Perfect Wedding in Florence!, The Tuscan Wedding Our choice to get married in Italy was completely random. I am originally Japanese and my husband British. When we got engaged earlier last year we both knew we wanted to have our wedding in Tokyo, the city where we met and fell in love almost 7 years ago. So when we visited Tokyo one March weekend and found a gorgeous place, we were immediately ready to start negotiating for the price – only that’s when the horrible 3.11 earthquake hit the city as well.
With ongoing uncertainty in the area we eventually decided not to have our wedding in Tokyo and so we went from almost choosing a place to starting from scratch. I searched through the internet and found 5 wedding planners. Through exchange of emails and interviews over Skype with all 5 of them, I knew I found the one perfect planner when I spoke with Daniela from The Tuscan Wedding. Dani had it all. As a non Italian speaking person who knows nothing about wedding planning or the country, I knew I couldn’t afford to have any language barriers that may lead into “lost in translation”. Whilst I found many occasions of ‘lost in translation’ and also found myself repeating my questions and answers to others I had spoken to, I had no issues with Dani. Dani speaks perfect English, lived in the UK for a long time and also travelled around the world. What she also has beyond her language skills is also her ability to see what people want before they know it themselves! So for someone who is indecisive (me) and sometimes gets easily overwhelmed by many choices to make (also me!) she was perfect. From April to May, Dani and I exchanged emails every other day and spoke every weekend. We needed to find a location and we only had 5 months till the wedding day! In May I decided to fly from NYC to Florence to actually look at 5~6 locations we narrowed down to. Before I knew it I was on a plane to Italy (my husband couldn’t come with me due to work), met up with Dani and spent the next 3 days going from one location to another, food tasting, wine tasting, negotiating and trying hair dressers.
Villa Cora was the second venue we visited on my second day in Florence. I knew this was the place the minute we drove into the parking lot. It had been under construction for nearly 4 years and it had just re-opened in early 2011. This place was by far one of the most beautiful villas I had ever seen – luxurious, new, modern yet classic, great attention to detail, excellent level of service and the food and wine they let us taste was to die for. Above all Villa Cora is located up in the hill surrounded by green but at the same time only 10 minute drive from the city center so I knew this would be very convenient for guests who were flying in from all over the world. My best friend who came with me said she saw spark in my eyes the minute I had walked into the villa. I knew it right there and then! After successfully deciding on the venue and going back to NYC with relief, Dani and I continued to speak every other weekend to decide on other details. Looking back at all the discussions we had, I realize what I appreciated the most about Dani was her ability to put me back on the right track. With so many choices to make and so much information to go through, there were times I was making decisions I never would have if I were in a less overwhelming state. Dani helped me rationalize and reminded me of all the things I was originally looking for, and even gave me advises that always started like this “honey, knowing you and knowing what you like, I would suggest…..” And this was coming from a lady who knew me for a few months! But Dani really did know it all. Late September came quickly. Our wedding was a small, cozy yet intimate one with only about 35 people. We had guests with 8 different nationalities flying in from 7 different countries – a truly international wedding! Our wish was one and only – that we get to spend as much quality time as possible with our closest friends and family, and not just the few hours on the wedding day. Dani helped me arrange dinner for both families to get together, coordinated a full day wine tour and a cocktail party the night before the wedding. The actual wedding day was absolutely amazing. No issues, no drama, everyone was on time, everything went as planned and everyone had a great time. We were extremely lucky with the weather too – warm, sunny and dry, much like the mid summer weather as opposed to late September one. Ceremony took place at 4pm in the Villa Cora garden with a string quartet that Dani arranged for playing in the background. My other best friend’s mother sang Ave Maria beautifully, and our niece threw flower petals and origamis on the isle.
After the ceremony the guests were guided to the roof top of the main building and were taken surprise by the 360 panoramic view of the whole of Florence! Food and wine at the reception was perfect. Speeches were made, people danced and lots of alcohol consumed. The event finished around 3 in the morning with bunch of us jumping into the swimming pool! It was one fabulous day. There were a few last minute demands that were made to Dani (e.g. asking for microphone to be arranged in the garden the day before!) but she made them all happen and delivered on time. After the wedding they also put together video clips that she had originally planned to use for their web advertisement and made it especially as a gift for us. It was so nicely and professionally done – with music and poems playing in the background! We are truly grateful of the work Dani and her staff have put together to make this happen. We could not have asked for better wedding planner – so personal, thoughtful and are all about making the day a perfect one for the bride and the groom. If anyone is ever interested in getting married in Florence, we highly recommend The Tuscan Wedding!!