(**Note: those people who are "carrying the chuppah" - this is the same thing as "standing up". )
Everybody has been asking for wedding details. There's not too much that I haven't said already... but it's scattered throughout this blog. I'll summarize what we have decided so far. Feel free to ask questions.
Also...I sooooo got a wedding dress while I was in Arizona : ) But I can't talk about it here, because Greg checks this blog.
Villa in Italy rented for: May 19-26th (Saturday to Saturday)
Wedding Day: likely May 23rd
Reception Date: set at Sept 1st
You can find a description of the villa here
We will be grouping people as follows:
Linda/Rob + Nancy/Paul
Nancy/Jim + Jen/Pete + Grandma
Rachael/Greg + Jessica/John + Michael/Leslie + Andy/Leslie + Bryan
There is a fourth building available to rent with two bedrooms and a third large open space that someone could sleep in. It runs about $900 for the week, which is cheaper than any hotel (in case other relatives are interested in attending).
There are kitchen's in the main building where Greg and I are at and in the building where Nancy and Jim are at. The Linda/Rob + Nancy/Paul building does not have a kitchen. There is a pool. There are large outdoor grounds. The weather should be gorgeous, as described here
The villa is 3 miles outside of historic rome and very close to public transportation. I encourage you not to rent a car unless you plan on travelling extensively outside of Rome. I'll be assembling a packet for everybody describing how to use the public transit system (it's of course very good)
At some future point I will post about various attractions. Here's what I've heard so far. Venice is incredible and a must-see. Florence is good for art, but not as interesting as some of the other places you can go (unless you're really really into the art). I've heard the amalfi coast is some of the best siteseeing, and coming from a friend that studied abroad and spent time there, that the little towns will probably hold a lot more interest than the super touristy areas. But that's all just opinion. As far as cuisine goes, think lighter/fresher along the coastline and more "traditional" (i.e., closer to what we americans call italian food) further inland.
The wedding party
Andy and Leslie + Jen and Pete will bring out the Chuppah, to be replaced by the parents (and in case you've never been to a Jewish wedding, this is a Chuppah). Bryan is the Best Man. Jessica is the Matron of Honor. Michael will be standing up on Greg's side.
The day before the wedding (Tuesday): We'll all go wine tasting to pick out a wine for the reception dinner in Rome
The day of the wedding (Wednesday): In the morning, I'll go with other people to pick out flowers. The guys will find some excuse to leave the villa for a few hours, then they'll come back and get ready. Wedding ceremony in the afternoon. We'll all go into the city to take photographs, and then we'll come back for a reception dinner at the villa
The day after the wedding (Thursday): Anybody who wants to go to Florence will go to Florence (my family has been talking about a trip there)
Other Things To Know:
Our general colors are brown, blue and sage green. Kind of like that, except the sage green is really sage green (am limited by text colors). Not bright green!
People in the wedding party will not be asked to wear anything in particular, except maybe something that goes along with the general colors if you're standing up.
Here's a copy of the email I just sent to everybody describing a few good fares
Originally we were hoping to group a book flight for everybody. This will not work for various reasons, so it is up to individuals to find good tickets. Do not pay more than $1000 for tickets. If you plan to arrive ahead of time or stay extra, the best deals for hotels are found in what are called "self-catering" (i.e., has a kitchen) apartments outside of the city. You can rent small villas for as cheap as $500 per week if you hunt online, though generally these are far away from the city with gorgeous views. Within the city, check out this site for short term apartment rentals -great apartments in rome can be found for $120 a night. That's only if you're planning to stay outside of the dates that we have rented the villa for
These are the best ticket prices I have seen, but some of them must be purchased by Nov 30th. Some of the flights are already sold out. I would really encourage visiting this site ASAP:
For instance, Logan-->Rome = $750 roundtrip (Greg, can you forward this email to Bryan?)
Phoenix-->Rome = $920 roundtrip
NYC --> London = $540 (nonstop), roundtrip
NYC --> Rome = $880 (nonstop), roundtrip
>From SanFran-->Rome, my friend Jessica already purchased her and her husband's tickets for $840 round trip.
Keep in mind two things:
1) Short connecting flights within the US are often cheap
2) Short connecting flights within Europe are often even cheaper (Madrid --> Rome = $120, London-->Rome = $160, and they often go on sale)
3) Flights will be cheaper from the east coast
The prices to Rome are still pretty good, but if you buy the major segment of the international flight and wait a bit, it is likely that you can find good deals for the shorter leg (e.g., from london to rome, phoenix to NYC, or from hartford to phili)
I have been searching through www.kayak.com and found very good prices for NYC-->Rome. 1 stop on the way in + nonstop on the way out = $720 roundtrip
Roundtrip tickets from NYC to Madrid can be found at www.airpluscomet.com for $450 including all taxes. Do not let them believe you can fly from NYC-->Madrid-->Rome through their airline (the flights do not connect properly), but you could think about booking the Madrid-->Rome flight separately through a different airline (the NYC-->Madrid flight is nonstop).
Finally, based on these prices, you can also visit www.priceline.com and have a sense of how much to bid. Though you won't get to choose your departure time, you can get very good deals this way.