Every year, around this time, I find myself reflecting on the progress, challenges, excitement, and milestones that occurred for me, my loved ones, and my business. All in all, 2021 was a productive and eventful year— I am so grateful for all of the moments of joy that prevailed over the massive challenges that the world was facing. Of course, there were a few disappointments, and my heart goes out to the wonderful couples who had to postpone or alter their wedding plans due to the pandemic. However, I was inspired over and over again this past year by the resilience, creativity and resolve of my fellow industry professionals and the Primavera Dreams couples!
Indeed, I was thrilled to get back to work, and
I am honored to have been a part of organizing a few truly exceptional events in 2021– celebrations full of love, festivity, and the gratitude of those in attendance.
Here are a few highlights of my year:
1. Mandarin Oriental, Boston, MA.
My first wedding of the season took place in May 2021 at the Mandarin Oriental Boston. I helped a lovely couple from California, T. & P., who had to cancel their celebration there and decided to have an intimate gathering in Boston where the bride's parents live. We planned everything on Zoom, and I visited the venue with the bride's parents. I was happy to experience trust from my bride, and it was a joy helping her realize her vision. T. has an exquisite taste, and it was reflected in the creations of the talented floral designer Fleur Events.
The Mandarin is a best-kept secret of Boston's wedding scene as we can use a garden of the Prudential mall for an outside ceremony while in the plain city center. The weather cooperated beautifully, and the ceremony was a happy and colorful event due to the florals and the traditional Indian dresses, which added splashes of color.
All the details, from stationery to the accessories to cake and favors, were thought through and expertly realized. It was a happy day and a happy start to my season. Carats and Cake published this charming wedding after seeing it on my Instagram.
2. The Crane Estate, Ipswich, MA.
My second May wedding was celebrated in the majestic Crane Estate, overlooking the seaside from the hill, and covered with flowering gardens. My couple, Lisa & Mark, were busy doctors, front liners in the battle with covid, and we had to plan everything in just under 100 days. I was relieved to quickly secure some top-notch vendors and happy that Lisa & Mark trusted my judgment.
The situation with covid kept changing all the time, and we had to be flexible to keep up. The MA government gave permission for larger gatherings by the wedding day, and we could have an outside ceremony with a mask-optional policy. We also had heavy rain all the morning, ceding only in the afternoon. And we had to make an executive decision: should we move everything inside or remain firm and optimistic, sticking to our outside plan? We decided to take our chances – and indeed, the rain stopped just in time for our floral team to set up the ceremony!
We had a 16-people strong string orchestra and a professional opera singer to add a unique touch to the ceremony and the cocktail. I was filled with joy when I watched Lisa coming down the aisle and Mark looking at her (the couple decided against the first look). The crowning point of the dinner reception was the couple's first dance.
2021 was quite unique for my husband and me: we had milestone birthdays and our Silver Anniversary, 25 years together. I planned a celebration in Italy in May, which we had to postpone to October, and not all our family and friends were able to attend. We decided to celebrate twice: have a party at our house with our parents, families who could attend and then have a planned celebration in October in Italy.
So, we had a lovely Anniversary brunch in early June on our large deck. East Meets West catering helped me with food, Cassis Bakery made our cake, and an artisan gelato maker, Ice Haus, brought us the gelato cart filled with some outstanding gelato flavors. It was our first gathering at home after covid, and we were all so happy to see each other "live"!
In addition to Champagne, caviar, and other delicacies, we enjoyed chatting, taking pictures, and watching a short version of our wedding, which I assembled from some raw files. But the most important moment was that our mothers and our kids were with us. Our older daughter flew from the UK, our son came from LA. We've spent a few happy days together, talked, met family friends, and watched old movies.
4. Granite Links Gold Club, Quincy, MA.
It warms my heart when my kids' friends get in touch with me and ask to help them plan their wedding. That was the case with Rita &Dan, as I had known the beautiful bride since she was 12. Both families came to the US from different parts of Russia when the bride and groom were little kids. They met later in life as kids growing up in Newton, MA. What a delight was to see them getting married!
