An Italian Wedding

The wedding planning industry is ever changing and awe inspiring for the most part. As I am still perfecting my skills in the wedding planning industry as well as being a good friend to the bride Claudia Romano a trip to Italy for a beautiful traditional Italian wedding seemed like the right thing to do! Not only would I be a well looked after guest at this wedding but I would be learning about weddings in a different culture and taking notes for destination weddings in Italy in the future.


couple at church

San Donato, Lazio, a small rural village nestled in the hills about 90 minutes from Rome is where the Bride and her now husband are originally from. With views to die for and Italian life at its finest the weekend got off to a great start. We prepared ourselves to be overwhelmed by food, drink, hospitality and culture.


As tradition has it, the bride must be serenaded by the groom preceding the wedding. This is meant to be a complete surprise but modern day life gets in the way of that with wedding preparations and we all knew it was happening but that didn’t take away from the magnificence of it all. Gregory Cedrone (the groom) came to the house, led down a candlelit driveway with musicians accompanying him and the friends and family of the couple in tow. He reached the balcony, the music and singing began and we waited eagerly for the bride to come to the balcony (awoken from her slumber) and propped up a ladder and began to climb. The bride then opened the shutters and out she came willing to take this man to be her husband, he presented her with red roses and then the party began!!

The serenade took place on the Friday and the wedding was to be the Sunday. We prayed for nice weather as it lashed all day Saturday and was quite cold as San Donato is nestled in the mountains it is subject to rain at this time of year. We were awoken on Sunday morning with beautiful sunshine and breathed a deep sigh of relief. Once we were ready the bride’s family and her friends gathered in the Bride’s parent’s home for the presentation of the bride. Along with more food and drink (these people know how to entertain!) the bride received a round of applause and spoke to her guests before we headed to the Church.

inside church

The Church located on a steep hill at the top of the town was probably one of the most beautiful churches I have ever been in. The artwork inside the Church itself was out of this world encompassing the romance for this Catholic wedding. After the wedding mass which was all in Italian (must start learning that soon!) the bride and the groom followed by their wedding guests walked down from the Church to the town and are stopped by local people on their way with well wishes, Prosecco, throwing rice or fun games. This was definitely a highlight walking through the cobbled streets with people cheering and laughing. Such a community love for the wedding couple.

couple doorway

On to the reception which was in Restaurant Borgo Dei Lecci, Sora about a 20 minute drive away. We entered into what could be described as an Italian villa, surrounded by beautiful patios, a rich blue swimming pool and luscious greenery. The buffet starters took my breath away. About 8 tables were dotted around the grounds with a well dressed man in white serving the guests – one for cheese, one for meat, one for wine etc. And this was only our starters!! So we sat in the grounds the sun shining eating our scrumptious food, sipping Prosecco, could this get any better! Then inside for our 5 course meal which consists traditionally of a pasta, a risotto, a fish dish, a sorbet and a meat dish. You think how is one meant to eat so much food!! The best part about the meal is that it is spread over 4 hours during which dancing and chatting take place with the musicians playing well known old and modern songs through the dinner. The wine was flowing all the guests were chatting, the atmosphere was electric. As the dinner came to an end, the screen in front of our table told the story of the day so far. In Italy, the videographers take the memories of the day and messages from the guests and let the wedding party watch all the moments they wouldn’t have seen or may have missed. Definitely a tear jerker.


Back outside for a buffet of desserts and the cutting of the cake. Probably one of the biggest cakes I have ever seen in my life. Nothing was spared at this event. The evening continued as darkness fell and it became that bit cooler but we were kept warm dancing in the courtyard in front of the pool where the band had placed themselves with myself and the other few Irish learning all the dance moves to the Italian songs!


The few things that stood out to me as the wedding came to a close was the effort that they put into making sure the guests are looked after both with food and with drink. You are given as much as you would like. The added touches the couple gave to the day were evident in the whiskey and cigar table and the gifts individually wrapped in boxes for each guest to receive and take home. Favours were also done in an unusual way with different types of sugared almonds placed in giant glass bowls and you get to choose which you would like to place in you mini boxes. It is the little things that really make the difference!

bride and bridesmaids

I have one word for this wedding. WOW.

Definitely one of the best weddings I have ever attended, I could not fault one thing.

Congratulations to the happy couple and my friends Claudia Romano and Gregory Cedrone!!





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