Dear Raffaela and Rosanna,
Thank you for all your assistance in planning our wedding. It is definitely a challenge to plan a wedding in a different country, especially when you don't speak the language, and we couldn't have pulled off such an amazing day without DIW! We wish you all the best for the future, and many more successful weddings!
We couldn't have been happier with our wedding – it was a spectacular day and everything went off without a hitch. Everyone had a great time and some of our guests even said it was 'the best wedding they have ever been to' which we were absolutely thrilled about!
The wedding was a success because of the huge amount of planning that went in and the support of talented and professional vendors, both in Italy and in the lead up to the wedding in the UK. Our Italian vendors, suggested and coordinated by DIW, exceeded our expectations through their professionalism, punctuality, quality of service/product and accommodation of our requests. We would recommend all of them to other couples getting married in Italy, and note that time invested communicating with vendors will pay dividends on your big day and in the memories captured.
We fell in love with our venue on our first visit and are thrilled to have been able to have our wedding here. We were proud to share this venue with our guests and we are pleased to say everyone loved it! The venue looked amazing in both our wedding photos and video, and it was great to be able to use different areas of the property for parts of the day. Giacomo and Barbara were amazing hosts and a big part of the reason we selected it for our wedding. They did a fantastic job on our wedding day, which they managed to perfection and they were always keen to offer help or advice without any fuss. We just could not have picked a more perfect location for a truly perfect day!
We could not have made a better choice than Claudia and Luca for our wedding. Firstly, our photos are absolutely stunning: they truly captured the essence of our amazing day. Their fine art photography/editing give our wedding photos an x-factor; the images are interesting, vibrant, candid, capturing everything from the wider landscape to the finer detail, and it's obvious a lot of care has been taken in their production. It was also great to have two photographers on the day to capture it from different angles/ perspectives.
It put our mind at ease being able to meet Claudia and Luca the night before the wedding, and we were thrilled that they stayed for an extra hour at the end of the night to make sure they captured the cake cutting, our first dance and the start of the party. They conducted themselves extremely professionally, but had a lovely relaxed and unobtrusive attitude and style.
Prior to the wedding, we spent quite a bit of time thinking about what we wanted them to capture on the day, including some group photos, and they managed to do it all plus so much more. They are lovely people to work with and we would 100% recommend them to anyone getting married in Italy.
Videographer – Denis
When we started to plan our wedding, we weren't 100% certain if we were going to have a videographer. We are really pleased Raffaela encouraged us to do this, and also for her personal recommendation of Denis. We were a bit apprehensive because the example video's we saw from Denis weren't in the style of wedding video we were looking for. However, Raffaela assured us that Denis was happy to accommodate our requests and adapt his style. So we invested lots of time in defining the style of video we wanted – what we did and didn't like – finding music – and finding examples of other videos to share with Denis. This approach was 100% successful, as the short trailer video we have just received is exactly what we wanted and more! We are so excited to see the longer version!
We really appreciated meeting with Denis and the second videographer the night before the wedding, and were really impressed to later learn he also visited our ceremony venue to ensure he was prepared for our wedding day. Denis also arrived on the wedding day 2 hours early, so he could get all the shots he wanted and not to have to rush or clash with the photographers! He also stayed an extra hour in the evening to ensure he captured cutting the cake, first dance and start of the party without any bother.
Overall, we found Denis's approach to be very professional; we were very impressed with his preparation and organisation, his accommodation of our requests and the high quality of the video. It is clear that he is a brilliant videographer and he is a lovely person to work with. Additionally having two videographers really helped capture all of the special moments throughout the day and they did a great job of capturing a combination of the beautiful buildings, landscapes special moments throughout the day and all of our guests.
The flowers provided by Stiatti Fiori were beautiful and it's clear they are very professional and talented florists. The bride and bridesmaid bouquets were absolutely beautiful and the flowers for the tables were very pretty. We added the glass hanging tea light holders to our order late, which were hung from the trees in front of the marquee, and really finished off the dinner and dancing area perfectly. Our parents' buttonholes and corsages were also really nice.
The DJ was great and we cannot believe he stayed until 4am – it was fantastic!! We provided a list of music and he did an awesome job of playing it – everyone was up on their feet dancing the whole night! We really appreciated he was happy to play our choice of music and had that he kept the party going until the early hours.
It would have been great to know he was happy to stay later as we could have arranged and paid for this up front.
Hair & makeup – Samantha & team
Samantha and her team did a great job of the hair and makeup; the bride, bridesmaids and mothers of the bride and groom all looked beautiful. They were all very professional, punctual and we appreciated that the team included an English speaker to translate! They also took the time before setting up to work out the room with the best light, which was important for the photographers and videographers as well.
I did a hair and makeup trial with Samantha 6 months before the wedding and her and her team were really sweet and accommodating. After the trial I was slightly nervous about my makeup, but I LOVED it on the day.
Distinctive Italy Weddings
We are happy we choose DIW to help us organise our wedding and appreciate the genuine efforts made to make our day the best it could be. We enjoyed working with Raffaela – who is lovely, professional, organised and patient in replying to our endless emails of questions! We were very happy to have Raffaela was present on our wedding day; in particular it was really special to have her involved in our ceremony as the translator. She also has a great relationship with the vendors and ensured everything ran smoothly and to time.
Overall the vendors were fantastic: high quality, professional and good value for money. We were also impressed that they were so flexible and accommodating of our requests, such as the DJ playing exclusively from our music list, and the videographer adapting his production style. It was reassuring to know that all the vendors were recommended by DIW and their services were being coordinated by Raffaela. The smooth running of the day is testament to the professional planning and organisation of DIW and communication with us and the other vendors.
Pippa and Josh
Dear Rosanna, Stefania and Simona,
THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! For everything you guys did to ensure we had the most amazing wedding celebration. We are so thankful and so happy to have chosen your company to make our dream come true.
Thank you Stefania for getting our garment bag back on time:) you are an angel.
Simona was so warm and wonderful, she made sure that every detail was taken care of.
The photographers were also amazing we cannot wait to see our pictures. Please let me know who will be sending the email with pictures:)
Please add us in your list of references, I already have 2 girlfriends to refer ;) I will be sending you the connections soon.
The entire experience was AMAZING.
