So we arrived back in Blighty, super excited, checked everyone was free on May 25th, 2013, and then booked our wedding! Eeeeek.
Planning went straight into fifth gear, I found THE dress, my maids chose fabulous mint green long dresses, we booked the flowers, got the save the dates out and I read pretty much every wedding magazine published thereafter.
In October we booked to go to Rome for a long weekend with my parents, and we were going to take them to the venue to show them around the venue and have the menu tasting. I was so looking forward to my mum and dad seeing the place I was to become a Mrs. And they were chuffed to be coming with us and getting a sneak peak before the big day.
Then, the Saturday before we were due to fly, Mr M called me from work. ‘Have you seen the email from the planner?’ he asked me. ‘No honey, what does he want?’ I was thinking he was chasing for the rooming list or flight details etc. ‘Sweetheart, Inn Casa has gone bust. I’m so sorry.’
I couldn’t believe it. My dreams were coming crashing down around my feet. Now I’m not sure about you, but when I get excited about something, I start to visualise how it will happen in my head. I had dreamed of how our wedding would pan out an Inn Casa and I was so disappointed. And worried. What if we didn’t get our money back? We’d never be able to afford it again. Until this point, when all my married friends and family asked if we’d taken it out, I’d never heard of wedding insurance. Tip for the top, take out wedding insurance as soon as you start planning a wedding.
Anyway, back to the disaster… The wedding planner was sending over other alternative venues and two in particular that he was keen for us to see in the same area. I scoured the websites, trying to be positive, telling myself everything would be fine between sobbing, but in all honesty, none of the venues looked anything like as nice as Inn Casa. We booked in to see a castle near Siena, a borgo near a lake and the two others in Orvieto.
Fast forward a week and the four of us were bundled into a tiny Fiat with the wedding planner, with rain lashing down on the windscreen, heading to see the castle. When we finally arrived, I was trying to remain positive. The building itself was gorgeous, but it hadn’t been updated in far too many years, the owner had many many rules and didn’t seem too impressed that we didn’t want to marry in the on-site chapel and we were followed around by her Alsatian, which was very old and absolutely stank.
As we got back in the car, soaking wet and disappointed, I started to cry. My Italian dream was slipping through my fingers. The castle had been the best of a bad bunch judging by the photos online and I was losing hope.
As we drove back, we decided not to bother going to the lake, as apparently it was in worse repair than the castle. So we headed back to Orvieto and I was sad, disappointed and embarrassed. I would have to go back and tell everyone the Italy weekender was off. Everyone was trying to keep me positive and I really was doing my best.
We pulled into the first venue, Griffins, and parked the car as it stopped raining. ‘Hopefully that’s a good omen’ my dad joked. We trudged in, a desolate crew, and suddenly the sun came out in Italy. The venue was absolutely stunning! We were met by the most gorgeous, welcoming Italian matriarch, Eleanora and shown around the whole hotel. It was like something from the cover of Vogue magazine. Each room was decorated differently and the interior was stylish, chic and gorgeous.
The infinity pool looked out across the rolling green hills and the beautiful gardens, the old knarly wise tree provided shade across the terrace and there were some delightful little nooks and crannies like the room on the other side of the road that you entered via a tunnel and many other quirks.
We sat down with Eleanora and we were showered with prosecco. Wine, and the most delicious food – the lightest tempura vegetables, home made breads, Italian ,eats and cheeses, pasta, you name it, we had it and every single mouthful was mouth-wateringly tasty.
Mr M and I left my dad trying the wine to have a wander on our own and to see what each other thought. We wandered out to the swimming pool and he turned to me with a beaming smile ‘do you love it?’ He asked me. ‘It’s perfect,’ I said and promptly burst into tears for the second time in as many hours as Mr M stepped back to survey the view and give me a cuddle only to find himself ankle deep in the swimming pool.
Seven months later, we arrived back at Griffins and it was better than we remembered. We were there for five days before our guests arrived to plan things and get everything ready and once we’d hauled the big white dress across the seas and Italy on a plane and trains, we realised we were about to have the dmost perfect weekend.
To be continued…