Planned by Giusy D’Ambrosio
They dreamed about a wedding in Puglia. Around 70 guests were invited to spend the week with Raquel and Chris in Italy, to celebrate their rustic-glam wedding on October 12, 2019, with their family and friends gathering at the Masseria Moroseta in Puglia for their over-the-top wedding event. The white-stone, mansion-like Masseria Moroseta offered the couple and their guests the most beautifucl decor for their wedding in Puglia. The Blonde Wedding Reporter interviewed the renowned wedding planner Giusy D’Ambrosio about this unforgettable day.
The Blonde Wedding Reporter: Hi Giusy, can you introduce yourself to our readers?
Giusy: My name is Giusy- pronounced like ‘Juicy’-, which is the abbreviation for Josephine in Italian. I’m 52 years old and happily married since 1995. My husband and I are blessed with two sons. I’m originally from Naples, but fifteen years ago I moved to Ostuni, in Puglia. Four years later I started planning weddings in Puglia.
TBWR: How does one become a wedding planner?
Giusy: One of the first friends I met when I moved to Ostuni, was a British freelance BBC-photographer. During summer time she was shooting weddings of British couples in Puglia. She complained that couples kept asking her for advice during their wedding planning process and I suggested I could help her out. So, I started to help a friend and ended up making a profession out of it.
TBWR: What do you like about what you do?
Giusy: I love meeting people from all over the world, interact with different cultures and preferences, that merge into a common desire: sharing love with family and friends during a dazzling day. I can say that making couples happy is what I love the most. The joy on their faces when they make their big entrance in the dinner area or the kick-off of the reception after the wedding ceremony. I love that vibe that is almost mixed with the excitement and expectations for their new life together lying ahead.
TBWR: How many weddings have you planned so far?
Giusy: I usually say I planned enough weddings to know exactly what I am doing, but not too many to kill my enthusiasm. 🙂 I have never counted the exact number of weddings, altough I remember all the names of my couples. A rough estimation? I have probably planned a little less than 200 weddings…
TBWR: What kind of services do you offer?
Giusy: All couples make a decision based on their own desires, but the weekends are reserved to full service planning. No need to say that the full service planning is the most recommended option, especially if you are getting married abroad when- besides the physical distance-, in addition, you have to to deal with the language and cultural gap.
TBWR: Do you plan destination weddings outside of Italy?
Giusy: All the weddings I organize are destination weddings. I do incoming destination weddings being based in Puglia, both for foreign couples and for Italians living in other regions. The demand is so high that I don’t have the chance to organize outgoing weddings for Italian couples.
TBWR: What advice would you give couples that would love to get married in Puglia in 2021?
Giusy: Choose the months of July, August or mid September at the latest for your destination wedding in Puglia. Weekends are almost fully booked though, so unless you are keen to get married on a weekday, it could be very hard to find available wedding venues. An amazing option is renting a private villa and host the wedding with the help of an external catering company.
TBWR: How did Raquel and Chris find you?
Giusy: As most of my enquiries in the last two years, they found me on Instagram. They’ve been following my social media account for a while before enquiring.
TBWR: Where is this beautiful couple from?
Giusy: They are from the USA, they live in New York and both Chris and Raquel work in the fashion industry. Needless to say they are in love with each other and with Puglia.
TBWR: Could you describe what kind of wedding they were dreaming of?
Giusy: Raquel and Chris fell in love with Puglia and-as most of my couples-, they wanted an authentic Puglia-style wedding. They picked a venue, Masseria Moroseta, that has been genuinely renovated, with a meticulous respect for the origin of the building and the landscape. You don’t find grass here! (LOL)
When it came to the floral design, Raquel was literally obsessed by a wall of white flowers as the backdrop of their wedding ceremony. I suggested to place this flower wall on the gate at the inner courtyard of the masseria. The gate was decorated with greenery in the back that was visible to guests while entering the courtyard. When all were in, we closed the gate revealing the flower wall that changed the courtyard into a secret garden.
Raquel appeared like a goddess on top of the dramatic staircase in front of the gate, and I could noticed everyone was speechless. It was a magical moment for the couple and their family and friends.
At the very last minute they asked me to make some changes and to converte the wedding party into a carnival style. I found a tarot reader that predicted everyone’s future, a carousel and bon fires to remind us of our childhood. All the guests were flabbergasted and totally loved it!
TBWR: What was the theme of the wedding?
Giusy: The theme came up during the wedding planning process. Initially it was just meant to be a stylish country wedding that at the end had a twist towards carnival culture. It turned out to be a perfect mix! They had an amazing setting for their wedding ceremony and a playful wedding party.
TBWR: Do you integrate typical Italian traditions in the weddings?
Giusy: Yes, definitely! All couples getting married in Puglia, want a Puglia-style wedding with the typical menu that starts with an aperitivo followed by the antipasti corners, each one with different kinds of food. This food tasting festival is a culinary discovery and itinerary for guests. It basicly comes down to an authentic experience with cooking shows and a traditional cheese master making mozzarella knots in front of the guests. It is a must have element of a wedding in Puglia!
I also always recommend to integrate Italian confetti-sugar coated almonds that all Italian couples add to the wedding favors-, which we call bomboniere in Italian. There is no wedding in Puglia without confetti and bomboniere! Italians give the bomboniera at the end of the party when guests leave. I always suggest to use them as place holders on the dinner table. The confetti are usually displayed on a table and serve as a candy bar. Traditionally they are white, but you can match other colours to your wedding colour palette or to your taste, because they come in fruit or dessert flavors as well.
TBWR: By the way, what kind of gastronomy and decoration formulas are trending for a wedding in Puglia?
Giusy: Local, sustainable and authentic are the most important keywords and what all my couples ask for. Wherever you decide to get married-either the place where you live or a destination wedding in your country or abroad-, you choose a location for what it means to you both. Many couples want to have a wedding in Puglia, because they have been here previously as tourists. Your personalites are determining: your traditions or the lifestyle you love the most, the weather and landscape you wish for your wedding day, food and wine you both love, … These are the meaningful aspects that allow you to escape from your day-to-day environment in order to live your dream.
You’ll probably understand now why I do not encourage trends. The big question I ask the couples is: “ What do YOU really want?”
Generally speaking, there has been a massive use of greenery in floral decorations in the past years, but it looks this is going to change in the near future. Lightning will be the trend in the upcoming years. The interest and sensitivity about how you use lights as a primary, decorative element is growing. Regarding the food: I feel like saying that gastronomy during a wedding in Puglia means tradition, but at the same time it is the reinterpretation of a genuine lifestyle. We don’t follow trends in Puglia, We stay authentic!
TBWR: Is there a detail from Raquel’s and Chris’ wedding you would suggest to future brides?
Giusy: I would suggest all brides to change into a party dress. I know that all of you want to wear your fabulous wedding dress as long as possible, but switching outfits like Raquel did, is a final surprise for your husband and guests. Besides that, it gives the photographer the opportunity to take a different set of amazing photos during the party.
We are swooning over this wedding in Puglia that is a true celebration of Southern Italy. We wish Raquel and Chris lots of luck. <3
The wedding team:
Tent: Vision Stretch Tents. Instagram: @vision_stretch_tents
Carousel: Wedding Park. wwww.weddingpark.it/ Instagram: @weddingparkpuglia.
Furniture & decoration: IES Apuli Eventi. www.iesapuliaeventi.com/ Instagram: @iesapuliaeventi
Hair stylist: Massimo Il Moro. Instagram: @massimo_il_moro
ps: Would you like to have a Destination wedding in Italy as well? Click this link to reveal our beautiful private wedding venues.