Thank you so much:)
Yes! We just got back on the weekend and I have been meaning to respond. Everything was so magical and perfect we could not be happier. We would be happy to be a reference for DIW. We couldn't have done it without all of you. We loved our wedding day so much I want to do it all over again to relive the fantastic day...and the meal that Barbara suggested was to die for! We loved it so much we went back the next night to dine there a second time.
Working with DIW was an absolute pleasure. Your team was very prompt and took care of every detail. I am a marketing professional for a large global company and can be very particular about details and your team executed flawlessly. Everything went very smoothly and will be fondly remembered as the happiest day of our lives. The services that your team selected were tremendous. Victoria and the girls were so fun to be around and I admire Cristiano's work so much - fingers crossed we were good subjects for photos.
So again - I can't stress how amazing our day was and magical it will be remembered. I would say that was one EXTREMELY well planned event. DIW are super heroes of wedding planning.
I admire your business so much - it's a dream job.
Chat sometime soon
Apologies for the delay in responding, we've been quite busy since we returned.
The whole experience was perfect and exactly what we were wanting. Certaldo Alto was picturesque and such an amazing place to host our special day. Bonnie was extremely helpful and made sure the day went as planned. Guisseppe took so many amazing pictures and was not intrusive at all, and pictures arrived promptly on our return! Flowers we're perfect and we were really happy with them. :)
Our reception drinks at La Cucina went beyond our expectations. It was such a lovely place and we had such a warm welcoming from Giuseppina and her son Luca. The food and wine were lovely, and the relaxed setting, with them preparing the food and drink in front of us was awesome. It rained (a short shower) just after the ceremony, and they had to move from their originally planned outside location, to indoors, which was done very smoothly - we didn't really notice! Overall we couldn't have asked for a better place than this for our reception drinks!
The restaurant for the reception was the most amazing setting. The food was impeccable - especially the Pici al ragu di cinta sense. The service was so good, they were all so friendly and lovely. We were so impressed with it, that we returned a couple of days after to have lunch, and our friends who stayed a further week with their family also returned with a table of 20 people too! You couldn't have picked a more perfect place for our reception, thank you!
Villa Issabella was beautiful and a perfect base for us during the week. The owners we're lovely and the villa was very well presented. We are already talking about taking a family holiday next year to stay at the villa again!
Overall, the whole day was such a success and exceeded our expectations. Without your support we would not have been able to arrange our day so perfectly - thank you to you and all of your team at Distinctive Italy! We would definitely recommend your services to friends and family that want to marry in Italy!
We would be more than happy to act as references. We have also attached a few pictures of the day which you are more than welcome to use for marketing and on Facebook if you wish.
All the best,
Zoë & Ed
Many thanks for your congratulations, we are only just starting to come back down to earth after our fantastic day!! It was everything we dreamed of and more and we just wanted to thank you very much for all your help in making our day what it was- we are so very grateful :D
The day pretty much went without a hitch! I cried when I saw my flowers (as you know) myself and Vykky were very worried about them being right!! But they were PERFECT and exactly what I wanted so please pass on a massive thanks to statti fiori as they really did outshine my expectation -they were amazing!
The music was also absolutely fantastic- the DJ and singer especially were amazing and really wowed our guests!!
Giacomo and all at the venue were fantastic- the table was set up beautifully, the food was so wonderful and our guests were very pleased with their accommodations! They were also their lovely warm selves and everyone raved about their hospitality.
Barbara our photographer also was amazing, very respectful of our day and very lovely to talk to I can't wait to see her photos! Thanks so much.
Rebecca Asprey :))
Finally we are back in Australia and back at work. Sorry for the late reply. We have been super busy with work and family commitments.
Our wedding was truly wonderful. The Castle was beyond our dreams and the staff were wonderful. The room that we had for the 2 nights was amazing. Dinner at their restaurant was superb and we had the same waiter 2 nights in a row and he was wonderful and was great at recommending suggestions from the menu.
I would definitely recommend the Castle to anyone wanting to get married, even though we eloped and found the hotel wonderful, I believe that a small intimate wedding their would also be wonderful.
Elly, your onsite assistant was great, as soon as she walked in she just took over and made sure everything ran smoothly. I was so afraid it was going to rain as I could see clouds and hear thunder, but Elly checked the weather for me and assured me that it wouldn't pour down. Everyone that was involved in the wedding was wonderful, from the driver to the celebrant and the violinist and our photographer Alessandro was great, both Conor and I aren't good in front of the camera, but Alessandro helped to make us feel more relaxed. Alessandro also knew of all the nice spots around Rome to have photos taken at, Alessandro took us to spots that we hadn't even heard off, that were a little quieter than the usual Rome tourist spots and were just as pretty.
A special thank you to my makeup/hair artist Anne, she was totally wonderful and even though we didn't do a trial hair run, she knew exactly what I wanted when I showed her the pictures and I left the makeup choice up to her and she made me look amazing on the day. As I didn't have anyone with me on the day as it was only Conor and I eloping together Anne helped me put my dress and veil on, which was great as it was lace up and I was a little concerned as to how I was going to put it on by myself.
As for being a reference, I would definitely recommend you to anyone wanting to get married in Rome, so please definitely use me as a reference.
We'll definitely be back in Rome in the future and hopefully the Trevi Fountain will be restored by then and we'll be making our stay longer as I would have like to have seen more of Rome and Italy.
Also, could you please find out what brand of Prossecco Champagne that we had as our wedding toast was. I usually don't like Champagne or wine, but that Prosecco was wonderful and I would like to get it in Australia if I can find it.
Once I get the photos from Alessandro, I'll email some through to you.
Thankyou for all your hard work Stefania, our wedding day was truly wonderful
Hi Rosanna / Raffaela
Many Thanks for your warmest congratulations!
I would like to say a very big Thank You to all at Distinctive Italy Weddings for making our Special Day the Perfect One!
Everything turned out wonderful and Rome brought everything we imagined, it is such an amazing city, alive with activity and spirit.
The Santa Maria Basilica in Trastevere took everyones breath away, it has to be one of the most beautiful churchs I have ever seen. Fr John is lovely, he made us feel really welcome and helped ease the nerves. he was so down to earth and cracked a few jokes along the way so Thank you for arranging for him to be our celebrant. My face lit up when I saw the flowers arrangements in the church. I have to say they were the nicest flowers I have seen at any wedding and I am being honest about that. Please say a Huge Thank you to the florist, a truly amazing job, the white and red contrast was gorgeous and I loved my bouquet. It was so fresh and pretty, classy but innocent. I would highly recommend the florist. I will email some photo's when they are done.