Their wedding took place at Granite Links Golf Club in Quincy, famous for its incredible views of the Boston city line. We had a happy and energizing Jewish wedding with a beautiful chuppah ceremony, smashing the glass, hora, and traditional dances of Bucharian Jews – a colorful and unique experience.
The band and the DJ came from NJ, and their performance was incredible. I baked big wedding challah for the reception and was happy to see that it was tasty. We also had a firework display, which we secretly prepared with the bride for her groom.
A delicate thing was that he also wanted to surprise his bride with a firework! And we had to trick him into believing that we couldn't do it! This beautiful wedding will soon be published by the popular Jewish wedding blog, Smashing the Glass.
5. Winchester Country Club, Winchester, MA.
Before the masks were reintroduced for the inside gatherings in MA, we had another stunning and touching wedding at Winchester Country Club. This wedding was postponed for a year, and it was such a relief to see my couple finally tie the knot!
Victoria & Casey is a warm and charming couple, and the way we stuck together while preparing for their wedding was comforting. The family friend was conducting their ceremony, an elegant and happy event, with some jokes and some happy tears. The groom saw the bride when she walked down the aisle, and it was an emotional moment.
After the ceremony, the newly married couple went for a series of pictures at the golf club, and then they were greeted by their two black Labradors, who came to congratulate them. The bride's family surprised the bride and groom with a dance challenge during the reception, and the whole celebration went without a hitch and was a great success.
6. Villa San Michele, Capri, Italy
When September arrived, I left for Italy, where a Primavera Dreams wedding would be held later in the stunning Capri! My couple, Jakob & Sandra, lives in Sweden, and they found me on the Internet. They told me they will have their wedding at the famous Villa San Michele in Anacapri. I soon learned that the groom's family are relatives of Axel Munthe, an illustrious doctor and writer of the 19-20th century, who built this villa on Capri and wrote an all-time bestseller, "The Story of San Michele."
That was a huge surprise for me, as I had read this book and already had a love for this villa! We planned almost everything off-site, and I came a few days before the wedding to make sure we were fully prepared. The celebration lasted a few days and culminated with an emotional ceremony and a reception at the villa.
While it was in Sweden, and I don't speak the language, it was heartwarming to see the couple and their family and friends singing, saying kind words, and crying happy tears. My daughter Dina came from London to help me, and we spent a few days together and had a great time. Capri is infinitely beautiful, surrounded by blue waters of the Mediterranean sea, covered with flowers and flowering bushes.
The atmosphere was incredible, and the food by the famous Capri Pasta catering was terrific. We enjoyed live music, Champagne tower, expert MCs conducting the evening in Swedish traditions, dances with handkerchiefs, and cake cutting.
Dina and I remained in Capri for a couple of days, relaxing, hiking, shopping, eating, and admiring the island and its talented people. Can't wait to be back!
7. Castello Banfi, Tuscany, Italy.
The culmination of the season was our Silver Wedding Anniversary celebration in Tuscany at Castello Banfi. We had an intimate circle of friends and family, 60 guests in total— these few days we've spent together were a real highlight of the year for all of us.
Our family loves the castle; we stayed there before and fell in love with the location. It is a beautiful, authentic place with gorgeous views, surrounded by vineyards of Sangiovese – the grapes from which they produce their famous Brunello di Montalcino - one of the best reds of the whole world.
It is also a luxury hotel with high-level service and a Michelin-star restaurant. It took me a lot of time, effort, planning, and my husbands' support to create this event for our dear guests and us, and I am thrilled and proud of the results. I will be dedicating a separate post to this celebration and to my fantastic team of vendors, with even more beautiful photos.
I am delighted with the year's outcomes, and looking forward to 2022!
It will be full of new adventures, incredible weddings in preparation, and travels to Italy. I am so grateful to my couples for their trust and passion, for giving me the honor of planning one of the most important events of their lives. I am grateful for my supportive family, who remains patient and understanding regardless of my frequent travels, and always shares in my joy when each wedding finally unfolds like a stunning, unique tapestry.
I wish us all a happy and healthy 2022; I hope it will be filled with excitement, breakthroughs, love, and joy!