To Marco and all the team at RIW..
Where do we start?! We’ve taken our time in writing this testimonial as we wanted to make sure we really did give you, the villa and the whole company the words and justification you deserve.
When we started to look in to the possibility of getting married in Italy, we were a bit overwhelmed to say the least! We didn’t know where to start, where to look or who to contact. We spent hours on end searching the internet with no joy…until (thankfully) we came across the Romantic Italian Weddings website. We were instantly blown away by all the beautiful photos and the incredible reviews and the more we looked into it the more we loved it! We soon decided we simply had to get married here!
After sending our initial enquiry email, we couldn’t believe how quickly we got a response! With all the information we could possibly need and with all our questions answered
If we are being completely honest, we had wondered was this too good to be true?! The reviews and testimonials were all 5 star with no negative words to say, we couldn’t help but be a little sceptical. We decided to book a mini trip to Italy so we could see the villa and talk about our plans in person.
It was a drizzly dull March day when we first got to see the villa but that certainly didn’t matter. Wow!!.. We were absolutely blown away! Ina (the venue manager) kindly showed us around the grounds, the marquee and all of the apartments/rooms of the villa, she answered any initial queries and questions we had leaving us more sure than ever this was definitely the venue we had to have!
With the date secured, we soon started getting stuck into our wedding plans. The 8 step planner tool made this so incredibly simple for us! It ensures that absolutely everything is covered and gives you the flexibility to plan your dream wedding. Unlike many other destination wedding companies, RIW doesn’t just offer a set package, you are able to tailor make your own. We have since been to Mexico on honeymoon (our initial location for a destination wedding) and the conveyor belt of weddings in a typical resort setting is a million miles from the intimate and tailored weddings offer by you and your team.
The 8 step planner has each of the steps dedicated to a certain category and this allows you to focus on one area, get this close to how you want it and then move on. Steps can be reopened so if there are afterthoughts and changes this isn’t a problem. What we also loved about the planner were the options per step. Every step had at least 3 provider options which ensured you were able to pay a little more for those services that meant the most to you and hold off on others. Every provider has been through Marco’s stringent testing and is offered knowing you will get a good service! Marco and Alexandra communicated regularly and promptly, answering our questions more often than not within a couple of days.
Accommodation. Pulling up that striking driveway never loses its amazement. The setting really takes your breath away and after a couple of visits prior it didn’t lose any of it’s charm! The grounds are what really make the villa as the immaculate plants and grass blend seamlessly into the rolling hills of the Umbrian/Tuscan border with the glimmer of the lake in the background! Heaven! 2 swimming pools provide relief from the sun and there are plenty of social areas where larger groups can sit and sink a Moretti/Prosecco!
The apartments themselves were perfectly equipped and each with its own character allowed guests a little variation to their own tastes. Beds were extremely comfy and sofa beds were fine for a nights kip. There was a good mix of apartments for 2, 4, 6, families and couples, twins and doubles!
As for the wedding suite… wow! The luxury doesn’t stop with classic style elegant furniture and all the space you will need. 4 bridesmaids and the bride got ready in this space with room to spare!
Transport. We used Leonardo at Safety Travellings on cost alone, they were a new company added by Marco in this category and we were the first trip to villa baroncino. Not that you would have known! Danillo was our designated driver for the week and provided the transport for 35 from Rome airport, a day trip to Florence, the wedding day transport for 45 to Cortona and the return leg to Rome where we spent a half day in the city due to a 7pm flight. All of this was on time, without any issue and on a comfortable, much needed air conditioned, bus. Leonardo, who deals with all the reservations, also arranged 3 hire cars and these were OK although these were via another company. Leonardo would text the mobile phone provided by Marco before each journey to confirm that pickup times were correct, everything was like clockwork.
Catering. This was something that we wanted to impress guests with and so we chose the full 9 course feast! We opted for Renata as we wanted authentic, traditional style food. Renata doesn’t own a restaurant and therefore her food is true ‘Mama’s style’. The tasting(s) were at Renata’s house and this was lovely gesture to allow us into her home. The food was gorgeous although we were wondering how it would be presented on the day. Of course a taster for 2 people in a home kitchen is completely different to cooking for 45 in Baroncino’s commercial kitchen. The food blew us away and was presented just as you would expect in a restaurant and was plentiful. Aperitifs, antipasti, prosseco risotto, tomato gnocchi, beef sirloin it was all beautiful and to this day guests still talk about it. Renata even created a rolled chicken dish for us as we wanted this as a course, again perfectly cooked and it tasted incredible.
The wedding cake is something else. Forget the typical fondant sponge in England this cake is amazing. Mille Foglie – layers of filo pastry, vanilla and chocolate cream, sweetened cream to surround and topped with fresh fruit. My mouth is watering just thinking about it! The presentation of this tied in with the cutting of the cake is a truly unique experience and will create a lasting memory that will stick with us forever.
Music. For the ceremony and aperitifs we opted for a solo harpist. This wasn’t an option in the planner but as with every request it was no problem. Alexandra and Marco were on the case and within a matter of days we were booked and were given a list of songs to choose a playlist. The harpist was exceptional and was perfect for the setting, also promptly making it back to the villa before the guests to ensure music was playing as they arrived.