The two Allessandro's were great. They arrived at the Castle to take photos of the groom and his goomsmen and then of me and the brisdesmaids. We are friends on Face Book now so he has posted some samples photo's which are very professional and really capture the moment. They are so different from your normal, average photos. Can't wait to see the final album when they have them ready.
Castello was a perfect venu for the wedding reception. The welcome canapes and prosecco were tasty and plenty. I loved the Gazebo and my guests really loved the food. So thank you for that! The lunch was great and we had the use of the veranda aswell so guests could have photos outside and relax in the nice Rome 15 degree weather.
All in all we couldnt have asked for a better day. Everything went to plan and we were so Happy!!
So Thank you both for everything.
Olivia and Paul
Hi Rosanna and Junko, Thank you so much for all your help for making our dream wedding come true. Initially, we were planning a rustic hamlet wedding in Tuscany but after numerous emails with Rosanna, we came across with this lovely boutique city hotel in Florence that changed everything.
We were reviewing different venues from A to Z to decide what fits our needs and dreams for a small and intimate wedding slash reunion and Rosanna was very patient and helpful during the long selection process. I am Asian and my husband is European and we are leaving in Canada. There were lots of logistics to plan and cultural aspects to consider.
It took more than a year and half to prepare our wedding via gazillions of emails with lots of "change of mind" in the middle and Junko was more than helpful and understanding. Junko went above and beyond her call of duty to ensure that our dream was fulfilled to the end. Everyone we know said it's a risky business to plan a destination wedding via emails only with strangers, especially when you didn't visit the venue, didn't taste the food nor the wedding cake. We knew about those contingencies, but we trusted Junko as we communicated with her for over a year.
Magic doesn't happen often. Few of us has ever experienced it. For us, it happened on the 3rd and 4th of June 2014. From the very first step in the Villa where the wedding took place, Junko orchestrated everything perfectly. Her knowledge and coordination skills were remarkable. Our Wedding could have taken place anywhere but the Villa was THE place and Junko put all her focus and determination onto all the little details in order to allow us to have that magic moment.
I am a very picky and particular bride who has been working in the hospitality and event industry over 10 years. As such, I know what I want and I get it. We met Junko for the first time the day before our wedding and went over all the micro-details. At that point, we knew that we didn't have to worry about anything. We had an amazing and magical wedding and it was an entire success. We have witnessed the talent of Junko, her expertise and excellent customer skills. All of our family and friends are still talking about the venue, food, flowers, dance and the marvellous cake!!!! I don't know where we got our cake from but it was the best cake ever. In fact, it seems unbelievable that without even tasting it beforehand, the cake turned out to be absolutely delicious! Everyone kept asking for more!!! Flowers were exactly what I had asked for, and they did even better job. Our DJ read our minds like a magician and did fabulous job.
Also, we want to highlight the high level of Alessandro's professionalism. He is such an amazing photographer! He listens to you and gets it! He is always being super fun and down to earth at the same time. A real professional. I changed my mind about our photographer twice but we are so glad that we worked with him.
Lastly the venue: if you are dreaming of an elegant yet modern wedding, the Villa is the place. The management is fantastic to work with as Rosanna said and banquet team is top notch!
I heard a lot of things could go wrong on a wedding day. Definitely not for us!!! We actually had great fun and enjoyed every single moment. I was the worry free bride :) because Junko orchestrated everything; the event took place smoothly until late at night with the utmost perfection and attention to detail. There is no word to describe how grateful we are to work with Junko.
If you want to get married, Italy is the right place to go and Junko is the right person to consult. We travelled all over the world and could never find the same level of excellence and authentic smile. Every one of our international guests from Asia, UK, Switzerland, Canada left with the same feedback: we give 5 stars to our Villa and and if we could add a 6th star, it would be for Junko's remarkable work.
Thank you Rosanna and Junko for making our Wedding such a successful story, to mark the first day of our married life as certainly the one that will be living in us forever.
BLOG POST about this wedding: http://www.distinctiveitalyweddings.com/blog/2014/10/carrie-thomas-luxury-wedding-florence-villa/
Buongiorno Raffaela e Rosanna,
non avevo ancora avuto tempo di scirvere ma ci tenevo davvero a farlo visto il grande successo del weekend al Borgo.
Non solo gli ospiti sono rimasti senza parole, ma persino io, Ian e Carole che eravamo a conoscenza di tutto il programma nei dettagli, siamo rimasti a bocca aperta per gran parte del tempo! Allestimenti meravigliosi, organizzazione liscia e impeccabile, fornitori incredibili...e voi fantastiche.
Non so come ringraziarvi per aver contribuito a rendere questo matrimonio cosi' memorabile, divertente e veramente semplice. E' stata un'esperienza unica lavorare con voi e spero che in qualche modo le nostre strade si incrocino ancora nel futuro.
Aspetto le foto con impazienza! non vedo l'ora arrivino, cosi' riusciro' a rivivere qualche momento ancora una volta!
Un carissimo saluto e in bocca al lupo per tutto quanto.
TRANSLATED into ENGLISH....
Hello Raffaela and Rosanna, I had not yet had time to write to you, but I really wanted to do it given the great success of theweekend at the Hamlet. Not only were the guests left speechless, but even I, Ian and Carole who were aware of all the plansin detail, were left speechless most of the time!
Marvelous decor, smooth and flawless organization, amazing providers ...and you were fantastic. I do not know how to thank you for helping to make this wedding so memorable, fun and really simple. It was a unique experience to work with you and I hope that somehow our paths will cross again in the future. Looking forward to the photos! I can not wait to come, so 'able' torelive some moments once again!
A warm greetings and good luck for everything.
Lucia and Ian
From the MOTHER of the GROOM
We couldn’t have been more thrilled with everything. The Borgo was absolutely the perfect setting for a Tuscan wedding, the caterer was undoubtedly the best caterer I have ever used anywhere, and the flowers were truly magical. I can’t possibly imagine a more storybook wedding weekend anywhere, anytime!
I am happy to be a reference so please use my email accordingly.
Best wishes to you!
