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Planning A Wedding in Puglia, Italy?

Our Perfect Italian Wedding – Getting Married In Puglia.

Our wedding in Puglia, Italy.

In August 2013 my husband and I had the most fabulous wedding in Puglia, Italy.  We heartily recommend this fabulous region for any other couples wanting an affordable yet fabulous authentic Italian experience.  The wonderful climate, fantastic food and wine and the friendliness of the people simply amazed us.

To help you decide if this could be an option for you I will give an overview of the wedding in this magical location.

When planning the event we wanted to have a wedding that was intrinsically Italian – to celebrate our wedding the way an Italian family would. This we achieved and more………

We knew the owners of the Masseria Della Zingara, which is located just outside Triggianello, near Castellana Grotte in Puglia.  So it was the natural choice of venue.  The beautiful masseria sleeps 19 which was the perfect solution for us and our closest family to stay.  In fact we hired the entire masseria for 2 weeks.  The rest of our guests stayed in the other local guest houses or in the nearby stunning costal town of Polignano a Mare.  We were able to utilise a local taxi company who used mini buses to ferry the guest back and forth for the celebrations.

Our wedding in Puglia, Italy at the Masseria Della Zingara

Our wedding in Puglia, Italy at the Masseria Della Zingara

Our actual wedding (with 45 guests) lasted 3 fabulous days.  We had a pre-wedding dinner on the night before, a noon wedding on the actual day and a post wedding pool party the day after.  It was all magical.  I wish we could do it all again!  The entire two weeks, including all the wedding celebrations cost us the same as the average one day wedding in the UK.  Great value for money I think you would agree.

The Cheese man makes fresh mozzarella at our pre wedding dinner held at the Masseria Della Zingara

The Cheese man makes fresh mozzarella at our pre wedding dinner held at the Masseria Della Zingara

Wedding pool party gets ready at Masseria Della Zingara

Wedding pool party gets ready at Masseria Della Zingara

The civil service was held in the city commune in Castellana Grotte, 15 minutes drive from the Masseria.  We were extremely honoured to have the Mayor perform the ceremony.  All the guests were ferried back to the masseria for the celebrations while the mayor arranged for us newly weds to have some photos taken at the famous Castellana Grotto caves.  Magic!

We then had the most incredible celebrations back at the masseria, a truly spectacular buffet reception and a blessing in the masseria’s chapel.  The most amazing authentic local musicians and dancers entertained our guests (and us of course) .  Our photographer (who I cannot recommend enough) whisked myself and my husband away to a local trulli to have some atmospheric photos taken – just brilliant.  Later, we were all up dancing the night away and it was so much fun.  And to finish the evening, fireworks!

I can truly recommend a Puglian wedding.

Where –  The Masseria Della Zingara, Castellana Grotte, Puglia Italy.
Contact – Jan King  (jan at  masseria della zingara dot com.)
Photograhper – Rob Kennard.
Make Up Artist – (BAFTA awarded) Sue Howard (contact her via her Villa Silvana website)  She can also recommend hairstylists.

Guest Accommodations.
Masseria Della Zingara
B&B Masseria-Cesarina
Covo dei Saraceni Hotel

B&B Casa Dorsi
B&B Santo Stefano
B&B Tra Le Mura
Masseria Capocaccia

Villa Silvana 

Taxi company – Taxicar

Remember to enjoy your day.

Mamasimx

 

 

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Try Not To Cry While Reading This Post

A heartwarming and heartbreaking story.

nunerys0331 In 2009 Ben Nunery married his wife Ali.  They  bought their lovely new family home together and had decided to have their beautiful wedding photos taken there.  Tragically, Ali died 2 and a 1/2 years later of cancer.  She left behind Ben and their daughter Olivia.

Deciding on a fresh start Ben sold the house.  But before he left he decided to recreate his wedding photos with his daughter, in memory of his wife.

The pictures are loving and beautiful.  They pay homage to his wife and are a permanent reminder of the home the little family of three shared.

Here are Ben’s own words.

Saying Goodbye….Again.

The last two years have been a rollercoaster of emotions to say the least.  There have been ups and downs to such extremes that it leaves me wondering how I’ve managed to piece together anything that resembles a normal and happy life.  But, hindsight being what it is, I can look back now and recognize the progress I’ve made as a grieving widower and a single father to an amazing little girl.  These past two years have had no shortage of emotional hurdles to overcome, some small and some large, but none as big as saying goodbye to the home that Ali and I built together.  The home we started our married lives together in.  The home we brought Olivia to after she was born.  The home we turned from a shabby little fixer upper into an award winning showcase property (according to the Price Hill Press!).  In many ways it felt like the last vestige of the life that we set out to build together.  It felt as though leaving that house would be the first step in a new life that Olivia and I would build together. . .without Ali.

We said goodbye to Ali two years ago but her presence has remained undeniable in that house.  Every square inch of it was carefully and thoughtfully decorated by her and it was as if she had never left.   I remember, in the days and weeks after she died, it was impossibly difficult to live there day in and day out with constant reminders of the loss we all suffered.  I walked around the house with blinders on just trying to avoid looking at every little item that she left behind.  And slowly those reminders of the pain turned in to little moments of comfort.  I knew she was gone but I could look at her things, all those untouched little artifacts, and know that she was there with me.   I found comfort in bottles of shampoo and drawers full of socks and jewelry still neatly organized.  But always in the back of my mind I knew I would eventually have to say goodbye to the shrine that I was building up in my mind just like I had to say goodbye to her.

