Dear Alberto and Ayesha, your organization, planning, and arrangements created an event that was far beyond our expectations.
It’s hard to believe that over a month has gone by since our wedding day! Time has flown by since we returned from our Croatian honeymoon and it seems as though it was just yesterday that we were planning everything and anxiously wondering how it would all turn out. We cannot thank you enough for all that you did. Your organization, planning, and arrangements created an event that was far beyond our expectations. Our entire trip was absolutely perfect and our family and friends keep telling us how magical their time in Venice was.
Our vision for our wedding was to create an unforgettable experience that would bring all our guests closer together as one big family. And with your help, that was the spirit of the whole week. Everything ran so smoothly from the private palace to the rehearsal dinner to the private Murano glass factory tour (please thank Luisella again for the wonderful job she did) and to the actual wedding day without us ever having to worry about anything. You took care of every detail, and even managed to assemble seven extra seats at the reception dinner when we had unexpected friends travel from nearby Asti. One of the greatest compliments was having Cat’s mom tell us that our wedding was the best wedding she had even been to, including her own!
It’s funny how just months ago we were so concerned with the process of planning a destination wedding. In truth, Michael kept wondering if you two even existed or if we were just sending our money to strangers who would leave us stranded on the big day. But as soon as we met in the airport, you made us feel so comfortable and reassured us that we were in capable hands. During the preceding months, it was hard at times to have to put so much faith in people whom we had never met personally. However, even over the phone and through e-mail, the two of you were a constant source of information and professionalism. We felt that at every step of the way you were able to make suggestions and keep us at budget while making the best possible arrangements with your vendors. One of our favorite things about the wedding day was the Italian jazz duo that you recommended and managed to book at a very reasonable price. They were absolutely wonderful and all our guests have complimented their music. We were so excited that they learned our song preferences for our first dance and father-daughter dance as it really gave it a special touch.
Others said that our ceremony made them fall in love with each other all over again. That is a testament to your careful planning to find the most beautiful church (San Giacomo dell’Orio), arrange for us to read our personal vows in addition to the traditional ceremony, and even speak with Don Aldo Marangoni to allow Cat’s grandmother to sing the “Ave Maria” during communion. That was a very special moment that we will always cherish. In addition, it was amazing the preparations you made for Cat’s friends, the Gruppo Sbandieratori del Palio di Asti, to perform outside the church on such short notice. Walking through the flags in our first moments as husband and wife was unbelievable. Furthermore, the gondola ride through the canals of Venice right after the ceremony was extraordinary along with the group picture you arranged for in St. Mark’s Square. We cannot wait to see how the professional photos and video turned out.
One of the best moments of the entire week was walking into our reception at the “Westin Europa & Regina.” Words cannot even express how breathtaking it was. Every single element was remarkable: the view of the Grand Canal and the Chiesa Santa Maria di Salute lit up at dusk, the beautiful flower centerpieces with rose petals and candles spread across the table tops, the printed menus, the bellini appertif set up, the Murano glass flower and almond favors, the waiting staff that were so polite, and the delicious food (we are still full from the 8 course meal!). It was a fairy tale moment and we feel so blessed to have been able to enjoy everything with our guests while you guys took care of everything.
In addition to the wedding day itself, there were so many things you assisted in planning that turned out beautifully. We asked for our rehearsal dinner to be the complete opposite of the wedding reception dinner. We wanted not to be on the water and wanted family-style dining with long tables and shared appetizers with simple, traditional Venetian food. The “Birreria La Corte” was exactly that and you couldn’t have selected a more perfect place. It is almost like you entered our minds and knew exactly what were thinking. Also, we are very thankful that you had negotiated on our behalf and got everything we wanted at such a reasonable price.
In addition to the rehearsal dinner, you booked a private boat for 35 guests to the Isola di Murano while Luisella gave us a guided tour of the island and the magnificent church of Santa Maria e Donato. We were able to take a wonderful group picture during the private tour at Lazzarini that perfectly captures the sentiment of the whole week.
Moreover, how could we possibly tell you how much we appreciate the accommodations you prearranged at the “Palazzo Contarini della Porta di Ferro”? Your suggestion to rent out the whole place exclusively (which fits 50 guests in 12 apartments, each with their own kitchen and living room) was fantastic. It saved us lots of money with the discounted flat rate and if nothing else was the bonding point that brought everyone together. With the welcome baskets you helped arrange, people were able to cook meals together, gather for breakfast each morning, and share drinks and laughs on the noble floor every night. We felt like true royalty with our own palace surrounded by all our loved ones.
Finally, we are so grateful that you booked all our honeymoon accommodations. We had the most romantic, wonderful time traveling together down the Dalmatian coast of Croatia and especially loved our stay in Hvar (the brand new Hotel Adrianna was the right choice). We had a slight mishap on the train to Ancona to catch the ferry across to Split – we forgot to stamp our ticket at the terminal and got ticketed 5 euros, but it was well worth the memory and it just added another aspect of our adventure that we will never forget.
Again, thank you for everything. You both are truly wonderful people with whom we were honored to have met. You made our wedding week absolutely ideal and for that, we can never repay you. We only hope that we remain friends and will definitely be in contact for our next Italian vacation (maybe an anniversary party?). Please feel free to use us as reference and pass along our contact information to anyone who is lucky enough to need your services.
Michael and Catherine DiPaolo