THE WEDDING DIARIES – Meet the parents… in Sicily

Sasha PallariWedding Diaries

The Wedding Diaries, it has been. a. while. And whilst in every aspect of my life and online I like to be completely truthful and transparent the reason for the break in these entries is that, much like planning life, planning a wedding is STRESSFUL.

Aside from writers block, wedding planning drama, working during a busy wedding season, the fact is, I actually had a few long weeks of meltdown where I felt like I wasn’t doing enough in this world therefore writing a trivial diary about my wedding plans as well as trying to run part of my business through social media was driving me to distraction. Every time I went to post or write one of these diaries, I just couldn’t stop thinking about all the things I’m not doing well enough in the world (like using zero plastic and the fact I’ll never be able to have enough compassion to give up cheese).

I’m now out the other end of my over dramatic block, realised I can’t save the world AND make people laugh (your words not mine) and so back to the diaries it is. In all honesty, I find many aspects of wedding planning a little pretentious. Now the worst bits (I think and hope and pray) are out of the way I really want to start enjoying it, because in whatever capacity, I really only plan on doing this once. I’ve decided I’ll try and save the world in my own way doing my bits where I can, but I’ve also decided that The Wedding Diaries will continue alongside that. And you all so kindly, seem to enjoy them.

In a nut shell, so much has happened – I’ve got a dress (can’t wait to do an entire post on this), I now have 4 Bridesmaids and not 5 (all that will ever be said on the matter) AND through a real tricky few months, David STILL wants to marry me. 

So, the family trip to Sicily. I mean, in conclusion I used to think my parents wouldn’t be able to stand in the same room together so the fact that them both, David’s parents, my Dad’s partner and the last minute panic booking of my youngest Brother Jason (the atmosphere buffer) we had an incredible weekend. There isn’t much not to love about being in Sicily, but we were both apprehensive in wanting their love for it to be the same as ours. I feel surrounded by tradition, authenticity and obvs gelato, so in between the planned visits we explored the little streets and enjoyed every moment.

We started off on the Friday with food tasting, the part of the wedding I was most excited for (shock). The food was SO good and as we’d pre chosen which dishes to try, this tasting was a case of narrowing it down to what we preferred for the main menu on the day. My brother Jason lives to eat on a level like no other, so he really did decide that finishing each plate entirely was his tactic, whilst the rest of us were gradually beaten to a forkful per course. He was literally the last man standing (sitting*). One of the most valuable things for us during planning is that Marica already knows the suppliers inside out and back to front so as our venue is very much a ‘do it yourself’ job, this is where I couldn’t recommend a wedding planner enough (even more so if you don’t speak the language). We trusted Marica with the choice of caterers and were sold after the first sip of their house sparkling wine. The most pretentious sentence I’ll ever write, promise.

Our wedding day is on a Sunday and because we’re so grateful that so many people are coming to celebrate with us we’re putting on a little (never anything little about it) welcome party for the Friday night. So on the Friday evening, we went to visit one of the potential venues and my only preference to Marica was that I would love to have a venue where I can see a sunset. Sunsets are one of my favourite things (dunno about David) in the world and I’m not sure if at the actual venue, we’ll be able to see one. We also wanted the food on this evening to be your staple Italian. Pizza, pasta, more Pizza…

The Italians, much like the Greeks don’t seem to have any concept when it comes to phrases like “a light tasting”, “a bite to eat”…“snack” so when Marica had asked the venue to provide something VERY small, the colours drained from our faces (apart from Jason’s) because we were still in a serious condition after the tasting. We had two potential venues to visit for the party but before even seeing the second one we knew it was perfect. A small restaurant with a beautiful outside patio overlooking the bay of Ortigia, the friendliest staff and a beautiful sunset… aside from Dad telling Marica the bushes upon the entrance would need to be trimmed back and tidied, Mum noticing there was only one toilet so we’d need to hire some more (smart), and Jason wanting to know the exact ingredients being used in the pasta dishes (12 months in advance). Rachel & David’s parents had a lovely time…

Saturday was a really chilled day and all that was planned was a visit to the hotel we’ll be staying in over the weekend. I say chilled, Russia had a sand storm and so there was bouts of rain and cloud which apparently meant Sicily endured the most random weather for that time of year and of course that sent me into a freak. Cheers Russia.

On Sunday we headed to the wedding venue and I think overall this was my favourite day. The entire trip was pretty special and we really did make memories I’ll cherish forever. Everyone fell in love with the venue like the first time we did, and David and I got to do it all over again.

Because I have worked in so many venues, I was really aware of the ‘wedding machines’. The venues that become the same shell for everybody and then charge you and arm and a leg and another arm six weeks before you get married. I’ve mentioned before the perks and disadvantages of getting married abroad but value for money in terms of venue seems incomparable to the UK from our experience. Our venue feels so untouched, it’s situated on a family run vineyard that has been going for over 100 years and every corner you turn takes your breath away due to how well they’ve reserved its beautiful nature.

There wasn’t a faultless carb during the weekend but the last meal at our venue whilst wine tasting from the vineyard we were surrounded by, was a day I’ll never forget. The excitement was heightened for everyone and it was such a wonderful way to round off our few days in Sicily. I’m so grateful that despite a few bumps in the road which I know all weddings have, David and I are so incredibly lucky to be surrounded by SO much love.

If you’re planning a wedding, my advice to you is… If you and your partner want to get married on the moon dressed as chickens, and you want to invite your guests to do the same, then do it. The people who want to be chickens for the weekend will be there, and the people who don’t or can’t won’t. What a wonderful analogy that was. Block out all of the reasons why those who can’t or don’t, won’t and I expect you’ll have a few less bumps along the way.

Thank you as always for your support on these blogs. Writing is such a huge passion of mine and I’m so unbelievably thankful your messages of encouragement which then allow me to do this as a part of my job.

Ten months to go until more food, more wine and more memories.