Categories
Drinks Italy Look Book

Red Appeal – Campari’s 2013 Calendar

Campari_2013.02Valentine'sDay

Red is a very strong color, it represents power and symbolizes passion and love. What better choice than this video clip for my first blog post of February, the month of love? Valentine’s Day is around the corner and red comes with it!

Campari has been the aperitif par excellence for over 150 years in Italy and, besides being a huge fan of this infusion of herbs and fruit (you have to try it!), I also love Penelope Cruz who was selected as this year’s calendar girl. Distributed in international limited edition of only 9,999 copies, the Campari Calendar is a small, collectible luxury.

Enjoy the behind-the-scenes video and tell me which month you like – Share your comment below!

Categories
Italy Stationery

Postcards from Italy – Caratterino (Stationery Design)

Long gone are the days when wedding invitations in Italy were printed on either white or ivory card stock with black ink. There is a new generation of designers who are creating new and irresistible stationery items, and today I’m very excited to share the talent of Arabella Marsili (aka Ara Marvin) of Caratterino.

Ara describes herself as a “graphic designer, wedding supporter, paper addicted and fan of chaos”. Her brand name “Caratterino” is a word play for typography and also temper, even though she is very calm and shy!
Ara decided to focus on graphic themes during her studies in Urban Planning while working in design studios and digital printing centers. At the beginning of 2011, she started to work as a freelance designer and launched her own company. She was introduced to the world of paper and bookbinding, and at the same time she discovered wedding design and the endless possibilities to create marvelous pieces.
Ara started designing save-the-dates, seating charts, and guest books, then she personalized each piece by using different paper or binding techniques and the results were fantastic.
Ara and I share the same passion for what we do: we love working with couples who are living in a very emotional time of their life and have the desire to translate their emotions into a memorable celebration.

Here are some of Ara’s latest creations:

Caratterino_WeddingStationery_2012.12_011.Table name signs for a Japanese couple who got married in Italy. The wedding theme included feathers and Italian cities; Ara decorated each sign with a different border and printed them on cotton paper
Caratterino_WeddingStationery_2012.12_022. Save the date for a couple who wanted a vintage-style travel theme. Ara printed the pieces on recycled kraft paper and created a beautiful hot-air balloon motif

Caratterino_WeddingStationery_2012.12_033. Save the date for a couple who tied the knot during the Christmas holiday. Instead of using a traditional envelope, the save-the-date was attached to a clear Christmas ornament. The card was designed with both graphic design and freehand drawing

Caratterino_WeddingStationery_2012.12_044. Table name signs for an Italian bride and Finnish groom; they got married in Italy and their theme was the Commedia Dell’ Arte (a form of improvisational theater that began in Italy in the 16th century and its characters were identified by the masks, costumes and props they used)

Caratterino_WeddingStationery_2012.12_055. Save the date for a couple who selected a farmhouse in Lombardy for their fall wedding. Ara used wood sheets and rustic accents to match the theme

Caratterino_WeddingStationery_2012.12_066. Table number signs for a couple who loved clear and light elements: instead of using standard frames Ara glued white numbers on clear glass fish bowls that were placed on delicate flower pillows

Photo courtesy: Cinzia Bruschini – Besides being good friends with Ara, Cinzia is a professional wedding photographer who introduced Ara to the magical world of weddings.

Categories
Italy Photo Shoots Photography They're Engaged!

Postcards from Italy – Giuli & Giordi Photography

I’m so glad to see a new wave of professional photographers in Italy. A great example is husband and wife team Giuli & Giordi. One of their weddings, Alice + Andrea was recently featured on Snippet & Ink and it was absolutely fabulous.

Everything about Giuli & Giordi is fresh and happy, including their logo and website…

… And I love how they style and tell beautiful stories, like the one of Sara + Fico with a romantic picnic at the beach on a February afternoon.

Here’s the fun stop-motion animation of the engagement shoot:

Giuli & Giordi also offer a “Smile-Set” photo booth. Take a look at how lucky we Italians are with the natural scenery as backdrop!

