Jo and her team of professional celebrants take pride in highlighting the milestones and commitments of your lives, at the time same acknowledging and honoring important transitions and events.
Please ask for our advice on readings to include in the ceremony, writing your own vows both for your wedding and your vow renewal, music, and tips and details to make your celebration a great success. As celebrants, we will collaborate in guiding you in the choice of the rituals, readings and music to fulfil your ideas for your symbolic wedding in Tuscany and Italy. Together we will discuss your idea of the ceremony, through Skype, email and phone consultations, until you reach the ceremony that meets your needs. You may want to rehearse the day before, but we will also be there before the ceremony to go over the final details, and present you with a beautiful parchment as a keepsake of the day.
Jo and her team of professional celebrants will celebrate and help you create personalized ceremonies such as symbolic weddings; vow renewals; commitment ceremonies; baby welcomings and adoptions; survivor tributes, in Italian, English, French, Dutch, German, Spanish and Russian.
I was born near Rome, the product of an American mother and a Sicilian father, I am fluent in both Italian and English. I would like to think that I got my creativity from my mother and my communication ability from my father. (Dad is a retired Protestant minister.). I moved to Florence when I was 19, in 1979, so this is where I lived most, which doesn’t necessarily make me a true Florentine!
In addition to working as a celebrant, I am a qualified translator, translating books from English into Italian and vice versa. I have two grown-up sons, and have two lovely granddaughters.
I practice meditation, an activity I hold near and dear to my heart because I think it is so important to continually deepen my aptitude for compassionate listening. It is also essential in helping me to create rituals, which respond to your needs and ideas.
I am also a qualified IRACE (Institute for Research of Applied Cosmic Energy) practitioner; the method applies energy to specific centers in the body, and the sessions are very quick, lasting max 5 minutes, very handy for nervous brides (and grooms, and everybody, really!). I have also taken courses in Harmonic Massage and love offering massages to friends and family.
A very good friend of mine has suggested I answer the questions in the Proust Questionnaire, I selected a few and here are my replies:
My main feature: generosity
The quality I like best in a man: determination
And in a woman: being open-armed
My worst trait: haste
The quality I would love to have: being more flexible
What I appreciate most in my friends: their ability to forgive my long absences
Hobbies: singing, drawing
My dream of happiness: being treated like a princess and learning to laze about
Favorite writers: Pablo Neruda, Ann Tyler, Barbara Kingsolver (among many others)
My greatest misfortune: becoming blind
My favorite historical character: M.L. King, Rosa Parks
The nation where I would like to move: New Zealand (not forever)
My favorite color: purple in all its hues
My favorite flower: tulips
My favorite classical composer: J.S. Bach
How I wish to die: in peace
Current state of mind: open to anything
Faults I tolerate best: those linked to old age
My favorite motto: Life is short, eat dessert first
Sofia started working for TuscanPledges in 2015, and has loved it ever since. Her first wedding was very intimate: a vow renewal for just the couple. An elopement is as challenging as when you have 150 guests looking at you. I remember her call after her first experience; she was crying tears of joy, as she felt she had really found her call! Sofia is so dedicated to her job as a celebrant, to the point that she “organized” her two pregnancies around the wedding season, lucky her and me! Sofia celebrates in Spanish, English and Italian, and will work with you from the beginning to your wedding day.
Kathrin is German but has lived in Italy several years now. She started working for TuscanPledges in 2012 holding our German weddings, but has also celebrated for mixed German and English, or German and Italian couples. True to the stereotype, she is as dependable as you would expect a German and will bend over backwards to make sure our couples are happy with their ceremony script. Her soothing voice puts everyone in a very good mood, and this is not her only great quality!
Irene joined the team when I realized that my French was too rusty and I was lucky enough to meet her! Irene loves being a celebrant; she just wishes more French-speaking couples chose to get married in Italy, so she could dedicate herself entirely to being a celebrant. Irene celebrates in French, Italian, and English, and is very accurate in anything that concerns the ceremony, from the preparation to the actual wedding day, leaving nothing to chance.
Janneke was the first one to join the team; she started working for TuscanPledges in 2010. At first, she only worked with our Dutch couples, but it was a real waste because she is so good that I asked her to celebrate in English as well. I can trust her completely with everything, her way with people is so pleasant and lovable, and I love the way she can be very professional and fun at the same time.
Davide is Italian, he started working for TuscanPledges in 2013, when very few couples were aware of the possibility to get married in a symbolic ceremony. Since then, due to word of mouth, and to Davide’s skill in touching our couples and their guests when he speaks about their love, more and more couples have decided to choose symbolic ceremonies to seal their relationship.