'Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude' (Denis Waitley, author)
They had almost given up on the idea of a wedding ceremony in Italy, when we met them at a trade fair in London. Dealing with a wedding planner digitally for them was not playing out very easily, Alexa in particular felt like she couldn't have a clear overview of what was happening and had troubles letting go of her control. The meeting with your wedding planner is also about chemistry, not only about curriculum and matching needs. We were lucky that on such special occasion, they both felt a natural sense of trust and decided to give this destination wedding another go.
They were looking for a Greek-Orthodox Church to host their religious ceremony for a large group, about 100 people coming from all corners of Europe. The choice of the location would be dependant on which Church agreed on officiating, and only after they would look into reception venues. Out of the three positive replies we got, Alexa and her fiancé went ahead with Florence, with the central Church of S Jacopo a few metres walk from Ponte Vecchio and its famous view of the river.
Turning dreams into reality
The ritual felt very genuine and emotional. What a pretty location, this Church hiding away in one of Florence centre narrow alleys, gifting the group with a real Italian experience. Everyone was ecstatic, and things were going to get better. Castle weddings carry something very magical, perhaps they bring up memories from our collective consciousness of similar past events of significance. Walking the halls of such historic manor and celebrating with your circle of people takes things to a whole other level. What we love of Castle of Vincigliata is the court of the castle which is where receptions are hosted, allowing for many creative options of table layout. Alexa and Anthony's was with one long table extending from side to side, through the middle of the space, on which the newlyweds were sitting - their seats half-way down - and 3 big round tables on each side of the walls. Receptions here are very popular by dinner, when the candle lights placed on the tables and in strategic spots on the framing walls warm up the atmosphere, there is never such thing as enough candles.
The tip of the day
Be on love alert for this one! If you're looking for a great spot for your dance, this location has one of the fanciest of all venues. The dancefloor is in fact reserved on the panoramic terrace at the top of the manor, from which the entire valley of Chianti is shining bright, and the lights of the city of Florence are sparkling along the line of the horizon for some proper Italian glamour. Hats off to their band for playing traditional songs that got the whole group dancing till the early hours of the day. Opa!