Name: Juliet and Edwin
Age: both 40
Profession: Juliet – Investment Analyst and Edwin – Card Scheme Director
Where do you come from: London
1.How did you meet?
We met many years ago when we were at school, but Edwin joined the army and went abroad, so we lost touch. Then 18 years later he went to a school reunion and met a friend of mine who told him where I worked. I remember being at work and being shaken to receive an e mail from him. We met for lunch and became friends before realising that we had fallen very much in love with each other again.
2.How did you get engaged?
Edwin whisked me off to Florence in February for my birthday and we spent a very romantic long weekend there. On the final day we walked up to San Miniato, at the top of a hill overlooking the city. On the way he bought me the most beautiful red velvet rose. When we got to the top he started to ask me and I was too nervous. So we walked back down into the city and stopped for lunch and he confessed that I had ruined his proposal plans and we got engaged there over pizza and a rather good bottle of chianti.
3.How did you choose where to conduct the ceremony and have the reception?
Our first holiday together was in Tuscany (I absolutely love Italy) and luckily Edwin fell in love with it too. He said at the time that he wanted to marry me there, that was just a few months into our relationship.
4.What research and planning did you do before the wedding?
Very little really. We googled to find out about getting married in Tuscany and we were incredibly lucky that, just on the basis of their prompt and helpful reply to our first e-mail, we chose Erica and Nicoletta at Tuscan Dreams as our wedding planners. They were absolutely fantastic and kept emailing us options for the venue through to the flowers and musicians. It was unbelievably pain-free. We did go out to see the villa where we would be staying and having the blessing, but by then it had already been booked. Luckily it lived up to all the beautiful photos that Nicoletta and Erica had sent us.
5.How many guests attended your wedding?
We had just six of us at the civil ceremony in the beautiful hilltop medieval town of Certaldo. Then two days later we had the main event – a blessing in the gardens of the stunning villa at which we were staying. There were 17 guests for that wedding.
6.What did you ‘make from scratch’?
We decided to write out place names for all our guests and put quotations on the back. Many were romantic ones that were special to us but there were some humorous ones too, and we tried to make sure that they were appropriate to each guest.
We also wrote our own vows for the blessing so that we could make promises to each other that were special to us.
7.What was your biggest extravagance?
Making the decision to have the civil ceremony in Italy and not in London was a little extravagant, but it was well worth it. It was incredibly romantic sitting in the courtyard of a medieval town hall, in the stillness of the midday sunshine and being married in Italian.
Although I imagine that it was probably two of our guests arriving by helicopter that was the most extravagant gesture.
8.Where did you save the most money?
We didn’t have chauffeur-driven cars. My husband drove me to the civil ceremony in the open-topped mini we had hired – his equivalent of a white charger. Then the blessing was all based at the villa at which we were staying.
9.Would you change anything about your wedding?
10.What advice would you give to someone planning a wedding?
Go to Italy – it’s incredibly beautiful and very romantic. But do use a wedding planner as dealing with all the paperwork would be a real headache without one.
The theme of your wedding: Being able to have two weddings in Italy meant that we could have two entirely different styles for each. The civil ceremony was black and white 1950s. The blessing was just all about romance.
Colour scheme of the wedding: The civil ceremony was black and white and the blessing was blue/purple and white.
Music/entertainment: We had a tenor sing at the ceremony and while people enjoyed prosecco and canapés. We both love opera. Then we downloaded music to play in the evening – a combination of songs from when we first met all those years ago to more modern tunes that had become special to us when we got back together.