What a way to spend a Saturday, in Italy for the Tuscany wedding celebrations of Julia and Scott held on the 24th September 2018. They held their week long celebrations at Villa Boccella which meant that all their guests could stay in villa throughout the week to really soak up the incredible countryside location.
Julia and Scott hoped for a relaxed day which was elegant and understated. The result was an incredibly stylish wedding day, from the stunning outfits (hello Alexandra Grecco gown and boater hats) to the to-die-for opulent florals and the outdoor reception with a table that seems to stretch on forever. They were married outside and held their reception outdoors and who can blame them with such a wonderful setting, I love how it transforms in the evening thanks to romantic lighting too.
What a treat it is to be sharing Lelia Scarfiotti‘s sensational images today, thanks so much for sharing them with us Lelia.
On the deserted beach at Porthcurno, near Lands End on a chilly February evening, two days before my birthday. The sun had just gone down, the sky was still pink and the sea was that brilliant Cornish turquoise, even in the low light. Scott hadn’t planned to do it right then but the moment felt right so he went with it. I was so surprised and we were both elated and distracted and very almost got taken out by a huge wave! As we headed back to our very cosy and, in hindsight suspiciously luxurious barn conversion, Scott sneakily text the owner (who knew of his plans for the trip in advance!) to say he had done the deed and she filled the space with candles, roses and put a bottle of champagne on ice for us. I danced about and we called families and drank champagne. It really was the happiest time. I felt high for a week.
We gave ourselves a couple of months to just enjoy being engaged without thinking too much about planning a wedding but gradually one thing became clear – It had to be Italy. Over the 7 years we had been together at this point we had grown a bit obsessed with Italy and had for the most part holidayed there exclusively. We knew it would mean incredible food, beautiful surroundings, great weather and much longer to enjoy our celebration with family and friends.
We dreamed of a relaxed day, with elegant, understated styling in countryside setting. We wanted to blend the traditions which mattered to us with personal additions and of course some Italian wedding customs – because as they say, when in Rome! And honestly, the Italians do it so well.
The Planning Process
We set about planning in a relatively unorganised manor but came out on top, finding the most incredible venue which suited our needs, numbers and wildest dreams down to the ground. The idea was to find an old Italian villa which would not only be the setting for the wedding day but would also be our and all of our 50 something guests home for the week. We did a very fun road trip around Tuscany to see our prospective venues and the moment we glimpsed Villa Boccella through the cypress trees as we approached, we knew.
After this unaccompanied journey to securing our venue we decided we were in great need of a trusty wedding planner. Neither of us speak Italian and venue hunting had been draining at times. We spoke to a few wedding planners but didn’t find the perfect harmonious vibe until we were recommended Rosy of Wedding In Wonderland. Once we started working with her it was like someone had just added oil to a rusty old machine and suddenly everything started working! We never looked back.
… Did not get stuck to very strictly… But we had the week of our lives and don’t regret a thing. Best money we ever spent.
The Readings & Music
We had a very talented guitar and violin duo from Alma Project for the ceremony and drinks reception who played literally anything we requested (even game of thrones! – At the drinks reception obviously…). I walked up the aisle to a rendition of Strawberry Swing by Coldplay.
My mum read a poem called Coming Home by Mary Oliver. It still gives me goose bumps to remember. And one of Scott oldest friends read an extract from Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. There weren’t many dry eyes.
We combined the traditional vows with personal amendments and our own declarations. It was peaceful, moving and funny, skipping the cheese. Then we headed back up the aisle, freshly wed and the Aperol Spritz was served right there in the garden with our talented duo jamming away!
The most incredible and enchanting Villa Boccella, near Lucca in Tuscany. It will forever be the embodiment of heaven in my mind.
The Details & Décor
We kept the details simple because the setting did much of the work for us.
We wanted to create a surreal dreamy atmosphere for the celebration, with a kind of timeless feeling and a retro touch, having as main centre the decadent venue and the Tuscan flowers. We chose romantic deep tones for the florals of the ceremony, combined with folding dark wooden chairs, suited our country garden location and stood out against the white bridal party’s dresses.
For the tablescape we left the colour behind and went more sophisticated with a pale grey table covering with the silvery green runner of olive and eucalyptus, the most traditional Tuscan greens. Our lovely florist Sabrina, who has been running for years a small flowers business in the village of Borgo a Mozzano created the most beautiful combinations of shades to suit our scheme.
