MICHELLE AND PETER - JULY 25TH, 2008.
We just got back from Cairo - it was fantastic. I hope you had fun on your holiday. Did you go to London?
I would be happy for you to use my email address as a reference for others wishing to use your company to organise their wedding. I can only think of good things to say about you!
However, I can't say yes to using the photos...yet...as I haven't seen them! If they are lovely, I would be happy for you to use any that you need to, but as they haven't arrived here yet, I can't say yes at this point ;-)
As for our time in Rome and our wedding...
Email contact with you:
You were extremely good at keeping in touch - and keeping me calm and reassured! I was confident that I would receive a reply from you quickly and if there was ever a time that you were not available, you provided me with exact details and an alternative contact. You were brilliant and I couldn't have asked for more! I imagine some of my questions were quite tedious for you at times, but you kept me right and well informed. You were an impeccable wedding planner. THANK YOU!!!
She was late, but this didn't bother us at all. We had some lovely surroundings in which to sit and relax! She really impressed us by making sure she got the message to us that she would be late AND by ringing the Town Hall to tell them that she'd be late, too. We didn't have to wait at all when we got into the Town Hall and the whole process was easy. All of our questions were answered and we were made to feel very welcome and confident that everything would be fine the next day. One thing that I would have liked, and I'm sure I would have got it if I'd thought to ask, would be a description of exactly what would happen during the ceremony. Maybe a look inside Villa Lais before we went there the next day would have been good, too. I completely forgot to ask if we could do our own vows, and therefore didn't get to do them on the day. I'm not too disappointed about this, though, as Peter was really nervous about it anyway (it was his idea in the first place!!!) and I know I would have cried and wrecked my make-up!!!!! We did them in the restaurant that evening and it was much better that way.
The flowers arrived in good time and were beautiful! (Peter lost his buttonhole quite soon after the ceremony, but that's typical of him!!!!!) I was really pleased that we were able to re-arrange the photographer, as the only photos he would have taken in the hotel would have been of a REALLY messy room (it was chaos, but I'll tell you about that in a minute...!) and my Dad and I getting too emotional!
We booked our hair appointments ourselves when we got over there, as you know. I would definitely recommend to future brides that they use whatever services you have to offer in this department! It was just too stressful! Although looking back now, it's quite funny, it was far too stressful on the day! I had 3 different hairdressers working on my hair: The first one couldn't curl my hair, as she used curling tongs and the curls wouldn't stay in. My hair is quite long and heavy, but she had no idea how to do it! Then...the curling tongs broke! Only half of my hair was done and it was only wavy! The second one came over to have a look and decided he couldn't do anything, so walked away. The third one figured out how to curl it properly and started to do it, but then wandered off again to do someone else's hair! The appointment was at 12.00, the minibus to take the guests (including my Mum - who was the only person who could fasten my dress) left at 2.30 and I got out of the hairdressers at 1.45!!!!!!!!!! It was a simple hair style that really shouldn't have taken that long!!!!!!! Looking back now, though, I see it as a funny story and I'm actually glad it happened, because it got rid of all my nerves! By the time it was over, I was so exhausted from stress, that I was no longer worried about the wedding!
I arrived EARLY! Can you believe that????? The bride is supposed to be LATE! We arranged the minibus and car through the hotel. I have no idea how much it cost, as my Dad won't tell me. I entered to the instrumental version of the Enrique Iglesias song 'Hero'. (The man who was one of the people in charge at Villa Lais wanted to put on his own CD, but Peter says that Daniela was very insistent that we were able to use our CD, for which I am very grateful!)
Peter had tears in his eyes and his voice was shaking when he said "You look fantastic". We were asked to sit while we the song played, then we stood up for the ceremony. I think the guests stayed standing, too.
All the girls at the wedding were crying and Peter was emotional all the way through, but I was really calm and really happy! I think I might have giggled through most of it!!!
There was a REALLY funny moment.....WE KISSED IN THE WRONG PLACE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! About half way through, before we had even exchanged rings, Daniela announced that we were married. Then there was a long pause (well, it felt like a long pause at the time...!) Peter said "Oh! Do we kiss now?" and then kissed me. It was only when they brought the rings out on a lovely cushion that I realised our mistake!!!!!!!! It was so funny!
When Peter originally proposed to me, he had to ask me which finger to put the ring on. Actually, he grabbed the wrong finger in his haste and started shoving it on...! Anyway, at the point of exchanging the rings, I made a joke about it, saying "Right, I'm going to hold out my hand and you have to guess which finger!" Everyone laughed and Peter replied "It's ok, Phil's been giving me lessons!" Phil was the Best Man - he certainly came in useful!
Daniela finished the ceremony and the song "Kiss Me" by Harry Connick Jr came on. It's a really lively, up-beat Big Band song and I think the title was incredibly apt at that point! I received a lovely bunch of flowers.
We had a few photos inside the chapel, then walked out together, expecting a shower of confetti...well, this didn't happen! My Mum told me it was illegal to throw confetti and I remember thinking "I'm sure I've seen it in another photo of Villa Lais..." She later admitted that she'd forgotten the confetti!!!!!!!!!
As I said before, I was so pleased that we had longer with the photographer after the wedding. We went to the Colosseum first, then the Fontana di Trevi. This was an amazing experience, as there were no other brides around (the next day, there were at least 4 others at the Colosseum!) Everyone moved out of our way, clapped, took their own photos, shook our hands, cheered, shouted congratulations in all sorts of languages...I felt like a movie star! It was like the wedding of the year! I'M SO EXCITED TO SEE OUR PROFESSIONAL PHOTOS!!!!!!!!!
Thank you very much for booking the restaurant for us. They knew as soon as we arrived that it was a wedding party and we received the best service. Again, I don't know how much it cost for a three course meal and drinks for ten people, as my Dad won't tell me! I would recommend the restaurant to anyone, as the food is delicious, it's usually quite quiet (we've been there 3 times now and it has been very quiet every time. Usually you'd assume that this was a bad reflection on the restaurant, but it really isn't!) It's down a nice little side street near Piazza del Popolo and is easily accessible by metro. I changed into a different dress for the reception, as my wedding dress had already got quite dirty at the bottom (mainly due to Peter standing on it!!!!!!!!!!!) but as we were travelling to the restaurant by metro, I thought it would be more practical to change. Anyway, I had another lovely red dress for that very reason!
The rest of the holiday:
We took everyone sight-seeing on the Saturday. We were supposed to leave Rome on the Sunday, so we went to the Borghese area to have a picnic (Prosecco in the park!) and went to the BioParco zoo. It was a lovely way to spend what we THOUGHT was the last day... We got to the airport and checked in, only to be told that our flight was delayed for 2 hours. When the airport was almost completely empty, and most other flights had taken off, an announcement was made that our flight was cancelled and we had to get collect our luggage! We stood in a long queue for about an hour, were taken by coach to a nearby nice hotel, then got the concierge to provide us with bottles of red wine! My friend, Rachael, and my Dad had to miss work the next day (they were very happy about this!) and we all got another enjoyable FREE night in Rome! The flight took off at 11.30 the next day and the flight attendants announced to the whole plane that Michelle and Peter were married in Rome - everyone clapped! It was embarrassing, but I felt like a movie star again!!!!!!
Well, that is about it. We had a fantastic Rome wedding and most of it was due to your brilliant help. Thank you so much for all that you did. Please let me know as soon as you can about the photos. I'd love them to be on the website, but I need to see them first!
Lots of love