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Archive for the ‘Venue’ Category

Italians say CVD to mean Come Volevasi Dimostrare, ie “end of proof”. I’m saying it about myself… I’ve just read a recap of the 2010 wedding trends, and I think I’m going to break for sure 8 out them, possibly more — how’s that for thinking with one’s head? I haven’t done it on purpose it just happened… I’m not evil it’s just how they draw me 🙂

Let’s start analyzing them one at a time…

“2010 is the year to bring out the color!  Bold has risen above the white and pastels even for spring and summer weddings”

All right this is easy, it has always been an “all-white” wedding: off-white/ivory, light pink, platinum, powder almond.

 

“It’s no less expensive to hold your wedding at a private home than it is to rent a reception location”

This one is easy to break too… it’s a destination wedding in an Irish castle 🙂

“Fondant is quickly becoming an old fad”

Too bad… I had just decided for the raspberry chocolate fondant and I’m not going to change it!

“A special thank you as an appreciation for your guests attendance is even more important in our economic times”

No favors here!

” Couples and guests alike enjoy the feeling of incorporating “green” into the wedding.  Not just with favors, but with food, decor and natural flowers as well”

Yeah right, how is cutting flowers green? Anyway, given that I’ll have only bouquets and petals and no other flowers, together with organic food this one I’m not breaking it.

“Real flowers are still the trend in today’s wedding.  The look, the feel, the fragance just can’t be beat!”

Stink like a funeral home to me!

“Technology continues to grow and with the popularity of HD TV, it only makes sense to purchase your wedding video in HD.  If you haven’t upgraded to HD yet, talk to your videographer and make arrangements to shoot in HD anyway.  Have them include not only the HD Blu Ray for when you do upgrade, but also a standard DVD for you to view now.”

Say what? I don’t know what you’re talking about 😉

“Gowns are flowing and light in 2010”

Yeah right mine is Alencon lace AHAHAH

“Veils are back in 2010”

IF I’ll have it, it will be a mantilla. Either that one or a fascinator.

“it is becoming increasingly popular for couples to have a very special dance that will wow their guests”

Good for them. We HATE IT 😉

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Via Italian Lakes Wedding Planner

I love the Italian Lakes region. And I – usually – love Italian wedding planners and their sense of style.

Now I must confess… I’ve always dreamt of paying an eye of my head (that’s the Italian rendition of “an arm and a leg”) for a wedding planner who would write the name of the table up on a card mismatched with the centerpiece flowers by using a felt-tip pen in a bad calligraphy!If that’s the service I’m going to get, as a bride I would demand lowest fees and a less impressive location so that the “slip” in style isn’t THAT evident. And – just because I’m in a good mood – I’m not going to rant over the fact that pairing an uncolored candle (pure wax, that is yellowish) with a pink like that equals to retinal receptors mass suicide. The caterer on the other hand has a lot more sense of color… the WP could use some 🙂

Besides, somebody marketing a service like that as “attention to details” make me laugh (if I am in a good mood) or want to run away to a desert island (if I am in a bad mood). Either way, I often think that this wedding industry is a circus.

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After the proposal, Pat and I had been toying around with the idea of getting married but.. when? And where?

Given that I am Italian and he is from California, we obviously considered organizing the wedding in these locations. We liked La Jolla, where we’ve lived for a while, but something sounded off, and the venues were all “nice” but calling them historical, by European standards, it would have been laughable.

Add to it that neither one of us really liked to organize it in Italy. I know I know, I can hear a lot of you shouting “WHAAAAT?”. But if you were an Anglosaxon and lived in Italy, you would know what I mean. These folks are personable and generally nice, the food is great and so is fashion, but people have no intention to think out of the box, and no inclination toward accommodating who does.

As a matter of fact, there also are a couple of legal requirements in Italy that I don’t like:

  1. the banns. Call me an old-fashioned feminist (which I am not LOL) but I have a hard time with this.. I don’t belong to anybody, especially not to my family of origin, and Hell will freeze before I accept the law to intrude in my God given right to celebrate a wedding ceremony without broadcasting it around and without waiting for anybody to challenge my choice on the grounds that they share some DNA with me. I know it rarely happens nowadays however just the fact the anybody can poke into your business and decide to challenge your decision “just because” is downright INCIVIL. I’m well aware that – according to the Italian law – I “should” have the banns done no matter where I get hitched but I don’t care… I’ll pay the fine, and then challenge the law, if push comes to shove.
  2. the locations. In Italy, nobody can be married outside of a church or a town hall, which is a crock, of course. I mean, I do understand the Catholic Church side better than I understand why on Earth a civic servant such as a mayor can’t get his/her *ss out of the mayoral building and celebrate a wedding elsewhere. The celebrity “wedding ceremonies” that you see celebrated in Italy have no legal effects, unless they are celebrated in a church or a town hall. As a matter of fact, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes got formally married in LA and then did the “celebration” in Italy.

