We often hear from brides and grooms how they massively underestimate the wedding ceremony, and the same goes for Giulia & Fraser. Although they put a lot of effort into writing their vows to one another, they didn't expect it to be their favourite part of the day. You can see from the gorgeous captures by Maryanne Weddings how incredibly heartfelt it was. Plus the location is to die for! Never before has there been a ceremony in the cloister of the Abbazia Montelabate monastery, but I bet people will be falling over themselves to say I do there now. The ancient well made the perfect altar, and I love the draped greenery garland framing it beautifully. The celebrations continued in a Castello Ramazzao castle, and to honour groom Frasers heritage a fabulous Ceilidh was danced by all. As far as weddings go this couple certainly ticked all the boxes, and some! Enjoy.

Our Story

Giulia the Bride: When we got engaged, we knew it was going to be a wedding abroad as my family is Italian. Since my husband is Scottish we had a nod to his heritage with a Ceilidh at the dancing portion. Luckily we had planned my sister’s wedding the year before so my mother and I knew a bit more what to expect. My parents and my sister were invaluable help, having been through it all before and generally managing to keep up the excitement for me. I could not have done it without them.


Guidi Lenci are a dream wedding catering company, they have this gorgeous show room in Florence where you go and try the food and pick out your styling. They are so wonderful to deal with and I was 100% confident they would handle everything. This decision was even more vital as on the day we had torrential rain right up until a few minutes before the ceremony! This is after months of drought in Italy! It was an utter nightmare for me to have to sit through, but luckily I knew I could trust Guidi Lenci to handle whatever came their way and they set up everything beautifully in record time. The food they provide is absolutely phenomenal: we had caramelised pear and goats cheese tortellini as a starter that I still get messages about from guests. They also provide these wonderful banquets of various meats and cheeses and fried canapés circling round when guests first arrive at the venue for aperitif. It’s a great way to immediately feed hungry guests – I can say though that I don’t remember eating anything! Best advice I can give: designate a bridesmaid to get you some food and a drink when you first get back, and to give you a slice of cake. I would not have had any cake if my sister hadn’t come and fed me some! Our cake was a typical Italian Meringata: which is a cream, meringue and chocolate chip frozen cake.

Wedding Planner

I also could not have handled the day without our wedding planner: from italyweddings, Ben Singleton and his crew. My mother and I took on a large chunk of the planning and organizing before the wedding as I loved picking through suppliers and talking with them, but Ben was invaluable on the day so that I, despite freaking out about the weather, could just not deal with whatever was going on behind the scenes. (I’d really like to emphasise that my mother and I did lots of the work behind it, as we spent ages sourcing our own suppliers, the only ones the planner gave us were: hair and make up and flowers, everything else we sourced ourselves (even the venue), my mother was a true hero in all of this!) I would highly recommend any bride to have on the day coordinator, due to the size of our wedding we had to take a full design package which given how much my mother and I took on ourselves (out of choice!) was not necessary for us, but I would happily do it again for the service they provided on the day and the day before that was so necessary.


Le Petit Jardin was our florist. His wife handled the flowers on the day, and while initially I had picked her generally for ease, I was so happy with what she came up with on the day. She was very patient with me changing my mind many times and made a beautiful flower crown for my bridesmaids and I. I felt like a proper princess in my flower crown!


I found Mary-Anne from looking at Rock My Wedding blog posts and instantly fell in love with her sunshiney, clear, documentary type style that still looked like fine art. My now-husband and I did an engagement shoot with her to get to know her, and she instantly made us feel at ease and takes the most gorgeous photos. I honestly could not be happier with the final result. As another tip: I thought doing an engagement shoot was one of the most useful things I did for getting me used to having my photograph taken and knowing what I did and did not like, therefore poses to avoid, just getting used to seeing yourself on camera as well. I feel as if we have this strange notion that we will look like supermodels because it is a professional photo, when actually we just look like ourselves still – which is wonderful, but took some getting used to for me. However it mean’t that when I received my wedding photos I was able to look past any double chin moments, or personal hang-ups to just see the love and light and the joy.


I picked Irish duo Birds of a Feather to take the video because I loved their simple, natural style and I really wanted to have footage from myself and Fraser’s point of view. I ended up deciding on a non-italian videographer simply because the Italian ones didn’t fit the style I was going for. I feel that Birds of a Feather capture the emotions of the day without overly-stylising it. They were very responsive and wonderful to work with!

Bridal Gown

I think I am quite unusual with my dress as I only went to one store, Morgan Davies in Islington when they had a sample sale, and basically the first dress I tried on was a Jesus Piero dress that just fit like a glove. I walked out of that appointment 45 minutes later with two dresses actually. The other is an English designer whose name I don’t know because it isn’t on the dress! I loved how comfortable I felt in the Jesus Piero (it had pockets!), and how timeless it is as a style.


I knew I wanted some heels, and I knew I needed some chunky heels as my venue is filled with cobbly pavements! The Charlotte Mills shoes fit with my general silver, green and white theme.


We had the ceremony in the cloister at Abbazia Montelabate which is a gorgeous monastery you can go visit, they don’t normally do weddings, but as a favour they let us get married in their gorgeous venue. It was truly a magical place. The reception as then held at Castello Ramazzano, which is a newly renovated castle that has just started holding weddings, recommended to us by our friends in Perugia. There are rooms in the castle for up to 14 people to stay (two of the rooms are for 4 people, the rest are doubles) and it was just a gorgeous venue. The owners were brilliant and the best thing is that there is no curfew so we were able to dance until 4:30am!


Our invites and order of ceremony were a personalised illustration from Curious Me. Pinar was lovely to work with; she makes these wonderful hand drawn illustrations with gorgeous calligraphy. I felt so lucky to work with her and still have my invite framed on my wall!


We had our own DJ that we hired from a local club and the only Ceilidh band in Italy!

Bridesmaids Dresses

Wrap around dresses that came from etsy supplier: The Dainty Yard. I am lucky that all my friends are so beautiful – I wanted to keep in theme with the natural surroundings, hence why I chose the sage colour and the flower crowns for them.


We wrote the entire ceremony ourselves with some help from the internet and a template from Ben. We had readings from our friends of how we met and we wrote our own vows, so it felt very personal. There was lots of sniffling from the crowd! My favourite moment was unbeknownst to us my husband and I said exactly the same thing in our vows about him never closing cupboard doors. There was so much laughter and love in the air. I never thought the ceremony would be my absolutely favourite part. We also wanted people who didn’t know us as a couple that well to feel like they knew our story – that is why we had our friend write their own version of how we met. It was a wonderful addition!

{Watch the Film}

Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Jesus Piero | Bridal Boutique: Morgan Davies | Bridal Shoes: Charlotte Mills | Wedding Planner: italy Weddings | Venues: Abbazia Montelabate | Castello Ramazzano | Florist: Le Petit Jardin | Catering: Guidi Lenci | Stationery : Curious Me | Bridesmaid Dresses: The Dainty Yard via Etsy | Videographer: Birds of a Feather

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