Tuesday, September 7, 2010

And the Winner Is . . .

The Date is set

The Invites have been sent out

And the deposit has been paid

So where in the world did the Engineer and I decide to get married?

Let's recall the choices:

1.  France

2.  Greece

3.  Disneyworld

4.  Italy

5.  Key West, Florida

6.  Nantucket

7.  Scotland

8. A Barn

And the winner is???

Drum roll please

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (that is my drumroll)



We are going to dance with the clouds at our feet and look like we've had too much wine (most likely because we have)

We chose Podere Ciona which is in the Chianti region of Tuscany.

I found it on one of my favourite blogs:  100 Layer Cake

And then the Engineer and I spent five wonderful days there this past April.  We chose it for several reasons:

1.  It's really affordable.
2.  We love Franca and Franco - the owners of Podere Ciona.  Franca is a nonna to all she meets - she will make all visitors welcome and as if they are at home!
3.  We love love loved Tuscany.  Moreover, we loved Podere Ciona.  One night Franca asked why we never left.  We told her it was too pretty to ever leave.  

So there you go folks, the Engineer and I are getting married on June 28th, 2011 surrounded by our family, close friends, and the rolling Italian countryside.

For cocktails we'll be sipping on Proseco and spritz's, for dinner we will have family-style platters of homemade pasta, chicken marsala, risotto, salads, and, of course, tiramisu.

Then we will dance the night away under the midsummer night sky (okay, a week past midsummer.  I changed my date for my teacher pals) and watch the sun rise over Tuscany.

That's Amore!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Destination Bride Part Eight: A Barn

Okay, I realize A BARN, isn't exactly a wedding destination.  But it is where you find the barns that make this a great destination wedding idea.

#1.  Cripps Barn located in the Cotswold's of England.

When I was 19, I lived in Bath which sits on the edge of the Cotswold's.

I fell in love with the area.  Soft, rolling fields filled with dozy-eyed cows or lambs hopping amidst the daffodils.  Charming thatch-roofed cottages and cobblestone streets.  Amazing history from Stonehenge to Salisbury Cathedral.  It also happens to be the birthplace of cheddar cheese and cider.  Ummmm, YES.

And don't think I wouldn't have a Jane Austen themed wedding

2. Circa 1799 Barn in the Hudson Valley outside of NYC.

I just love this place for how quaint and simple it is.  I think any wedding here would be homemade and 100% love.  The Hudson Valley itself is beautiful - a wonderful escape from the chaos of New York.  So it's a perfect destination wedding if you want both city AND country.

3.  Figueroa Mountain Farmhouse in California

Not so much a barn, but more of a whole farm experience.  Figueroa is located near Los Olivos California (an hour from Santa Barbara) and is 150 Acres of uninterrupted beauty.  They don't provide any services themselves but they are super helpful and really nice.  And the freedom allows you to have any sort of wedding you want!

How gorgeous is this place??  I love the rustic glamour that these brides all use.  Imagine eating and drinking with nothing but the stars for your ceiling and wild grass as your dance floor.

#4 The Holly Farm in Carmel, California

Again, not exactly a barn, but definitely a farm.  I loved this place so much, we actually did have this booked (until we got the whopping $17 000 food quote!!!!)

It's as if I really were Alice in Wonderland getting married . . . .

Alas, none of these barns/farms are the site of my wedding.

But I think you'll approve of our choice.

Destination Bride Part Seven

As you may recall, I spent the first few months of my engagement searching for the perfect venue abroad in which to get married.  I now believe I know some of the coolest places in the world to get married.  And of course, I have picked one.  Which I will reveal to you after sharing a few more of my favourite discoveries!

Destination #7:  Scotland

Scotland is a bride's fantasy world of romance and wild beauty.  I mean, hello?  Braveheart?  Men in skirts?  CASTLES ON ROCKS????  This was actually in the very top tier of my wedding choices but bad weather and the strong pound weren't in my favour.  I am one-half Scottish and have always dreamt of being piped in to my ceremony.  The castles and churning sea were also in the fantasy.  But I couldn't risk looking like a wet sheep on my wedding day.

I will always wonder if I had chosen Scotland if I could have gotten the Engineer in a kilt.

My first choice was Eilean Donan Castle in the Isle of Skye.

Then we could all gather at the cosy Eilean Iarmain and toast to our future alongside a roaring fire holding a glass of local scotch.  Except I would still want champagne.

In Scotland, you can even rent a castle or a country home that sleeps all of your family and friends.  Most of them were way out of our price range but we did have this affordable gem near St. Andrews, Birkhill Castle.  So close to the famous golf course that I believe my wedding would have enticed my mum's brothers and their families.

An amazing resource I found in my Highland wedding search was a blog from a Highland wedding planner called, oddly enough Highland Country Weddings.  They have loads of pictures brimming with Scot romance.

Don't think Scotland is romantic?  Then you haven't been to Edinburgh.  I don't know exactly what it is about this city that makes it so amazing, but it feels mysterious, romantic and magical all at the same time.

Perhaps it is the fact that there is a castle on a rock.

And you can always hear bagpipes somewhere in the distance (for the tourists I know but it really adds to the atmosphere).

And you can get married at the castle or at the terribly haunting and romantic hotel and restaurant, The Witchery.  All the rooms have been refit to appear as they would have done in the 16th/17th/18th Century with modern comforts.  

Ummm, sumptuous romance perfect for a wedding right?

Even as I write this I feel a wee pang of sadness that Scotland was not my destination of choice.  Only because it is so beautiful, wild and romantic.  I guess I'll just have to honeymoon there.

Or have a bagpipe at my wedding.