To ask somebody to find balance between two cultures steeped in marital traditions, negotiate two languages, mediate with vendors and suppliers, all whilst keeping clients happy who are 2,000 and 9,000 miles away respectively, is no mean task. All’s I can say is that thank goodness the person who we burdened this task upon was the wonderful Megan from Calabria Wedding and Events.
We were put in contact by a common friend when we had talked about possibly tying the knot in Italy. We knew that we wanted a smaller, more intimate wedding abroad, not too far for our friends and family to travel, but with excellent food, wine and hospitality. Calabria, and more specifically Amantea, is a stunning ancient town, nestled up in the steep cliffs, overlooking the sea to the west and enveloped everything that we knew we wanted in a location for our wedding.
Once commencing communication, Megan was soon able to arrange a visit to the UK to discuss our wants and needs. She brought with her some ideas and plenty of background knowledge regarding the technicalities of getting married in Italy. She already had some fantastic relations with vendors such as florists, photographers and musicians and so we very assuredly agreed to work together.
No time was wasted in getting the ball rolling, Megan visited and gathered information on a wide array of venue options. Calabria is a region which experiences less British tourism than those further north and so English is infrequently spoken there by the locals. This meant that having Megan’s bilingual skills was invaluable to say the least, particularly in conveying our very British wants to the local vendors.
Megan was not afraid to negotiate and meet face to face with everybody involved and once we had settled on our venue (Le Clarisse, where she went and took photographs to feed back to us) she met regularly with the manager to ensure that not only we had the best deal possible, but also that everything was on track for the wedding of our dreams.
Every single detail was thought of, all of the paperwork side was expertly translated, prices and payments were managed professionally and transparently, any changes were swiftly communicated and she was at all times in control.
6 months prior to the wedding, myself and my mum travelled out to Amantea to visit Megan and the venue. Needless to say, Megan met with us on multiple occasions to assist us with ironing out the finer details. She even made our favours, which were tiny bottles of olive oil produced by her boyfriend at home. Megan arranged a menu tasting session with Le Clarisse, where we were spoilt rotten with delectable food and drink, all made fresh and in house by the very talented and local chefs. It was at this point that I knew that Megan had everything in hand and that I could completely relax and simply look forward it.
There were regular updates up until the date of the wedding, and once we arrived with our party of 50 in the small but beautiful town, Megan and her team were never far away. She had helped arrange accommodation and transport for many, if not all of our guests and was beyond organised for the entire operation. She had timelines for her timelines and everything went off seamlessly. She made sure that each and every guest was accounted for and collected from their varying locations not only for the day of the wedding but also for the “warm-up party” which we had the night before.
When the day arrived, Megan was of course at the venue bright and early to set up. She did everything from placing decorations, putting out favours, receiving delivery of the flowers, organising the musicians and so much more, all whilst I was blissfully unaware upstairs getting ready. When I say it all went off without a hitch, I mean it really did. From the ceremony, to the photographs, the food and the party, it was incredible and more than myself and my husband, or any of our guests (who had chosen this as their holiday!) could have ever conceived. Everybody says that their wedding day was the happiest of their lives and now I can truly believe that.
Thanks to Megan and her team, we really did have a wedding which we will always look back on and remember for the most incredible reasons. Every whim, every triviality was handled with grace and professionalism. Was it hard as a bride to be so far away and have such little control? Yes, at first, but Calabria Wedding and Events did a better job than I could ever have conceived and we will always attribute the beauty and magic of it all, to them.
Lucy & Joe Bennett