As I come to write my second post to you all, I find myself having to count how many months to go on my fingers. 10 to go! I thought by now I would instead have some sort of mega calendar of organisation with month-by-month ‘to do’ lists but that hasn’t quite happened yet. I am sure it will. Any day now.
When we first got engaged I was given a book that took you step-by-step through the planning – from finding a venue through to wedding etiquette. A brief flick through and I got scared off with a section about how you should start “brushing your lips” three months before getting married…errr?
So not yet at the “brushing your lips” stage, we have spent the past months finding a place to celebrate this little wedding of ours. It involved one of the great perks of a wedding in Italy: a ‘research trip’. Not a holiday… purely for research, of course.
That trip was a bit of a breakthrough moment for us because we had been struggling to choose a venue. We knew we wanted it to be in Tuscany, not too far from the airports, and had quite a clear idea of what we wanted: a homely villa we could hire for a weeks holiday, with enough space for us to have a lovely wedding dinner and to dance till the wee hours.
There were lots and lots of villas. But with 1000 miles between us and them rolling hills, no matter how many beautiful pictures we saw, we just couldn’t feel certain we were making the right choice. As all good advice says, to choose your wedding venue you really need to fall in love in person.
And to be completely honest, I struggle with choice at the best of times. If I was going out for dinner, I would probably try to download the menu in advance so I have plenty of time to take in all the choices. Even then I would find myself being torn between at least three options and hoping when they ask “What would you like this evening?” that I would just know in the moment (and no doubt get food envy anyway, as we all do). Making decisions isn’t really my speciality.
So being a choice-a-phobe, I looked at pretty much every single villa in the whole of Tuscany, whittled them down to a shortlist and asked Tim to choose. Of course, he wasn’t having any of that! We knew we just had to go see them for ourselves and in a moment of spontaneity found ourselves booking some flights for a long weekend in Tuscany.
We visited three different villas over two days. It was very much like Goldilocks and the three villas. The first one was too far away, the second was next to building site (pictures had hidden that!) and the third….well that was just right! We took one look at the villa, glowing in the late evening sun, and we both just knew we had found our ‘one’.
In four days we also managed to find ourselves a wonderful Italian planner (the oh-so-brilliant Wiskow and White) who had also helped us to find a beautiful ceremony venue – Palazzo Pretorio in Certaldo, organise a menu tasting, find a florist, and even booked a DJ called “The Pink Panther” (very Tuscan name, that). We had found ourselves coming home with our wedding in our suitcase.
So with an actual wedding with a date and venue, we could create our ‘Save the Dates’. This was a really lovely project for me, as I got my Mum (who has no idea how talented she really is) to draw flowers in watercolour and then the also very talented Ben White to make them into little postcards. I love them and every time I look at them I think of just how wonderful my Mum is. Weddings truly are a time when you realise how lucky you are.
So with 10 fingers to go (or rather 8 fingers, 2 thumbs), we still have many more choices to make. But the only choice that matters is the one we’ve already made: we’re getting married on 31st May 2016 and we can’t wait.