Over the years I’ve had the honor of sharing many special moments with my clients and friends. I’m a wedding planner by profession, because weddings are my passion. I still get tears in my eyes when I see people express their love for each other. It goes without saying that the world today needs more love. Every time I organize a ceremony, I feel I’ve contributed in some small way to a future worth living.

The other night I was in the kitchen preparing dinner for my husband and our friends from out of town. As I was cooking I had time to think about each of these individuals who mean so much to me. One thought led to another, and I realized that this quotidian task was a ceremony, just like a wedding, and I was creating a place from which I could really express my gratitude

The act of cooking is an opportunity to honor our body and its most basic needs. It is a confirmation of our commitment to Life and those with whom we live. It is a time to show our creativity and our attention to details, to show how much we really care.

One of the “minor” reasons why people choose to get married in Italy is because of the food. But I’ve come to realize that the food might just be, subconsciously, much more important than my clients are willing to admit.

So why is Italian food so good? Why are we famous throughout the world for our little specialties? I think it’s because we follow a few simple rules in the kitchen (and also the bedroom!), and our kitchen holds a few universal teachings.

All of the best Italian dishes were born in this way. If you think our ancestors were standing in a supermarket with a pushcart in their hands wondering which of the thousands of items on offer would be best suited for their amoroso, think again! Pizza was an idea born from flour and water and an over ripe tomato…

In ten years of wedding planning, I can tell you that the most beautiful declaration of love comes directly from the heart. In your own words. Even if you’re not a natural Shakespeare, it doesn’t matter! Use what you’ve got in the refrigerator and you’ll be happy with the pasta!

Keep it simple…

This is actually quite different from the first tip, even if it might sound similar. Even the poorest farmers around Napoli had more than just an over-ripe tomato! But they knew that if they added an eggplant to the sauce it would be ruined!

The same goes for love, and especially for weddings! When we keep things simple, it means we’re staying with the essentials. And this means allowing each ingredient (whether it is a tomato or a candle-light proposal dinner) to express its maximum potential without “added flavors”.

This doesn’t mean you have to be minimalist… sometimes a really rich and special dish needs more ingredients and luxurious spices. But this makes it all the more important to ‘keep it simple’… too many pinches of salt will ruin everything!

The “secret” ingredient…

If you’ve ever been to Italy, you know… there is something “else” in our food. And I’m happy to share with you this secret, which is really not so secret!

The key to a good pasta, or risotto, or fish soup… is Love. If you’ve every been invited to dinner in an Italian’s house, you’ve definitely felt it, even if you didn’t recognize it… For us, food is love. And every time we sit down to eat, we’re sharing our love for life and the people we’re with.

The same goes for a good wedding and a happy marriage. Without love, what are you really sharing? Where is the taste? What is the point? You can get the same calories from a bottle of whiskey as you can from a mozzarella… but food, like Love, like Life, should be a ceremony and a celebration.

Whether in the kitchen or at the altar, don’t forget that your intention is to express your love and make it sacred!  Your partner, your guests, and even you will surely be able to “taste the difference”.

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