BLOG POST on this WEDDING: http://www.distinctiveitalyweddings.com/blog/2014/09/wedding-tuscany-lucia-ian/
Well after a whirlwind honeymoon through Italy & Spain we are home now and the secret of our elopement in Malcesine, Lake Garda is out and we surprised everyone (except for our parents who were in on it) !
Finally, we are back home had the welcome home party and I have found the time to write you this long overdue but still important note about well everything... :)
THANK YOU SO MUCH seems to be a good start but I’m not sure it covers everything so here we go in detail ha-ha....
Stefania, I can’t thank you enough for all the work you put in over the last 11 months to put together the most magical day for us it was absolutely wonderful and totally exceeded expectations. From our first emails it was easy to see that you wanted to make this the best day of our lives.
I was pretty vague in the beginning with our only ideas that we wanted it to be on a lake. I think that is why I’m so grateful for the lists, ideas and numerous options that you provided it made it very easy for me and Tom to review and make decisions. I also want to thank you for offering up hints and tips for our trip through Italy - Verona was a fantastic place and one of our favourites so I’m really glad you told us a bit about it otherwise we may have missed it !
Other things and notes of thanks if you can pass them on...
Pre Wedding Documentation
Just wanted to let you know that Angela who we met in Milan was brilliant! She assisted us on the paperwork front which was great. She met us at the embassy and helped us very much, as there was a recent change in how things worked she was the only one who was prepared and had the right details for the security guard to let her through and for us to have the documents legalised before we headed to Malcesine. Very professional and very well prepared.
Hair & Makeup
WOW just wow and special thanks to a fantastic hairdresser and makeup artist ! I would highly recommend her to anyone. If I lived in Verona she would be my hairdresser for sure! I only had a side profile photo of the hairstyle I wanted and she was able to pull together the whole thing and it was exactly what I had imagined. The makeup was flawless Yasmin has a great eye and attention to detail. The red lips were great ! She also went above and beyond assisting me to get ready fixing up my dress & helping me with my insanely high heeled shoes to complete the look J no need for an entourage of bridesmaids as she took care of everything !
Manicure & Nails
Unfortunately I can’t remember the name of the lady who did my nails the day before I should have written in down... She was brilliant she fixed up 3 of my nails which had chipped/broken and made them look brand new. It was awesome and definitely much more than what I had requested I’m so very grateful. They looked perfect for that day and also for the rest of our trip which was great as usually polish lasts only 1 to 1.5 weeks on my hands so that was really good and unexpected.
High Five to the Florist!! The flowers were an exact replica of the picture I had sent through actually they were even better ! The roses were absolutely stunning so fresh and crisp they looked the same at the end of the day as they did at the beginning and even the next day they were still perfect and the small white rose buds had started to bloom they were exactly what I had imagined. I wanted to take them home with me but I doubt they would have made it all the way back to Australia!
Transport - Maserati
Well this was Toms choice and he chose really well the Black Maserati looked very sleek but it was also really comfortable and had space for my dress... not that it was a massive dress but it was really comfortable which was important since we had a hour long lakeside drive to the Castle. I really liked staying a bit further away from the place the ceremony is because it built anticipation etc so for me it was really good even though it meant getting up a bit earlier J
Malcesine is such a beautiful place to get married!! I wish we had more time there to explore the streets and town. The castle was amazing. Although I wish I did wear flat shoes (as you recommend) hahaaa getting around on the cobble stones and up the castle stairs in my super high heels was difficult but I’m glad I made it - I should have put the flat shoes in the car with me instead of in the trunk of the car:)
The staff at the town hall were great so helpful the day before arranging for a pre visit to the castle for us it was great. Also very unexpected were the gifts from the town that we were given on the day of the wedding – commemorative glass plate with the castle and our names etched in and next years calendars were a great momento of the day and fantastic as they can remind us of the place
The stunning views the castle, the lake and the mountains it is just so picture perfect, I would highly recommend this beautiful town to anyone and everyone. I had never heard of Malcesine before so thank you for putting it in the pack if had not seen it in there I would not have known about this gem of a place or met any of its wonderful people.
So originally we were not going to have a videographer ... I have seen many friends videos which were just terrible so I was really put off by the whole thing. Stefania, I can’t tell you how grateful I am that you sent through the details of a few for me to look at. I seriously didn’t realise how fantastic a wedding video could be and I’m over the moon that we chose Denis to be our videographer. He was fantastic and from the moment we met at the hotel he put us at ease (especially Tom) he was very relaxed and gave good direction which made it really easy. As people who are not used to that type of attention it was great to have the dynamic duo of Denis and Stefano guiding us through. They were professional and listened to what we were after on our videos. We wanted a video that would transport our friends and family to the day like they were bystanders watching on as went through the day, to show the beauty of Malcesine and Sirmione and to make them see why we chose this beautiful place rather than a wedding at home in Australia (a big ask). The Second video we was to be more a fun look at our friendship and love and the day but through our eyes so we can look back at go wow how much fun was that !! We were also under time pressure to have the videos back in time for our big welcome home/surprise we are married party. I can’t really describe how amazing these videos were we just had the party on the weekend and there were people crying about how beautiful they were and how amazing the location was, I can’t tell you how many people made comments about how professional and polished the video was and a couple of friends who were photographers also commented on the detail and angles of the shots and how great they were. I’m just so happy with how they turned out and that we got to meet Denis and Stefano who made the experience fun for us. I can’t even describe it properly in this email. This was by far the best investment we made.
Unlike the umming and arring I had over whether or not to get a videographer I knew from the start that we wanted some great pictures to capture the day. After looking at Alessandro’s pictures online I loved his work so it was an easy decision. I’m not sure exactly how to describe the experience apart from it was so easy and was much fun! Both Alessandro and his co photographer (who’s name escapes me right now.. wow I’m usually good with names... ) were great. I’m not a fan of posed stand together and look at the camera photos so it was good to go walking around the town and cruising on the Boat just having a good time. I have a I have not had the opportunity yet to see the photos them but I’m sure they will be brilliant.
Transport 2 - The Boat
The boat ride we took from Malcesine back to Sirmione was one of my favourite parts of the day! It was quite a windy day to start off with so I was a bit concerned it might be really bumpy ride but it wasn't really at all. It was fantastic to kick back with a bottle of champagne and just admire the view from the lake.
