Benedetta and Thomas got married on the 8th July, 2011. The happy couple celebrated with 200 guests at the Castle di Poggio in Florence, Italy. Thomas proposed to Benedetta in Tokyo at the Park Hyatt… and celebrated with drinks at the New York Lounge bar.. just like in the movies!
In Tokyo at the Park Haytt Hotel…The setting of one of my favorite movies “Lost in Translation”. The actual proposal took place in the hotel’s chapel. We got escorted there in a mysterious atmosphere. I almost had an heart attack seeing the chapel. I thought that a priest and two witnesses were about to show up to celebrate a frugal Las Vegas-style wedding. Yes I wanted to merry Thomas, but not in an empty hotel chapel!!! All I could think was: “oh no! I’m wearing a red dress thinking this was just a Christmas dinner and I’m here about to get married in red!!!. It was such a relief when I realized that the chapel was simply the location selected by Thomas to propose…After the decisive “YES!!!”, with a beautiful ring on my finger, we moved to the New York Lounge bar, the place where Scarlett Johansson meets Bill Murrey in Lost in Translation. Before a lovely dinner there, we had a drink at the bar with Tokyo at our feet and the music of a live jazz band playing. Thomas had prepared a letter to read me, but then left it at home…so, with tears in his eyes, he tried to remembered what he had written and we both ended up in tears and, oh my goodness, I remember my heart was so full of love and emotions!
The vision for the day…
We had very different ideas. I wanted an intimate wedding, maybe on a Polynesian beach, while Thomas wanted a big ceremony and party. Thank God we followed his inputs! We put together more than 200 people, all coming from different continents, for an unforgettable day!I was sure it would have turned out in a catastrophe. He had the feeling it would have been the best party ever… and he was right!
Thomas’ vision then became our vision. Our goal was to give our guest an unforgettable traditional Italian experience, while keeping in mind the needs of all our guests: age, nationality, culture, etc…
The planning process…
We planned the whole wedding in a quite exceptional way. A couple of months after the proposal, the terrible 2011 earthquake/tsunami stroke Japan. We were living in Tokyo at that time but after the disaster and the nuclear emergency we decided it would have been better for me to spend the months before the wedding back home in Italy in order to organize the wedding and be safe. I hated the idea, but Thomas had to work in Japan and fulfill his contract until June. We planned everything communicating on Skype and after 5 years next to each other, we spent 3 long months apart…and all the brides know how delicate those months are! It wasn’t easy and the whole planning wasn’t always our #1 priority, but that time made me realize how much I wanted to be with Thomas. I couldn’t wait to become his wife and I was ready to promise him and myself that I would have always been at his side.
The big budget… We set up the budget at 15.000 Euro. We ended up spending 25.000 !!!
I wanted an excuse to get to know more about my origins. I was born in Florence, but my mother comes from southern Italy. So, I decided to get my dress done in my maternal region: PUGLIA. There, there is a tiny village known in Italy as the “bridal gown Mecca”. PUTIGNANO has a beautiful sartorial tradition and I got my dress tailor made by the atelier Valentini Spose
This was my inspiration and the evolution of my dress. I wanted to play with it and transform it for the different parts of the weddings. First I wanted it to be classic and romantic, and then elegant, yet a little more casual, and finally I wanted to be comfortable and became to dance the night away!
My lovely accessories…
My shoes were amazing. I had bought shoes together with the dress, a while before…but a couple of days before the wedding I wasn’t fully satisfied with them and found my self a new pair. They were just perfect!
My groom’s threads…
He was supposed to wear the white gerbera daisy flower, while his groomsmen had to wear the yellow one. Obviously something went wrong and he ended up with the yellow one:
My lovely bridesmaids…
All in yellow. We don’t have the tradition of getting them the same outfit (they would have killed me!), but they agreed on wearing a theme color!
I picked the gerbera daisy flowers. Simply and lovely and summery!
My amazing 5 tier Cake…
The cake was selected from my favorite pasticceria “bakery” in Florence, MARCELLO http://www.pasticceriamarcello.com/ita/servizi.html
This yogurt-based cake was my favorite when I was little. They don’t usually make it for weddings, but I managed to get a giant version of my favorite treat!!
My details & décor….
Everything very simple because we had the wonderful hills of Florence as background.
The color of the sun was our theme. It was combined with rough raffia materials and big lemons everywhere!
My favorite moments… Seeing people mingling despite all odds. My Italian uncle, who only speaks Italian, communicating, laughing and dancing with my young Japanese friends!!! So funny!
My advise is…
Don’t be afraid of other people’s expectations. Just plan everything accordingly to what you love the most and to what amuses you the most…and it’ll be wonderful!
Photography by Antonio Busiello, he’s a family very talented family friend.
My mother in low – Karin for making all the drawings for our invitations, for putting together the music during the ceremony and for help us find father Paul!
To our friend and artist Donatelle Isola, for the best wedding gift ever.
To my mom and sisters, for being the inspiration of everything I do and my best style- consultants!!!
And my mom, again…because she is the most precious gift of my life. Every time I will look at my wedding ring and think of the word “serendipity”, I’ll think of her and laugh!
Thanks to my Zia Vanna for the lovely dress she got me, the support throughout the all planning and for the beautiful earrings I was wearing on that day.
To my dad…just because I love him! ♥