**The secrets behind the perfect bespoke wedding dress**

Enrica Amasino, a talented young Italian fashion designer based in Amsterdam is sharing with us the secrets behind the creation of the perfect bespoke wedding dress. Read on and you will understand how much work and dedication is involved in ensuring you look like a princess on your wedding day!

“I work in a boutique bridal studio and we pay a great deal of attention to the bespoke design of a wedding gown as it is important to create the perfect fit according to different body shapes.

The work of a fashion designer is not only all about crafting skills but also creativity and, most of all passion. Passion for fabrics and the desire to touch them in order to understand the effect they could create on the skin, the desire to engage in shaping the most beautiful dress and eye-catching design.

A custom-made wedding dress should, not only fulfil the bride’s dream of feeling like a princess for a day, but foremost, it should represent the designer’s dream of creating something unique for a unique person and a unique event.

When designing a wedding dress you must take into consideration that it might require multiple layers of delicate fabrics and details rigorously hand-sewn to the main body of the dress so the word to keep in mind for a seamstress is PATIENCE! There are different stages of designing a wedding dress. The first thing to do is to plan the design process. Next, it is important to choose the most suitable style in accordance to the customer’s body shape and preferences, and finally it is crucial to choose the right fabric and make an estimate of delivery time for the finished gown. The typical time frame for creating a bespoke wedding gown ranges from two to four months maximum including the fitting sessions, usually four. The first trial is made on a fabric gown called “the trial test” and relates to the assembly of the various parts with a rough stitching. Subsequently, the bride can try it on for the first time and, in case of alterations, we use pins and pencil markings to adapt the model. The second trial involves the assembly of the pieces of the chosen fabric with a normal stitching. At this point the bride can have a second trial. If the result does not meet all of the client’s requirements then the dress will need more alterations. If the second trial goes well then the third and fourth stage of designing the gown will follow: these are the most important ones as they require concentration and a firm hand due to the type of delicate fabrics and details the gown is made of, such as laces, sequins, buttons, pearls and so on. During the third and fourth stages there will be two more fitting sessions and then we move on to the pressing and labelling of the gown followed by the final delivery to the lucky bride-to-be with complimentary lingerie!”.

**A Very Special Guest**

“It is not a question of trends”, says Elisa Guidarelli, professional wedding dog sitter, “it is more about having your loyal companion close to you during one of the most important days of your life”.

Your furry friend, the one who shares highs and lows in your life, cannot miss your wedding day!

Despite the special relationship between dogs and their owners, unfortunately they are often kept away from the big day event for fear of them causing disruption. And here comes the professional wedding dog sitter who takes care of all the aspects of looking after your four-legged friend with a 5-star treatment! In addition to ensuring that your dog feels happy and looked after throughout your wedding day, the wedding dog sitter will prepare your dog from head to paws by giving them a luxurious grooming treatment and by accessorizing them for the special occasion (bearing in mind their dignity and comfort) and stay with them for the whole duration of the day.

Wherever possible, your dog could even take an active role in the ceremony by carrying the wedding rings for the bride and the groom. A dedicated photo-shoot can also be arranged for your doggy.

“In order to work with dogs you need boundless love for them and the utmost respect for the animal. Lots of experience and a special sensitivity towards them are essential to this job” says Elisa founder of Wedding Dog Sitter ®.

**Your love story through comic-strips**

Wedding and event invitations set the mood and style for the whole event and, for this reason, they deserve a great deal of attention to detail.

Are you a fan of comic books? Fancy being original and unpredictable? One of our selected suppliers, Soap Bubble Design, amongst other styles, has created an amazing range of wedding stationery based on comics. Read on and you will feel inspired.

Kamila of Soap Bubble Design says: “each couple has a story to tell about their relationship. It is not only about their first date but also about their engagement or their amazing summer adventure and so on… We, at Soap Bubble Design, were thinking about how to design unique invitations that will truthfully describe such unique love stories.

We are fans of comic books. Therefore, we thought that the comic book style could be the perfect way to present a story of the wedding couple. At the beginning this idea seemed slightly risky, but shortly afterwards it became clear that this is what our clients wanted! Wedding couples have fallen in love with the comic book style for the invitations.

Usually our clients come with an idea for their comic book style invitation. And if they don’t, we are happy to help them create a unique design. This is how we created for example the “Star Wars” project. We think that even George Lucas would be impressed with these invitations”.

