Planning a surprise wedding in Italy: How to get married without anyone knowing

The first time I heard from Signe and Kasper I thought that it was going to be a very short acquaintance. The bride wrote a short wmail telling me that she needed advice on who to contact in the town hall of Alassio in Liguria in order to be able to get married. This was two months before the ceremony had to take place.

I was intrigued – it isn’t often that a bride take that much initiative, so I wrote back to her asking for further details and wondering if she spoke any Italian.

She didn’t. Actually she was in trouble as no one seemed anxious to answer her emails and phone calls…

That is normal. To put it very simply, Italians are used to people speaking Italian, not to foreigners wanting to communicate in other languages ;-) And this was a problem. And a huge clash of cultures.

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So Signe soon realized that she couldn’t make it on her own, she was getting stressed about the wedding and she was relieved that I would take over and continue the planning for them. Because this wasn’t just any kind of wedding. It was a surprise wedding where no one, except the two witnesses, should know what was going on. Especially not the father of the groom, who is a police officer and therefore used to discovering facts far ahead of others. It had to be a huge secret, and the wedding would take place while the whole family was in Alassio for their usual September holidays. What a fun thing!

Signe wasn’t the usual bride. She bought her gown on the internet without even trying it on, she didn’t want a bouquet and she surely wasn’t fond of any lush flower arrangements or decors. She wanted to focus on the ceremony, on getting married to Kasper that is, and on having a venue on the beach where they could sit out having their hors d’oeuvres and dinner afterwards. A business woman to her bones…

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So the fun started. I found the most beautiful venue situated right on the beach, with a wonderful outdoor lounge area featuring white sofas and candles, and where we were able to create a private area for bride, groom and their guests. The food and wines were excellent – another focal point for the bride, and the atmosphere so beach chic that everyone was wow’ed by the set-up.

The tablescape was simple: A splash of turquoise tea light holders, some square vases with sand and sea shells, a little bling to the napkin rings and a small welcome gift, made with Italian sugar almonds. Guest favors were small turquoise candles formed as ships, just a little reminder of this special day that I’m sure that no one will ever forget.

Because to the guests it was a huge surprise as Kasper got onto his feet during lunch and told them that three hours later we would all be attended by the mayor at the town hall. It was such a big surprise for this father that he began to cry and had to go for a walk to calm down his nerves. I had to whisk away a tear as well, it was a stunning moment.

As regarding Signe, in the end she got her bouquet. A very small one made from pure white carnations. And she was happy with it, she said afterwards. At least you didn’t have to guess who was the bride, she admitted.

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All photo credits: Sabrina de Polo

Even though it was a “simple” wedding, there was a beauty that you often do not find in bigger arrangements. How I loved planning this wedding, it was awesome…!

Warmhearted ♥ Elegant ♥ Dedicated ♥ Dreamy ♥ ITALIA!

Annette

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A special, bespoke wedding ceremony in Venice, Italy

Hi there, all you lovely people. I hope that you are all doing fine – I am as I’m excited about what I am going to tell you today!

This week is going to be different. We are not going to have the usual series on Monday, Wednesday and Friday. No, this week I want to break the rules and show off a little ;-) That is because it has been eons since I last posted a real wedding – or at least it feels like it has been eons. So I really do think that time’s up.

So I dug out the various photos from the weddings that I’ve had lately, and two of them just stood out as something really special. The first one, which I will feature today, is from wonderful Venice (how I love this city – I’ve just booked my hotel for the upcoming wedding in August, so I’m electrified!).

When Helle and Martin wrote to me, they knew exactly how they wanted their wedding in Venice to be: Something special, just for themselves and four guests. This “something special” included their civil wedding in the morning, a gondola ride, champagne, a delicious lunch, a fun activity in the afternoon and a trip to the opera in the evening. Little did we know that destiny was going to mess up all our plans…

In fact, first we got the news that one of the guests had gotten pregnant and was bound to have her baby just a couple of weeks after the wedding was to take place. The bride was very much in distress because that meant that one couple wasn’t able to make it to the wedding, meaning that they would have only two guests. There was a long discussion before things were settled, and even though the couple badly wanted their relatives to be with them on this special occasion, they decided that they would have the wedding anyway, doing everything on their own celebrating with their family and friends when they came back. And the Italian wedding planning went on.

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Then, three months before the wedding, Helle informed me that she was pregnant, too. Wow, I would have a mom-to-be as a bride, that was so awesome. But that meant that we had to rethink our planning, and that the “fun activity” for the afternoon on their wedding day had to be something where Helle could sit down and relax.