Categories
Italy Photography Real Weddings

The art of wedding photography, Italian style

I’m proud to be a wedding professional and to work with amazing people, and I’m even more proud to be Italian when I see the work of my friend Mauro Pozzer, a wonderful photographer from Vicenza who travels all over the world to capture the most memorable moments for his couples. Mauro is a member of Best of Wedding Photography, the premier invitation-only association for the world’s top wedding photographers.

Let me show you some of his work and you will understand why I’m such a big fan of Mauro’s – being Italian like me is one of the reasons! April and Sam decided to celebrate their love with three small weddings in their favorite locations (Bali, Venice and San Francisco), and they hired Mauro as their exclusive photographer.

Fall in love with this couple at their wedding in Venice last September and be enchanted by their San Francisco celebration that took place a few weeks ago, followed by a “trash the dress” session. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Thank you Mauro for these incredible images!

Want more? Visit Mauro Pozzer’s website, and start dreaming!

Categories
Italy Real Weddings Wedding Memories

How much would you spend for your wedding?

It’s almost time for Prince William and Kate Middleton to tie the knot, and it will be one of those “dream” weddings for most brides around the world. But besides royal nuptials, there have been other weddings where money was not an issue. Here are some of the most expensive weddings ever recorded, as reported by eListMania.

10 – Donald Trump and Melania Knauss (January 22, 2005) – $1 million

Do you remember beautiful Melania’s dress by Christian Dior? It weighed 60 lbs. and it was embellished with 1,500 rhinestones and pearls (cost: $200,000). The couple’s Grand Marnier cake weighed 200 lbs. Tony Bennett and Billy Joel entertained the guests (Bill and Hillary Clinton, Shaquille O’Neal and Rudy Giuliani just to mention a few).

9 – Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes (November 18, 2006) – $2 million

Tom and Katie got married with a Scientology ceremony that was attended by many Hollywood stars at the 15th-century Odescalchi Castle in Bracciano, Italy. Giorgio Armani designed the entire bridal party attire and Andrea Bocelli performed at their ceremony.

8 – Elizabeth Hurley and Arun Nayar (March 2, 2007) – $2.5 million

Their eight-day wedding celebration spanned Europe and Asia, with a ceremony at Sudeley Castle in Britain for Hurley’s family and friends, and a second traditional Hindu wedding in India for Nayar’s people. Elton John gave Hurley away.

7 – Paul McCartney and Heather Mills (June 11, 2002) – $3 million

300 guests attended the ceremony at Castle Leslie in Ireland. The wedding celebration included fireworks, a pageant, and traditional Indian dancers.

6 – Liza Minnelli and David Gest (March 16, 2002) – $3.5 million

Liza’s fourth wedding took place at the Marble Collegiate Church in New York City in front of more than 850 guests. Michael Jackson was the best man and Natalie Cole sang “Unforgettable”. The 12-tier cake was 6 foot tall ($40,000) and the couple spent more than $700,000 on flowers.

5 – Delphine Arnault and Alessandro Vallarino Gancia (September 24, 2005) – Over $7 million

She is the daughter of Bernard Arnault (founder, chairman and CEO of LVMH that includes Louis Vuitton, Dior and Fendi) and one of the richest women in the world. He is heir to the Italian dynasty of Gancia wines. No wonder their marriage (celebrated in Gironde, France) is in this list… Delphine’s dress was designed by John Galliano for Dior, and the guest list included personalities of the business world, politics and fashion.

4 – Colleen McLaughlin and Wayne Rooney (June 12, 2008) – $15 million

The couple married in romantic Portofino, Italy with a four-day lavish celebration on a yacht (only 64 guests attended and they were flown in on five private jets). The bride wore a cream strapless organza dress by Marchesa and a pair of towering white Christian Louboutin with crystal-encrusted heels.