What a fantastic way to close out the most romantic day – seriously the setting could not have been more perfect... The sun setting over the lake giving way to a full moon which shone brightly over the lake and with the live music in the background it was just beautiful !!!
We had our own personalised menus, with the date and names which was a nice keepsake. It was also great for us as they had a special menu for each of us since Tom doesn’t eat seafood . The food was devine! The portions were generous and packed full of flavour and so perfectly presented you kind of didn’t want to eat them they looked so good. There was a basil like mouse which was toms Favourite and mine was definitely the risotto for someone who does not normally eat rice that is a big call J
The Villa Cortine Palace
What a great location and a fantastic place to stay. The staff were extremely helpful with our last minute requests the room was big and the bathroom was huge which was good since we had the hair, makeup and everything set up. One of my favourite things about this hotel was the grounds they were a great place to walk around, relax and explore. I really wish we had more time there but something tells me we will be back there at some stage...perhaps an anniversary trip. It was also interesting for Tom driving through the historical centre and past all the people on the tiny streets (that doesn’t really happen in Australia) so was entertaining. Sirmione was also very beautiful and we got some time to explore the ruins and the town over the few days we stayed there.
So I guess overall a heart felt thank you from both myself and Tom for making our Wedding day so special and most important to me hassle free. I would highly recommend you personally Stefania and the team at DIW to anyone, especially those looking to escape the drama which accompanies planning and executing perfect wedding yourself - leave it up to the professionals J. On a final note it was great to finally meet you and put a face to the emails, if you ever come back to Australia pop down to Melbourne and pay us a visit J
Brea & Tom
Today we received in the mail the certified copy of our marriage certificate, which was the last and final piece of business related to our our wedding last month. The arrival of the certificate reminded me that I had not yet properly thanked you as I should have, so I wanted to take a moment to let you know incredibly happy we are with the way everything came together for our beautiful Ravello wedding.
When we first thought about "running away" to Italy to get married, I foolishly thought I could just have the hotel concierge arrange everything for us. I soon learned it was a bit more complicated than that and then started the search for a wedding planner. We chose Distinctive Italy Weddings based on your website and all the beautiful weddings posted there. We had no real way of knowing how legitimate you were and whether or not everything would be delivered as promised. We just closed our eyes, crossed our fingers and said "let's do this."
I am happy to report we were not disappointed. Not only were we not disappointed, we were blown away!
I am a double-checker, triple-checker by nature. I will call several times to confirm that so-and-so will be there for this or that appointment, because that's how I'm wired. I can't help myself. It makes me very good at my job, but it also drives everyone around me crazy. The problem with planning a wedding in Italy from afar is that it's hard to double-check and triple-check every detail. Torturous for me.
But little by little as we conversed via email, it became clear to me that you had things under control. I started to relax a bit and allow myself to assume that when you'd say something would be done, it would in fact be done. When we went to Rome two months prior to the wedding to obtain our Nulla Osta, you scheduled our appointment with the US Embassy there & told us your representative Edelva would meet us in front of the embassy at a certain time. And she did. I had a feeling then that everything would be alright. And it was. When you said that a driver would be here at a certain time or a representative would meet us at a certain place, it happened. When I sent you photographs of the flowers I wanted, you made sure I received that exact look on my wedding day. I never, ever assume that things will go as planned, but in this case -- they did.
And all of your representatives were fabulous! Lovely and personable. When Edelva met us at the Embassy in Rome, we immediately liked and trusted her. Not only was she there on time and on task, she was so outraged when we mentioned a bad experience with a vendor in Rome (our first ever in many years of traveling to Italy), she told us she was posting it on her personal Facebook page and would make sure everyone knew that this particular shop was not to be trusted.
Once we were in Positano and needed to travel to Ravello to file our Declaration of Intent to Marry the day before our wedding, I arrived at the Ravello Town Hall a bit nauseas from the wind-y climb up the Amalfi Coast Road. Anna took one look at me when I got out of the car and asked what was wrong. When I explained my issues with motion sickness, she immediately suggested moving everything up 15 minutes the next day. She didn't want me to arrive woozy and dizzy and have to run right out to the garden to start the ceremony. From there, she adjusted the hair & make-up people and made sure the driver knew we would be a bit earlier than originally planned so we could arrive in Ravello and have a few moments to breath. As we walked through Ravello after filing our Declaration, I mentioned how beautiful the hotel next to Giardino Principessa de Piemonte was -- and Anna immediately suggested we have a post-ceremony Champagne toast on the terrace there. She arranged it right then and there with the hotel staff - complete with a presentation of the menu so we could select the Champagne we preferred. This was not part of the "package" we contracted for, but it was a fabulous suggestion & allowed us a beautiful moment in time to relax in the shade and share a toast with our family before we began the procession through the streets to take photographs.
And speaking of photographs, we loved, loved, loved Massimo's work! Absolutely beautiful. Likewise, Dennis's video was perfect -- everything we'd hoped it would be. Our big celebration party (300 people) took place this past weekend here in Las Vegas. We had large, poster-size prints of our favorite photos placed around the room -- and we're still hearing from guests about how beautiful the pictures were. Although we wanted the party to not be too "wedding-like", we did show the 5-minute video Dennis produced & followed it up with a couple of quick toasts. The video was a huge hit! I still have people asking me to send them a link so they can view it again.
Honestly, everything was perfect. And I'm a perfectionist. When we first started looking at your website, I thought that all the weddings were too beautiful -- almost staged. I was prepared to be a bit disappointed with our final product -- setting not as nice as pictured, flowers not so great, people not as warm and friendly as advertised -- but in fact everything was absolutely, positively exactly as I'd hoped it would be.
I can't thank you and your team enough. From start to finish, everything was perfect!
While we were Italy, my daughter's long-time boyfriend proposed to her. I am crossing my fingers that they choose to get married in Italy so I can do this all over again. It was that great.
Thank you, thank you for making us feel like the only couple in the world on our special day.
Shawn & Tom
It was amazing, thank you so much!!! It truly exceeded our expectations; I'm just waiting til we get a computer keyboard to write a proper email (right now I only have iphone)
The hairdresser, make up, flowers, musicians, boat, food, everything was SO good!!!!!
We would love to act as reference.
I will write a longer recommendation when I get a keyboardJ
Thank you, thank you!!!!
