Old Fashioned Traditional English Style In An Italian Setting.
I think it’s safe to say that Adele and Todd’s wedding is the first I’ve seen where the bride arrives with her father in a boat. And what a handsome boat it was! And OH MY! What a SETTING.
If there’s ever a place that has jumped to the top of my must see list then it’s Lake Orta and when you see the images for yourselves I think you’ll agree. It is sublime, completely picturesque and the most perfect setting to contrast a little bit of English charm against the majesty of the Italian landscape.
Adele and Todd injected their day with a healthy dose of their personalities – from Todd’s brightly coloured and perfect (English) gentlemanly accessories to Adele’s love of sparkle. Her skin is also the perfect combination of porcelain and luminosity – I am so jealous.
And then there’s their attention to detail – to all the little touches of their intimate wedding.
It’s a total love fest!
Adele The Bride:I’d always dreamt of marrying in Italy – the idea of sunshine and a beautiful location was more appealing than a traditional UK wedding to me. My grandmother is Italian, so it’s in my blood. When I broached the subject with my fiancé about the idea of an overseas wedding, he was delighted! We wanted somewhere warm, somewhere rustic, and most importantly somewhere with an incredible backdrop for us and our guests to enjoy.
We started the planning process about a year before our big day by looking online at wedding planning companies who could help us with the different rules and regulations which applied to marrying overseas. As a result of our search we found our wedding planners Valentina and Ernesto of SposiamoVi, in Northern Italy; we fell in love with Lake Orta by simply looking at the photos in Valentina and Ernesto’s proposal. We’re not Catholic, so marrying in a Church wasn’t really an option in Italy, but we did have the choice of marrying at the local Town Hall which meant we could hold the ceremony outside. There are very few places where you can hold the actual ceremony outside in Italy, so this was perfect for us.
I’m a trained make-up artist so this was a really important part of the day for me. I played with different hairstyles for months before the big day, and in the end decided I wanted all my hair up and off my shoulders. I’ve worked with so many brides that I know how important it is to create a style that will last all day. A local hairstylist, Christina was recommended by our wedding planner, Valentina. I was so impressed with what she’d done, it was incredible. It lasted all day, and was so utterly elegant, I couldn’t stop looking at the creation!
I knew my make-up had to have staying power, and fortunately I’ve experimented with so many brands over the years, I knew exactly what was going to work for me. A combination of MAC, Dior Laura Mercier, and NARS were my go-to brands. I treated myself to something new of everything! I used individual lashes for impact but kept everything else quite minimal as I didn’t want to be touching up a bold lipstick all day for instance.
My nails were a Chanel colour – a gorgeous shade of peachy orange to tie in with our colour scheme. As part of my gift to Todd, we had his and hers fragrance, by an Italian brand called Trussardi.
I actually bought my dress soon after our engagement, although it wasn’t intentional! I used to drive by a boutique in Weybridge called Swoon and one day a particular dress in the window caught my eye. The next day I called for an appointment to try it on. I had no idea at the time it was a Jenny Packham gown (Arianna) – it was simple and elegant with minimal detail which is what I was looking for. However the only detail on the dress was beautiful – sparkling and intricate, and I can’t help but be drawn to anything that glistens! It was the first dress I’d tried on and I loved it.
I found a local dressmaker, Ning Cooper in Weybridge who specialised in delicate designer gown alterations and was recommended to me by the boutique. Ning was fabulous, and together we adapted the dress slightly as I wanted to include a touch of lace, and make the dress unique. The back of the dress was originally open, but she added a lace panel was which just made it even more glamorous.
We wanted to create an old fashioned traditional English style in an Italian setting. Colours were important to resemble the warmth of our setting, as were the accessories. Todd opted for a bowler hat, pocket watch and chain, and a gentlemen’s London umbrella to complete his look. He wore a navy pinstripe 3-piece suit from Oscar Jacobson – a Swedish designer, and Italian leather brogues. We were living in Norway leading up to the wedding, so wanted to include a little piece of Scandinavia in our day!