I managed to find the right solution: In Venice you have the possibility to make your own mask. It is a workshop that takes about one and a half hour and you create from scratch the mask of your dreams. Adding crystals, feathers, pearls, ribbons, special paper…anything that you could ever think of. You paint it, you dry it, you have fun and you learn about your creative capabilities. In fact, Martin didn’t think about himself as a creative person, but the mask “my groom” made was so fabulous that he instantly became interested in discovering more about this talent that he had never thought he possessed.

The fun thing about this wedding was that bride and groom had a great time on their own, doing things that they would never have dreamed of doing and not longing too much for their families. Just in one particular moment they got caught with a huge lump in their throat: We had settled on transmitting  their wedding in streaming on the internet so that their families back home could follow the ceremony. As the officiant told them that they were now man and wife and that, if they wanted, they could say something to the people watching, they suddenly had no words. All they could do was wave and smile through tears. That was so touching!

Now I’ve been talking enough. Why don’t you enjoy the slideshow that I’ve put together for you? Just a few photos for you to get the atmosphere of what a wedding in Venice can be. I’ll be looking forward to posting more about Venice in a couple of months when back from the next one… This new one is going to be a fabulous wedding, too, can hardly wait!

[slideshow]

All photo credits: Sabrina de Polo

Warmhearted ♥ Elegant ♥ Dedicated ♥ Dreamy ♥ ITALIA!

Annette

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For Your Eyes Only: Bespoke weddings in Italy

(credits: Sabrina de Polo)

For a very long time I’ve wanted to post this for you. But until now it simply hasn’t been feasible.

You know, sometimes you cannot find the time – you’re simply too busy. You search and you try to make ends meet, but ah, it doesn’t work.

The duty I was procrastinating and for which I wanted to find the right time and place was…the updating of the website. This spring I’ve had quite a bit of bespoke weddings and events that I really wanted to share with you – why keep them to myself if you could check them out and give me some feedback on them?

And then, all of a sudden, something happens that urges you to take action. You

HAVE to make it. And the most of the times you actually make it. Amazing how our brains work.

Of course it was a bride urging me to take action. She asked to see some of my work – and I couldn’t send her to the website to check it out because I hadn’t been uploading anything since a very long time. Neither could I tell her to go to my blog to look – maybe she wouldn’t find what I would want her to see. No good idea.

So I had to push everything else aside and get to it. And as usual when I get down to my wedding planning business stuff, I have fun while working. I wanted to make sure that you got the most of the beautiful ceremonies, the gorgeous reception tables, the guests having fun, bride and groom in love…all those images that make you want to come over to Italy to get married. ;-)

So I’ve uploaded some of the new photos, added the new logo, chosen a new header for the pages and changed the font on some parts of the website. There is still some work to be done (eg. I have other marvelous photos to share with you) but I’d like your opinion on what I’ve done so far. Please feel free to comment below – I promise that I won’t take any offence ;-)

– ah, below I’m sharing the new header with you. I kind of like how it turned out…what are your thoughts?

(credits: wedditalia)

Gotta run, I have to finish what I didn’t do this morning because of the updating. Keep dreaming of Italian weddings – and have a great weekend!

Warmhearted ♥ Elegant ♥ Dedicated ♥ Dreamy ♥ ITALIA!

Annette

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WED WED WEDnesday: An Italian vineyard wedding with baseball and books?

I think that I must have said it at least ten or fifteen times before: I get to know the most AWESOME brides.

Now, let’s take one of the last ones as an example: She writes me an email to get to know each other. Well, as a matter of fact she writes me more times. And I get the feeling that she is kind of “speaking” to me.

You know, when you talk to a person, and you can almost understand the person’s needs before she speaks them out. I won’t say that I’m able to do that, but nevertheless that was kind of the feeling that I got while reading her emails.

So her fiancé loves sports, especially ball-games, she is a fan of good books and they are both wine-lovers. They care for a vintagey feeling to their wedding which should be outdoor.

As I read that, I wanted to jump up and down – how many lovely details to work with!!! How amazing!

You guys have to know that I’m normally dealing with Italian brides who do not want to say one word because then they think that I can somewhat recognize who they are and maybe discover what they’d really like for their wedding. They just don’t get that this is the reason for which I exist – so that I can transform their dreams into reality…

But back to this fantastic girl. I instantly had some images coming to my mind:

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How to put these together? I already have the ideas… But I’ll have to wait and see what she replies to me. Maybe I didn’t catch her dream wedding – maybe she’d like a more classic input…

I’ll keep you posted – and keep posting inspiration from my brides. This girl caused me to post something immediately – this was way to interesting to keep it to myself!

Warmhearted ♥ Elegant ♥ Dedicated ♥ Dreamy ♥ ITALIA!

Annette

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