Dear Rosanna, Victoria and Distinctive Italy,
I am so impressed with our wedding day and your organisation, it really blew us away. I wish we could do it all again!!
All our friends were also really impressed and people seeing the photos we've put up are blown away by the event.
I especially want to personally thank you Rosanna and Victoria, as well as the musicians; we were really really blown away by their skills! Such artists! And the flowers were completely what I always dreamed of! I took so many photos of the table arrangements.
The boat was brilliant and we were REALLY lucky with the weather!!
I can't really think of anything to comment on, …. everyone was so lovely!! It was perfect!
The food was INCREDIBLE, everyone kept talking about it afterwards, and what a wedding cake!! Everyone should pick the Italian option, it is FAR superior to the American style ;)
The celebrant was also perfect, great style and really made us feel comfortable.
You made us so happy, thank you for making the most important day of our lives feel unforgettably special!! I definitely recommend Distinctively Italy to anyone who wants to get married in Italy!
Thank you for accommodating us even though we are on the other side of the world, often on very busy and uncertain schedules, everyone worked out better than I could have ever imagined!! Italy will always have a very special place in my heart!
Dear Rosanna and Raffaela,
Thanks very much for your email. We got back from Italy a week ago after a lovely honeymoon in the Italian countryside - what a wonderful country you live in! Thank you, Raffaela, for all of your hard work over the past year leading up to our wedding. The day went so smoothly and we had such a wonderful day with our friends and family.
The villa was even more beautiful than the many photos we'd seen. The suite we had was wonderful and large enough to accommodate the bridesmaids and bride as we got ready. All of the outdoor areas for the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and dancing were beautiful with great views. We had a moment when we thought it would rain, but it passed and the dinner went off without a hitch. The staff at the Villa are very talented and certainly helped make the day a success.
The flowers were absolutely gorgeous. They were exactly what we were looking for - bright, colourful and natural. We particularly liked that the florist brought a couple of extra bouquets, because it allowed us to choose from two different sizes for the bridal bouquet. The music was even better; the guitar and violin duo played perfectly and the deejay did a great job mixing the dance music.
The food was delicious with the perfect number of courses. Having the desserts buffet-style during dancing was a great idea and allowed people to enjoy the wedding cake even more (which by the way was fantastic). We had a bit of a delay between the courses, but it worked out nicely because it gave people the opportunity to watch the sunset during dinner and mingle with other guests.
...the wedding went really well and we very much appreciate all of the time and effort that you, Raffaela, went to to make our day so wonderful.
We are happy to be a reference for future clients.
Kind regards, Yvonne & John
Firstly thank you! Apologies for not getting back to you sooner, had a busy last few days in Italy.....
We had an amazing day, and couldn't have asked for much more. Our guests all enjoyed the day from start to finish, and loved the settings we had chosen in terms of the Cloisters, and especially the Villa for the reception. That really wowed them, especially as the weather was stunning all day, and the sunset was spectacular. We were lucky, as the following days after our wedding it did rain each day and was cloudy as well.
We are yet to receive the photos through from David, but he was absolutely fantastic and we were very impressed with his approach and creativity. We saw plenty of the photos he was taken on the day on his camera, and cannot wait to see them on a big screens they looked spectacular...! Definitely glad we asked for him to be there early and start capturing Barbara and the bridesmaids getting ready as some of those photos are wonderful.
The bouquets form the florist were beautiful, and although we did toy with the idea of not having to keep costs down we are glad we did.
Hair stylist and make up were great as well, B was really happy with them...
We would both like to thank you for your input, patience and for pulling everything together for us, we genuinely cannot think of a way our day could have been any better, everything came together perfectly. We would be more than happy to be a reference for future couples,
Once again, grazie Rosanna,
Iain and Barbara
BLOG POST on this wedding: http://www.distinctiveitalyweddings.com/blog/2014/06/sorrento-wedding-barbara-iain/
Philip and I cannot thank you enough at DIW for helping to make our special day so perfect. It most certainly exceeded all our expectations.
Our Chianti Farmhouse became a busy little hub on the morning of our wedding but each person that arrived from make up to photographer seemed to immediately blend in and carry out their tasks seamlessly.
The girls were all thrilled with their hair and make up services. We cannot speak highly enough of Samantha and her team. Their personalities along with their amazing skills and talents were impressive.
The flowers were amazing and EXACTLY what we asked for. Nadia was fabulous and Stefania and her both carried out a very last minute request of providing flowers for the bride and bridesmaid's hair. Nadia provided extra flowers for hair and for Philip so he could choose between a white or pink boutonniere! Amazing! We were very sad to leave all our flowers behind!!
The guys we rented the car from were FABULOUS! Such great personalities with a great service! The car was stunning! The guys came then the following day and picked the car up so that was lovely to not have to worry about such things the morning after the wedding. They even gave us a leather bound booklet about road driving in Tuscany. Such a lovely touch!
Our farmhouse was a dream. Francesco and his family are such wonderful people and their chef Maria is fantastic. I do not have all the words to say what a perfect place the Chianti Farmhouse was and the morning of our wedding, Francesco, the owner, was there always in the background. Maria prepared brunch that morning which was delicious. Francesco was there to meet anybody who arrived that morning and what I thought was so very special was that Francesco came to our wedding mass. It was such a nice thing to do and meant so much to Philip & I. The Farmhouse for the entire week was a dream. All of my family adored the place. Our aperitifs in the garden the morning of the wedding, was a magical setting and our table for our wedding meal was again exactly as I had pictured! It was beautiful. The meal was delicious. Maria, the chef , baked Florentine cake for desert and the detail and decoration on it was just perfect. There were many little touches that we might not have asked for but were carried out anyway and they were just perfect and added to the specialness of the day.
The church which Stefania helped us to find was very very special indeed. When we arrived at the Farmhouse at the beginning of the week we decided, as a family, that it would be nice to go to the church for Easter Sunday mass. This would give us the opportunity to meet Don Alessandro and see the church. It was one of the nicest days of our trip. The village and it's church were so beautiful. The local people were so friendly and it was so nice to meet Don Aleasandro before our wedding day.
Our wedding ceremony was lovely. We choose to have it in Italian which was very nice as it felt more right as we were Italy anyway! When in Rome...!!! Don Alessandro was such a nice man and we were very happy to have him marry us.