 

**The value of hiring a professional photographer**

“Working as a professional photographer, specializing in weddings and events”, says photographer Alessandro Iasevoli, “I often  ask couples soon-to-be married (and I also ask myself): why do you want to hire a professional photographer for your wedding photo shoot?

In my opinion, the value of the photos depends on the couple’s “age” … let me explain myself better….

Before getting married, most couples visit quite a few photographic studios to better understand what they really want and what style of photography might be more suitable for their wedding pictures.

Once they have chosen their favourite photographer, they can relax as they have made a big step in their wedding plans.

Then the big day arrives, they experience an unforgettable day and soon after they leave for their honeymoon. It might be the case that a few days after their wedding, with their consent, their photographer posts some of the wedding pictures on Facebook or Google+ and, while the couple is abroad enjoying their honeymoon, all their friends post tons of messages to say how gorgeous they were on the wedding day… so… as soon as the couple is back home, they can’t wait to see their wedding pictures!

Maybe one year after their big day, they have not looked at their wedding photos for months…

On their 20th wedding anniversary… how exciting… already a big part of their lives together! …but it’s been years since they have thought about their wedding pictures…

Years have passed by again and …they have become grandparents… their weddings pictures have been stored aside somewhere in their home and when they show them to their grandchildren, they are impressed by how young their grandpa and grandma looked and how weirdly were people dressed in those times… So those old wedding photos have now become more interesting and valuable than ever. This is the moment! The reason why they were taken in the first place and why you hired a professional photographer to realize, print and collect them in a stylish paperback photo album.

Thank goodness paperback photo albums still exist! High quality photo albums preserve the value of your pictures, are made to last in the years, keep the emotions and the memories to pass on to future generations!


Photos courtesy of Alessandro Iasevoli photographer and lovely couple Laura & Alessandro

**Real Wedding ** boho-chic forest wedding

September wedding for a fun-loving Anglo-Italian couple at a stunning bucolic location over the hills of Bracciano and Martignano Park, set in the middle of the countryside.

The venue was exclusively booked for the wedding party for the whole duration of the event and the majority of their guests were accommodated at the country farm a few days before the wedding so they had the chance to share and enjoy the wedding preparations and plenty of activities i.e. Bracciano lake and Castle, the Etruscan necropolis, and Rome is only half an hour away.

The wedding ceremony was celebrated in the local town hall of Trevignano and the wedding reception took place on the stone terraces. A traditional Italian aperitivo was served in the garden, under the oak forest and the olives trees. The banquet was served under the pergola on a romantic terrace from which they enjoyed the music played by a live band, a very important part of the ceremony.

The bride

The ceremony

The reception

The details

Bridal lingerie – tips and tricks

Spring is in the air, the wedding season is at the door and you are getting ready for your big day: on this very special occasion you don’t want to leave anything to chance, every single bride-to-be wants to feel like a princess and wants to feel great outside and…underneath! Your wedding gown is as important as your bridal lingerie and deserves the same attention to details, this is why we have asked professional advise from our friend Adelina, founder of Swedish luxury brand MiraMollis, who will give us some precious tips and tricks for choosing the best lingerie:
1. Choose your lingerie before your wedding dress
This will ensure you are able to tailor your outfit according to your lingerie: a strapless bra under a bustier dress, figure-shaping high briefs or a bodysuit under a tight set… You can also harmonize your fabrics i.e. lacy lingerie with a lacy or embroidered dress. While the best choice under a fine, smooth fabric is a smooth bra that does not leave a visible outline.
2. Get professional advice
Many women wear the wrong bra size and especially as a bride to be you should get yourself measured professionally: this not only ensures you are wearing the right size and your breasts are getting the right support but also ensures the cut of the bridal dress is completely tailored to your bridal lingerie.
3. Go for white, a hip nude… or red!
You should preferably go for lingerie in an off-white or skin tone if the bridal dress is in a traditional white or champagne, although some reds are also very discreet under a light white dress. And red is the colour of love and seduction: a sensual touch for your wedding night!

