My name is Shannen. My fiance and I will be getting married in Tuscany this summer!
How in the world did we decide on Tuscany? My fiance and I took an unforgettable trip to Italy a couple of years ago. We loved the food, wine and people so much that we said, “When we get married we should do it in Italy!” We and our families thought of it as a sort of pipe dream, fairytale fantasy. When he popped the question in April 2010, we really started to explore the idea of a destination wedding more seriously.
I am from Southern California and he’s from Chicago. We now reside on the East Coast but have friends all over the US. No matter where we had our wedding, our loved ones would have to travel. Since our families and friends are scattered, we wanted an extended time to celebrate with them and allow them to get to know each other better; a one day celebration wouldn’t cut it. Our love of wine, food and travel led us to explore Napa valley or the Santa Barbara/Santa Ynez wine valley. Much to our surprise, when our closest friends and some family members found out that we were thinking of staying stateside, they got “upset!” They WANTED to go abroad! Some needed a little coxing, but after finding out that most were up for the adventure, our plans got under way.
After a little trial and error to find the right venue, location and travel agent, our friend stepped in to save the day. One of her girlfriends, was married in Tuscany a couple of years ago. We connected with “the friend,” saw her wedding pictures, heard her stories, learned more about the history of the venue and we were set. We followed our gut and ditched our first venue and travel agent; they were pushing us into things we didn’t like and it didn’t feel right (follow your gut!). Within a week, we contacted the staff at La Foce (A-mazing location and staff) and connected to a new travel agent, Gina Rugiero from Villa Vita. Gina, has been to the area NUMEROUS times; this was key as she has great recommendations for excursions, restaurants, logistics, etc. Our date is set for July 2011!
Since then, we sent out our save the dates (about a year in advance of our wedding date) and continue to connect the pieces. We are enjoying the planning because we LOVE to travel. We are not only planning the biggest day of our lives but we are planning an amazing trip for our closest peeps! Can’t get better than that! Stick along for the adventure as I fill in the details.
(Here’s a pic from our awesome Italian adventure in 2008, in a wine bar in Cinque Terre with the owners. Couldn’t have been happier!)