Wednesday, 4 November 2015

Tuscany for the #Nutbrook Wedding!

You'll have to forgive such a huge time lapse between blog posts. I'm in the grips of a very bad relapse... possibly the worst I've had in 10 years. I’m using the walking frame that has been in the loft for ten years and getting that out again was a sad day. It sucks BUT it's not the first, it won't be the last and as ever, it could always be worse!


After the hustle, bustle and madness of Rome, we were in need of some R&R, so, after a breakfast in bed, we bid farewell to the Royal Court hotel and headed to Tuscany for the main reason we were driving around Europe - The #NutBrook wedding!

I met Kirsty at secondary school when we were 11, we remained polite "Hi and Bye" buddies until we left school and then became wonderful friends - despite our lives being completely different and cities apart. She and her fiancĂ© Tom had been together for over 10 years and they couldn't be more suited to each other - a truly genuine and lovely couple, we adore.  

We arrived at Castello di Modanella (Castle and wedding venue) just south of Siena. The Castle and estate was incredible, most of the wedding guests were staying on site in converted farm buildings. Mike and I were staying in the former slaughter house, it sounds gross but it was huge, yet cosy and bigger than our own flat (not hard!).

View from our apartment

We found Kirsty after hearing laughing and cackling in the bar, we were greeted by lots of family and friends, introductions were made and wine was already flowing freely, a theme that would continue for the next three days!

After an afternoon of sunbathing we went to dinner with most of the guests in a little town 10 minutes from Castello di Modanella, feasting on gorgeous Italian fair, meeting new people and watching the Sun set over beautiful Tuscany – I was one happy bunny!

Tuscany Sunset
On Friday we made our way into town with a few of the other guests Graham, Zoe and Bruce, for some shopping, a cheeky glass of something, bought pool toys and a water gun, more on that later though....

The bulk of Friday was used for sun bathing and getting to know everyone, my nerves were getting the best of me so I had to make a real effort to chat to everyone – the wine glass always in my hand certainly helped!
Our pool

In the evening the Grooms family had provided a pre wedding BBQ by candle light – we were all stuffed, dancing and to put it mildly - merry! I didn’t help matters... I thought I’d bring a bit of Essex to the event and filled the water gun with Limoncello – which went down very well, especially with the bride and her Dad!

The evening ended at 4am with various fully clothed friends in the pool (looking at you Benny, Gemma, Sarah, Ross!) and a Grease Mega Mix dance off – Yup Essex had landed in Tuscany J

Saturday was the wedding day! We’d all waited 10 years for this day and the excitement was electric! In the morning we took to our “usual” positions by the pool, the heat was incredible so I wussed out taking cover with Sarah – a wonderfully hilarious Australian with a ginger kid curfew!

After brunch many of us attended a pre wedding wine tasting, sampling the estates wines and homemade breads – despite not liking most wines Mike came anyway, I and our table mates Rosie, Natalie and Seb shared his left overs – You cannot waste wine as good as this was!

By 4 it was time to get our glad rags on! I always find wedding outfits difficult to find as most formal summer dresses drag on my wheels but I was happy with an ASOS pink number that also was long enough that I wouldn’t be flashing my knickers at any one!

The castle chapel was stunning and authentically Italian, I found myself getting nervous on the couples behalf. When the time came, I shed a tear, Kirsty looked so beautiful, elegant and graceful as she made her way to Tom who was nervously grinning at the altar. 

The Blushing Bride

The ceremony went perfectly and we headed for the drinks reception where we were treated to wonderful food, drink and a four string quartet. I was chatting to the grooms’ cousins as one of them is an aspiring writer; she was so excited as a lot of the guests were writers (our Bride works for a UK Newspaper) - her enthusiasm was infectious.

When it was time for the wedding Breakfast, Mike and I sort out our table on the planner to find we were with 7 members of a family we had yet to meet! My nerves kicked in once more but I shouldn’t have worried our dinner guests were four of the Smithers brothers and three of their wives/girlfriends, they were so welcoming and chatty.... another side effect of my nerves is that I over time mode... thankfully no one seemed to bored of my waffling!

Our meal was scrumptious, the speeches were heart-warming and the newly Wed Mr and Mrs Brook looked blissful!

Sadly by the time the band started my body had given up and I was in too much pain to fling my upper half around like I normally do at parties! But guests came back and forth providing me with shots and company and a silver lining to the pain was that I got some epic photos of the night!

The Reception

The party finally ended at 4am, we were all drunk, and laughing, even when the music stopped Mike and Phil  - the best man started an hour long Acapella choir singing hits from Bon Jovi, Spice Girls, Will Smith and Celine Dion... of course they did!

Mike was tie-less, shirt untucked and wearing neon glasses when we got back to our apartment – what a day!
Mike and I
Sunday... we were all very delicate and sad that it was time to part ways; I think we’d made some genuine, lovely new friends, taken hundreds of photos and had tons of new memories! We bid farewell to the Brooks and headed on to the last leg of our European road trip!

Mr and Mrs Brook

Congratulations Mr and Mrs Brook! Xxx

L x