A baby, a wedding, and a very small luggage allowance...

I have a Fairy Godmother - and her name is Alessandra Volino.

I should start by explaining that I’m getting married in 50 days (deep breaths...) and I’m right where you’d expect me to be at this point; making mental 2am ‘to-do’ lists, lunchtime phone calls and packing my weekends full of appointments and shopping trips.

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And to top it off, we’re getting married in Italy. My fiance Adam and I fell head over heels for Sorrento when we first visited - and we’re so excited! - but there are definitely some logistics we didn’t think through as we were getting ‘click-happy’ on the confirmation button of our booking all those months ago. For one thing, our daughter hadn’t been born at that point and many rude awakenings still remained in our future, which might have made us reconsider taking a 14-month-old on her very first trip abroad for such an important occasion. I’m still astounded by the amount of stuff needed just to send her to her grandparents overnight! We went to Center Parcs in January and struggled to squeeze all of her things into my dad’s giant people carrier. Now we’re faced with getting all of HER things, all of OUR things and all of the things for the actual WEDDING, into our allotted Monarch luggage allowance.

And of course, if we want to check something with a wedding vendor, it’s not a simple case of calling them; there’s a whole language barrier to consider. Try describing a wedding cake design to somebody who speaks a different language or making a seating plan for a venue you’ve never seen. And it’s not as though we can just take a drive over there to have a look around. Plus there’s a mountain of paperwork to file, all of which needs to be translated. It could all be very stressful - were it not for the lovely Alessandra. You see, she’s our wedding planner. Fancy, right? Apparently it’s just about impossible to plan a wedding abroad without one - something I can now atest to.

I have sent this wonderful woman panicked 1am emails, had her scouting ice-cream carts for our drinks reception, researching locations for our respective stag and hen days, tracking down drinks for the wedding morning, buying wedding favours, booking boats - literally every detail of everything from the rehearsal dinner to the evening buffet. Basically, she is me, in Italian. But a much better, more organised and more efficient version of me.

So with just 50 days to go, I’m feeling surprisingly calm, but I assume that’s because Alessandra is over there having all of my bridezilla moments for me; in Italian, of course, and, I’m sure, doing a far better job of them than I ever could.

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