If you use Instagram, then you may recognise this stunning fairy light canopy as it captured the imagination of Instagram users across the world and was shared profusely across wedding accounts at the end of last year. Well today, we're lucky enough to be sharing the WHOLE wedding which involved the talents of some of our very favourite wedding suppliers. And yes, there are lots more gorgeous photographs of the fairy lights - Damien Milan, as always, captured the details and the story of the day to perfection. (As a side note, Damien is currently running an amazing competition to win elopement wedding photography and there's only a few days left to enter)! Kate and Jack trusted RMW recommended Italian Eye with styling their big day and I think it's safe to say they did an excellent job. With elegant, minimal decor choices, the beauty of the venue and it's surroundings has been allowed to shine, and guests, as well as our gorgeous couple, truly had a magical time.
Our StoryKate The Bride: We met through a mutual friend, Charles, in London Bridge back in 2010. At that time Jack lived in Oxford and was cutting down trees for a living and I had moved over to London a few months earlier. The rest was history. We ended up living together in London for 3 years until the end of 2013 when we moved to Sydney. We both realised quite early on that we had found something very special. Jack proposed. It was in our apartment in Sydney on Halloween. He was trying to get me out to do a walk on the beach but I wasn't interested at the time as I thought there would be lots of Trick-or-Treaters out - Whoops! That said it was very romantic and just as lovely in our apartment, I was very keen to go to the beach after he proposed...
Our WeddingWe (I) always knew I wanted a destination wedding. With Jack being English and me being Australian we wanted something on neutral ground...so Italy it was! We love good food, good setting and good company. We didn't have a theme per se but we did want a classic event that rolled through the evening and into the night, set in a traditional Italian setting.
The Bride & BridesmaidsI wore a Hayley Paige gown from Mirror Mirror London. I always wanted to wear something classic but with a modern twist. It was also very fun and romantic to wear such an amazing dress. Zimmerman is a staple in my wardrobe so I was hoping my bridesmaids loved their styles as much as I do...and they did! They all looked incredible.
The VenueKate's mother actually suggested Villa Il Poggiale</a originally and we decided pretty quickly that's where we wanted to get married. It was a fantastic venue - not only could the majority of our guests stay there for the weekend, but the staff were exceptional.
The CeremonyWe used the grounds of Villa Il Poggiale as the setting for our ceremony, complimented by the Tuscan hills that surrounded it. Kate walked in to Sweet Thing by Van Morrison (one of Jack's father's favourite songs). We had 74 guests, most of whom stayed at the villa and the rest close by. We had the arch decorated by the florist with white flowers and greenery as a centre piece on the main lawn, and classic wooden chairs for the guests. We wrote our vows together and deliberately kept the ceremony simple. The villa itself was the perfect setting and at the end we had rose petals as confetti whilst the Florence Dixie Band played us out.
The ReceptionProbably the most notable (certainly the most photographed) element of the wedding was the meal and speeches - Kate was pretty clear about the lighting she wanted, and we insisted on one long table. Kate’s Uncle Greg was an advocate for good lights so that is what we did. The result was a perfect setting, and the menu that the villa proposed was traditional Tuscan food. We had a slight reservation about serving veal as a main, but Kate's Auntie Jacqueline and Olivia, from Italian Eye, had tasted it and said that, in fact all the food, was sensational. They were entirely correct, as they were about everything else as well.
The DetailsKate's Auntie Jacqueline was integral to the wedding, so many of the details were her idea and she was meticulous in her execution of these details. As we got closer to the date, we realised that Jacq had a better idea about what we wanted than we did! She also rounded up members of family to assist with the table setting details on the day which was so lovely and a personal touch. We decided to get everyone on the dance floor for the first dance, and launched into Love Is In The Air by John Paul Young which went down a storm. The whole event was just as much for everyone else as it was for us. Firstly, Italy allowed a lot of Jack's UK contingent to make it (rather than an Australian location) but because it was a destination wedding we wanted to make sure everyone felt as involved as possible, this was the rationale for the Pizza Night in the olive groves the night before too - it allowed us to spend time with everyone and catch up with those we don't see as much these days.
AdviceWe did have a budget, but we absolutely did not stick to it. I think we recognised that this was a unique celebration so we went overboard in some aspects and it was absolutely worth it. Best day of our lives. Weddings are the pinnacle of positivity and celebration so it's important to understand that everyone in attendance just wants you to have a terrific time, just relax! Give yourself 5 minutes before the ceremony to contemplate how fantastic what you are doing is, and then embrace the occasion - it goes by all too quickly. Also, no one really cares about the minutae (chairs, napkins, candles) so make a decision on that stuff quickly and concentrate on the stuff that does matter - venue, food, drink, music - the rest will fall into place. Lastly, have good people around you who know you well and listen to them.
Bride: Hayley Paige | Boutique: Mirror Mirror | Veil: Rachel Gilbert | Shoes: Giuseppe Zanotti | Earrings: Ben Amun | Bridesmaids: Zimmerman | Groom: Sartoria Vanni | Hair: Vincent Hair Design | Shaun Lee | Styling & Prop Hire: Italian Eye | Flowers: Stiatti Fiori | Stationery: Papier d'Amour | Celebrant: Blessings From Italy | Lighting: GB Audio | Music: The Old Florence Dixie Band | DJ: Righeschi Filippo | Venue: Villa il Poggiale