I love a wedding with laid back vibes, especially when it's a destination wedding with a seriously gorgeous and stylish bride and groom. Both Emily & Pete look absolutely perfect for sunnier climes - dressed lightly but still very much playing the part of leading man and lady. They've also got some genius tips for saving money on a destination wedding - things I've never come across before and I've been blogging weddings for a loooooong time. If you're planning a wedding abroad then make sure you read carefully. Images come from Will Patrick Weddings and I've totally fallen for his relaxed, natural and fun style. The whole day has been captured beautifully and it's definitely one of those weddings where the images alone make you wish you had been there! SO much joy is radiating from them, why not have a look for yourselves...

The Bride

Emily The Bride: I wore a Yolan Cris’ boho bridal collection dress, a great designer for weddings in hotter climates as her styles are very floaty and light with still lots of detailing that makes them very individual. I got my dress in a sample sale at London Bridal Boutique which is a great way to get designer dresses at a discount and still in season as every boutique will clear out that season stock around April/May time when normal lead times to the dresses for that summer are about 6 to 7 month minimum, so great for a last minute bride! Later, I changed into an Alexander Wang off the rack dress so I could enjoy dancing train free!

The Venue

Villa Catignano was the first villa we saw and instantly fell in love. It was also the only villa we visited that could have everyone staying on site so it was a no-brainer really. There were also so many different options on site for the ceremony and dinner. 3 courtyards, a superb Italian garden complete with life-size statues & maze, two hallways for dancing, and stunning views from all of them.

The Styling

The villa already did a wonderful job of combining rustic charm and vintage glamour with the crumbling stone farmhouses mixed in with the grand terracotta villa. It set the perfect tone for the entire wedding – romantic, rustic and casual. Despite the wedding being abroad we were still quite DIY with decorations as it didn’t make sense to pay loads of money as the location was already so stunning. We set the tables with vintage blue glass plates and bottles I found on eBay, and I went to a local florist to pick cut flowers for the table and the bouquets that the bridesmaids made themselves. I had the help of a wonderful wedding planner in Sophie at PM Events – she really listened to the brief and captured the Italian vintage theme with her table plan and amazing information leaflets she designed for the welcome baskets we put in all the guests rooms.

The Wedding Party

The bridesmaid dresses were a labour of love as I knew I wanted each one in different patterned dresses but also to work collectively. Using Alice Temperley & Valentino embroidered styles as my inspiration I found most of my dresses from Hope & Ivy on ASOS, they offered the right look at affordable prices (with a few arm length alterations to cater for the Italian sun) The maid of honour wore a Needle & Thread dress I found at a sample sale. For the Groomsmen burnt orange bow ties worked nicely with the flashes of colour in the bouquets, button holes and on the bridesmaid dresses tying everyone together in a way that wasn’t too matchy matchy – something we had both wanted to avoid from the start.

The Ceremony

We had already legally married in Islington Town Hall prior to Italy meaning we could make the ceremony really personal which was important to us. Our close mutual friend, Andy, choreographed and led the whole thing and we wrote our own vows which was very emotional. It helped immensely having such talented friends and family - my school friend Alice sang with the band and my illustrator cousin, Felicity O’Dwyer ( designed the order of service, both adding the extra special touches.

The Entertainment

I came across our band Truly Medley Deeply when someone had posted about them on a destination wedding forum. They are London based but travel all over. Their USP is doing medleys of genres/eras of music which means their repertoire covers pretty much all the best songs to get the party going. My highlights were the 90’s garage medley that had every guest singing along and later an Ibiza section. I had a lot comments from guests about how fun the band were and I highly recommend them, they will add something extra special to your wedding.

The Food

The food was another thing we are very proud of. We knew we wanted food trucks pretty early however for weddings in Italy they are quite a rarity and so we were finding it hard to find contacts through the normal avenues! In the end Pete found an Italian manufacturer of Ape trucks (the vintage style food trucks popular in Italy) and they put us in contact with Antonio from Basulon Food Trucks. Rather than courses guest could carry on getting food throughout the evening from 3 different food trucks which added something a bit different to the wedding breakfast and cut the cost of needing waiters. We also had a self-service beer cart and a Gelato stand that were both very popular.

The Photography

Will Patrick Wedding Photography – Once Pete and I had seen him work his magic at my best friend’s wedding the previous year it was an easy decision to make. We knew we could rely on him to capture the day perfectly however the end result blew us away! Will has such a talent at capturing the big and the small details with such subtly and emotion we relived every moment through his photos – even some we missed the first time round. Not having a videographer didn’t bother us as there’s nothing he left out of the day including great action shots of the dancing!


It may seem like you must get everything done through one company if you’re getting married abroad but if you find a venue that’s flexible the best way to stay in control of cost is getting a lot of things delivered from different places, for example, via Amazon (candles/fairy lights), local vineyards for the all the wine and Prosecco, and local supermarkets for any extras. Also finding a venue that could house most of your guest would be our tip to enjoying your wedding the most as you have so much more time with your guests!
Fern Godfrey

Written by Fern Godfrey

Bride: Yolan Cris | Alexander Wang | Venue: Villa Catignano | Bridesmaids: Hope & Ivy | Needle & Thread | Band: Truly Medley Deeply | Catering: Basulon | Wedding Planner: Sophie at PM Events

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