Italian Amore

Italian Amore

An intimate destination wedding in beautiful Tuscany

ARTICLE BY : Abha Shah


The first time Ravin and I crossed paths was at a mutual friend’s birthday party in June 2014. He cracked a few ridiculously bad jokes which luckily for him, I found amusing. We both work in the same sector, so conversation flowed naturally between us and it was clear we got on. When I mentioned I was organising a group to take part in the Birmingham Colour Run, Ravin said he was up for the challenge so I took his number and added him to the WhatsApp group. He text a few days later and we chatted for a while. He finally asked me out to dinner, and the rest as they say, is history! 

The bride: Kavita Patel, 33 
The groom: 
Ravin Visavadia, 36 
1st - 3rd September 2015 
Villa Michaela, Tuscany 
Ondrej Kaftan

The Proposal

In April this year, Ravin surprised me with a birthday trip to Madeira. He’s a Business Analyst so it’s fair to say that he’s far more organised than the average person, and had the whole week meticulously planned with a detailed spreadsheet and tours for us to go on. On my birthday he booked an island tour which involved going up one of the highest peaks in Madeira, Pico do Arieiro. Locals consider the place ‘in between heaven and earth’ since its sandwiched between clouds. As we approached the summit, Ravin found a quiet spot overlooking the valley and hills and proposed with a Haribo ring! I was on cloud nine.

The Big Day

We planned all our wedding events over the course of three days at the Villa. The civil ceremony was first. I had my best friend’s three-year old son walk down the aisle first holding a sign that said “Ravin Masa Here Comes Your Bride”. He was followed by two bridesmaids and then my father and I.
For the Hindu ceremony, Ravin began his entrance in the Villa’s car park, walking past the swimming pool and grounds to the Mandap. I walked to join him from inside the Villa, accompanied by my masi. We were lucky with the weather - forecasts predicted thunderstorms throughout our events, but we got three days of glorious sunshine.

The Venue

We wanted a venue where our 30 guests could stay under one roof and enjoy the three-day experience. We found Villa Michaela, a magnificent 18th century house set on beautiful grounds and framed by the hilly Tuscan countryside. Nestled in fifty acres of olive groves in the picturesque village of Vorno, it's just a 30 minute drive from Pisa. Ravin and I went to see the Villa three months before the wedding, and met all the suppliers and caterers in-person to discuss menu ideas and agree costs. We had exclusive use of the Villa and the grounds for three days.

The Details

We couldn’t find a traditional mandap in Italy so we improvised and bought a gazebo. We took a lot from the UK such as fabric and decorations to make the event as Indian as possible as it’s difficult to find the right things in Italy. We dressed the Villa and grounds with a mixture of fabrics, flowers, lanterns, candles and decorations. I wanted to make the gazebo the focus, so used different fabrics for the various events, such as white and yellow for the Pithi and a pink, white and yellow colour scheme for the Mehndi.

The Reception

With three days of exclusive use of the grounds, we took every opportunity to enjoy the venue with traditional Italian and Indian lunches and dinners catered by local restaurants every day. Our three-tiered cake was from a nearby bakery who gave it a suitably Italian twist. We made our own entertainment by playing Antakshari and dancing into the early hours.

Tags : Ondrej Kaftan  Villa Michaela  Traditional  Registry 
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