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Roman wedding day
Alison Crinion and David Quinlan met while working in Arthouse in Dublin, they worked on many events together - Alison on the events coordination side and David on the AV production end. Within a year they'd moved in together. Three years and two career changes later they got engaged. David took Alison out to Ciao Bella Roma, a restaurant on Parliament Street and asked her to marry him in Rome on December 30th last year. "I didn't believe it until a bottle of champagne arrived at the table on my return from the ladies. And so began our quest for an agency to coordinate the perfect wedding in the city of Rome."
The usual route to organising a wedding in Rome is via the Irish College, however they did not perform services over the Christmas period. "So we took to the Internet and started inputting 'getting married in Rome' into the various search engines. We found several websites and made a shortlist of agencies, basilicas and churches that we liked and booked flights to visit them in February to begin to make decisions." The agency they choose was Atlantis Tradizuini who handled all the paperwork for the Catholic and civil services. "The process is similar to any bride getting married outside her parish. Just make sure you have three to six months lead time in case of hitches. The hardest thing was finding an English speaking priest to perform the ceremony. The agency only secured him in late November and we didn't get to meet him till the day before the wedding." His broken English proved perfect for the occasion.
"On our Roman visit in February the agency supplied an interpreter to take us to view each venue - this was invaluable. We chose a small chapel inside the Basilica Santa Maria Maggoirc, in the Termini region of the city. It suited our needs, as there was a huge choice of hotels in the district. For the reception we found one we really liked, the Mecenate Palace Hotel, a small hotel across the piazza from the basilica. This eliminated the need for cars so I walked lo the church.''
The agency also organised a harpist and photographer for the big day. "i didn't even meet the harpist on the day but both were testimony to the excellence of the agency." Hair and nails were done on the morning of the wedding at a salon called Femme Sistine that boasts Audrey Hepburn and Nicloe Kidman as past clients.
“Getting married in Rome is a fantastic thing to do. Romans love weddings. Coming out of the church we formed a sort-of procession back to the hotel. I got so much attention I felt like I was being hounded by the paparazzi. My broth-er-in-law had to go out onto the street and literally stop traffic by holding up his hand." Thirty-five guests travelled to Rome. "The hotel hosted the reception in their roofto restaurant, which had amazing views of Rome. We were greeted with cocktails and champagne after the church. The meal was an eight-course extravaganza. We're both big foodies. To start we had a taster menu that included artichoke flan and bugatini pasta timbale Sicilian style. To follow we had loin of veal with rosemary potatoes. Desert was a baba with fruit and a limoncelo sauce. The was followed by a 'Wishing Well' cake made of sponge, cream and liqueurs - quite a boozy cake. Despite good intentions to dance the night away at a nightclub we decided to retire en masse to the hotel bar as the meal had been intense."
Alison's dress was by YcDress. "i'd made a couple of calls to dressmakers and visited the shops but they didn't do it for me. I wanted something slightly retro. Jane and I picked the style from a vintage Vogue pattern. The dress and jacket were heavy matte satin. The ensemble was completed in four, to five fittings." Both of Alison's parents are deceased so Jackie, her eldest sister, gave her away. She was also charged with the task of taking the dress to Rome. "Aer Lingus tell you it's no problem to take the dress across, but the cabin crew had a seizure when they saw it. In fairness to them it's fine if the flight isn't booked out. On the way out Jackie even got an upgrade for both her and the dress. On the return flight only the dress made the upgrade."
Some of the flowers from her bouquet also made the journey from Ireland. "Colleen, my bridesmaid is a trained florist, who managed Paula Prikes' concession in Liberty. She flew to Rome with the Grande Prix roses on her lap. When she got to Rome she went shopping in the flower markets and used seasonal berries, mistletoe and trailing ivy to offset the Grande Prix roses. She made the bouquet on the morning of the wedding before she jumped into her bridesmaid dress. She also styled buttonholes for the groom's party from trailing ivy, mistletoe and sprigs of rosemary so they smelled deli-cious." The hotel's bridal suite had its own private balcony with room for sun loungers and tables. To dispel pre-wedding jitters the night before she drank champagne with her bridesmaids at sunset.
Alison and David honeymooned in Kenya where they went on safari for two days. She describes Kenya as a honeymooner's paradise. "Getting married abroad allows you to relax and enjoy the build-up since you're already onsite. For anyone who wants a small wedding but at the same time wants something very special Rome is a choice that you'll certainly remember. Rome is better value than pricey Ireland and you have the best of everything. It's ideal for people my age, who want something a bit different or who may have difficult parental situations. You don't get jus! a wedding day you have several amazing days in stunning surroundings."
If your wedding is in 2015, you can customize your wedding dress now.