The story of our wedding – Anna and Francesco
Detta är Wedding Stories allra första intervju på engelska. Detta då Anna och Francesco bor och har gift sig i Italien. För er som hellre vill läsa denna inspirerande bröllopsintervju på svenska har vi givetvis en översatt version. Låt dig inspireras av deras härliga och personliga medeltidsbröllop.
Hi Anna, welcome to Wedding Stories, we are so happy that you’re giving us the opportunity to hear you out about your wedding. Hi! Thank you, it’s a pleasure!
First of all, how long have you been married? We’ve been married for a year now. The day of our wedding was the 16th of September 2017.
Can you tell me anything about you and your husband, what do you do for a living? I studied Classical philology and I now work as an archivist. Francesco is an engineer and works in a company that produces electric vehicles. Our main interest is 14th century historical re-enactment. In fact, we spend most of our free time crafting and attending events in Italy and sometimes abroad.
How did you meet? We met at a medieval fencing course, back in 2005.
Was there any proposal involved? If so how did it happen? Yes, it was a very simple one. Francesco asked me if I wanted to marry him during a dinner, on our 10th anniversary.
For how long did you plan your wedding? We planned the wedding for about a year.
Where did your wedding take place? The ceremony took place in the garden inside the castle, Rocca, of Imola.
Which three words would best describe your wedding? I would say Medieval, as it was the main inspiration for the wedding, personal, because I think we managed to organize the celebration and the party according to our desires and personality and also natural, because we didn’t force ourselves or our guests to pose or take part in affected moments.
“Moreover, we wouldn’t have felt at ease in a traditional white dress and in a suite and tie.”
Tell us more about your wedding theme. The “Medieval” theme became the fil rouge of our wedding: our garments and accessories had to be as period as possible so that we could use them again when re-enacting. Anyway, we didn’t want to make the wedding itself a re-enactment, because we thought it would have been too complicated and it wasn’t the right occasion to set strict rules. That’s also why we didn’t want any of our guests to dress up in medieval clothes.
We had medieval elements like hand-written invitations made by Francesco in medieval calligraphy, the tableau-marriage in the shape of the medieval skyline of our city and the frame for the photo booth painted by him with enluminures from a manuscript. However, we also choose traditional elements such as the ceremony, the menu and the party favours which were crocheted by our mothers.
How did you know what kind of wedding you wanted? We knew that we didn’t want a traditional wedding. It had to be a civil wedding, with a short ceremony and a dinner – Italian 16-hours-long weddings are not really our thing, as we are not “party people”. Moreover, we wouldn’t have felt at ease in a traditional white dress and in a suite and tie. We thought that this was the perfect opportunity to make the very special Medieval dresses we had been dreaming about for years. This was the starting point for the planning.
“We had to find a weaver who could weave for us silk brocades with real gold thread with 2 different patterns copied from original 14th century finds”
How did your wedding planning look like, which things were your priority?
The first thing we had to think about and that required most of our attention were our dresses and accessories. We had to find a weaver who could weave for us silk brocades with real gold thread with 2 different patterns copied from original 14th century finds. A few months passed before the fabric was ready. Then we had to find a tailor who could make our garments, order new shoes and ask our friend re-enactor and goldsmith not only to make our wedding rings, but also a silver belt for Francesco and a very challenging piece of jewelry for me: a crown.
Secondly, we had to find a good location for the dinner: we felt we needed a place that matched with our garments and the atmosphere we wanted to recreate- though not necessarily medieval – that would have made our guests feel at ease, and that had amazing food, of course.
“We had 120 guests, which is a very reasonable number for an Italian wedding!”
Then we started to look for musicians and photographers. Lastly, we ordered the invitations, the flowers and the cake in the last few months before the wedding.
How many guests attended your wedding? We had 120 guests, which is a very reasonable number for an Italian wedding!
You had an incredibly beautiful handmade dress, tell us more.
