friends, then you will have to send out your Save the Date cards well in advance so that they are aware of your plans. Of course, this is assuming that you already have your guest list! Don’t forget to inform your bridal party of the date; you don’t want your bridesmaids and best man to have made other plans!

Do you want to hold your ceremony in one of the stunning ancient buildings in Florence, Siena or Pisa? Or would you rather have a less formal wedding in the countryside? Do you have any specific type of service in mind? A religious or a civil service? These are all questions you should address now; and at BeA Alfresco Wedding we are here to assist you with any and all paperwork involved. You also need to decide on the venue for your reception unless you are having your ceremony and reception in the same place.

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    • January 1, 2014
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The 5 Top Places to Get Married in Tuscany

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  • 19 February 2015
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Tuscany is the region of beautiful landscapes, hills, sunflowers, olive trees, vineyards, and also of a stunning sea.

Getting married in Tuscany you can choose from different solution and location to get married from the Tuscan Coast to the country side, in front of the magic city of Florence.
I have hosen the top 5 places:

1. San Galgano Abbey, one of the most romantic place in Tuscany, is not for small wedding as it is huge and massive, but is perfect for wedding from 50 to 100 people (see picture above). Civil ceremonies legally binding can be hold here.

2. Among the olive trees, in a suggestive place with a beautiful landscape. Not for summer weddings in the middle of the day, as guests will melt! Civil ceremonies legally binding can be hold here.

3. In front of one of the most romantic city of Italy, Florence, and of its Duomo. Fantastic place for luxury weddings. Symbolic ceremony can be hold.

4. Non possiamo non menzionare il mare. Non c'è niente di meglio che la vista sul mare per un matrimonio estivo.

5. A magic wedding in a magic woods for a wedding like A Midsummer Night's Dreamperfect when light is going down and you can light all the candles and fairy lights on the tress. Civil ceremonies legally binding can be hold here.

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Light Balloons

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  • 16 December 2014
  • 10 Comments

In Tuscany it is really difficult to get permission to make fly the Chinese lanterns. They are so romantic and make a beautiful effect in the night over the sky... but when the wedding venue says no it is better to accept the decision, in order to avoid a fire. We really do not want to take this responsibility. In summer if it is a dry season, it is easy to cause a fire.

We at Alfresco Wedding have the solution... for your wedding in Tuscany make fly light balloons. The effect is the same with no risk at all... white balloons blown with helium. Make them fly and make a wish.

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    • January 1, 2014
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Flower girls

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  • 16 July 2014
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Flower girls are so cute. Aside from the bride there’s no doubt about who is the most fussed-after lady on the wedding day. Especially if they are your children, they are so romantic.

There are even beautiful signs to bring with different meanings, apart the flowers to through along the aisle.

Wedding in a beautiful location in the Tuscan countryside with your family and children becomes more than a wedding: it is a holiday, it is a never ending party...
 

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    • January 1, 2014
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Child-free Wedding in Tuscany

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  • 30 April 2014
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Many couples nowadays have decided not to include children in their wedding festivities; but this is a decision that must be handled very carefully, as this is likely to offend some of your guests who have young families.

Remember, it is your day, so you must stick to your own rules. Aside from family and the bridal party, make no exceptions – and be firm in your decision – you can’t invite a certain old friend’s children and exclude others! It will help if you give a reason for the ‘no children rule’ and an age cut-off point. For example, you could write on the invitation: “Due to limited space, we have decided not to invite children under the age of eight (or six, or four).” It might be a good idea to call the parents before you send out the invitations and inform them of your decision, especially if they are close friends who may or may not understand why you don’t really want their two-year-old at the wedding service or reception! Perhaps they will welcome the excuse to either leave their child at home with grandma or take advantage of our babysitting service – and enjoy a special adult time together as a couple at your wedding.

BeA Alfresco Wedding will be more than happy to provide babysitters to take care of the little ones away from the wedding itself, but close enough so that the children are still within close proximity to parents, should they become upset or overtired. Naturally, we will provide games and entertainment for the children; and they can be offered a special ‘kid’s meal’ which will be similar to the meal served at the wedding itself, but more suitable for children.

We will offer several options for entertaining the children, according to their ages – such as individual packs with coloring books and puzzles, for instance, and also perhaps small toys and games so that they will have something new and fun to play with. A craft booth where they can create something – perhaps a gift for the bride and groom – is a great idea to keep the children occupied while their parents enjoy an ‘adults only’ wedding.

We will also make sure that the children are put to bed at a reasonable hour, and kept under close supervision at all times. Naturally, if any of the children have a problem with being kept apart from the festivities, their parents will be informed immediately.

This easy solution to the question of whether or not to have children at your wedding results in no stress for the bride and groom or the parents – and no stress for the children, who will be made to feel that they are having a really special time. They will be enjoying their holiday in Tuscany as a family anyway, and certainly won’t feel left out if they are having a ‘party’ of their own.

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    • January 1, 2014
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Elopement in Tuscany

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  • 28 March 2014
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The word elopement is often used to refer to a marriage conducted in sudden and secretive fashion, usually involving hurried flight away. Literally is to run away with a lover.

