For once I’m at a loss with where to start when talking about Clara and Cedric’s achingly beautiful big day. I’m like a Catherine Wheel spinning off in a hundred and one different directions wanting to tell you lovelies about each and every one of the exquisite details that make up their destination Italian wedding.
I actually feel like I’ve scooped the jackpot this morning by being able to share this ‘I Do’ with you and by the time you’ve finished pouring over all the images I can bet my bottom dollar that you’ll be pinning them to your heart’s content too.
I love Clara and Cedric’s supersized wedding party and their equally slick sartorial choices; Clara’s veil and flower crown are particularly heavenly. And then there’s the romantic Italian courtyard set amongst the backdrop of a historic villa and bucketloads of sunshine. And by jove these two know how to kiss – their portrait shots are filled to the brim with passion and love and laughter.
And that folks is exactly how it should be.
Let’s take a look…
Clara The Bride:From the moment we got engaged we decided we would get married in Italy. It is a tradition to have the wedding in the brides’ country and also we wanted to make sure to have very good food and good wine, so where else? We set our hearts on Tuscany, which although is not the part of Italy I come from, we love this area for the gastronomy, scenery, culture and people and we knew all our guests would love to visit it and explore it.
We knew we wanted to have a countryside/rustic wedding, so the venue had to reflect that, we wanted somewhere old, with character and history, but also with all the amenities for our family and guests to spend time at the venue over the wedding week with comfort. From the moment we step through the gate of Villa Di Ulignano, we fell in love with it and we both knew we had to marry there.
My make up was super natural. My hair consisted of a messy side fishtail braid topped off with a real flower wreath. I knew I wanted something simple, soft and natural, as if I’d put it together few minutes before rather than having sat in the hairdresser for five hours.
My gown was from Pronovias. I purchased it from the boutique they have in Milan. From the moment I got engaged (literally) I started to look at gowns online (for hours on end) and I knew I wanted a mermaid style, which I thought would suit me best. I also wanted lace to go with the vintage/retro theme of the wedding. I tried so many dresses before coming across the ONE; my sister cried when she saw me in it and I knew then I had found it.
I had a long floor length veil also from Pronovias, made of soft tulle. I didn’t wear any jewellery apart from a thin cuff (which was a present from a friend just before the wedding,) of white gold and diamonds. My shoes were a pair of white satin platforms from Valentino. After the first dance I resorted to a pair of flip flops though.
I had two bridesmaids (my sister and my best friend), they wore a beautiful strapless short dress in peach from J.Crew. It was very simple and classy and they both looked amazing. The dress was chosen because of the colour; my colour palette was pastels and I wanted the bridesmaids in something like blush pink or peach and my bridesmaids also loved it, which was important for me.
I also had three flower-girls; they wore a off-white vintage inspired dress from Ilovegorgeous and silver ballerina flats, along with a wreath of olive tree leaves in their hair. The groomsmen wore navy chinos, white shirts and bow ties, all from Zara.
The colour scheme was pastels with a rustic twist, this was reflected on the bridal party as well as my bouquet. The beautiful venue already gave lots of that look itself. My amazing florist Tommaso added bits of vintage furniture and decoration details such as glass jars, candles, old crates, and so on to add to it.
My bouquet included garden roses, spontaneous greenery, scabiosa seeds, ivory dahlias and peonies. For the ceremony we had an arch made of natural vine stocks with a few white flowers and along the aisle small bouquets in glass vases in wooden sticks. On the long dinner table the decoration was made of a mix of glasses, urns, candle holders and flowers (pink and apricot sweet avalance roses, very soft pink illusion roses, white lysianthus, ranunculus roses, wax flowers, peonies, astrantia, scabiosa seeds and dahlias). Napkins decorated with rosemary, cord and lace.
Our ceremony was symbolic and this allowed us to personalise it the way we wanted without having to stick to a specific format. I chose all the readings myself including an excerpt from ‘Capitan Corelli’s Mandolin’, which is also the only reading that made me emotional during the ceremony; it is so beautiful and also it was so perfect for us, we have been together for 10 years before we said ‘I DO’.
The other memorable moment from the ceremony is definitely when I walked down the aisle with my dad. I chose the song for this moment ages ago even before getting engaged I knew this was going to be song for this moment, I used to drive in my car and listen to it and imagine the moment it would become true. As Cedric is French and I am Italian, the song was ‘Le ciel dans une chambre’ sang by Carla Bruni, who is originally Italian but grew up in France and who sings the song in both languages. It is beautiful, her voice is soft and calm and the words were also just perfect for us.
The music was very important to us, no party is a party without good music and our family and friends loves dancing so it was an important detail. We had an amazing swing band – Alma Sisters – who sung live during the aperitivo and pre dinner.
After dinner, we had a DJ who came from France to entertain us where we danced till 4am after our first dance song – ‘Save the last dance for me’ by Michael Buble.
The food…one of the most important things!! We had a typical Italian Aperitivo pre dinner and then a three course meal including pasta and risotto as starters and then ‘Bistecca alla Fiorentina’ which is a famous steak. We served fresh cherries and then the wedding cake. The wedding cake was the typical Italian wedding cake, Millefoglie, layers of puff pastries and cream, topped with wild strawberries. Yummy! Late at night when people were dancing and drinking, we had an ice cream cart, typical Italian and with a vintage look that offered people cones of Italian ice cream in three different flavours.
The wedding invitations were purchased from Etsy; I was researching the website for wedding related items and I came across the invites and fell in love with them. not only they had the vintage look we were looking for, but also the map of Italy on the front, they were perfect, I did not need to look anywhere else and I straight away ordered a big batch.
I also DIY’d the cones for the flowers petals for the ceremony. Few months back I took some old books that belonged to my grandfather from my parents’ house that my mum was going to throw away. I took the pages and we made cones out of them; they looked perfect for the setting and I like the idea that a part of my grandfather was there on the day.