We're back again at the incredibly beautiful Casa Cornacchi country house in Italy for yet another dreamy destination wedding, we're good to you aren't we. (If you missed last weeks, you can catch it here.) This time bride Holly is going to totally mesmerise you with her stunning 'Untamed Love' floral gown by Charlotte Balbier, popping against the natural backdrop and literally radiating with love and beauty in every image captured by Albert Palmer Photography.
The Italian Adventure!Holly the Bride: From the get go, Graham and I had one goal in mind for our wedding, it would be a relaxed event, where we could truly spend time with our family & friends. Everyone always says that your wedding day goes so fast, and with our family being from the North, the South, Ireland, Scotland, Sweden and even Canada, we wanted to make the most of our time. We decided that if people were going to have to jump on a flight to meet us, they might as well fly somewhere nice...
VenueGraham and I stumbled across Casa Cornacchi whilst googling 'Italian Wedding Venues'. We immediately fell in love with the bellavista (terrace area) and knew that our family and friends would feel at home in the beautiful apartments. We booked the venue and a couple of our main suppliers, but then had to put wedding plans on hold as we hit our extremely busy Christmas period at work... As it was, we then had around 4 months to plan our wedding and we only visited Cornacchi for the first time, 6 weeks before the big day! However, we didn't regret a thing. The Wedding was a 3 day party, starting with a prosecco reception when we arrived on Thursday and followed by a BBQ night that evening. For Friday we planned a Pizza Party (with stonebaked pizzas freshly baked at the Casa) followed by drinks, DJ and dancing. The Wedding morning was a relaxed affair with people sunbathing around the pool in the morning, but once the party started, it only ended at 5am the morning after - with Cornettos in the kitchen!
CeremonyWe originally wanted to 'officially' get married in Italy, but due to the time constraints and the extensive paperwork required(!) we decided to do the legal part at my local townhall, which is a beautiful old building. This worked out well as it meant my grandparents (who weren't flying to Italy) could attend - and I got to wear 2 wedding dresses! ;-) We saved the exchanging of rings for our Italian ceremony, and wrote our own vows which were lighthearted and really personal to us. We spent hours trawling through readings until we found ones that we could relate to and weren't too cringeworthy! We decided on the cute-but-funny 'I Like You' by Sandol Stoddard Warburg, and the motivational 'Oh, the places you'll go' from Dr Seuss. We tweaked both to get the exact words that we wanted! We're pretty lucky that my cousin Olivia is an outstanding (and in demand!) Wedding singer. She sang 'The Prayer' during the ceremony and 'O Mio Babbino caro' as we signed our register. The Italian opera was so perfect and there wasn't a dry eye in the villa.
DressI had no idea what I was looking for from my wedding dress. Again, we didn't have long to spend visiting boutiques and trying on dresses, and I have to admit I started to panic slightly at the Manchester Wedding fair, as we saw stand after stand of similar looking dresses... But then, this beautiful model came down the runway wearing the Charlotte Balbier dress and it had the exact wow factor I was looking for! We had a lovely day in Keswick picking up my dress from Songbird Bridal Boutique - the girls were so helpful. I then got this altered to perfection by Kirsty Marie Design, who also handcrafted a matching veil. I can't stress enough the importance of getting a trustworthy dressmaker to do your alterations! I was worried that as my dress was quite big, it would be difficult to eat, drink and (most importantly) dance in, but as soon as Kirsty got it to fit perfectly, it was like a completely different dress. I couldn't wait to wear it!
Decor and StylingIt was quite tricky trying to talk to people about flowers and colour schemes without mentioning any details about my dress... However, Casa Cornacchi is so beautiful that we didn't want to add too much to it. We brought over our own decorations from the UK; these included the garden arch for our ceremony, cute wedding signs that my Mother in Law found, plus bunting and paper pom poms. We also trawled charity shops & boutiques and collected an assortment of vintage glassware to place on our tables with tealights and flowers inside. Casa Cornacchi were so helpful when it came to decorating the venue. We used a mix of silk flowers and fresh flowers from the Cornacchi grounds. The Wedding tables had olive leaves from the Cornacchi grove on our table runners, with our glassware and rose petals hidden amongst them. The overall affect had a lovely, 'wild garden' feel which went perfectly with our relaxed, Tuscan theme. My favourite part of the day was the reception. We had live jazz music playing at the pool area whilst we drank prosecco and ate our antipasti. My Maid of Honour (sister Lucy) and another guest did a great job of getting everyone involved with our inflatables and polaroid camera!
The Dinner & The PartyWe wanted to spread out the speeches between the courses so everyone would get a chance to eat the amazing home cooked food provide by Casa Cornacchi. This gave us a chance to sneak off during 1 of our many courses to spend some time getting our couple photos.
PhotographerWe'd seen our photographer Albert's work on Rock My Wedding from when he had previously been to Casa Cornacchi and loved his style. He really managed to capture how our day unfolded and we were SO SO pleased with the end photos. (I literally have a big grin on my face in all 900 photos and this is exactly how I remember the day!!)
First DanceMe and Graham aren't the best dancers out there, we'll both fully admit to that! But we really didn't want to awkwardly shuffle to our first dance song for 3 minutes. We deliberated over our first dance song forEVER but at the last minute decided to go with 'our song'- You Make My Dreams Come True by Hall & Oates. Our guests were treated to the kind of drunk dancing that should only be seen in your kitchen on a Friday night. It was great :-)
AdviceDon't sweat the small stuff. You can't realistically do ALL of the beautiful things that you see on Pinterest!! We had loads of great ideas and things planned that we thought would make 'the perfect day', in the end, we didn't do half of them. Did our guests notice that we hung around 50 teallights in trees and then didn't actually light them? No. Did we still have the best day ever? Yes.
Dress Designer: Charlotte Balbier - Untamed Love | Bridal Boutique: Songbird Bridal | Alterations & Veil: Kirsty Marie Design | Headpiece: Rock N Rose | Bridal Shoes: ASOS | Wedding Party Dressing Gowns & Makeup Bags: Rock on Ruby Clothing | Bridesmaid Dresses: Ted Baker | Grooms Suit: Ted Baker | Venue: Casa Cornacchi | Entertainment: Olivia Wood | Saxophonist: Las Sombras Live Music | DJ: Daniele at Pink Panther DJ | Videographer: Alessandro Perdi Wedding Films