3 – Priya Sachdev and Vikram Chatwal (February 18, 2006) – $20 million

Vikram, the son of a New York hotelier, and Priya, a model/actress got married during a ten-day celebration across India. 600 guests from 26 countries attended the wedding and they included several celebrities (former President Clinton toasted the couple).

2 – Aleksandra Kokotovic and Andrei Melnichenko (September 3, 2005) – $30 million

The union of the Russian billionaire and the former Miss Yugoslavia in France had a star-studded guest list and included performances by Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston. The reception was catered by world-famous chef Alain Ducasse.

1 – Vanisha Mittal and Amit Bhatia (June 20, 2004) – $78 million

Yes, this is how much billionaire Lakshmi Mittal spent for his daughter Vanisha’s marriage that took place at a 17th-century castle in France. The wedding extravaganza lasted six days and it included over 1,000 guests including leading Indian industrialists and Bollywood stars. And that’s not all: invitations were sent out in a 20-page silver book, the reception featured 100 different dishes prepared by a top Calcutta chef, and the wine tab reached $1.5 million.

Categories
Attire Italy Trends

What will Italian brides wear in 2011?

My first post of the year is always dedicated to trends in wedding attire from Italy. You will love what designers created for 2011!

FLOWER GARDEN


Giant flowers are cleverly used to embellish the 2011 gowns in shades of pink, lilac and blue (Gown: Ego by Valentini Spose)

 

POWDER EFFECT


Soft and delicate powder pink is the star for 2011, the perfect color for retro and romantic gowns made of lace, tulle and chiffon (Gown: Elisabeth B)

 

BIG IS BACK


Welcome back ball gowns! If you are dreaming of a fairytale wedding, this type of dress is for you (Gown: Amelia Casablanca)

 

STRIPES


You could think they make a wedding dress look casual, but in 2011 they’re considered the ultimate elegant touch. Satin ones will create the ideal contrast on tulle or silk, but you can also find your favorite gown with bands in contrasting color such as brown and black (Gown: Alessandro Couture)

 

LITTLE WHITE DRESS


Chic and short is always a preferred choice for many brides. Taking inspiration from the 50’s and 60’s these short dresses have clean lines but they are made with innovative fabrics and laser-cut decorations (Dress: Antonio Riva)

 

MIX AND MATCH


Love! Add some fun with non-traditional accessories like a red fedora by Borsalino and a cashmere bolero by Ermenegildo Zegna

Categories
Holiday Greetings Italy Recipes

Happy Thanksgiving!

I’m thankful for wonderful wedding couples and social clients who supported me throughout these years and always trust my expertise for their most important celebrations.

As a thank-you for your loyalty, I would like to share a delicious recipe for your Thanksgiving meal.

We don’t have Thanksgiving in Italy but we bake all sorts of desserts during the fall season. One of my favorite ones has always been Crème Caramel (very similar to flan), and this is a great way to blend a typical Italian dessert with pumpkin, a very popular ingredient during the fall season in United States. Enjoy!

Thanksgiving Creme Caramel

 

Ingredients

  • Water
  • 1  orange
  • 1 1/4 cup(s) sugar
  • 1 package(s) (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup(s) canned pure pumpkin, (not pumpkin-pie mix)
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 can(s) (12-ounce) evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup(s) heavy or whipping cream
  • 1/4 cup(s) orange-flavored liqueur such as Grand Marnier or triple sec
  • 1 teaspoon(s) vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1 pinch(s) ground nutmeg
  • Salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Fill kettle or covered 4-quart saucepan with water; heat to boiling over high heat.

2. Meanwhile, from orange, with vegetable peeler, remove 6 strips peel, about 3″ by 1″ each. With knife, trim off as much white pith as possible from peel. In 1-quart saucepan, heat orange peel, 3/4 cup sugar, and 1/4 cup water to boiling over medium heat; cover and cook 5 minutes. Remove cover and cook 1 to 2 minutes longer or until sugar mixture is amber in color. Pour hot caramel into 9″ by 5″ metal loaf pan. With fork, remove and discard orange peel. (Hold loaf pan with pot holders to protect hands from heat of caramel.) Set pan aside.

