Thursday, January 26, 2012

Butterfly Wedding Photo Shoot at Country Weddings Italy

I'm on a roll, as they say! This morning, before I go and hop on a plane to the UK,  I thought I'd show you all these butterfly-themed wedding venue decoration items, all designed and made by Country Weddings Italy. We can come up with ideas for most themes and colours for our guests, or follow ideas and preferences the couple already has, either making the items, or sourcing them on the market. Thanks to Fabrizio for the photos, and the patience!

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Butterfly Wedding Inspirations at Country Weddings Italy

OK, we admit it. We have a thing about butterflies here at Country Weddings Italy. We have even chosen a butterfly to sit on the home page of our new website, which is due to go online any day now. (Yippee!!). The photo above is a sneak preview....

I have my own reasons for loving butterflies, and have even been known to shed a tear when I see one, as I find them so spiritual, but they truly are the most marvellous, gorgeous creatures. With so much ugliness in the world, they can become a magnificent theme or item at a wedding, bound to wow your guests and carry a beautiful, special meaning too: Butterflies symbolize new life, new beginnings and a transformation from old to new. This is highly symbolic of marriage; the joining of two lives to create a new one.

Butterflies are all around in the Italian countryside in Spring and Summer months, but I sometimes catch a glimpse of them in Autumn and Winter too in my garden. The various colours are amazing, and I always gaze in wonder at how audacious butterflies are; they take their time and visit all the flowers in the garden, not scared off by humans, dogs or loud noises.

We've put together a few inspiration boards to show you some of the many and original ways that butterflies can be incorporated into your wedding, and we've done a photo-shoot too, of Country Weddings Italy-created wedding decor items. More of that later this afternoon. In the meantime take a look at these photos and start dreaming of filling your wedding venue in Italy with these gorgeous items.

Clockwise from top left: tiara from Princess Jewellery, dress from Dorotheas Closet Vintage,
tiara from, dress from BHLDN, tiara from 3D jewellery, dress by Mariella
 Burani,full gown found on, dress by Mary L Couture

Clockwise from left to right:,,,,,

Clockwise from left to right:,,,,, jan hobbins,,

Clockwise from left to right: invitation from, biscuit cutter wedding favour
 from,  yellow wedding invitation from, wedding
favour biscuits from,  invitation from,
all white invitation from, jewelled butterfly wedding favour from,
 lilac invitation from

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Wedding Favours, a Worldwide Italian Tradition

The tradition of giving small gifts, or "favours" to guests at weddings dates back 300 or 400 years. It seems that the European aristocracy gave away the first wedding favours, known as a ‘bonboniere’- a small trinket box made of porcelain or crystal, often decorated with precious stones and usually containing sugar which was an extremely expensive delicacy at that time and was also thought to have medicinal properties.
The sugar inside the boxes was soon replaced by sugar-coated almonds in Italy, and the world-renowned “confetti” or  Jordan almonds were born, as they are still known today. 5 of these confetti were given to guests at weddings, to represent 5 good wishes for the newly-married couple: Health, Wealth, Happiness, Fertility and Long Life.
Not much has changed today, in Italy. Five (on occasion only 1 or 3, but always an odd number) sugar-coated almonds are still handed out at weddings and other celebrations too, but in recent years, the bomboniere or wedding favours, as they are known in English, have become popular worldwide. 

However, as times have progressed in Italy, an amazing number of new flavours of confetti have been developed, all absolutely mouth-wateringly delicious: chocolate, strawberry, orange, coconut, peach, pineapple, pistachio, limoncello, coffee, truffle.... the choice is endless. The dessert table, so popular at the moment at British weddings, is often replaced by the “Confettata” at Italian weddings, a beautifully decorated table full of glass or silver bowls, or fabric bags containing several different flavours of confetti. Whenever I’m attending an Italian wedding, I can usually be found near the Confettata table, just checking (honest!) that they “taste right”... if anybody comments about me lurking in that area of the room, I like to explain that I’m carrying out “quality control”!!! 

Confetti are also given to guests to take home, in wedding favours, which come in so many shapes and forms: beautiful little boxes, organza, silk or linen bags, arranged inside special confetti holding “petals” made from tulle, artfully arranged into little bouquets , or simply wrapped in tulle and tied with a silk ribbon. There are special shops in Italy dedicated purely to creating, making and selling wedding favours, but in the land where confetti were first made, it is maybe no wonder.

Wedding favours with almonds, chocolates or other confectionery are a lovely, thoughtful idea at any wedding, but in Italy, home to the original Confetti, they are a total MUST!! Anybody coming to Italy to get married can ask Country Weddings Italy for advice on choosing their wedding favours for their guests. I'll even offer to carry out a little "quality control" on the confetti too, if you insist ;-).