Today the term is colloquially used for any marriage performed in haste or in private or without a public period of engagement, in particular for small romantic weddings in romantic and gorgeous cities and venues.

Elopements to Italy fashion continues to grow: many couples choose Italy and Tuscany as the romantic scenery of their elopement.

We at BeA Alfresco Wedding are able to make arrangements, and make sure to get done all the paperwork on a very short notice. The exact time-line will vary depending on your nationality (if it is to be a civil ceremony).

And if your elopement is in April or October there are various offers available.

We will provide all services you may need to design your perfect elopement wedding: ask for our elopement packages in Tuscany.

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    • January 1, 2014
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How to pick a wedding venue

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  • 21 March 2014
  • 10 Comments

Scegliere il luogo dove verrà fatto il ricevimento e anche la cerimonia non è semplice, è un pò come quando vai a scegliere il vestito, ci sono due possiblità ti innamori a prima vista oppure continuerai a cercare all'infinito storcendo sempre la bocca.
Il nostro lavoro è anche quello di fare innamorare le coppie a prima vista proponendo location che rientrano nei vostri desideri di budget e di design, per non cercare all'infinito. Il nostro compito è supervisionare ogni struttura per i nostri clienti, abbiamo visitato più di 80 strutture solo in Toscana, lavoriamo con molte ma non con tutte, di ogni struttura abbiamo visionato tutti il luoghi preposti per la cerimonia, la cena, il dopo cena, quindi sappiamo cosa proponiamo e il costo di cosa proponiamo.

Vorremmo che le coppie fossero il più sincere possibile così da darci la possibilità di non fallire per non far perdere tempo a noi e a loro, se abbiamo tutte le risposte, riusciremo a trovare il luogo perfetto.
Per i matrimoni italiani dove non c'è il pernottamento o per lo meno solo una piccola parte pernotta, c'è da dire che i posti si restringono ulteriormente,cerchiamo sempre di avere il luogo della cerimonia e il luogo del ricevimento vicino per non disperdere troppo il gruppo tra la cerimonia e il ricevimento.

A volte mi chiedono in cosa differisce un matrimonio italiano da uno straniero, non è tanto nella sostanza dell'evento ma è la gioia con cui vivono i giorni precedenti e successivi al matrimonio in quanto soggiornano tutti insieme nel luogo del matrimonio avendo così non un giorno ma 3 giorni di festa assoluta. E non pensiamo che sono gli sposi che pagano per tutti, sono gli stessi ospiti che pagano per il loro soggiorno. Certo è che gli sposi non chiedono regali ma nel caso un contributo al viaggio di nozze.

In Italia sarebbe impensabile far pagare gli ospiti anche una sola notte di soggiorno, gli italiani che si spostano in altre regioni per sposarsi lo fanno principalmente per il numero delle persone che altrimenti sarebbe ingestibile, spostandosi invitano meno persone e quindi si possono anche permettere di pagare una notte di soggiorno, ed è una grande festa assicurata.

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    • January 1, 2014
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How to Choose the Wine for your Wedding in Tuscany

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  • 24 February 2014
  • 10 Comments

In recent years, with the ever-growing love for wine, olive oil, and all products made with what Mother Nature gives us, a new wedding theme is becoming more and more popular – the wine wedding. This is a wedding based on wine and on the love for it.

Clearly, the bride and groom have to be wine lovers, and interested in all that lies behind the fantastic world of wine making.

And where to have a wine-themed wedding, if not in the wonderful land of Tuscany, where there are amazing wine producers?

In Tuscany, in fact, we have some of the best and most famous wines in the world. There is a distinction between the different the areas – we have Chianti (Siena - Florence - Arezzo ), Brunello ( Montalcino), Nobile (Montepulciano), and when we go down to the sea we find the famous and expensive Sassicaia and Ornellaia.

A marriage is a union of passion and of love, so why not put these in the wine wedding?

The wine wedding should be celebrated in a wine resort, although not too many wine farms open their doors to weddings, and those that do are very few and very exclusive.

But, let’s take a look at how a wine wedding is structured:

  1. They are small, intimate weddings, with no more than 60/80 people.
  2. Wine is the central theme for the reception, so that each course will be paired with a different wine.
  3. There will be a wine tasting before the wedding.
  4. The ceremony will probably take place outdoors; and preferably in the vineyard. Even though we know that this is very difficult, because the vineyards are often rocky and sloping, and not at all easy to navigate, it's worth a try. Alternatively, we can opt for the barrel cellar – the space where the wine is aged in barrique, (small) barrels.
  5. This wedding theme is very rustic, so we will need imperial tables, wooden beams with runners as table linens, and a simple decor, with pots of gypsophila and simple flowers, such as field flowers.

Tuscany is a land where you can feel the love for good wine and good food in every corner!

For all those who think - as I do - that there's nothing better than a good glass of wine enjoyed while watching a breathtaking sunset – well this is the perfect wedding theme...

 

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    • January 1, 2014
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