Dance Party in Italy

Nilda Taveras & John Belizaire

Santa Trinita and Villa Gamberaia Florence, Italy
September 2, 2006

John and Nilda spent their first date in Sydney, discussed marriage for the first time while in Belize, and became engaged in Paris. So it wasn’t a stretch that they might marry outside their hometown. They intially had plans to wed in New York City, but found the process to be more stressful than anything else. When a friend suggested marrying abroad, Nilda says, “My heart was like, ‘Ding, that’s it!’ I was finally excited.” They considered a few different places before settling on Florence, a city they had visited together twice, and loved. Planning their wedding required copious e-mails, weekly phone calls, two trips to Italy to scout locations, and even flying their Italian wedding planner to New York. In the end, it was an unforgettable experience. Their destination-wedding-planning advice: “Use a planner who’s based there, not here.”


Bride’s Gown: Angel Sanchez
Groom’s Tuxedo: Duncan Quinn
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Quintell Williams and Malissa Drayton Lisbon
Event Designer & Planner (Italy): Carlo Ponti
Destination Management (Italy): Affresco SRL
Music: D.J. Charlie Cabranest
Travel Agency: Tzell Travel Group

Nilda Taveras
& John Belizaire “Our wedding was Thursday through Sunday. We had a welcome cocktail party the first night at the Palazzo Corsini.”

“As guests came into the party, they could see the silhouettes of our ten-piece salsa band playing behind a white paper screen. After a few songs, the band burst through. That really kicked things off. We had a choreographed first dance to “Lady,’ by Orquesta La Palabra. That”and the cake-cutting”were the only two moments we interrupted the party. Our D.J., whom we had flown in from New York, spun until 4 a.m.”

“All 90 guests walked to the church. Along the way, I chatted with my mom. She’s a calming person. The reception was held at the Villa Gamberaia. We had two-hour cocktails with fifteen jazz musicians playing. Afterwards, we sat down for dinner in the magnificent gardens. Our event designer converted one of the villa’s buildings, used to store lemon trees, into a discotheque for dancing.”

“My bouquet was a ball of roses”like a bowling ball. It must have weighed ten pounds. My father, being overprotective and thinking I’m still ten years old, said to me, “You can’t carry that”your arm!’ But truly I couldn’t have thrown that bouquet; I would have killed someone.”

Dance Party in Italy