Interview with Alice Cheron Marchi, Founder of La Conciergerie
Alice Cheron Marchi is the author of Ali di Firenze blog dedicated to the Italian lifestyle and founder of La Conciergerie. She is been living in Florence for the past height years, a city she absolutely adores both for its pros (beauty everywhere!) and its cons (Italian bad faith!). The marriage proposal service began thanks to Sebastien, who was a reader of her blog and contacted her asking for help to organize his marriage proposal. 2 years and 40 requests later, she made elegant french style proposal in amazing Italian places her specialty.
Check out her interview to learn more about her favorite proposals and the details that make the difference.
Alice bonjour ! How did you come up with the idea of organizing marriage proposals?
It was the blog readers who came up with the idea for me! One day Sebastien contacted me to ask for my help because he was coming in Florence and wanted to propose to Laura. I got caught up in the game by helping him organize something special for the occasion. We found a roof terrace with an exceptional view on Florence monuments in a private apartment. I prepared an Italian aperitivo, decorated this terrace with flowers and prepared a candlelit table. I Shared the story on the blog … ans other requests came right away!
Why the marriage proposal is such an important moment ?
Clearly because it only concerns the couple, no one else is involved ! It’s a very intimate moment, a step, a jump into the void for the one who’s popping the big question, an emotional bomb for the other one who suddenly understands that something very important is going to happen. I have the feeling that during a wedding, we no longer belong to each other. There is a global joy that we share with our family, friends … the proposal is really only for the couple. And that’s what marriage is all about, isn’t it ?
What makes Florence the perfect destination to propose ?
I think the city is very romantic but without being too much. She has the history for her, the beauty, centuries of important characters and ghosts that still live in every square inch. It’s an exceptional setting even before organizing anything special ! The weather is very mild except in November and April when it rains a little more.
According to you, what are the keys to succeed ?
I think that the element of surprise is fundamental, it is really what will help us to create a very strong emotion and create an unforgettable memory. You will tell your friends, your grandchildren later on … Then there is personalization, the thousand attentions that we will think about to make the future bride happy. This ranges from her favorite white wine she discovered on holidays, to a picture of the couple she particularly cherishes. We can even go as far as creating a treasure hunt in Florence in the footsteps of the couple’s great moments. Finally, of course, there is the decor and the presentation. Everything is ultra-curated for a very chic moment, there is no space for kitsch details. I like to prepare for the couple an elegant moment with beautiful dishes, very natural flower arrangements, comfortable cushions that you could eventually take back home …
How do you work with the futur groom? What are the preparation steps?
There is always a telephone call at the beginning to understand the desires of the client, and to evaluate my degree of involvement in the idea. Some have very clear ideas, others want to be inspired, it’s up to me to adapt myself according to the cases and desires. After this call, there is a permanent exchange by email, it goes from one to several times a week depending on the details that we have to plan and of course the number of weeks available to prepare everything (sometimes we only have a few days!). D-Day, it is not uncommon for me to exchange on Whatsapp in order to master the time.
How much time do you need to prepare a perfect marriage proposal?
Often, it is in last-minute improvisation that I did the most beautiful marriage proposals! For me, it is unthinkable to leave the client and say « no sorry, in 4 days I can’t do anything ». There is always a plan B, a good idea, a place that is made for the couple.
What are your fonts of inspiration ?
The blog helps me a lot to find new places in Florence. This year for example, I really want to organize marriage proposals in artist’s studio, sculpture workshop, in addresses related to the crafts. It is also a way to better manage proposals made between November and April, which require protection for rainfall.
What is your concrete role during the marriage proposal?
I prepare everything with one or more assistants. I am there throughout the entire proposal, in the back of course, to make sure that everything is going according to our plan and to help the couple if they need anything.
Do you have a place that you find particularly suitable for a summer proposal? In winter ?
All the places we went to for our proposals have a certain charm. View on city’s roofs and monuments, an Italian garden with statues … In summer I am particularly fond of the boat on the Arno river. We can organize an aperitivo at sunset but also an early breakfast, in a calm atmosphere. In winter, I like to offer more secret places of the city, such as a greenhouse in the Torriggiani garden which is the largest private park in Europe, a green oasis in the heart of the city.
Do you have any advices for a mariage proposal?
I think that wanting to organize something special for your sweetheart is already a real boost from the heart, and she will notice it. Relying on an accomplice on site is really useful to reduce stress, prepare for the big moment and above all, enjoy it to the maximum. Finally, it’s important to really elaborate a proposal that looks like the couple and their habits. No need to impress with striking decorative details, the bride will always be more touched by a love letter, souvenir photos, share her favorite italian pasta …
Could you share with us a specific memory that you really love?
I’d really have trouble identifying one specific ! It’s impossible to choose a couple, because each one touched me in a different way. I share a very intimate moment that they will never forget, so I have a real responsibility. I must admit, however, that i have a weakness for the second in silence just before they say yes … because they all say yes, I can assure you!