We were both majorly impressed with Alessandro the photogapher and his coworker Camille. They were over and above fantastic. We joked a lot saying that they were never going to go home! We have only seen two photographs that they have taken but even still to work with them alone was an experience. They were so full of life and so much fun and clearly both so passionate about their jobs. Their cameras did not stop clicking! The two photographs were amazing by the way!!
Last but not least: Stefania, our wedding coordinator! She was fabulous. It was lovely to finally meet the person behind all those emails! We really cannot speak highly enough of Stefania. Again she breezed in so quietly, in the background, yet always there if needed on the day. She even carried out translations at the church when caught by surprise. On the wedding day she was just fabulous. We were only sorry we didn't get to chat with her a little more. We were just blown away by how all those images we had projected via email, back in November / December 2013, had come to life exactly and even more so than we had imagined. It really was amazing. There were things before my eyes that I'd forgotten Id even asked for and it was so lovely to see how they were made to become real. I've never had the experience where I could trust someone so much to almost see my vision and carry it out flawlessly! Incredible. Stefania was amazing!
So thank you Rosanna and all your wonderful team at DIW. Aren't we the lucky ones that stumbled across your website that day in November! Philip & I were always cautious of putting too much emphasis on one day in our lives and a little afraid of making too much out of it!!! But thanks to all of you, our day is a day that will never be far from ours or our families minds. It was AMAZING and so so special. Exactly like a fairy tale wedding that I would chose to write about! I cannot thank you all enough. Thank you for your kind wishes and we would both be delighted to act as possible references!
Ursula Claire & Philip
Wow! Wow! Wow! Words cannot express the overwhelming sense of joy and satisfaction we experienced on our wedding day.
Planning the day that you have waited for all your life is challenging enough without having to figure the legalities and logistics of coordinating it out of the country. We were drowning in details and once we found Rosanna all the pieces began to fall into place. However, thats not to say my husband wasn't reluctant to hire a wedding coordinator to plan a wedding party for two. Soon we found that we had no choice and the burden became too much we made a decision to to hire Distinctive Italy Wedding's to plan our day in Venice Italy.
The Crypt at San Marco Cathedral was beyond Anything we could put into words. It was absolutely magically! The ancient architecture was historically Devine. The presence of the Holy Spirit filled the Chapel throughout our ceremony while our violin player played all the gentle classic melodies of a wedding day.
Tamara our on site coordinator arrived at our hotel early, wedding bouquet and boutonnière in hand, and immediately took lead and organized our day. Stefania's thoughtful attention to detail was amazing she had it all planned and organized prior to our arrival. Soon followed our photographer, Francesco and his lovely assistant, Valentina. Our day began to come alive, filled with the magic of love and the excitement of our wedding day.
We were so nervous about running off and eloping without our friends and family but the day couldn't have been any better if one could have dreamed it. The gondola ride down the canal was pretty spectacular as well. The city of Venice celebrated with us as we were navigated down the canals with cheers of Auguri by the crowds. This setting made for spectacular wedding photos.
Our photographer was so outstanding to work with and our photos are truly breath taking. He captured the moment, the love, the spark in both of our hearts.
We had so much hesitation about hiring a wedding coordinator in a foreign county over the internet and we can't say enough good things about the day that was planned for us. The selections made by Rosanna and Distinctive Italy Wedding from beginning to end were truly top notch.
All we did was show up and walk into a story book fairytale wedding. Thank you for planning a wedding of a life time for the two of us and making certain it was the Best Day of our lives.
Thank you for everything!
Shirin & Kerry
Rosanna & Raffaela,
All of our dreams came through at our Winter Wedding in Courmayeur, Italy on January 11, 2014 and we cannot thank you both enough for your help, support, advise and impeccable planning!
We had talked about having a snow wedding for a few years but did not think it was truly possible until we contacted you. At first we were very cautious about using a wedding planner, and we had a million questions - all of which were answered to our satisfaction.
Rosanna and Raffaela helped us with every detail and even searched the country for the perfect location that would allow easy transport from Ireland for our 65 guests but which would also provide stunning scenery, a ski resort and a truly Italian feel.
We relied on Raffaela's suggestions and advise when selecting venues and service providers, we knew we could trust her and she really did pick the best around.
Courmayeur is the prettiest place we know, a beautiful village in the shadows of Mont Bianco/ Blanc with great ski slopes, delicious food and the most amazing atmosphere. Our guests were blown away! Even the weather was perfect.
Our Catholic Wedding Mass in the angelic Church celebrated by Fr John and Fr Dan and the church choir brought a tear to most of our guests.
The videographers and the photographers were incredible. They really did go above and beyond the standard service and they made us feel like celebrities.The photos and the video is like something out of Hollywood, we are so delighted with them. We didn't think we wanted a video, but thanks to Raffaela we did get them and we are so happy we did - thank you!
The flower arrangements were perfect and my hair and make up along with my mother and bridesmaid's were so good, Monica was so kind to us all and made us look and feel like a million dollars!
We can not comprehend the unbelievable welcome we were given by the venue and service providers.
We had our aperitifs in the cute and traditional mountain refuge, they were so nice they put on loads of food and even arranged music for us. The location above the clouds was breath taking, "close to heaven" our guests described it.
The Hotel was really the perfect location, the owner and staff were great and so helpful and friendly. The food was delicious and our guests are still talking about the 'Best Wedding Cake Ever.' Our DJ kept everyone on the dance floor all night.
Raffaela also helped us with transporting our guests on the day which was a big task.
I cannot recommend DIW enough, we had no stress or concern, it was great to be able to spend our Wedding Day as a couple with our guests and not have to worry about anything, only enjoying ourselves.
Raffaela was almost my personal assistant and counsellor, she always answered my emails and questions promptly and explained each detail carefully.
We both want to thank you so much for organising the happiest days of our life so far. We hope more couples opt for a magical snow wedding and that they choose DIW to plan the day.
Lots of love,
Fiona & Ronan
Hi Rosanna and Raffaela,
Thanks for your patience! We arrived home on Saturday after a wonderful honeymoon in South Africa where we enjoyed hot sunshine and going on safari - quite a contrast to being knee deep in snow in La Villa!!! It is rather depressing to be back to work now after having the time of our lives over the last few weeks :(
We hope you are both keeping well.
