We’ve always had a passion for travel, sampling different cuisines and exploring new cultures, it wasn’t a case of if we’d get married abroad but more a question of where. Despite our love of Asia we knew the location had to be closer to home as we were mindful of older family members and the travel costs of our guests, we have always been a sociable couple and wanted as many friends and family to attend as possible”.
From the moment of their engagement in 2007 on top of Cape Town’s majestic Table Mountain, Ed and Helen always knew they wanted their wedding to take place abroad. After much deliberation, Italy seemed like the perfect answer, with plenty of flights from the UK, breathtaking scenery and world-class cuisine.
In search of the Perfect Wedding Venue Ed and Helen hired a car for the week and visited a short-list of 7 hotels and villas around Italy’s Tuscany region.
Villa Catureglio was the first venue they visited and they fell in love instantly. Hidden up a winding road set amongst olive groves, they discovered its beautiful walled gardens, frescoed bedrooms and peaceful courtyard made perfect for an outdoor ceremony. An added bonus was undoubtedly Richard and Kate, an English couple who manages the villa and assist with organizing the select number of weddings hosted in the villa every year. The venue was promptly booked for 7 nights.
Throughout the next 12 months Ed and Helen began planning their Italian wedding. A long weekend was spent at the villa meeting the local florist and caterers, plus during an impromptu dinner in the nearby town of Lucca they stumbled upon an acoustic musical duo who they promptly booked for the wedding and in turn introduced them to a 5 piece band for the wedding evening.
On The 13th of June 2009 at 3.30pm, seventy friends and family members attended Ed and Helen’s civil wedding ceremony in the courtyard of Villa Catureglio with the ceremony conducted in Italian by the local registrar and translated by Kate. After the ceremony prosecco and canapés were served, pictures taken and music provided by the acoustic duo.
Guests were called through to an al fresco dinner served in the villa’s walled gardens with views across the Tuscan hillside. The round dining tables were set with generous floral centrepieces, lanterns and mini bottles of Limoncello for guest favours. A local menu of tomato and pecorino ravioli and fillet steak with rosemary potatoes was served along with a large slice of the mille-feuille wedding cake for desert. With the sun setting the live band struck their first cords and the party began. Dancing continued throughout the night (with only a brief interval when a large stack of pizza’s were delivered by the village pizzeria) with the last guests finally retiring to bed at sunrise.