Today, it is much more common than in the past to spend part of one's life away from one's home country in order to study abroad, to take up a job opportunity or by choice of one's family of origin. This consequently leads to having a large number of friends from different countries whom we want to be with us at the most important moments of our lives, such as at a wedding.
How do you organise yourself in such cases? I had a chat with a young married couple who have exactly this experience behind them and who gave us some really interesting answers on how to behave when inviting guests from the four corners of the planet. So, let me introduce you to Livia and Rahul, two beautiful 35-year-olds who arrived in London after a life spent with their suitcases in hand. They decided to get married by bringing together their many dear friends from five continents.
Meet Livia and Rahul!
Livia was born in Italy, but did most of her studies abroad, and now works with a brilliant career in the field of contemporary art. After years of living in New York, Paris, London and Venice, and considerable experience in the most important auction houses and galleries, she finally settled in London and, together with a friend and colleague, opened a contemporary art buying and selling company about two years ago, based in Europe and the United States. Here she met Rahul, aﬀascinating financial genius, the Indo-German son of a diplomat who has lived in many countries throughout his life and now recognises London as his home and...you guessed it, it was love at first sight.
How many guests? And where are we getting married?
The organisation of the wedding gave Livia and Rahul a lot of headaches, as they, like many others, were overwhelmed by the Covid tsunami and therefore had to revise their initial plans to celebrate their wedding in the presence of over 400 friends from all over the world. Because of the particular situation we have been experiencing in recent years, the couple decided at the end to opt for a more intimate ceremony, restricted to 70 very select guests in the magical setting of the city of Florence. The choice of this magnificent destination was on the one hand linked to Livia's roots, but on the other dictated by the couple's desire to choose a place that could also be a destination of interest for their guests. A city like Florence, in fact, oﬀers the possibility to show an exceptional destination, full of possible cultural and scenic recreational activities for foreign guests who can take the opportunity to plan a wonderful journey through Italian art.
An event organised over several days
Once the date and destination had been decided, it was time to think about how to make the stay unique and unforgettable for these very special guests who had gone to such lengths not to miss Livia and Rahul's happiest day. As Livia rightly pointed out, it was essential to think of a stay of at least three days, especially for those who were taking a transoceanic flight for the occasion.
The first step was to select two hotels and agree on affordable rates with them, in order to make it easier for friends to organise their trip. The first step was to select two hotels and agree on affordable rates with them, in order to make it easier for friends to organise their trip. This gave everyone the opportunity to choose freely whether to stay in a hotel that offered great comfort to make the most of the opportunity to travel to Italy, or to control expenses with something very comfortable and tested. Livia was careful to make travel easy and welcomed friends on Friday evening with a cocktail on the roof top of a hotel. This solution allowed everyone to participate with extreme ﬂexibility of schedule and in the unique setting of a starlit Florence.
A special moment just for families
Due to the pandemic situation, the couple's families had had very few opportunities to meet, so it was the couple's wish to have a quiet moment before the wedding where their parents and siblings could get to know each other in an informal and genuinely loving situation. Livia's family therefore organised a wonderful dinner on Thursday evening at home. This choice made it easier to establish a new relationship of sincere aﬀect united by the love of their children, avoiding awkward formal meetings and the gesture of opening one's home as if for the reunion of a family already created, proved to be an inclusive and spontaneous choice.
On the day of the ceremony, which took place in the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence, the atmosphere was warm and the 70 guests were able to take part in a multilingual and joyful celebration, with numerous speeches by the couple's friends and loved ones. Afterwards, the unique setting of a greenhouse with an Italian garden, owned by a historic Florentine family, welcomed the reception; an enchantment of early autumn colours, accompanied by classical music played by a quartet.
The bride and groom wanted a very long table to accommodate all their friends, the atmosphere of sincere aﬀect and participation for the couple was tangible, the many speeches and dedications full of memories moistened their eyes and brought smiles to everyone's faces. The bride wanted a table in warm autumnal colours, and involved the whole family so that the set-up would be personal and meticulous in every detail.
Arms of flowers in warm tones seemed to have been plucked from the surrounding garden and spontaneously arranged all along the long table, in a thousand little vases of the most diverse shapes. Needless to say, the tablecloth and napkins embroidered with the initials of the bride and groom were a Borgo delle Tovaglie creation? In this case too, the choice of location was aimed at creating an event strongly characterised by aﬀectivity. The greenhouses were a place that Livia had known since she was a child, which retains the characteristics of a magnificent private garden shared today with a selected public. That is, a location that was not overdone or typically created for receptions was chosen, making it even more exclusive and at the same time intimate, thanks to its small size, which seemed to hold all the participants in an embrace.
When choosing the menu, Livia and Rahul also had to take into account the different needs of their guests. Some were vegetarians, others Jewish and their needs were therefore varied: adapting the menu accordingly was an essential gesture of care towards those who had also shown sincere attachment to aﬀront of a journey that was not easy. The relatively small number of guests, Livia told us, proved ideal for spending precious time with each person and feeling surrounded by a truly rare aﬀect...
For the evening, Livia organised a simple dinner with authentic flavours in a Tuscan trattoria to round off a perfect day.
Many were leaving the next day, but those who could had the extraordinary opportunity to enjoy a private view of the incredible open-air museum FFattorie di Celle. Against the backdrop of the Tuscan hills, amidst ponds, ancient trees and ornaments, guests saw hundreds of works of land art belonging to a private collection built up over 50 years of work by a far-sighted Tuscan entrepreneur who is passionate about art and a dear friend of Livia's family. There could not have been a better way to end this enchanting weekend sharing Livia's passion for art and enjoying such an inspiring and captivating landscape.
Did we help you? We can do more!
I hope this story will help you in the organisation of your wedding. The activities we can organise will obviously have to be adapted to different situations and seasons, but what I wanted to convey is the importance of anticipating the needs of our guests when organising a cosmopolitan wedding. Nowadays technology helps us a lot to simplify this task: one of the questions that the bride and groom ask themselves most often, for example, concerns the creation of a wedding list that is accessible to everyone from anywhere on the planet. For this reason, we at Borgo have implemented a feature on our website that allows you to create a remote list that can be simply shared with your guests via email.
The gifts chosen by the bride and groom are displayed with plenty of photographs and details and can be purchased from the comfort of an armchair with a personalised message.