Martha Stewart Weddings


Handpainted (edible!) confetti

Friday, January 13, 2012

Citrus Fruit - Orange, Lemon and Lime Wedding Inspirations

During Christmas, the New Year, and all the other mid-winter celebrations that we have all been enjoying, my thoughts momentarily turned to many a Christmas holiday spent in Cyprus with my family, where I used to love walking near the coast among the citrus fruit groves, feeling the sun on my face and the breeze at my back. Happy times. Orange, lemon and lime are such cheerful colours, a true statement of joy. They are colours that remind you of sunshine, warmth and lazy afternoons sipping fruit cocktails in the garden or by the pool!
Instead of choosing just one colour to run through your wedding theme, why not choose two or three or more, all tied together by some common denomination factor. A wedding in Italy is a perfect backdrop to such colours, as they are part of the natural surroundings. Chase away any winter blues and start planning your wedding with this colour theme in warmer climes!

Photo credits: Invitation on, bouquet on my,  sandals on, wedding cake on, ring on, yellow bridesmaids dresses photo on, lime green wedding favours on

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Just "L.O.V.E" these Crystal Bouquets!!

A beautiful, sunny January morning to you! Yes, the sun is shining here in the north of Latium and that always puts me in a good mood. What better way to start the day than with beautiful photographs?

I came across these beautiful crystal bouquets while I was looking around on the internet for ideas and items for Country Weddings Italy to promote. We only like to promote things that we truly believe are beautiful, and which we would recommend to our brides and grooms. I must admit, though, having lived in Italy for many years, that the trend of crystal bouquets had not yet registered with me, as I had never seen one here in Italy.
The lovely ladies behind these creations are a mother-in-law and daughter-in-law team from Bury in the Northwest of the UK, Sheila and Natalie. The idea for their hugely successful business came from Natalie’s own wedding, when she decided to make her own bouquet. The business literally took over like a rocket and they now have a full diary for 12 months at a time. The bouquets that L.O.V.E bouquets now make for the business are created in constant close consultation with their brides, and the brooches, crystals and jewellery incorporated into these works of art are all sourced by the owners during their regular treasure-hunt outings in the local area.

Looking at their Facebook page, I noticed how “in touch” they are with their customers, constantly talking to each other and even altering bouquets  to suit changes in preferences when they are already in the process of being made.
It is also possible to purchase bouquets for bridesmaids and flower girls (some lovely ideas here, including a crystal wand for a little girl), buttonholes for the groom and other members of the male wedding party, and corsages for the ladies.

Flower girl's wand with butterfly embellishment

Blue buttonhole for a handsome groom!

3 matching bridesmaids' bouquets

Any bride travelling to Italy for their wedding could decide to have a gorgeous crystal bouquet made to bring with her for her special day and then keep it to display at home. Just take a look at these pictures and notice the handiwork!

My favourite, there are butterfly brooches in this one!

Photo by Jon Lyons

Thursday, January 5, 2012

A Medieval Castle Wedding with Country Weddings Italy.

I was recently very lucky to spend 3 days in a gorgeous 15th century lakeside castle in my much-loved area of Italy. I was there on a course (I’ve now got my Advanced Wedding Planner certificate under my belt!) but given the nature of what we were studying, we were allowed to enter the magical world of weddings in a fairytale castle, because this place is a wedding venue open to all!! What girl wouldn’t love to get married in a  real Medieval castle?! Better than anything I ever dreamed up with my Barbie dolls when I was a youngster!

Do the names Tom Cruise and Petra Ecclestone ring bells for anyone? This is the place they chose to get married! The celebrity list is a long one: in fact, before spending time at the castle, I thought it would be well out of most people’s price range, but I now know that the castle caters to many pockets. It truly is possible to plan a multi million-dollar wedding there, but it is also possible to spend amounts that are within many people’s wedding budget. Prices depend on the various areas of the castle hired for the wedding and getting married here during the week is less expensive that choosing a day at the weekend.

The setting is superb and the staff in charge of weddings, headed by the amazing Sanda Pandza, are all warmhearted and wonderfully efficient.  I learned so much during my stay at the castle and know for sure that any Country Weddings Italy couple who should decide to get married here will enjoy the experience of a lifetime.  The castle still belongs to the aristocratic family that purchased the castle at the end of the 17th century, when the original owners found themselves in financial difficulties and had to sell off many of their assets. The current owner of the castle, (a real princess!) still has private apartments in the castle, although the castle is also open to visitors each day, for guided tours.

Symbolic wedding and commitment ceremonies can be organised within the castle grounds, indoors or outdoors, or a civil or religious wedding can be held just outside the castle walls, at the local cathedral or town hall. Moving on to the post-ceremony celebrations,  aperitifs are often served in the Secret Garden, while the wedding breakfast is normally served indoors, in one of the castle’s majestic halls off the main courtyard, or even in the castle’s traditional kitchens, with their huge fireplaces. Dancing and entertainment can continue  in the courtyard after the celebratory meal, and at night the castle can be lit up with candles and torches, and even fireworks so that it is seen for miles around. There is no end of possibilities to planning a wedding here!

As I’ve often said in the past, a country wedding doesn’t necessarily mean not holding an elegant celebration. This is an absolutely perfect setting for any lady who wants to be a true princess on her wedding day. If you would like more information about holding your wedding here, together with all the other services Country Weddings Italy can provide to make your wedding in Italy just perfect, then write to us at:

Credits: We would like to thank Castello Odescalchi for all the photos.