There's nothing like a gorgeous sunny day to put a smile on your face, and this spectacular destination wedding has had me beaming from ear to ear. First up, an intimate ceremony at San Galgano Abbey, which used to be a monastery in the 15th century before the roof collapsed in the 17th century leaving it as it is today, a totally mesmerising place to get married. Next up was the dreamy outdoor reception in the Tuscan hills at Villa Podernovo with festoons lighting up the dance floor and highlighting the reception as well as all their guests' happy faces. Both Lush Imaging and Mrs Mashup films are members of our hand-picked wedding supplier directory The List, so you know you're in for a treat.

The Dress

Emily the Bride: The bride found her dress at the lovely Wedding Belles and Beaus in York. She’d tried on quite a few dresses by this point and, when she arrived, she discussed the style that she’d narrowed her search down to (lace and fitted) and elements that she wasn’t keen on (any sparkle whatsoever) – clearly, she was very wrong! Emily isn’t sure how the stunning Justin Alexander dress ended up in the fitting room. Slightly reluctantly she tried it on, only to instantly start tearing up. It wasn’t anything like the dress she thought she’d wanted yet it was suddenly “the one”.

The Groom

Sam’s suit was tailor-made by Gresham Blake. He wanted a special Italian style three-piece so this was the place to go! Sam got to customise every detail of his suit, which was a great process, while Emily secretly worked with the fantastic Fal at Gresham to surprise Sam with personalised jacket lining featuring an album cover of his favourite band, which (luckily) he loved.


After getting engaged, we instantly knew the perfect wedding for us would be an intimate gathering abroad, where we could enjoy great weather and extend the celebrations with our nearest and dearest for a few days. Luckily for us, our amazing friends and family were incredibly supportive. Neither Sam nor I have any links with Italy (Sam had never even been before we decided to get married there) but we both loved the rustic beauty of Tuscany and just knew it would be perfect for us. We stumbled on the wonderful San Galgano Abbey while searching online for possible venues and agreed it looked like the ideal place for our ceremony. When we visited a few months later, although the Abbey itself took our breath away, we actually fell in love with the idea of having the ceremony in the Sala Capitolare, a small room joined at the side of the Abbey. We decided that way, our guests would get to experience the incredible atmosphere of the Abbey, while maintaining an intimate feeling to the day. Villa Podernovo was the first reception venue we visited and it was simply perfect. It was exactly what they were looking for – simply beautiful, with a wonderful rustic charm. Best of all, there was enough space for our family and bridal party to stay for the long weekend, meaning there was no end to the celebrations.


One of my bridesmaids got married in the Summer of 2015 and she absolutely loved her photos by Naomi at Lush Imaging at the time. I knew I wanted Naomi to be in charge of capturing the memories of the special day but I wasn’t sure Naomi would be willing to travel to Tuscany for the pleasure. Suffice to say I needn’t have worried. From the second Naomi responded to my enquiry, she couldn’t have been more supportive and excited. Not only did she work with me in the run-up to the wedding, but her advice and support on the day itself were also invaluable and best of all, her photos – wow.

Bridesmaid Dresses

Out of my four bridesmaids, one was a new mum and two were pregnant so I knew the most important thing was for them to all feel comfortable. Luckily, they all fell in love with my favourite choice, a lovely Italian inspired, pale peach floral dress from ASOS.


Le Arti D’orfeo Ensemble was recommended to us by our wedding planner, Diana, and they did not disappoint. Daniele Del Lungo, the quartet leader’s suggestions on what music we should have before, during and after our ceremony were invaluable and the quartet were even happy to learn a new arrangement last minute for us. Sam was in charge of finding the band. Being able to give our guests a great party had always been important to us and we knew getting the band right would be key to this. It was quite difficult to find the right fit without having the luxury of being able to see the band perform beforehand but Sam’s hours of research proved worthwhile - The Super Party Rock Band were incredible and kept our guests dancing all night!

Lorna Shaw

Written by Lorna Shaw

Dress Designer: Justin Alexander | Bridal Boutique: Wedding Belles and Beaus of York | Grooms Suit: Gresham Blake | Bridesmaid Dresses: ASOS | Venue: San Galgano Abbey | String Quartet: Le Arti D’orfeo Ensemble | Band: Scarlett Entertainment | Videography: Mrs Mash Up

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