After a surprise Christmas-time engagement, Vicki and Nicholas began planning their romantic wedding day, which they knew would be a destination celebration in Italy. They had visited the area the previous year, so the location decision was an easy one. They were married on the 22nd of September 2016 and held their ceremony and reception at Villa Vignamaggio in Chianti, a beautiful pink historic villa set amongst green vineyards and perfectly cut hedges. A huge highlight for them was being able to spend two days relaxing with their nearest and dearest with the pinnacle being, of course, their nuptials.
The stand-out venue and its pink hues set the tone of the colour scheme, which was white, neutrals, dusty pinks and hints of gold, as well as the vintage feel of the décor. I was absolutely blown away by how fabulous the bridesmaids’ outfits looked together, considering they had chosen their own dusty pink dresses (something they’d feel comfortable in) and only saw them together on the big day. The bride and groom looked oh-so-happy and sophisticated – her in a lace and tulle Stella York gown and him in a light blue suit with a textured blue tie. I think Vicki’s advice regarding destination weddings is spot on too – “If the idea of spending a few days with close family and friends appeals to you then opt for a destination wedding. Don’t let the smallest of hurdles put you off, as it will be more than worth it in the long run.” It really is such a fun and unique way to get hitched!
Thank you so much, Angelica Braccini Photography, for these wonderful images.
THE PROPOSAL | Nick proposed at Penny Hill Park Hotel in Surrey on the 23rd December 2015. I booked the day off work, having been told that we were meeting friends for a Christmas lunch, which was obviously not the plan. Neither of us is big on public displays of affection, so Nick proposed in the privacy of our room and followed it up with a lovely spa and dinner.
THE VISION | The vision was to have a relatively intimate wedding allowing us to spend quality time with close family and friends. We also loved the idea of being outside and this was made all the more likely by having a wedding in Italy.
THE PLANNING PROCESS | We booked the venue almost right away as we had a place in mind, having spent two nights there as part of our Tuscan holiday the previous year. Once this was on hold, we obviously then had to check that we would have some guests to join us with the celebrations, so the invites were a priority. We hired a wedding planner to help us navigate the legal side of the wedding. It was a huge relief to know that this was in the hands of someone who knew what they were doing!
Perhaps the most fun part of the planning…we planned a trip out to Italy four months prior to the wedding. This was great as it allowed us to do the food and wine tasting, talk through any queries with the venue and meet our photographer and wedding planner.
THE VENUE | Our wedding was held at Villa Vignamaggio in Greve, Chianti. We were married in front of the historic villa followed by drinks on the terrace overlooking the spectacular views of the Chianti hills. Finally, we enjoyed dinner then dancing under the trees in the garden.
THE DRESS & ACCESSORIES | My dress was by Stella York – I loved the combination of lace and tulle. I chose not to wear a veil so instead opted for a hairpin by Ivory & Co.
FINDING THE DRESS | I perhaps went the wrong way about wedding dress shopping. I left it quite late and had already bought three of my bridesmaid dresses, which I then carried around bridal shops with me to ensure my dress went with these…I think this was a first for some of the bridal shops. It didn’t cause me any issues, however I wouldn’t recommend doing things that way round.
I went to a few local wedding dress shops (with my mum, sister, aunt and cousin on hand for valued opinions) and whilst we saw lots of lovely dresses, there was nothing that blew me away. I had a friend find her wedding dress at Tilly Mint the previous year, so I knew that it was a great shop with really helpful staff and lots of lovely dresses. I actually had the opposite problem here, as I fell in love with two dresses, but with the help of my mum, friend and Tilly Mint staff, I picked the one that we thought worked best with the location (and my bridesmaid dresses!).
GROOM’S ATTIRE | Nick found his suit in Suit Supply. It was a lovely soft blue shade and slightly lighter weight to ensure no melting in the Italian sun. He wore this with a contrasting waistcoat and a textured tie that was the same as the ushers, but all in different shades.
THE READINGS & MUSIC | We had just one reading ‘Always Love Each Other’ by Larry S Chengges that was read by friend Laura. A string trio played for us during the wedding ceremony and drinks reception and I walked down the aisle to Elvis Presley’s ‘Can’t Help Falling in Love’. For the evening party, we opted for a DJ playing a mix of classic and current songs. Our first dance (which was perhaps one of the hardest decisions) was ‘The One’ by Kodaline.
BEAUTIFUL BRIDESMAIDS | I personally have always loved the idea of mismatched bridesmaid dresses and with five bridesmaids, it made sense to me to have them each wear something they felt comfortable in and would pick for themselves. The wedding day was the first time we saw them all together in their dresses and they look amazing!
THE FLOWERS | Our florist was actually our only supplier that didn’t speak English, but it really didn’t matter. It’s such a visual thing that between the images and google translate, we had it covered and in a way made it more fun. For the flowers, we wanted something that looked quite natural and not too immaculate. They were a mix of white, pinks and neutrals, which went beautifully with the dresses. We had two long tables for dinner, which had garlands running the length of them made of greenery and roses to match the bouquets with tea lights dotted along the way.
THE CAKE | In keeping with Italian tradition, our wedding cake was a large Millefoglie, which after the customary cutting of the cake, was served as our dessert. Delicious!!!
YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER | Our photographer, Angelica Braccini, was recommended to us by our venue. We knew that we loved her style of photography from looking at her website, but when we had our own pictures through, we were blown away. She captured the atmosphere of the day perfectly and is just a really lovely person to have there on your special day.
THE DETAILS & DÉCOR | The striking pink shade of the main villa at Vignamaggio provided a dramatic backdrop for our wedding and all the details we added were intended to compliment these surroundings. Overall, there was definitely an element of vintage-inspired details on the day, which happened quite naturally due to the nature of the venue.
The bridesmaid dresses were shades of dusty pinks and neutrals, a palette inspired by the villa that also flowed through to the flowers. We had subtle accents of gold that came through on smaller details like the stationery, fans, picture frames and favours (traditional Italian sweets in gold tins).
THE HONEYMOON | The day after the wedding we drove down to the Amalfi Coast and spent time in Sorrento and Positano before ending our trip in Capri.
MEMORABLE MOMENTS | Getting to spend two days with our closest friends and family was such a unique opportunity and provided us with so many memorable moments beyond just the day itself. One of the most standout moments from the day were the speeches. It was a part of the wedding I hadn’t given much thought to and they were just brilliant…we laughed so much and they were talked about for some time after the event.
ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES | If the idea of spending a few days with close family and friends appeals to you, then opt for a destination wedding. Don’t let the smallest of hurdles put you off, as it will be more than worth it in the long run.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT IS DUE |
Photographer | Angelica Braccini Photography
Hair and Makeup | Adrienne Aereboe
Flowers | Marielou Fiori
Venue and Food | Villa Vignamagio
Music (String Trio and DJ) | Wedding Music and Lights
Wedding Dress | Stella York found at Tilly Mint
Bride’s Shoes | Reiss
Groom’s Suit | Suit Supply
Wedding Planner | Sara Barni at Joelle Marie
Wedding Stationery | Janine Downey
Calligraphy | Eileen Sherman
Thank you for sharing your remarkable celebration with us, Vicki and Nicholas. It certainly looked like you and your guests thoroughly enjoyed yourselves and those reception pictures under the stars, tall trees and fairy lights had me dreaming of wandering around Italy on a warm night. Congratulations to you both. Abby xx