How can we Help?
We all have good intentions when it comes to weddings – the ideal – to feel good – and if we can also do some good along the way then even better.
I am going to share with you a wedding in Puglia that was designed to modest budget, with personal style and some serious charitable wedding goals.
Tradition has it that guests will shower the couple with wedding gifts usually from a carefully put together wedding registry. It is a good feeling to give presents knowing that this is going to go some way to helping the couple in their new life together.
On the flip side what happens when the gifting is turned around? Where the bride and groom make a conscious decision to share the happiness of their wedding through contribution to good causes, making charitable choices that will benefit both human and animal in need. Meet Simona and Francesco.
I first met Simona in Brindisi, Italy on a very cold February evening. Conversation flowed easily, I am still unsure how we managed to cover so many topics but I found out that Simona and I share a love of dogs and rescue animals. I was totally won over by listening to Simona explain how she and Francesco – her then fiancé – rescued a senior dog that had been in a rescue shelter for most of its years.
This caring duo will literally take a dog off the streets if it is in distress or danger. They are “parents” to Broomhilda a boxer dog and Mentinoh a blind mix breed dog. We spent some time swapping our dog stories and when I got up to my room I tweeted about the excellent service and pleasant exchange I experienced from Simona.
Facebook and Insta follows allowed us to dip into what was happening in our respective lives. Very recently Simona and Francesco were married – 19th July in Brindisi. I suppose I was a virtual guest as I watched their wedding day prompted by notifications that popped up on my Insta and Facebook pages.
No big southern Italian wedding for Simona and Francesco, they chose to design a “giving wedding”, incorporating the opportunity for guests to contribute to organizations close to their hearts.
In Simona’s own words, “charity was the goal, we wanted to do good for as many people and animals as possible”.
The couple commissioned a local Brindisi artist to hand paint tiles as bomboniere – wedding favours – to give to their guests, the proceeds going to cat rescues.
For the canine recipients of their good will, Simona and Francesco invited a volunteer who helps out at a stray dog rescue to set up a fund-raiser table at their reception.
The dress code for their wedding was simply that guests dress in an outfit from their existing wardrobe to avoid the cost of purchasing an expensive outfit that may not be worn again.
The bride and groom opted for ethical clothing, their custom made wedding outfits were ordered online from India.
Simona looked radiant in her two piece outfit, a pleated skirt and one shoulder top accessorised with a vibrant red shawl. The wedding shoes – these were fun and quirky – open sandals with a massive pink pom-pom detail, all for a fraction of the cost of a traditional wedding dress and accessories.
At the request of the bride and groom, friends gathered at their home so that they would walk together through the streets of Brindisi to the Tempietto San Giovanni al Sepolcro where the ceremony took place.
Here they exchanged silver wedding rings, engraved with a line from one of their favourite songs.
In keeping with the unconventional theme, a small local bistro tucked away from the busy streets of Brindisi became the venue for the wedding reception. Known for its hospitality, warm welcome and good food and beer it was a natural choice for the couple. On this day the local cuisine was replaced by a sushi buffet.
When the wedding cake includes salted peanuts, caramel, chocolate, Nutella and buttercream, there is cause for celebration.
There was no professional photographer for their wedding day, the unedited photos and videos were shared on social media as a documentary of their special day and they have kindly allowed me to use them for this blog.
Their happily ever after started with a mini-moon in the historical city of Lecce.
And the big dream….this is already underway, pet passport applications for Broomhilda and Mentinoh as there is a fantastic journey on the horizon.
I am so looking forward to finding out how the dream will work out for them. Two very lovely people.
If you have a vision for your wedding in Italy and would like my help to make it happen you can reach me here firstname.lastname@example.org
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“We just wanted to thank you so much for planning and organising this slightly unusual tri-location wedding-baptism!”
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