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Photos courtesy of MiraMollis

An alternative wedding list

I think my mum still uses her Sixties’ style pressure cooker, a very useful and long-lived gift from my parents’ wedding list. Saucepans, cutlery, mugs, serving dishes, and tea sets were traditionally what couples wished for. A natural choice of items for young couples that had never experienced life together and for which marriage represented the first step into the world of adulthood. Things have substantially changed in recent years as couples tend more and more to experience life together before tying the knot. Very popular have become honeymoon wedding lists and charity wedding gifts which I totally appreciate, however, a valid alternative is to invest in the arts! Beautiful art objects will decorate your home for years to come and will be passed on to the next generations. Here are some of my favourite pieces, of Italian art, of course. Photos courtesy of Le Dame Made by Italians

Mosaic is a gift of great expressiveness.  Following mosaics are by Italian artist Dino Maccini 

Silenti passaggi

“Silent Steps” by Dino Maccini

Rosso Ardesia

“Red Slate” by Dino Maccini

ritratto

“Portrait” by Dino Maccini

L origine

“The Origin” by Dino Maccini

Unione Simbiotica

“Symbiotic Union” by Dino Maccini

Home sweet Home…Coppo is a unique work of art. A two hundred years old tile that usually comes from Italian medieval houses. After a long selection process, Coppo is dried in the oven at low temperatures and than worked as a sculpture. Each piece is unique, numbered and signed by the artist. Coppo are also enriched with handcrafted miniatures of different materials as silver, gold, swarosky according to your wishes. Coppo is on demand and designed respecting all the details of the facade of your house.

coppo

Tradition Italian Coppo

Fine porcelain

Studio Forme Servizio

“Studio Forme” tea set

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Limoges eggs

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Sculptures

Mileto Vaso Oro

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“Atlante” by Marco Donnarumma

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“Atlanta” by Marco Donnarumma

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“The Thinker” by Marco Donnarumma

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“The Dual” by Antonella Tanzini

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“Three Graces” by Antonella Tanzini

Best places to pop the question to your Valentine in the eternal city

February is the month of love, Saint Valentine is quickly approaching and we already feel the presence of his cheeky little cupid striking us when we least expect. Having switched to romantic mood myself I very much feel the need to talk about my favourite place in the whole world, Rome, and give you a hint of its most romantic places where to get engaged and maybe get married too!

Here are our top spots and a few tips:

Giardino degli Aranci (garden of oranges) on the Aventine hill where from the garden terrace you can enjoy, especially at sunset, a breath-taking view of the ancient Rome, the Tiber river and take in the lovely scent of oranges. This is also a fantastic spot for wedding pictures of newly wed couples. The garden is surrounded by ancient monasteries such as the Basilica of Santa Sabina and the renowned keyhole (Knights of Malta’s keyhole) always depicted in postcards, through which you can see the whole view of Rome and his famous vaults.

The Pincian Terrace at Villa Borghese during the day it offers beautiful views over Rome and the nearby Casina Valadier restaurant is the ideal location for a very romantic candlelit dinner.

For evening proposals we suggest the Terrazza del Gianicolo with stunning views over the city. What a wonderful place for you first ever kiss! And you can continue the evening with a good Roman pizza or dinner in Trastevere, a very characteristic ancient neighbourhood of Rome.

On the Monte Mario Hill is the astronomic observatory and the Zodiac roof-terrace, again with stunning views of Rome.

Hire a Vespa and spin around the centre of Rome, Vacanze Romane style

Have a walk around the romantic little squares and alleys of the Suburra

Make a wish and throw a coin in the Fontana di Trevi, with its white marbles and statues it will surprise you even more at night-time.

Hold hands while going down the Spanish Steps of Trinità dei Monti where in the nearby Via Condotti, when your lady is shopping in Prada you can pop into one of the posh jewellery shops and choose a wonderful rock for her.

Romantic sunset on the terrace of Castel Sant’Angelo with a view on Saint Peter’s.

Promise each other eternal love by inserting your hand in the Mouth of Truth. Legend has it that if you don’t say the absolute truth you will have to say farewell to your hand and to your lover!

A romantic after dinner stroll at the Isola Tiberina near the ghetto neighbourhood (Portico of Octavia) amongst its alleys, Roman remains, delightful small squares with their fountains and grand facades.

Another renowned romantic place is Ponte Milvio which in recent years has been attracting couples who use a lamppost on the bridge to attach love padlocks as a token of love and then throw the key behind them into the Tiber.

Villa Borghese where couples can hire a boat, this is an insider tip not known to tourists…

Villa Celimontana on the Celio Hill and its gardens with views on the Colosseum, Circo Massimo and Caracalla.