The candles, sparkly glasses and overhead festoon lights did the rest. With fairy lights, more is more. We had them everywhere. Luckily my dad is an accomplished DIYer and we bought a suitcase full with us so the whole bar and surrounding courtyard was decked out by him in a most professional manner! On the dance floor we had three mirrored disco balls installed by Mixar for a glittery retro vibe.
The flowers for the bouquets and buttonholes were deep jewel tones with peach accents. For the single long table which seated all the guests, we had a continuous runner of olive and eucalyptus greens dispersed with candles and white fairy lights overhead. The table looked completely magical.
Lelia Scarfiotti – an actual genius and a truly lovely person. We knew we wanted her before we even had a venue.
Your Outfits & Accessories
My dress was by Alexandra Grecco – the Lewis Gown, bought from an A.G trunk show in Yorkshire’s Ghost Orchid Bride. It’s a super simple, super chic slip dress, perfect for a destination wedding. I paired it with a Helen Martin, an Olivia the Wolf head piece and white block heals from Kurt Geiger. For jewellery I wore a tiny antique gold pendant which Scott bought me years before (my something old), modern minimalist earrings from ASOS Design and a delicate gold bracelet with a single cornflower sapphire, given to me by my parents. And of course my very beautiful oval solitaire engagement ring and wedding ring we had made to go with it. For the evening I had a white mohair cropped sweater from And Other Stories in case I got chilly over dinner and I paired my dress with an Ivy Oak topper for the dancing. It looked like a whole new outfit!
Scott wore a custom navy blue single breasted suit by Suit Supply with a white shirt and grey and blue tie, both from TM Lewin. He wore dark brown loafers from Massimo Dutti and I bought him some silver Aspinal of London cuff links which were delivered to him as a little wedding morning gift. We have a super sweet photo of him opening them and reading my letter.
Hair and makeup was by the very talented Guilia Cresci. I wanted both be understated and natural because I don’t wear much make up day to day and I wanted to feel and look like myself – the very best version of myself. My hair was blown out and worn down with natural wave and the girls wore low pony tails tied with narrow black ribbon. I couldn’t get over how incredible the girls looked and I felt amazing.
The groomsmen wore navy blazers from TM Lewin, air force blue ties and white single cuff shirts, also TM Lewin. They wore stone chinos from Next and dark brown shoes of their own choice.
Obviously we love Italy and as usual we had little desire to jet off anywhere else so at the end of the week we boarded a train from Pisa to Naples and began a tour of the Amalfi coast and Capri. It was very indulgent and completely perfect. One of the highlights, (actually one of our wedding presents) was the rental a very nice private boat which we drove up and down the famous coastline and then lounged around in the bay of Positano with a bottle of champagne. The postcard views you only get from the water were all ours.
Because we made the whole affair last a week, there are so many. The speeches were my highlight from the wedding day. All of them, but Scott’s speech for me especially, I wish I could have those moments backs. They were all touching and hilarious in equal and immeasurable measure. I don’t think anyone wanted them to end which is definitely not always the case!
We put on a huge BBQ another day and also organised a mini Olympics with all our guests competing in two teams. The best thing about having a week was how many extra moments you have to treasure.
The bridesmaids all wore different but complimentary white/nude tone cocktail length dresses, which in not all being the same kept everything from looking too stiff and formal. The dresses were from For Love and Lemons, Coast, Cmeo Collective and True Decadence. All the girls wore the Spencer Wide Brimmed Boater from Lack of Colour Australia which looked incredibly chic and kept their looks cohesive. They paired their dresses with either gold or nude heels of their own choice.
We had an enormous summer fruit tart for a wedding cake supplied by our superb caterer Class Ricevimenti. This is traditional wedding cake in Italy and we felt it would be the perfect end to the three savoury courses (two of which were pasta!) as it was much lighter than a typical English style wedding cake. We cut the cake under an ancient plane tree and drank limoncello before going through to the bar we’d set up in the orangery and the party ahead…
Advice For Other Couples
Just do you. And if you can take a little longer over things, make it last, why not? You only get to do it once and it will probably be the most money you will ever spend on a single day so make sure you get every last drop of that pure wedding joy. Everybody loves a wedding and will love being along for the ride.
Credit Where Credit Is Due
Design & Planning
Wedding In Wonderland
Makeup & Hairstyle
Helen Martin Veils
Olivia The Wolf
Oh so magical.
Julia and Scott, thank you both so much for sharing your dreamy destination wedding with us xo Lou