10 ways to add excitement and flair to your Italian wedding and a little of that Italian je ne sais
Try not to be too conventional and just rely on whites and creams. Add some colour to your Italian wedding and take advantage of the seasons which allow you to play around with different shades. Think about colour not only when it comes to your flowers and displays, combine it with everything...invitations, table cloths, napkins, menus and place names to add just a few. Try to have a colour theme.
Think about your floral displays. Why not add fruit, from lemon and limes to an assortment of berries, if you get hungry you can always snack on them! Candies and sweets could also work. Another idea would be to have large fish bowls with colourful fish swimming around, a great thing to have, as you are combining colour and movement. The bride's floral bouquet could be a mix of fruit and vegetables (and we have had a few brides who went for it). Again think colour, texture and also be a little adventurous.
The Wedding Cake which is the centrepiece of every wedding.. perhaps you can try something else, either by adding to it with dessert corners or have an arrangement with an assortment of desserts placed at the centre of the wedding reception table so that your guests can just help themselves. If you opt for the dessert corner, why not also add fruit perhaps like watermelon, these add colour and you also get variety. The other option is to just delight your guests with a selection of desserts which waiters serve to guests ranging from cakes to chocolates, to Cassata Siciliana and Cannoli, mini Torte Barozzi to Italian cookies, endless possibilities. Your guests will definitely get a sugar rush.
As your guests arrive and start to get settled, why not offer them something a little different. You could welcome them with lollipops or lemon popsicles; bowls of granita or sorbets which can add to the colour of the occasion, choose strawberry, pomegranate, orange, lemon, watermelon even espresso coffee flavour. What about sparkling slushies, you could even go as far as lemon-basil olive oil gelato (even though I would probably keep this for later on)...Or you could just offer them water from a pitcher with a twist of lemon and lime and mint and not forgetting the ice of course. (try it beforehand...San Pellegrino do a Menta lemon and Mint drink). This is a nice touch if it is hot and guests have a bit of time waiting for the ceremony to take place.
Be adventurous with your table names. Why not theme your wedding with pictures of the bride and groom. Your place names could be different pictures of the couple. From babies to teenagers to adults. Or why not have them as the cover of the order of service, placed on the chairs as guests head to the ceremony area. What about the table plan. You could add a few pictures here, or why not have a picture gallery so that guests can see the then and the now! The other thing you could have is a video of the bride and groom as children, teenagers and adults or a storybook video or it could be a video welcoming everyone and discussing why you decided to get married in Italy, what it means to you, what your guests coming all this way means to you and so on.
Why not get your guests to doodle while they are sitting at the reception table. Create paper table cloths which you can write on. Have an image in place, with a message which says.. WRITE HERE. Make sure that you put pens on the table so that as guests are waiting for their next course they can doodle and write a few messages for the bride and groom which can then be taken away by the couple. Your pens could be part of your favours with the date and place of the wedding and with the names of the bride and groom which guests can take away with them.
Don’t be afraid to offer your guests more food and different types of food. It does not have to push you over budget as you can create mini tasters for your guests so that they get to experience the food available to them and are introduced to a range of flavours. Italians do it and there are endless dishes (This happens more towards the south of the country). Another way of doing this, is to have small initial portions and then the waiters go round serving guests with more if requested to do so. Invest in fresh especially if your wedding is in July and August., take advantage of the salads, the juicy tomatoes, the Insalata di frutti di mare, potato salad, rucola salad with shaved parmesan...yummy.
Arriving at the wedding, why just rely on a car or gondola. Apart from the vintage or luxury car, the cinque cento or the vespa, there is the horse or the horse driven carriage, rickshaw, tractor & wagon, helicopter, motorbike and sidecar, bicycle….or you can just walk to the wedding accompanied by your cortege of musicians (who you can also dress up)!
If you fancy the unconventional, why not opt for a range of food vans, either by going for the vintage look or the more professional look. Have an assortment of food vans, each specialising in something different. From ice cream and desserts to different meats and salamis, from pasta to pizza, sandwiches to fish snacks, soft to alcoholic drinks and cocktails and so forth. Each food van can provide that Italian look as far as decor is concerned. Guests will just help themselves and head to their table to eat, able to go back for second, third and fourth helpings.
When thinking of entertainment try something a little different and why not educational. Have an onsite cooking course for your guests to enjoy where your chef teaches your guests how to make a sauce for example; have a wine tasting session or why not go bubbly and have a Prosecco fest; get your caterers to create the wedding cake in front of guests, our couples love this; offer your guests after dinner drinks and place the bottles on the table (instead of having them as part of the open bar), think Amari, Limoncello, Meloncello, even Grappa, and guests can serve themselves at the table; allow a speaker of each table a chance to say a few things and just hand the microphone around so that any guest who wishes to say a few words can stand up and get talking; get your waiters to dress up and you have a range to choose from, why not a Roman Centurion, think renaissance, Romeo & Juliet), Venetian gondoliers or Carnival characters like Arlecchino or Bauta and Colombina, you could even consider fancy dress with a theme; think carefully about your wedding favours and give your guests something that truly represents you both; for walking down the aisle, do something which is completely unexpected and which is just sheer fun for you and your guests; Hire out a fair ride or a mini version of a big wheel; have an art canvas as the backdrop to your ceremony rather than rely on gazebos and flowers perhaps. Think installations, ribbons. materials, tassles…. or just add that little bit of bling with chandeliers, glitter beads that give that raindrop effect suspended up high; if you are having a beach wedding, think nautical, driftwood, mermaid.. get your ushers or bridesmaids to do an Ursula Andress, shells, fishing nets.... get your canapes displayed on a classic small Italian boat.
I hope that gives you some ideas even if most of them are a little “out there”. There is a lot to think about when organising your wedding and it is all very time consuming, that is why it is important to have a wedding planner who can guide you and allow you to use your imagination. Some of the details mentioned above will be subject to budgets but all you need to do is to have a budget in place and your wedding planner can see how best to use this budget for you. Do you have further ideas? We would welcome your comments and feedback.