I met a wonderful accessories designer, Donna Crain at a wedding show, and I’m so pleased to be able to call her a friend now. We worked on designing a comb to complement my up-do. However on one of my trips to her studio, I spotted a birdcage and feather creation she had just made. She persuaded me to try it on, and told me it would be better suited to my dress for the ceremony. I knew I didn’t want a veil, but I did want something more subtle. This was perfect – she added some Swarovski crystals so I could wear this during the day, and then swap to the comb for the evening reception.
I also had two pairs of shoes – a low peep-toe heel by Dune, with a large crystal knot for the day and a high pair of orange peep-toes by Ted Baker for the evening. I wore a pearl and topaz pendant for my something blue, and a bracelet I had bought for my sister which she wore on her wedding day, which became my something borrowed. Todd bought me a pair of diamond studs which he sent to my room in the morning. He is obsessed with watches, and I managed to find a pair of cufflinks made from Omega watch movements. I wish I’d been able to see his face when he opened the box, although, I was assured I’d made the right choice!
Our wedding party was small – we kept it to family and a few friends as we wanted an intimate gathering. It was a tough decision as there were so many more people we wanted with us, but an overseas wedding for most people is quite an expense, so we were conscious of keeping the guests to a minimum. We decided not to have bridesmaids or a best man to keep things simple, otherwise all my female friends and sister would have been bridesmaids! Todd didn’t have a best man either, but he did ask his sister to keep hold of the rings!
We had one long table at the venue and it was decorated with burning scented lemon candles, beautiful flower arrangements, individual bottles of Limoncello, personalised orange scented candles for everyone, as well as organza bags filled with pink and orange personalised m&m’s! The vases were filled with cut lemons and limes and our flowers included roses, cala lillies, hydrangeas and berries. From the ceiling of our restaurant on the lake, Valentina had hung a selection of orange and pink paper pompoms in different sizes.
Roses are my favourite flower so they were an essential part of my bouquet. We were guided by Valentina and our florist (La Piccola Selva) about seasonal flowers. Hydrangeas featured in my bouquet too, alongside cala lillies. Our female guests were treated to a pink rose corsage, and our male guests wore an orange rose on their lapels. I wanted everyone to really feel included in the detail, so these small touches were important to me.
Apart from exchanging “I do” with my husband in Italian rather than English, and becoming husband and wife, my favourite part of the ceremony was arriving at the Town Hall by a row boat with my Dad. I was so nervous about taking a boat, imagining the worst and it capsizing! After much reassurance from Valentina right up until the actual day that it had never happened before, we climbed in. Once Dad and I were sat down, I relaxed and just took in the amazing scenery on the lake. It’s a moment that will stay with me forever, laughing nervously as we stepped into the boat, but watching Dad’s face and seeing how much he was absolutely loving the experience is a fabulous memory!
After the ceremony and photographs, our guests walked with us through the narrow streets from the Town Hall to the market square where we had organised gelato for everyone. Locals and tourists clapped us and congratulated us which was just so amazing. Cecelina’s photographs capture those special moments perfectly.
From the market square, we took two boats (not row boats this time!) across to the tiny St Julius Island which houses a monastery, and where our guests enjoyed Prosecco and nibbles whilst Todd and I had our photographs with Cecelina. From here, we took another boat ride along the lake to the restaurant for our evening reception. The best part of our plan was that our wedding party didn’t have a clue what was happening next – we had kept the whole day a surprise for everyone!
We chose a swing band! We wanted live music, and Valentina recommended a wonderful 3-piece band who performed old classics, as well as songs in Italian! It was a real talking point for our guests – they loved it, with everyone staying on the dance floor until the end of the night!
We were guided by our wedding planners, together with the restaurant, L’Ustaria and chose a typical Italian five course meal. We were all so stuffed at the end of dinner that we could hardly manage the amazing 5 tiered cheese cake we’d opted for instead of a sweet cake.
We drank local Prosecco on arrival, flavoured with blood red orange and a beautiful white wine with dinner. Decorative canapés were everything that is typically associated with Italian food, and were devoured pretty quickly.
Soak up every minute. Watch your new husband, and your guests – it’s a great thing to just stop and look at everyone and the wonderful environment you’re all in because it’s over faster than you can imagine!