Because I wanted to get married in some location other than a church or a town hall, there was no way it was going to happen in Italy.

One day Pat and I were chatting and we started talking about our need to travel back to Ireland for a while because we were missing the Emerald Island. We looked at one another and said out loud: “Now, I can definitely see myself getting married in Ireland”. We checked the regulation and discovered – with great pleasure – that Ireland allows you to get married in locations that are pre-approved for weddings. So that started us thinking.

We remembered how, a couple of years ago, we had fantasized about getting married in a castle — so we started wondering if we could possibly find a pre-approved castle to get married into.

So of course Johnny 5 (that is, me — I can browse at the speed of light) starts browsing, but gets extremely disappointed. As a matter of fact, I found a lot of castles, but most of them looked too polished for my tastes. I was trying to find one that was:

  • small (we already knew we wanted only around 50 people at the wedding)
  • Medieval looking — no paint!
  • pretty and cozy

After a couple of days of browsing I narrowed my option down to:

Ballyhannon Castle: in county Clare, it’s small and cozy, it definitely looks Medieval. But the Irish city we were thinking of was Galway (because we love it!) so this one would be far from it.

The castle of Ballyhannon, also known in later times as Castlefergus, most likely from its proximity to the River Fergus, is a late fifteenth century towerhouse of untypical internal design within the context of the Co. Clare group of towerhouses.  The castle stands in the townland of Castlefergus close to Latoon Creek, which itself feeds into the River Fergus.  Ballyhannon townlands (both north and south) lie to the north east of the castle.  The older spelling, Ballyhannan, is retained in these townland names.  The townland name can be translated as O’Hannan’s(1) or O’Hannon’s home.  Although there are many substantial families of Hannon in Munster and Connaught, the name seldom appears in the annals of mediaeval Ireland.


Ballynagowan Castle: again in county Clare, looking very charming but the distance from Galway.

Only few castles in the West of Ireland survived into our times. In the County of North Clare one of the most important castles is Ballynagowan (Smithstown) Castle which takes its name from beal-atha-an-ghobhan, the mouth of the smith’s ford. This castle has played an exciting part in Irish history over the centuries. It was first mentioned when the last king of Munster, Murrough O’Brien, called the Tanist, who was created 1st Earl of Thomond and 1st Baron of Inchiquin in 1543 willed the Castle of Ballynagowan to his son Teige before his death in 1551.

Much to my chagrin, neither one of these beautiful castles made me think: “It’s IT”. Precisely in the moment in which I thought I probably wouldn’t get that sensation, I saw this picture and my heart skipped a beat:

I instantly knew this was the right place 🙂 I showed it to Pat who said: “WOW! It’s stunning”.

After a more careful browsing of all the images, I made a pros/cons list:

Pros:

  • it’s small but can hold up to 250 people for the reception
  • it has 7 rooms (enough for accommodating our closest friends and/or family members)
  • it’s 36 km from Galway
  • it’s on a small lake
  • it looks Medieval both inside and outside
  • it has fireplaces and a heating system
  • it’s self-catering (so I can bring in the chef I want as opposed to some pre-canned vendor)
  • it perfectly fits my dream

Cons:

  • too much red decorations (but it’s something that can be changed/circumvented, so I’m overall happy about it even though I need to think a little bit more about decor)

A winter wedding in a small Medieval castle in Ireland sounds fantastic to me….

Only few castles in the West of Ireland survived into our times. In the County of North Clare one of the most important castles is Ballynagowan (Smithstown) Castle which takes its name from beal-atha-an-ghobhan, the mouth of the smith’s ford. This castle has played an exciting part in Irish history over the centuries. It was first mentioned when the last king of Munster, Murrough O’Brien, called the Tanist, who was created 1st Earl of Thomond and 1st Baron of Inchiquin in 1543 willed the Castle of Ballynagowan to his son Teige before his death in 1551.

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