What an adventure! We asked our friend and textile master Mervi Pasanen if she wanted to make our wedding dresses when we met during the re-enactment of Battle of Wisby in August 2016. She was actually the first person who knew about our wedding! Me and Francesco had already chosen the enluminures we wanted to use as a source for our garments, so we started to plan the outfits and finally went to Finland in March 2017 so Mervi could make the patterns together with her friend and professional tailor Noora.
The job wasn’t simple: Francesco needed a padded doublet, a silk tunic with buttons and an overdress made with the custom-made red and gold brocade. For me, Mervi had to make a smock, a pink silk dress and most of all the overdress, made with 11 meters of blue brocade in silk and gold. Did I mention all the dresses had to be hand-sewn according to 14th century techniques? Well, they had. Everything was hand-sewn. We had to meet again in July – this time in Italy – to try all the basted garments. Everything was finally delivered in August during a banquet in Sweden. Then it was my turn: I made all the pearl embroidery on both the pink dress and the blue overdress.
How did the wedding day look like? Did you spend the night before the wedding apart? Where did the ceremony take part, how did you get to the ceremony, was it a traditional dinner? As we’ve been living together for 7 years, we thought spending the night before the wedding apart didn’t make much sense for us, so we went to our parents’ houses in the morning of the wedding day.
I got prepared while friends started to arrive and we had a light lunch. After that, I got dressed and as I remained the last one at home, with my friend who was going to drive me to the castle and the photographer, I started to feel a bit nervous. We were also really scared about the weather, as it was supposed to rain all day! So, when I arrived in front of the castle and saw Francesco with the bouquet for me, all our guests waiting and the sun shining, I was really happy. We entered the garden where the ceremony took place while the musicians were playing a medieval version of Nothing Else Matters by Metallica. The civil ceremony went by smoothly, with more music and the exchange of rings.
Then we all went to the restaurant for dinner. After eating, we watched a video made by our friends with old pictures of us and wishes from our friends and relatives, then we cut the cake and the wedding ended with the throwing of the bouquet at about midnight.
“Concentrate on what is really important for you and be ready to possibly give up on something that’s not as important. “
What did the wedding dinner look like? The wedding dinner was in a 17th century villa and restaurant called Accademia dei Notturni, 40 minutes drive from Imola. The wedding dinner started with a buffet set under the porch of the villa, with a great choice of typical Italian antipasti. Then everyone took place at the tables in the hall and the proper dinner started. As primi piatti, we had tortelli and passatelli, then pork with grapes and potatoes. Finally, the dessert buffet was arranged under the porch where they served the cake.
What´s your best advice to other couples that are going to get married? Any do’s and don’ts in terms of wedding planning? Consider that a whole year is necessary to organize everything without panicking. Concentrate on what is really important for you and be ready to possibly give up on something that’s not as important. Enjoy the organization and share these moments with people who are close to you, who understand and support you.
How did you think about the budget? Which costs were the biggest in your budget? We gave priority to our dresses and accessories and to the food. We really wanted our guests to remember the dinner and be satisfied about it, so these were the biggest costs in our budget. On the other hand, we reduced some of the costs by making things ourselves or with the help of our family and friends.
Do you have any advice to give for other bride to be´s that you´ve wished someone gave you? I would suggest other brides-to-be not to struggle too much comparing too many suppliers, if you feel you have found something that’s right for you, just go with it.
Is there anything you´ve would have done differently today? I wish we had had the ceremony a little bit earlier in the afternoon. Then we could have had some more time to spend with our guests.
Last but not least, did you go on a honeymoon? Yes, we went to Norway: we spent 10 days traveling from Oslo to Bergen and Trondheim. We were very lucky because the weather was awesome and we didn’t get a single day of rain even though everyone told us it was almost impossible. We managed also to see seals in the fjords and the Northern Lights while traveling to Trondheim on the Hurtigruten. It was the perfect conclusion of a special year.
ABOUT ANNA & FRANCESCO
Names: Francesco & Anna
Age: Anna is 28 years old and Francesco is 34.
Residence of living: Imola, close to Bologna
in Northern Italy.
Wedding date: 16th of September 2017
Numbers of guests: 120
Wedding theme: Medieval