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Devoted To You on Weddingbells Real Weddings

Devoted To You team and my dream wedding has been featured on Weddingbells Real Weddings! This is super exciting for us and the dream team of vendors that worked for my wedding! Special thanks to my dearest husband, Elton, who gave me my dream wedding!

Joee Wong, along with Claudia Hung, our photographers and Konrad Czystowski from Freshsox, had done an amazing job capturing the best moments ever.  Not only that they are great photographers and cinematographer, Joee actually spent 3 weeks writing his blog about our wedding.  He’s such a good story teller and did not miss a single detail of it. I almost cried when I read his blog which brought me back all the good memories in Florence.

Elton proposed to me in Hawaii back in November 2008 when we attended Berni (my best friend)’s wedding there.  It felt so magical to be part of a destination wedding and we spent some quality time together with Berni and her family, whom I’ve known since I was born.  After we came back from Hawaii, Elton and I explored all ceremony venue options we could and there’s no where in Toronto that we wanted our ceremony to take place at.  We knew that we have to host a big wedding banquet in Toronto at a chinese restaurant, which wasn’t our first choice, so we decided to do something special about our ceremony.  Since Elton and I are both not a big fan of the Caribbean islands, we scratched that.  Greece was actually our first choice, but there were riots back in 2008/2009 and it’s just not a good idea to plan a wedding there when things were not stable, but who would have thought of the volcanic ashcloud that happened 2-3 weeks prior to our wedding?! We almost couldn’t make it to Italy.  The days and nights before we flew out to Europe was the most stressful time of my life.  It was a real blessing that everyone made it there safely and on time 🙂

Greece was off the list and my next choice was Italy.  I’ve always wanted to go to Italy because of its architecture, culinary arts, art galleries, wineries and last but not least, shopping!  Neither of us have been to Italy before, so we’ve done a ton of research and talking to different people just to make up our mind where in Italy we are having our wedding at.  We didn’t like the Romeo & Juliet Theme, and so Verona was out.  While I was shopping for my wedding dress at an Italian bridal store in Woodbridge, the lady who helped me out with my dress suggested Fiesole and I googled it.   (I ended up didn’t bring this dress with me because it took up too much space in my luggage and I bought a Vera for the Italian wedding 🙂 )  It is a small town about 15 mins away from Florence with a lot of history behind it.  I looked up at Trip Advisor to see what hotels/villas available in Fiesole and found Villa San Michele, which was ranked #1 by the travelers.  I fell in love with this Villa when I saw the website and this was where our dream wedding took place!  The view was spectacular and you can oversee the city of Florence from the garden.  The villa was once a former Franciscan monastery, founded in the 15th century. They are also famous for their culinary and there is a cookery school at the villa where internationally renowned chefs teach there.

Overlooking the city of Florence from Villa San Michele+

Overlooking the city of Florence from Villa San Michele

For the convenience of our guests, we’ve picked a bed & breakfast somewhere between the city of Florence and Fiesole and we occupied the whole B&B! It is definitely not the regular B&B.. trust me… you’ll know when you see the photos! The bathroom was what actually attracted me to book this place at the beginning and it is definitely my dream bathroom!  The service was excellent and everyone enjoyed their stay there.  It’s just the right size to fit all of my relatives and everyone felt like they were at home.  Everyone hung out at the breakfast area and we chatted for hours and hours.

Breath-taking view from Villa San Michele+

Breath-taking view from Villa San Michele

 

My Bathroom+

My Bathroom

 

Breakfast Area+

Breakfast Area

The breakfast area was also a nice backdrop for photos!

Elton in the breakfast room while waiting for me to get ready +

Elton in the breakfast room while waiting for me to get ready

We’ve spent more than 15 months to plan our wedding but all the hard work is well worth it! It is definitely a once in a life time experience.  Being a planner myself, I really appreciated how much my local planner, Federica, had done for me.  There were just way too many things that I wasn’t able to do it myself being a bride on the wedding day and couldn’t rely on my friends and relatives to handle because we were all in a foreign country and nobody could speak Italian.  Also, everyone traveled all the way to Italy for our wedding and we really wanted them to enjoy every single moment to the max! Other than the weather didn’t really cooperated, everything went pretty smoothly.  We were very happy that Federica took care of all the things for us and being our translator.  Most people in Italy can speak simple English but not everyone is fluent.  The makeup artist and hairstylist that we hired were amazing but they couldn’t speak English at all.  I had to rely on Federica to translate for me and tell them how I want my hair and makeup done.  We even went to Ponte Vecchio for photos,  by cab and the cab drivers waited for us and drove us back to Villa Antea, our B&B because Federica had negotiated a flat rate for us.  Having someone who can speak the local language and knows how to get around in the city really make things 10 times easier.

At Ponte Vecchio+

At Ponte Vecchio

Here’s the picture of the dream team:

Konrad, Federica, Claudia and Joee!+

Konrad, Federica, Claudia and Joee!

Our wedding would not be a success without you all!  Check out Joee’s website for more of our pictures!

Suppliers:
Photographers: Joee Wong (Associate: Claudia Hung)
Cinematographer: Konrad Czystowski | FreshSox
Wedding Planner: Devoted to You + IC Bellagio
Venue: Villa San Michele
Accommodations: Villa Antea
Bride’s Gown: Vera Wang
Bride’s Shoes: Badgley Mischka
Bride’s Jewelry: Tiffany & Co
Bride’s Headpiece: KC’s Hats
Bridal party attire: BCBG Max Azria
Groom’s Tux: Syd Silver Formals
Groom’s Shoes: Kenneth Cole
Groom’s Cufflinks: BVLGARI
Couture Stationary and Thank You Cards: Deborah Lau | Palettera
Invitations: Francis Wong Design Consultant, Elsie Cheung Illustrations
Harpist: Chiara Trallori
Favours: Kate Aspen
Hair and makeup: Armilla Beauty
Flowers & decorations: Floralia Events

~Carmen

http://www.villaantea.com/image_zoom.php?show=NTI2MjYzZTU2NzIwYWQyNGI0Mjc5NDA5ZGFkYTNlYjEuanBnP3dpZHRoPSI0MjYiIGhlaWdodD0iNTUwIg==
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