It’s really coming around quick now and it’s kinda scary lol, feel like the past few weeks have flown by and it’s only 7 weeks today till we fly off to the beautiful Italian sun, In fact this time in 7 weeks ill be sitting in my bikini by the pool sipping on a nice cold beer! or probably limoncello actually as Julie insists I have to try some very popular Italian tipple so I’m told, to be honest, I’m game for any kind of alcohol.
which is funny as Julie has just informed me she has never tried vodka before, yes you heard me right! She never tried vodka before, well my mission is to get her having a few cheeky ones whilst we are in Italy!
Anyway back to the wedding! It’s been very busy the past few weeks, been sorting out all the last bits for decorations and getting my makeup, jewelry, something old, something borrowed sorted! now I’m on a mission to find a suitable travel case for my beautiful dress to be transported in, obviously, I will be taken as hand luggage as knowing my luck it would get lost in transit and I’d be walking down the aisle in my bikini I’m sure Joe wouldn’t mind.
So really it’s very much a countdown at the minute, getting to sort all the nice things out like choosing the food for the bbq, mmm! beach bbq with lovely Italian food, making me hungry thinking about it!, writing our vows, picking the music, sorting a few nice surprises for the day which I can’t disclose on here I’m afraid as some of our guests read this! Julie has been great though with everything, been on hand to give advice and make suggestions.
So the Countdown is This:
4 weeks and 3 days till my hen do (eek! I’m scared, no idea what or where my maid of honor has in store!)
7 weeks today till we are in Italy
7 weeks and 3 days till our beautiful wedding day
8 weeks and 3 days till our wedding reception back home…
So in my last blog I told you about our journey over to the wonderful Santa Maria and getting to our hotel, The Garden Riviera now I’m going to tell you about the place itself and what we got up to on our first day! you’re probably thinking one whole blog shouldn’t account for only one day however you will see why it does when you have finished reading!
So on Tuesday when we arrived, after the initial surprise of the hotel we quickly got changed and got into our poolside gear it was a scorching 40c so we needed to be in as little clothing as possible lol, plus I wanted to get my tan on!
It was so quiet in our hotel, we were literally the only ones there apart from another older couple but we didn’t really see them, we had the WHOLE pool to ourselves which was such a treat! it was so peaceful and after such a long journey it was just heaven, to be honest. We had some lunch with Julie at the hotel and I must say, they really do the best food! not overly expensive, about 7euros for a pasta dish which was a big portion!
After a few hours sunning ourselves, we arranged to meet Julie, later on, to take a walk into town so she could show us around and meet people, well we didn’t really know what to expect or who we were going to meet as I just thought that people wouldn’t really know who we were and not be that interested! how wrong I was!
To be honest i felt pretty famous out there, the pink bride, Julie took us round to meet some truly wonderful people, from Rosanna (who owns the Lido where we had our reception and also a beautiful little flower/decoration shop) to Baffo who owns the best gelato shop I’ve ever come across! you just have to visit him whilst your there as he does such a fab selection of ice cream and sorbets and at a very good price.
She took us into the local cheese shop where we tasted some fine (and strong!) cheeses and spoke to the lovely owners; we met a number of people who owned the bars that we spent quite a bit of time in Bella Ville and Bar Yogurteria; we went to the flower shop and chose our flowers for the wedding party which was such a nice touch as I wasn’t sure if I would get to do this, the guys who own the shop Veronica and Luiji did such a wonderful job of our flowers.
Julie also showed us round a couple of restaurants and more shops and took us for a walk around the town and along the beachfront where we came across our wedding venue, Torre Perrotti and our reception venue, Lido Azzurro.
I can’t explain how you feel when you see these places, I’ve seen so many pictures beforehand but nothing can do them justice, we both felt quite emotional and so overwhelmed by it all, brings a lump to my throat now thinking about when I first saw TP.…Read More
Sorry, I haven’t blogged in a few weeks, I’ve been manic sorting out all sorts of things from bridesmaids outfits to wedding decorations to legal documents! It’s been really busy getting all the last main things finalized so now I just have lots of little bits left to sort which I’m told are the best bits!
I can’t quite believe its only 3 months till the wedding, well 12 weeks tomorrow!! It has gone so quick it’s unreal, the past few weeks have pretty much been me Internet shopping for all things pink, sparkly and twinkly, as well as getting my girlies sorted with their dresses, which are just beautiful and exactly what I wanted and we also went jewellery and shoe shopping last weekend, which by the way buying their shoes has been the hardest part of the whole planning!
Tip for brides: if your dress shop lets you go and try things on with your dress before your final fitting I would definitely recommend this!
Another very important thing we have done is obtain the legal documents to marry in Italy! It was so exciting! Not quite sure how someone could get excited over 2 bits of paper but well I did. We had to meet with the registrar and have a little meeting where we gave the notice to marry and had to do it separately, is quite surreal, to be honest, and it really makes you realize what you are actually doing!
We now have the papers after waiting 16 days for them to be issued and it’s such a great feeling I’m actually getting married, WE are getting married and it’s all legal now! Makes you realise that it’s such a wonderful thing to be doing, not to mention being one of the most important days in your lifetime, it’s not something that should be entered into lightly and you should treasure it, I for one can’t wait to get married to the man I love and I know he feels the same about me!
Now all the important stuff is out of the way, it’s time for organising the fun things, However I will admit to having my first freak out the other day nothing, in particular, triggered it,I was just sat at my desk at work and realised how quick it’s coming around and started freaking out about the ceremony of all things.