Giardino aranci 1

Giardino degli Aranci

View from Gianicolo

View from Gianicolo

 

Foro Romano colosseo

Foro Romano and Colosseum

 

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Fontana di Trevi

 

giardino lago villa borgese

Villa Borghese

 

Piazza Spagna

Spanish Steps

 

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Colosseum

 

celimontana

Villa Celimontana

 

Castel Santangelo

Castel Sant’Angelo

 

 

Dare to be different with eco-friendly bouquets

Welcome back dear followers and welcome to 2014! I am very glad indeed the old year has come to a close, as you might know, we Italians we are a tad superstitious about numbers and 13 is not one of our favourites… so in order to celebrate the new year and start afresh with lots of good tips on how to make your wedding fabulous I have thought I would talk about chic eco-friendly wedding bouquets and yes, I definitely think you don’t need to sacrifice style over substance in order to save the planet.
If you decide to go green I think there are two options you can explore – you can use real flowers, but in this case we are talking about eco-friendly flowers. If you choose cut flowers that are in season and that are grown locally you will probably get better quality and price and the choice of different flower varieties is quite good especially in the summer months. In Italy, for example, delightful poppy or daisy bouquet are always in season!

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The alternative to real flowers is to go for a chic flower-less bouquet – you could be spoilt for choice if you decide to go down this route and here I want to give you some ideas – I love vintage crystal brooch bouquets made of Swarovski crystals, fresh water pearls, brooches and buttons. They would look fantastic especially for a winter wedding theme.

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Photos courtesy of DC Bouquets

If you want something less romantic but more playful and effective why not have a bouquet made of candies or lollipops

lollipop

Candy bouquet

Or a beautiful confetti (Italian for traditional sugar coated almonds from Sulmona) bouquet that will last for years to come if you resist the temptation of eating them. Yum!

almond

Photo courtesy of Delights of Italy

And if you are an arty crafty type of bride you can opt for DIY giant paper, crepe or felt flowers – very trendy, colourful and very Carrie Bradshaw style. There are many tutorials on the internet that tells you exactly how to make them.

paper 1

Bouquets made of feathers, seashells, Christmas baubles, butterflies, buttons and other unique items are also a real statement of personal style that can set the theme for the whole wedding.

Seashell bouquet courtesy of Etsypink feather bouquetfeather bouquetbutterfly

Flat shoes on your big day? Yes, please!

I was recently flicking through a bridal magazine when I came across a chart of the best wedding flat shoes: like me, most of you have always thought that a bride should wear a pair of sexy 5 inch stiletto shoes for their big day, but what if, they absolutely loathe wearing high-heels in everyday life? And what if they are already considerably taller than their better half? And what if they are a bride with a bump and comfortable attire/shoes have now come on top of their priority checklist? I think it is actually quite unfair that a bride should feel utterly uncomfortable during one of the longest, and arguably one of the most important days of their lives just for the sake of looking good. As the great Chanel once said “luxury must be comfortable, otherwise it is not luxury”, so I have started browsing the internet in search of the best wedding flats that will make you look absolutely fabulous on your wedding day. There are different styles to choose from, you might like a stylish and elegant pair of ballerinas or lovely beaded sandals if you are to tie the knot in a warm destination, such as Italy. Some brides might want to wear flat shoes for the whole day and others want to use them when the party kicks off and they dance the night away, in this case I have even found foldable ballet pumps that come in their elegant pouch. So do not despair, there is plenty of choice out there.  Here are my hot picks:

Christian Louboutin – Gozul Strasschristianlouboutin-gozul-3100718_pk1a_1_1200x1200

Salvatore Ferragamo – Varina iconic ballerina shoes

ferragamo.com Icon Varina ballerina shoes

Filippa Scott – Margot, elegant ballerina shoes at an interesting prize

filippa scott margot

Sam Edelman – Jerome Oxford shoes for a masculine look Sam Edelman Jerome

French Sole – Henrietta, gold glitter flat shoes

French sole Henrietta gold glitter

And also:

Cocorose London Foldable ballerinas in satin pouches

Paradox London – Bejamin Adams’ Andie flat peep toe with crossover detail that has been crystal encrusted

Gina – Lavender, flat sandal embellished with hand woven Swarovski ‘Silk’ diamante finished in sumptuous flesh kid leather

Emmy – Almost flat Leila gold kitten

Photos courtesy of Christian Louboutin, Salvatore Ferragamo, Filippa Scott, Sam Edelman, French Sole.