Angelique the Bride:
Everything aligned for us this year - I had finished my studies, which meant that we finally had time to go on an extended holiday (we were always planning on going to Europe) and it also marked our 10 year anniversary, so we thought why not start our trip off with a wedding! Our wedding was an intimate affair with about 18 of our closest family and friends in attendance. We chose Tuscany simply because we'd never been before and we wanted our trip to be an adventure. Before we even booked anything we asked each of our guests whether they would come. Our guests loved the opportunity to make a holiday out of it, particularly our parents who would have never travelled to Europe on their own. The wedding day fell in the middle of 2 weeks of travelling around Italy with our families and was followed by a further 8 weeks of honeymooning around Europe (which we planned on the fly!)
The Bride and Groom’s Fashion
We both wanted something simple and timeless. Daniel worked with Suit Shop
to have a new suit tailored for the occasion.
I knew I wanted a dress that could transition from ceremony to reception and after trying on a lot of styles in store I realised that I liked different elements from different dresses. So I found a local dressmaker (Julie from Cargie Threads
) who could create exactly what I wanted. My earrings were from Australian designer, Samantha Wills’ Bridal
We knew that we wanted more than just a wedding venue, we wanted a place where we could spend a few relaxing days and somewhere that was large enough to fit us and our guests. I found our venue through Airbnb, although I later found out that the host (Gaia) also runs WP Relais
which manages the venue and many other properties throughout Italy. The venue comprised of two villas which were closeby to each other - the first villa named “Podere Vignalunga” acted as the ceremony/canape area and the second villa named “Old Hamlet” acted as the reception/dancing area. They were located in the picturesque province of Castiglione D'orcia, Siena.
Aileen from Carmel Loves Frank
helped us hone in on our initial concept design and style (I had pinned way too many inspo pics on Pinterest!). We opted for a casual style with carpets, rustic wooden furniture, fairy lights and greenery. Gaia from WP Relais helped us organise all the floral arrangements and furniture and was on site on the day helping with the set up. Luckily a lot of the furniture and decor that we used were items which Gaia already had at the villas. A local florist, Orcia in Fiore
, made our beautiful table setting, ceremony decorations and my bouquet. During the ceremony we stood on a small wooden stage which was decorated with greenery, lanterns and the rolling Tuscan hills as the backdrop.
I had also organised to have wedding favours made for all the guests (they were leather luggage tags personalised with each guest's initials and were supposed to double as seating cards), however I completely forgot to pack these in my suitcase on the way to Italy!
My dad walked me down the aisle wearing the traditional Filipino barong. For the ceremony, we always knew we wanted something light hearted, short, sweet and personal. So we asked one of our close friends to conduct the ceremony and we helped him write out the script. My brother-in-law read ‘The Art of Marriage by Wilferd A. Peterson’, which was chosen by the Groom; and we read out our personally written vows to each other for the first time that day - it was great to be able to throw in a mix of funny and sentimental vows.
After the ceremony we drank prosecco and had a selection of local cheeses, salamis and crostini by the pool. Just before the sun set completely we moved to the garden area for dinner which was set up along a large communal table. We each had our fill of four courses made by local caterers, Cappelli Catering
- this involved pici, ricotta ravioli, pork capocollo and zucchini mould, all watered down with local red and white wines. And as if we weren’t full already, we finished it off with a millefoglie cake, fruit and coffee.
During the canapes and reception we played casual jazz music in the background. Our first dance was under the fairy lights to Michael Buble’s ‘Everything’. We had previously asked our guests to contribute to our wedding Spotify playlist, which we danced along to at the end of the night.
We wanted candid, reportage style photos and didn’t want to spend hours posing (because that would mean missing out on mingling with guests, the food and the drinks!). As soon as we spoke to Ash and Kat from The Springles
over Skype we knew they were the right choice for us. They're such a laid back, yet professional couple who we got along with so easily. We especially loved that they were just as excited about the destination as we were (they flew in from the UK). They asked us all the right questions beforehand, including what group photos we wanted, so on the day they moved around so discreetly as they knew exactly what to do and where to be. We couldn’t have asked for more beautiful photos!
Prioritise what you want to invest in. It was important for us to have a beautiful venue which all of our wedding party could comfortably spend a few days in, good food, and the right photographers. We saved money by using furniture and decor that was already at hand at the villas, decorating the ceremony area with greenery found around the property, I also did my own hair and makeup on the day.
There’s no hard and fast rules about wedding planning - stick to tradition if you want, think outside of the box, or do a bit of both. For us, we ditched things like wearing a veil, having a bridal party, cutting the cake and sending out paper invitations (Dan had created a wedding website instead). Having a small destination wedding also meant that we could have the ceremony on any day during the week (it was a Thursday).
Plan the wedding that you both want and you’ll have the best day. Don’t plan according to other people’s expectations.