What music we are having, when it’s played, the readings, the vows, when we walk down the aisle and what we do after, So much to think about! It’s not like here where you pretty much get told where and when things will happen, you get to plan it however you want it which is so exciting! But also a little nerve wracking!
Next for me is more shopping, Shopping for my jewelry and underwear, for my mom’s outfit, for my maid of honors present and also for lots more sparkly pretty things to finish off my decorations for Italy!
But I will blog next week and let you know how I’m getting on, as now it’s full steam ahead with pretty much everything for Italy and I have our party back home to sort out too!…
As you leave Santa Maria and head up to the village of Castellabate, there is a sign just before you arrive at the village for Mocaria, the most stylish restaurant in the area, lovingly owned and managed by Tonino, He used the have the largest discotheque in southern Italy.
As you arrive at the restaurant you will see the Mocaria VW Beetle in the car park, surrounded by flower pots and a welcome sign. As you go into the restaurant, you will be blown away for sure. Mocaria has breathtaking views over Santa Maria and the Amalfi Coast, and the island of Capri Romantic or what? Built on 2 levels there is a big outdoor seating area and the smaller terrace pictured below. There is seating inside, with a fantastic wine cellar, and then a lower level with a bar where you can sit and relax with a drink, or dance the night away.
Tonino will give you a very warm welcome and you will feel really at home, as he delights you with an extensive choice of food, all locally sourced. He knows his stuff where wine is concerned and will tempt you with the very best wines to accompany your chosen dish. A favorite dessert of mine at Mocaria is the chocolate pudding.. it is better than you know what!!! A must try for sure.
Mocaria is the perfect venue for a wedding or wedding reception. This year, Keith and Sara tie the knot on the terrace on the 6th June and then will enjoy canapés and dinner. More couples will enjoy dinner here with live music, dancing, and fireworks during the balmy summer nights of 2012.
What do I love most about Mocaria? I have to say it is the warmth of the host, the professional staff, (food of course) and most importantly the attention to detail. Nothing is too much trouble, and last year Tonino and his wife Marissa spent two days prior to the wedding of Dave and Kate on 9th June 2011 setting the scene for the wedding reception, and adding lots of tiny details that really enhanced the evening such as local flavours, and a love poem from Mocaria.…Read More
What can I tell you about Santa Maria di Castellabate? Well, it is where many brides and grooms have headed along with their family and friends this year to tie the knot, under the Italian sunshine. Santa Maria is still a secret destination and many people have never heard of it if you blink you will miss it but it is featured is some holiday brochures. Most of the hotels My Secret Italy work closely with are not, however, to be found in any of the brochures, and remain secret spots.
The closest international airport is Naples, and from there you head south for about 2 hours until you come to the resort itself. Santa Maria boasts one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen, and it has been awarded the Blue Flag for many years now. Dotted along the beach there are Lidos (beach bars/restaurants)
One famous one that has been there for many years is the Lido Azzurro, run by my dear friends Franco and Rosanna, a very stylish couple who work extremely hard each summer to welcome guests and cook the most delightful, fresh, lunches whilst you sit and enjoy a glass of local wine or prosecco and marvel at the sea crashing against the shore.
It is now possible to marry on this stretch of beach and then dine under the stars as you and your wedding guests enjoy fantastic local dishes, fresh fish and meat, a groovy local band and also you can end your magical day with some aquatic fireworks. Perfect..
Not only does Santa Maria have a fabulous beach, but the town itself is a treasure. As you arrive in the heart of Santa Maria you will see Bar Belleville in the center, next to the square and the town hall. This is my favorite place to sit and watch the world go by. A great place to be on a weekend before lunch as the locals descend on the bar to enjoy a pre-lunch drink, with nibbles provided by the bar.
The owner is called Tonino and he looks after My Secret Italy guests! This is a meeting place for My Secret Italy and we will all get together when you arrive for a drink and I will introduce you all to Tonino and his family. He likes to offer a welcome cocktail, so of course, we have to take him up on that.
From Belleville you walk along the main high street which is called the Corso. It takes about 20 minutes to wander past the shops until you reach Padre Pio Square at the end of the Corso. Just before you reach the end of the Corso, on the right, there is a cute bar called Pibaro, great coffee, pizza, and TV just in case any football is on!
La Buffalina Deli You will find this along with the Corso, to the right opposite the fish shop. Here you will find friendly owners, and a wide selection of wines, cheeses, local bread, and so much more. If you are going to the beach, they will even make up a delicious Panini for you.
Some local products to try would be of course, Buffalo Mozzarella, it really melts in your mouth. If you wanted to visit a local farm and see how the cheese is produced, then let me know and I can arrange this for you. Local wine to try is Kleos, produced by Luiji Maffini, a local guy from San Marco. Try Kratos (Crisp White) or Kleos red. Another popular Maffini wine is Cenito.
Whilst you wander down the Corso, pass the fish shop to your left, and a tad further on you will find Profumeria Monia. Please stop by and say hello to Monia and ask to sample Aqua delba, one of my favourite scents. Great for a present.
Another divine shop along the Corso on the right, is Amodio.. ladies. .shoes, bags and belts.. heaven in Italy! Pascuale is the owner and he will offer My Secret Italy guests a good discount, last year I bought some sandals with Swarovski crystals in them.…Read More