For the evening DJ Alex provided the entertainment. He is such a friendly, happy and professional guy and he instantly clicked with our group. Alex kept the dancefloor full all night using our playlist of songs and adding in his own based on what was getting people dancing! DJ Alex was laughing and joking with guests and all on his own birthday, which luckily the bride and one of the ushers picked up on and got the group to sing which Alex really appreciated! He really did set the scene for a great night of dancing away!
Photography. Domenico Costabille. This is something that was very important to us both for our wedding. We spent hours on end reviewing all of the photographers that were available. As soon as we opened Domenico’s website we were drawn in and absolutely amazed at his work. His modern, natural style was something that we both absolutely loved. The way in which his photos told a story and the talent he clearly had to capture raw emotion sold it for us. We contacted Domenico to enquire about prices and our date etc and we got a response almost straight away! In the coming months, we spoke a little about photos we would like and our ideas but we didn’t bother too much as we knew we both trusted him completely to capture our day perfectly. We didn’t meet Domenico until the wedding morning itself, in the midst of franticly getting ready he was instantly a calming presence and set straight to work on capturing beautiful photos. Domenico was the perfect balance of being thorough yet discreet. Throughout the day we often didn’t even realise he was taking photographs which made for the most natural gorgeous photos. We are so glad we chose Domenico as our photographer, his passion and talent are clear to see upon meeting him and our wedding photos are absolutely beautiful.
Flowers. We chose Cristina to do our flowers and all I can say is I’m so glad we did! Flowers were very important to me for our wedding and I had quite a few ideas of what I wanted for my bouquet and for centrepieces already. So when we went to visit the venue in March we arranged a meeting with Cristina to talk them through at her shop (located just a few minutes away from the villa!) From the moment we were greeted by such a welcoming smiling lovely Cristina I knew we had made the right decision. She understood my ideas and visions completely and I knew in that moment that I could trust her wholeheartedly to create the floral arrangements I had dreamt of. She had a file with her of all the photos emails and ideas I had sent her previously and kept referring back to them, as well as ideas from her books showing all her previous work. We had decided flowers, sizes and all the details in no time and I left her shop feeling on cloud nine! Fast forward a few months to our wedding week, we arranged a quick meeting a couple of days before the wedding, again at her shop. Ina came with us to act as translator to make sure every detail was understood perfectly, though Cristina should really have more confidence in her English speaking ability – she is a lot better then she thinks! All the loose ends were tied up and once again I left feeling very happy, so excited to see our wedding flowers! The wedding day came and all I can say is that I was absolutely blown away by my bouquet, the bridesmaids bouquets, the buttonholes and the centrepieces. They were better than I could have even imagined and everyone commented on how beautiful they were, I am so thankful to Cristina – so talented and such a wonderful lady to work with.Hair. I opted for Tendenza hair for our bride and bridesmaid styles. Nello is an absolute professional and so good at what he does. On our pre-wedding visit to Italy I opted to have my trial. I was welcomed into their salon by Nello himself and a translator that he had provided to ensure that there were no crossed wires and we both understood each other perfectly. I was very pleased with my trial and upon returning home booked Nello for our wedding. The wedding day arrived and i couldn't off been happier with my hair and my four bridesmaids. The hairstyles lasted all day and everyone commented on how lovely they were - I highly recommend Tendenza hair and Nello especially!
Ina. Visiting the venue two times previously we had met Ina on both occasions. Ina greeted us at the villa and we instantly warmed to her, showing us around the villa answering all our questions we knew she was the right person for the job. She always kept a calm and friendly manner whilst still being professional. We are so grateful to Ina for all her help and hard work during our wedding week, she really did make sure everything ran like clockwork and that all of our guests were happy. Nothing was ever too much trouble – Ina arranged meals out, taxis, a BBQ for all the guests at short notice and much more! She was such a lovely presence to have around and all of our guests spoke about what a lovely lady she is!
Alexandra. Alexandra was the person we initially met in our pre wedding visits at the RIW office, we instantly felt at ease with her and her professional but very friendly manner made our meetings not just productive but enjoyable. Any questions or queries we had, not only in the meetings but throughout the whole planning process, were always answered, if not straight away then as soon as she could get a response from the relevant person. Alexandra’s English is brilliant which ensured that there were no grey areas at all and that absolutely everything was planned to perfection. Alexandra is more often than not, the face behind the emails! We sent numerous of emails backwards and forwards in the 15 months we were organising our wedding and we simply cannot speak highly enough of the level of professionalism, the drive and the passion that Alexandra clearly has in her job. We are only sorry that we didn’t actually get to see her in our wedding week to thank her personally!
Marco. The main man himself! What can we say that can justify how special this man is?! Marco clearly loves his job, it shows in everything he does. I don’t know if he ever stops working?! Throughout the wedding week Marco was always about, whether it was at Ciao Ciaos where he greeted and took the time to speak to our wedding guests, the wedding rehearsal (which ran so smoothly!) the meeting at the villa to finalise and go through all of our plans and of course the wedding day itself. All of our guests instantly warmed to Marco, how could they not? He is such a lovely, genuine man with a real passion for his work and for people. Every single aspect of the wedding week and the day itself were absolutely planned to perfection and that is largely down to Marco. We simply cannot thank Marco enough for everything he has done for us and for allowing us to have the wedding of our dreams in the most beautiful setting with all of our closest family and friends. We all have such special memories that we will cherish for our lifetime. All off our family and friends still talk about how much they would love to go back!If you are reading this thinking of choosing Villa Baroncino and RIW for your wedding then we urge you to go with your heart and do it! We promise it is a decision you will certainly not regret!