3. In large bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat cream cheese and remaining 1/2 cup sugar 2 minutes, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in pumpkin, then eggs, 1 at a time. Reduce speed to low; beat in evaporated milk, cream, liqueur, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, and pinch salt just until well mixed.

4. Pour pumpkin mixture through medium-mesh sieve over caramel in loaf pan, pressing it through with rubber spatula. Place loaf pan in 13″ by 9″ baking pan; place in oven. Carefully pour boiling water into baking pan to come three-quarters up sides of loaf pan.

5. Bake 1 hour and 10 to 15 minutes or until knife inserted 1 inch from edge of custard comes out clean (center will jiggle). Remove loaf pan from baking pan to cool on wire rack 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate crème caramel at least 8 hours or overnight.

6. To unmold, run small metal spatula or knife around sides of loaf pan; invert crème caramel onto serving plate. Leave loaf pan in place several minutes, allowing caramel syrup to drip from pan onto loaf. (Don’t worry if some caramel remains in loaf pan.)

7. Do ahead: Bake dessert up to 2 days ahead. Leave in loaf pan for easy transporting, and unmold at your destination. Since the shape of the dessert is unusual and there is a lot of caramel sauce, don’t forget to bring a deep rectangular platter.

Serves 12.

Recipe adapted from Good Housekeeping.

Picture: www.Etsy.com

Categories
Attire Italy

2010 Bridal attire trends in Italy

Happy New Year! 2010 is here, and as you get ready to start your wedding planning, we have a brand new post for you. Want to know how brides in Italy choose their gown and accessories for their most special day?

The tendency to reveal the back in a wedding dress is one of the big changes for the next season (Gown by Dorian’s)

Another trend is “one-shoulder” gowns (David Fielden has made great use in his new collection)

Corsets and bustiers are a must in the collections of 2010. There are nude-effect models, and some adorned with precious crystals and colored stones. These can be easily worn after the wedding under a jacket or with jeans (Gown by Amelia Casablanca)

Veils are back in fashion: beautiful hand painted ones by Vera Wang, or decorated with precious Swarowski crystals by Emmerling

Hats are the hottest accessories for the 2010 bride, like in Ian Stuart‘s collection

White is still the color for excellence, but 2010 will be the year of blue as in Marcella Zaccaria‘s spectacular creations

Categories
Italy

Tree planters with… Fiat 500

 

Awww, Milan… This is where I was born and lived until 1993. When I see pictures of my city, many beautiful memories come to my mind… like Fiat 500, one of those cars from the 60’s when I was a little girl.

Until September 30, Via Montenapoleone (the most glamorous street for shopping in Milan) will host Fiat 500 models in a totally unexpected role. Twenty fiberglass replicas (of the same size and shape as the little iconic vehicle) become planters for real trees. “Per Fare Un Albero” (To Create A Tree) is the initiative behind all this: a cooperative effort between the City of Milan, Fiat, and artist-designer Fabio Novembre. His philosophy is to merge trees and cars into one object as a “symbol of a new way of living”. And what a great fit for an eco-friendly and cheerful car like Fiat 500!

Categories
Attire Italy Look Book

Look Book – Doll house made in Italy

The latest issue of Vogue Sposa (Italian edition) featured an amazing photo shoot by Antonio Redaelli. Delicate silhouettes adorned with romantic flowers, ribbons, and bows in soft pastel colors, were photographed in a fairy-tale environment with toys, stuffed animals, and over-sized furniture. I love these pictures, they are so full of inspirations!

Mermaid gown with ruffles and large flowers by Lorenzo Riva

Light flowers adorn this silk halter gown by Fio’ Couture

Empire bustier gown with ribbon belt accenting the waist by Vera Wang

Softly draping white lace empire gown by Claraluna Sposa