Destination I Do in Andria, Italy

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Amy and Michele held their destination wedding in Michele’s home country of Italy.  Guests came from all over the world to share in the celebration – 32 countries in total!  Amy is from Canada and while they infused lots of Italian details into the day (like the amazing food), the ceremony itself was part Jewish and Catholic and Protestant.  The wedding was also a big family affair (350 guests) – and their daughter Vittoria Aurora was the flower girl, while the bride has another little one on the way!

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We asked Amy how they came to pick such a special place for their wedding day.  “We chose our wedding venue, Villa Carafa because it literally met every single one of our “must-haves.”  For example, we needed a large venue to accommodate our extensive guest list (we had 350 attendees), it had to be in Puglia and accessible from both my husbands’ small hometown and from an airport (to service many of our out of town guests) and most importantly, wanted a place to “wow” our guests gastronomically.”

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“Discovering Villa Carafa was a dream come true! Their grounds are pristine and their modern and tasteful rooms matched our style and the ambiance we wanted to create on our special day. It was easily apparent that everyone at Villa Carafa pours their heart in each and every wedding that they host. Their food is elegant and sophisticated, their service, organization and attention are unmatched. That’s probably why they are booked solid more than a year in advance.

 When we “discovered” them, it was less than a year to go and they only had a few windows from June to September; a Tuesday, Wednesday and almost every Sunday as the Catholic church won’t marry that day. Fortunately for us, I am Jewish and my now-husband is Protestant, so marrying and celebrating on a Sunday wasn’t an issue and we booked our special day for June 30th. We had the entire grounds to ourselves and our wedding event seamlessly flowed between Villa Carafa’s many rooms and spaces.”

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We often ask couples about the most memorable moments of their day.  Besides our epic cheese buffet which featured more than 20 different cheeses and included two chefs who prepared and served fresh mozzarella di buffalo for our guests?”  That was their first reply!  But on a more serious note…

 Our most memorable moments were the cutting of the cake and the ceremony. The later was special for so many reasons. The ceremony was led by a pastor and a female Rabbi and included elements and traditions from the Jewish and Protestant faith such as the chuppah, the breaking of the glass, typical hymns, etc. All of our grandparents who are no longer with us, were present, in some way or another, into the ceremony. For example, an intricate bed spread created by Michele’s grandmother covered the top of the chuppah under which we were married, while the Kiddush cup used to drink the ceremonial wine was from my maternal grandparents who were married on the same day many years ago. Lastly, we walked down the aisle together with the love of our lives, our daughter Vittoria (16 months at the time of the wedding). She was our flower girl and she stole the show. Our son Luca was also present in one way or another as I was 7 months pregnant with him on our wedding day. But that didn’t stop me from dancing the night away! I guess you can say it was a rather unique ceremony and unconventional wedding…that’s why we liked to call it our big, fat Jewish-Canadian, Prostatant Italian wedding.”

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“Standing there, dancing and celebrating with family and best friends, I was literally overwhelmed with emotion. It is such a wonderful feeling to have all your love ones in one place and even more emotional to know that they are there to celebrate you as you embark on a new chapter in your life. When else can you actually ask all your friends who are scattered around the world to be in one place at one time? To future couple debating about eloping or having a big, fat wedding, my advice is to go for it.”

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“I warn you, there will be late nights addressing envelopes and preparing seating charts, but that feeling of standing in solidarity, hand in hand with your soul mate and surrounded by friends and family will fuel you with unmatched energy and move you to tears.  Enjoy it!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

 Destination Wedding Photographer: Les Amis Photo

 Wedding Vendors: Reception Venue:  VILLA CARAFA, Bride’s Shoes: Stuart Weitzman, Dress Designer:  Couture Hayez, Groom’s Suit: Zegna, Shoes: Ferragamo, Cufflinks + Tie: Hermes

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