Thought of the Day

I don't believe in morality, but I believe in ethical conduct as set out by His Holiness the Dalai Lama: "Ethical conduct = a way of behaving that respects others’ right to be happy".

Tuesday, 28 July 2009


In this post I am going to analyse some of the details I have curated for a year in preparation to my Big Day. It was hard to keep it quiet as I had so much fun researching and assembling them that I was eager to share my findings, but had to refrain myself as it would have spoilt the surprise.
The Wedding Invitations My dad looked after the wedding invitations. He chose what he defined the "Rolls Royce of papers": the 13th Century Fabriano paper. Fabriano is the nearest town to my village and is renowned for paper factories. This paper is hand made with the same techniques used in the 13th century and is put together by animal gelatin (!). Each sheet, watermarked "Fabriano, 13th Sec", has got unrefined edges and is unique in terms of texture, thickness and colour. It comes in a smart green box with Florence coat of arm (not sure why?!), and the sheets are tied up by a green ribbon.

The Car I have already praised the groom's attire and attention to stylish details, but forgot to mention that not only he was wearing a coke, British icon par excellence, he also arrived to the church by a Mini! The Wedding Dress Below it is one of the photos best showing my dress: a Dolce & Gabbana haute couture evening gown. It is hard to believe that it was not designed with a bride in mind. It is available in other colours (black and fuchsia) and has been worn by a few celebrities on the red carpet. Layers of silk organza are asymmetrically arranged around a peony sitting in the epicentre, from which ruffles emanate in four different directions. The bodice is boned but quite comfortable, and the skirt with short train is a light cloud. After much deliberation, I agreed to wear a veil, as I appreciated it enhanced the beauty of the dress, but I categorically refused to wear meringue-style veils. I picked a medium length plain veil which was literally leant on my head to cover my face until it was lifted back by my husband-to-be. The bridegroom was in Ralph Lauren. Details about his look are described here. He did deserve a separate post. The Accessories The only jewellery pieces I had on were a headband by Halo & Co with two ethereal crystal roses and a pair of Swarovski crystal studs. I admit I would have preferred real diamond studs, but I was really squandering my budget at that point. I had no doubt that my (and my bridesmaid's) hair had to be gathered up, but I am not sure whether I should have swept my fringe to the right rather than backwards and, perhaps, had a low chignon. Anyway, I am not here to voice my petty regrets. Under my stylist's advice, instead of traditional bridal shoes, I went for a pair of ballroom dancing sandals by Dance Naturals, an Italian company which manufactures shoes for professional dancers and sponsors the Italian version of Strictly Come Dancing (Ballando con le Stelle). They are not properly made to measure, but you can choose the leather, heel's shape and height. All for a reasonable price. They were very comfortable and looked perfect with the dress, although, being open-toed, I had to break the bridal etiquette of wearing tights. In Liberty I found an adorable handbag by Carlos Falchi which I instantly converted into a clutch bag by simply hiding the long thin straps. The colour and snakeskin texture matched very well the silver fishskin of the shoes. The Bridesmaids My gorgeous bridesmaids wore a silk dress in jade and black by Monsoon. You must agree it fitted them so perfectly that looked tailor made. Jade is a borderline colour between green and blue. I assumed it was green and based my green and white colour palette on this belief. The only accessory they hold was one calla-lilly each in lieu of the classical mini-bouquet, for a rather dramatic look. The Mother and Father of the Bride's Accessories My mum was concerned that her black outfit was too funeral without the garish black and white jacket, which, incidentally, I thought it was adorable. So, I found her a smart solution: I presented her this stunning necklace which I first spotted on Mimi & Meg to wear for the reception, once she would have taken her jacket off. She was happy with this day to night change of look. In the Ralph Lauren shop I saw a pair of fun cuff links: a pair of vintage silver Ferraris. After much thinking, I resolved to buy them for my dad as a thank-you gift. Steve also got a present for his dad: a funky Vivian Westwood tie. I hope Linda didn't feel too left out! The Flowers and the Rings My bouquet and flowers were composed of Dutch peonies, small calla-lilies, rambling roses and hazel tree's branches enriched by green foliage. The florist and I opted for a natural and wild look to match the church's wooden crucifix. We kept the adornments quite simple as the church is already very baroque. I loved it! I was not so enthusiastic about the tables' centrepieces as they were banal, but at least not too obtrusive to prevent the conversation from flowing. My wedding ring was a traditional yellow gold band which belonged to my paternal grandmother. The yellow actually tends towards rose gold, a very warm tone. Our trusted jeweller managed to resize it by compressing without cutting it, and she then trimmed it to make it as thin as possible. Steve's ring used to belong to my grandfather. He not only wanted it resized, but also wanted it flattened and battered for an *ancient* look. I could not find a close-up photo of his ring, but will take one as soon as I get the chance.
The Bilingual Order of the Service and the Fine Rice Holders
It took me a good two months to translate the order of the service, thirty pages of rite of marriage with full Catholic mass. The Three Candles by Marc Chagall romantically embellished the cover, and the Song of Solomon 2:8 opened the readings, while the Shakespearian Sonnet 116 concluded the ceremony. The rice holders were a present from my friend Alessandra's mother. It was a very appreciated thought as they added a lovely touch.

The Setting
We got married in the church were I was baptised, received my first communion and confirmation. So, it was quite special for me to have my fourth sacrament there, 15 years after I left the village where I grew up. The church was full of local acquaintances, who just came to watch the bride. The rural setting of the reception was elegant and bucolic. As Lovely Salome described it, it "featured hotel rooms, a restaurant, and reception facilities in what used to be medieval servants' quarters, all entirely renovated and amazing. The castle where the lord would have lived was up on a hill overlooking the valley below".
The Pretty Party Favours
Steven picked them, and I totally agreed with his choice. They are extremely simple: a silk handkerchief wrapping chocolate sugar almonds and folded as a rose. Our friend Daniela hand folded them one by one.
The Bilingual Menu
The menu was traditional: lasagne, gnocchi, mixed grill, etc. It started with an outdoor buffet of starters and ended with an open air buffet of mixed desserts. I missed both buffets as I was too busy socialising, so I hope that someone took pictures of them.

The Wedding Cake(s) The wedding cake was... unusual. It was made of five mixed fruit cakes hold by five gold fingers. The base was decorated by roses.

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