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So…. after our Rotterdam Wedding adventures (which you can read about here and here) we headed home for approximately 12hrs, then turned around and headed straight off again, this time to the beautiful south of Italy.
Last time we were celebrating Merel and Marcel, this time to celebrate the wedding of Liam and Lacey… (Loving these couples and their matching names!) You could say the new Mr & Mrs Hunter-Felton have a bit of a love affair the region of Italy in which they chose to get married. They took their first joint holiday there and got engaged there, so it was an obvious choice for a beautiful wedding… I’m sure the fact they are massive foodies had something to do with it too!
All in all we had 5 days of Italian sunshine (with the odd downpour thrown in for good measure) We arrived on the Wednesday, checked into our amazing Air B&B, a charming 18th century masseria located in a small village in the heart of Salento which goes by the name of Spongano and explored the local area and the charming local restaurant.
Team Spongano was an almighty collective which in addition to the boy and I included my dear friends Chloe (aka the Magpie Mother) and Steve and their girls Iris and Matilda, the beautiful Kelly and Charlie, and new friends Beth (aka Dotty Dishes), her husband Steve and their friend Alice…. It was a full house, but a fun house!
The wedding took place on the Friday, so that left Thursday to explore Castro and enjoy an evening cocktail party at the soon-to-be-marrieds villa, Sunday was spent enjoying an all day pool party at the grooms brothers Villa and Monday we explored our way back along the coast before finally heading home.
Like with Rotterdam, I’ll split the post in two so not to bombard you with photos (It really is such a pretty place and the food…. So. Much. Food!!)
We’ll start again with the reason behind the trip the grand wedding!
Our bride and groom were married in the Tenuta Lucagiovanni and oh my gosh….. what a sensation wedding venue. In a cue for the loos with the wedding planner, she described it to me as “the Italian equivalent of the Ritz, that people flock from all over Italy to get married there”, and it’s not hard to see why!
We arrived through rows of olives groves and were met with an imposing wall which gave nothing away of the luxury which lied within… we strolled towards the venue and the first space we encountered was the main square, a space with seated areas and a covered veranda. Milling around and meeting other beautifully dressed guests it wasn’t long before we were ushered towards the meadow and to take our seats ready for the ceremony.
Seated outside, the sweet smell of flowers and sounds of the harpist we took our seats and smiled at the groom who waited with an excited/nervous smile on his face!
Lacey arrived and looked every inch the italian bride in her stunning gown from Anya Bridal and huge flowing bouquet beaming from ear to ear!
The ceremony itself was a funny thing…. The typical looking Italian Mayor oversaw the vows and these were then translated to English for us. It seems Italian wedding ceremonies involve a lot of bylaws and bureaucracy…. At some point though, it was all made official and the newly wedded Mr & Mrs Hunter-Felton shared their first kiss as husband and wife.
As they walked back down the aisle as a Mr & Mrs they were showered in rice (an Italian equivalent to confetti) we were then offered a selection of drinks and canapés and presented with a beautiful paper parasol for all the female guests.
Everyone made their way back to the main square where a bar and 2 food tables had sprung up. We enjoyed the antipasti course with an aperol spritz in hand whilst lounging around the square in the beautiful sunshine. The food, as expected was incredible… freshly made mozzarella and breads on one table and a selection of fried and freshly cooked morsels on the other….
A inspiring mix-up to the traditional english way of doing things, was that the speeches took place then too! With all the guests relaxed and drinks in hand, this made the whole formal speech scene so much more relaxed and enjoyable!
After the speeches were made and many laughs were had, we headed parasol in hand to the orange garden to find our seats for dinner. This beautiful square garden was laid out with tables round the outside and a little table for two for the newlyweds (another nice touch I thought, giving the couple some special time alone together to reflect on the day before rejoining their guests) The food continued to be incredible, The pasta course was a local semolina pasta with a tasty tomato sauce, The main course was a choice between local speciality fish (which I opted for) or steak… all was delicious and washed down with many glasses of cool white wine which seemed to be topped up every time an impeccably dressed waiter walked by!
Another lovely touch was the favours for the boys (don’t want them feeing left out) ordered and made especially for the wedding by a local olive oil grove, we tasted ours the other day and its incredible!
As the sun started to set and parasols were put down we left the Orange Garden and headed through the stunning house to secret garden where the bride and groom cut their cake, without a doubt, the biggest wedding cake I have ever seen!!
In addition to cake, there was fresh fruit galore, a selection of other cakes and a gelato bar. Maxwell is still raving about the pistachio icecream!!
Making the most of the generous free bar, a glass of prosecco in hand, the crowds gathered to watch the first dance. From that moment on we barely left the ‘dancefloor’.
It was such a fun wedding, so indulgent and opulent but also so personal and ‘them’. Having the whole day outside was glorious and I smile just thinking of the day, the love, and having a jolly old time with some my closest friends!
I’ll post about the rest of the Italian holiday soon, but till then, arrivederchi.