In terms of feedback on the wedding, we both absolutely had the best day of our lives, and all of our friends and family who attended were very impressed with the venue and we are still now 3 weeks later getting calls and messages from people to say how wonderful it was and how they wish we could do it all again! The rain certainly didn't put a dampener on our wedding!
The castle is just such an amazing place, in fact many of our friends have said they would love to return there for a holiday some time in the future because they loved it so much. Despite the weather, the views from the castle are beautiful and it felt so magical to be there again but this time with our friends and family to share the experience. The fact that we were able to hold the ceremony, reception and party all within the walls of the castle worked so well and made the day just flow really nicely - and of course provided a stunning setting for every moment without the need to arrange transportation for our guests from one place to another. It also meant those with children had the flexibility to go up to the room whenever the kids needed a rest without having to leave the venue, this was invaluable. It really was like a fairy tale wedding! I certainly felt like a princess! The Royal Suite was just perfect for the morning of the wedding, they set the table up for the breakfast for the bridesmaids, my Mum and I, so that we could sit and start the day together in the beautiful room and they served us a selection of pastries, fruit and drinks etc, it was just lovely.
All of the food was fantastic, from the pizza's at the welcome meal to the canapés after the ceremony - everything was delicious and very much enjoyed by our guests. The actual wedding breakfast was exceptional - every single course was amazing and so well presented, particularly the fillet steak - we are sure it is the best steak we have ever tasted and many of our guests said the same!
The staff were all fantastic, from the bartenders and waiters to the reception staff and managers, all very polite and worked hard to help us with whatever we needed, they set up the reception room as per the table plan, just as we wanted and the same for the cellar bar for the evening - I know this was not easy for them because of the language barrier but they did themselves proud.
We are so happy we were able to use the cellar bar, we had a fantastic party! It had such a good atmosphere. The sound system worked really well. The bar staff were great and even stayed on a little later than we originally agreed which was appreciated by those few who were the last standing on the dance floor until the early hours of the morning! They allowed us access to it the day before so we could put out our own decorations and test the sound system. They were so accommodating to our requests.
The hairdressers were fantastic; the bridesmaids, my Mum and I were really pleased with what they did - and again, despite the language barrier we got on really well and enjoyed having them around, they stayed until I was ready to walk to the chapel so that they could position the veil in my hair for me because I was worried about doing it myself, that was so kind of them and very patient - please can you pass on my thanks and say that I hope they enjoyed doing our hair for us! It was so beneficial that they could come and do a trial the day before because it made me feel so much more at ease to know I was happy with what they were going to do.
The flowers were beautiful and exactly what we wanted, please do pass on our thanks to the florist. Seeing them in the church and on the tables was such a joy as they really did look fantastic. When I first saw a picture of all the bridesmaids together holding their bouquets it moved me to tears as it looked so beautiful! The heart wreath was used on the church door, then on our head table and then in the bar afterwards so we certainly got our money's worth from it!
It was a shame that it rained so much, but we didn't let it ruin our day! There are some great pictures of us and our guests huddling around umbrella's which actually make really good shots
The transfer company were really good, they were on time and got everyone to the castle as agreed. Also we had to take a very long detour to get to the mountains the day after the wedding because there was so much snow! But they advised us of this and the extra cost and it didn't seem to be a problem, we were very pleased to get there safely!
We have tried to cover as much as we can think of for you in this email, hopefully you will find this useful....we had a fantastic time and only wish we old do it all over again! Thank you so much for sourcing such a perfect venue for us and great suppliers to make it so special. We are over the moon that we were able to have our wedding in such an amazing place and will never forget it! We are both just so overwhelmed at how wonderful the whole event was, it exceeded our expectations in so many ways.
Thank you for all of your recommendations and advice which helped us to make the decision to have our wedding in Italy at the castle, and we would highly recommend it to anyone considering it - please do put us down as references.
Please let us know if there is anything we have missed that you would like info/feedback on.
Amy and Paul
We owe you a huge thank you for all your hard work, dedication, attention to detail and patience in planning the wedding. The timeline, number of events and logistical challenges made this a very complex wedding to plan and we couldn't have done any of it without you - I sincerely thank you for everything.
Each event went off fantastically well - all providers were able to re-create what we had planned with incredible success and professionalism. I thank them for their efforts and it's a credit to you for helping us to select providers that were able to execute to this level of success.
Galateo did a fantastic job. The service was excellent and their staff were very knowledgeable about all the details - including the items on the Indian menu.
The flowers were perfect - the mandap and the Saturday archway in particular were just spectacular.
The guests thoroughly enjoyed the fireworks - they were excellent and timed perfectly.
Alma was very professional and their lighting on Friday in the amphitheater was excellent. All the booked entertainment was very enjoyable.
Although we missed having you here, I cannot fault your team - Sonia, Raffaela and Laura. From the moment they arrived on Thursday, they took over all the preparations and Neil and I could enjoy all the events knowing that everything was being handled seamlessly in the background.
We of course would be more than happy to offer a testimonial to any of your future potential clients. Do not hesitate in contacting me anytime.
Wish you and the DIW team continued success in all your events and should any of our guests want to get married in Italy (I think after this weekend there may be many interested), it will be my pleasure to recommend your services.
Grazie Mille Rosanna!!
Jasheen & Neil
BLOG POSTS on this wedding:
Thank you Rosanna and thanks to Victoria and Barbara for making our wedding day so special. We had an amazing day and loved every minute.
The setting was beautiful and we thought the Villa was perfect with the views during the ceremony and the gardens to walk through and for pictures afterwards. Having the ceremony in the shade was also perfect particularly as we had such amazing weather. The staff at the Villa were all lovely too and lots of visitors stopped us for pictures and to wish us good luck! Remembering about the lift to get up to the Villa also important especially if there's heavy lifting - my bridesmaids were very out of breath after carrying the baby and the buggy up the steps!
The flowers were beautiful as well.
Both the photographers were very nice...The Grand Hotel was perfect. The food was gorgeous, the room was beautiful and the staff were amazing - we couldn't have wished for anything more.
Everything ran very smoothly on the day and we didn't have any worries or concerns throughout the day. Victoria and Barbara were also very helpful when we accidentally left a case at the airport!
We'd be happy to act as a reference or respond to questions future couples might have.
Many thanks again for helping to make our day so special.
Rachel and Omar
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