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Small weddings resonate with me as my own wedding was made up of 9 people. Why do I like small weddings, well I think it’s because the focus is truly on the couple and the ceremony – for those of you who have read previous blogs you will know the ceremony is my favourite part of the wedding day.
Small weddings also allow for that very precious commodity – TIME – the pressure for the bride and groom to speak to a high number of guests is removed, they can enjoy moments together as a couple but also with their family who have traveled to be with them. There is a more relaxed pace for everyone to step back absorb the atmosphere, take in the views and to watch the sunset and light dance on the sea bed – the elements and essence of a destination wedding.
Danielle contacted me in 2017 after she had contact numerous Italy wedding planners all of whom were not interested in doing a wedding for 10 people. I have come across this situation many times – some wedding planners assume a small wedding will equate with a small budget. The wedding planner’s criteria for the ideal client selection may not allow for taking time to find out more about the couple’s personal circumstances, although this can be disheartening to couples, like Danielle if you do the research there is a wedding planner out there for you. I read Danielle’s inquiry email to discover that in fact she was my ideal client as key words were jumping off the page – ROMANCE, CELEBRATION, STUNNING SCENERY, INTIMATE, AND WOW PHOTOGRAPHY.
I was then drawn to the following paragraph where Danielle explained that she was pregnant with baby number two and she was also undergoing treatment for breast cancer and she had also recently returned to work. I knew that I was going to help Danielle achieve her dream wedding in Italy so I invited her to a skype call and listened to Danielle talk about how she saw her wedding in Italy.
During the time of wedding planning, there was a trip to Mexico for another destination wedding, baby number 2 came along and finally a house move. I would say Danielle was FEARLESS!
A week before the wedding, I received an email from Danielle to tell me her two boys had gone down with chickenpox and were unable to travel – this meant that arrangements had to be made to look after the boys – Gary’s parents kindly volunteered to stay behind knowing this would go a small way to ensuring the boys parents would leave for their wedding with confidence knowing Luca and Roman would be well cared for.
As their wedding planner I knew their day had to be extra special now they were four family members down. Actually the choices Danielle and Gary had made, the hotel where Danielle would get ready, the garden setting for the civil ceremony and the out of town luxury hotel for the reception were perfectly suited to their intimate wedding.
Wedding day was to be 19th June 2018.
This was to be the first trip to Sorrento for Danielle, Gary and their families.
The family decided to make the Grand Hotel Mar Alimuri their base. The exterior of the hotel is quirky and colourful. It is in the less touristy town of Meta – this is a personal favourite for me too. I had stayed in a self catering apartment the year before and very much enjoyed living with the locals – especially the smell of fresh bread coming out of the oven at 4am.
The day before the wedding Danielle and her Mum moved to the uber trendy boutique hotel Maison Minervetta in Sorrento. This is where I met Danielle and Gary for our pre-wedding meeting.
This is an experience hotel, known for its excellent service and attention to detail and eclectic interior decor. This would feature in the wedding day photography.
I arranged to meet Gary and Danielle at La Minervetta to run through the itinerary – double checking delivery of flowers, pick up times for transport and giving reassurance I would be on hand to make those important introductions to the wedding professionals. It was important for Danielle and Gary to be excited despite their boys not being with them.
The ceremony was scheduled for 4.30pm plenty of time for getting ready and sharing a few glasses of bubbles.
The gardens of the Museo Correale is a new civil ceremony venue – it is quieter than the Cloisters and this is one of the reasons Danielle and Gary chose this location. The chairs were set up to embrace the couple so that everyone would be under cover the tree canopy – lucky as there was a light shower during the I Do!
As both Danielle and Gary work for Fiat in the UK Danielle asked me to arrange for a Fiat 500 car as there transport – we knew just the person who would be able to fulfil this request.
This was a surprise for everyone including the bride and groom who chose not to visit until they made their entrance.
Small does not necessarily mean a budget wedding. More that you can spend more on you and those guests that share day. You can choose 5* over 3*. Inviting family only or a smaller number will mean you budget goes further and those nice to haves on the wedding wish list can be easily ticked off.
To see the full story in pictures pop over to Gianni Coppola Photographer – he did a fab job on their storytelling.
If you are about to begin the wedding planning journey and you want someone to actively listen to what it is you want and you may want to use the word “small” without being told no then you know where to find me. firstname.lastname@example.org
“From the superb planning, to the beautiful ceremony, the stunning venues, the fabulous weather (I’m sure she arranged for the sunshine, on what had been a very rainy week!), the brilliantly funny photographers (the bro’s), the amazing cake, the extra unexpected touches to the table decorations and seating plans. Most of all, the genuine feeling of love for her work, felt throughout, our time with her (Suzanne & Daniel – May 2016)”
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