Deborah and Ray


Real-life wedding by Tuscan Dreams-

Name: Deborah and Ray

Age: Deborah –33, Ray – 36

Profession: Deborah – Lecturer in English, Ray – technician

Where do you come from: Birmingham, UK

1.How did you meet?
My husband and I met on New Year’s Eve 4 years ago in an Irish pub. I was out celebrating with some girlfriends and he was out with his friends. My friend from New Zealand who was visiting decided to do some matchmaking, and told both of us that we were interested in each other. However, we didn’t get talking until we were both stood at the bar at 11:55pm trying to get a drink. I managed to get served so offered him some of my drink for midnight and the rest is history!

2. How did you get engaged?
We went to Chatsworth House in Derbyshire on 21st December 2008 to see the Christmas lights. We have been there a few times as it is beautiful and our favourite stately home. My husband was behaving a bit oddly but on the way he told me that he’d booked afternoon tea as a pre-Christmas surprise, which to me explained his behaviour. But before tea we went into the Rose Garden and he proposed with a ring he’d had made on a bench. We went for afternoon tea after I’d calmed down and he’d also arranged for my Mum and her partner to meet us there.

3. How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?

We decided on Italy as my Mum comes from Naples and we wanted a small wedding. We wanted somewhere where all of our family could stay together and a church wedding. Tuscan Dreams recommended San Galgano, and it was perfect. We had the reception in the grounds of the villa.

4. What research and planning did you do before the wedding?

I contacted a lot of companies who arrange weddings in Italy, but it took a while to find just what we were looking for. But it also helped that I could speak to Erica and Nicoletta at Tuscan Dreams on the phone, which made life a lot easier. We knew that we wanted a small wedding without too much fuss, so we didn’t have a lot of bother with outfits and things.

5. How many guests attended your wedding? 21

6. What did you ‘make from scratch’?

My Mum and Nonna made the bomboneire and took them out to Italy for us. My Aunt made the invitations and I made the Mass booklets and wedding information which I sent out to the guests beforehand. My brother’s girlfriend is amazingly talented and made all of my pearl and crystal wedding jewellery and hair accessories. I also made 3 lemon sponges which my Mum and Aunt decorated for the wedding party back in the UK as the wedding cake. The table decorations in Italy made by the florist were beautiful and unusual – candles surrounded by lemons and white flowers.

7. What was your biggest extravagance?

Probably the string trio we had playing for the ceremony and drinks – but they made the atmosphere beautiful. The catering cost a lot but they were also outstanding at the villa.

8. Where did you save the most money?

On our wedding outfits! I bought my cream lace dress on-line from Phase Eight and it was perfect. My shoes were also from the high street, as were my husband’s suit, tie and shoes.

9. Would you change anything about your wedding?

Nothing at all – we had the most amazing two weeks in Italy and the wedding day itself was the best day ever.

10.What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?

Remember that it is all about you and your partner, so plan the wedding that you want rather than what is expected. The very last thing we wanted was a huge “do” in the UK where my husband and I would hardly see each other for the whole day. Remember that it is also about having those who matter most to you around you. And if you are getting married in Italy, hire Erica and Nicoletta at Tuscan Dreams because they are outstanding!

The theme of your wedding: On all of the wedding stationery was a picture of the Chapel. Lemon/cream/citrus was the kind of theme, because it seemed to suit Tuscany and the colours there.


Classical string trio/own music for dancing after dinner.