A Stylish Pizza Party

So, you’ve decided to hold your wedding in Tuscany. Family and friends are starting to book their flights, find accommodation and of course ask questions about the itinerary. Holding a wedding in a country that is not your own brings with it a few unique opportunities. One of which is to have a long, relaxed wedding weekend rather than just the typical one day affair.

Many of my brides ask me for ideas for informal ice breaker events they can do in the days leading up to the wedding. When I suggest a pizza party, some look a little lost. The initial idea conjures images of a kids birthday party rather than a bespoke, wedding related event for adults. My feeling is that, if you invest a little time in the décor and the entertainment, then the pizza party can take on a totally new and fresh look, becoming both stylish and fun for everyone involved.

Here are a few tips for organizing a pizza party that everyone will remember….

1) Rent a villa that has its own pizza oven

Tuscany is choc full of beautiful villas with large, wood pizza ovens. If your villa does not have a pizza oven, don’t worry. Many good companies will bring their own portable oven to your event. But if you can, splurge on a villa with a pizza oven. It will look really great in your photos. Best of all, you can use the oven for the other days of your stay to make such wonderful Tuscan delights as roast pig with figs and pears. Add a platter full of potatoes to that and you have a feast.

2) Get a good “Pizzaiolo”

This is really key. The Pizzaiolo is the pizza man. A good one will make the pizza before your guests eyes and even teach them how to make it. This is a really theatrical process and totally worth involving your guests.

3) Book some top shelf local entertainment

I will often go with a local band that plays traditional Italian music for this type of event. Adding a few traditional dancers that can teach your guests such classic Italian group dances as the “Tarantella” and the “Pizzica” can also really add to the fun atmosphere.

4) Lawn games

Don’t hesitate to plan some fun lawn games. People love participating in nostalgic games like twister, 3 legged race, pinata, and giant Jenga. Use your imagination. When I plan lawn games, I try to search my childhood for the ones that made me the happiest as well as ask others about their favorite games. You’d be surprised how many different cultures have a lawn game tradition. Mixing those traditions up keeps it interesting. In one event, I typically do lawn games that come from at least 3 different countries, so that I keep everyone guessing about what is coming next.

5) Décor

Just because its a pizza party, does not mean tables should go undecorated. You do not need to spend a fortune to decorate your table but you should indeed make the effort, as it will go a long way to contributing to the ambiance on the day. I try to style these parties using easily available materials like aromatic herbs, fresh tomatoes, tea light candles in jam jars, red pepper plants, etc…..It does not need to be OTT to be pretty, fresh and original.

If you'd like to see an example of a pizza party, have a look at this video of a pizza party I did in Lucca. People were just arriving from their flight to Italy and this party was just the ticket to help them get in the party mood.

posted by gina, 2017-09-08

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