Ali and I bought our house on the day before our wedding and we thought that having some of our wedding photos taken in the empty house would be an appropriate and memorable way to commemorate such a big step in our lives (see the original wedding day session here).  As wedding days go, it all happened in a blur, but those images represent some of the happiest moments in my life.  It was the beginning of what we planned on being a long and happy life together.  And so, when it came time to pack up the house and schedule the movers, I struggled with the thought of saying goodbye and walking away without something to commemorate such a big step in mine and Olivia’s life.  Having world-class photographers in the family is a nice perk that I try not to abuse, but I managed to sneak into Melanie and Adam’s busy schedule and we set out to once again do a photo session in that empty house.  Only this time I would have a different partner, although one just as beautiful.   It was fun and strange and sad and comforting and just about every other emotion you can think of.  And, it wasn’t until I drove away that the significance of what we had just done hit me like a ton of bricks.   These would be the last memories in that house.

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Side by sides from the original photo session on our wedding day.nunerys023nunerys022nunerys014
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I did it for me.  I did it for us.  I did it so I would have something to show for the love and beauty that occupied that house for a short time in our lives.  I wanted to be able to show Olivia the place where her mother and I started our lives together and dreamed of raising children.  I thought it would be much harder to say goodbye in this way, but as I sat in the driveway, ready to drive away for the last time, I realized that it’s just a house.  The memories of Ali don’t live in that house.  They live with us, in our hearts.  We take them with us wherever we go and they will live with us in our new house too.  A house is just a house.  Yes, I will miss it but I still have the memories of Ali and I still have Olivia, the most precious evidence of the love Ali and I shared and still share.  Since Melanie posted the photos on her blog, many people have asked me how I felt while doing that photo session.  What I want them to know is that this isn’t a story about grief and loss and hurt.  Yes, I’ve gone through those emotions and still do but that’s not what I want people to see in these photos.  This is a story about love.  The pain is nothing compared to the love that I feel for Ali and Olivia and that’s the story I want these pictures to tell to Olivia in the years to come and anyone else that sees them.  The pain will subside little by little but the love never will, no matter where we live.   Our lives will continue down a curvy and uncertain path but Olivia and I will be able to look at these photos and know that for a short time there was a place where I was the luckiest man in the world, even if just for a little while.

– Ben

See the full photo session here.

Mamasimx

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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What Dads Really Need To Hear This Father’s Day

A poignant post from Man vs Mommy.

Make sure you click through to read all the post.  It is worth it.

 

What Dads Really Need To Hear This Father’s Day

My Dearest Husband,

Sometimes I forget.

I forget that you too have had a hard day at work.  When I toss the kids at you the second you walk through the door, I take for granted the fact that I have not even given you a moment’s break before beginning your other job as daddy.

I overlook the fact that this new crazy, wonderful, stressful, magical, difficult, beautiful, maddening life we have created is also an adjustment for you too. I wasn’t the only one whose life changed when we heard Man cry for the first time.

I lose sight of the fact that when you have to put your job first, you really are putting us first. It takes a lot to provide for a family of four and maintaining a job is a key component of that.

I lose track of just how many Saturdays and Sundays you take them out and give me a chance to rest. You see it, you see how hard it is, and you understand how much I need a break.

Click here to go through to the post on Man vs Mommy to continue reading.

Mamasimx About Me

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Giveaways & Christmas Gift Ideas

My style guru, top makeup artist Lisa Eldridge, has posted her 2013 christmas gift ideas videos.  Check them out for wonderful ideas for not only Mummy but Daddy, Brother, Sister, Grandma and everybody in-between. There is also a chance to win any of the products Lisa recommends. Watch her videos for details.

Mamasimx

Don’t forget to enjoy your day.

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Marriage Isn’t For You

Marriage Isn’t For You

This is an absolutely fantastic post from Seth Adam Smith.  I don’t usually like to pull posts from other sources, but when one really touches me as this does I just want to spread the news about the author…….  Read it and let me know your thoughts…..

MarriageHaving been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently come to the conclusion that marriage isn’t for me.

Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading. I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. :) I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. Good times will be had by all. Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy? Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad. Perhaps each of us have moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget. My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me. With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re being totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy, you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself, you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.” It was in that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces, I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family. My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy”, which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one. No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?” Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly. For many months, my heart had been hardening with a mixture of fear and resentment. Then, after the pressure had built up to where neither of us could stand it, emotions erupted. I was callous. I was selfish. But instead of matching my selfishness, Kim did something beyond wonderful—she showed an outpouring of love. Laying aside all of the pain and aguish I had caused her, she lovingly took me in her arms and soothed my soul.

Marriage is about family. I realized that I had forgotten my dad’s advice. While Kim’s side of the marriage had been to love me, my side of the marriage had become all about me. This awful realization brought me to tears, and I promised my wife that I would try to be better. To all who are reading this article—married, almost married, single, or even the sworn bachelor or bachelorette—I want you to know that marriage isn’t for you. No true relationship of love is for you. Love is about the person you love. And, paradoxically, the more you truly love that person, the more love you receive. And not just from your significant other, but from their friends and their family and thousands of others you never would have met had your love remained self-centered. Truly, love and marriage isn’t for you. It’s for others. This post originally appeared on ForwardWalking.com, a website dedicated to helping people move forward in life.

 
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