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Destination Wedding Inspiration in Umbria, Italy

Our editor Stephanie is currently on a fab European adventure, and following her on Instagram has me dreaming of packing up and setting sail – maybe to a gorgeous spot like Italy. Through the eyes of Squaresville Studios, the floral design of Crocus Fiori and styling by Umbria Bee Coming, this inspiration is proving that Umbria was made for destination nuptials. Click here for more.

From Squaresville StudiosLast summer my husband and I spent several months in Europe, including 4 weeks in Italy. We planned the trip booking local apartments via Airbnb and by pure chance ended up with a cute loft in Terni, Umbria. This particular region of Italy is just beautiful but far less known and completely underrated. It is full of kind hearted people, ancient architecture and breathtaking nature. (great food too, of course!). We were lucky to meet a local named Marco whose passion and profession it is to make Umbria more known. He is involved in all kinds of amazing projects that are geared towards bringing more tourism to the region. Long story short, he suggested that we create a style shoot and try to publish the pictures hoping they would draw attention to Umbria as a wedding destination. Needless to say I was happy to oblige because I truly believe that Umbria makes one of the most stunning backdrops for a wedding and/or honeymoon. The shoot took place at Abbazia San Pietro in Valle. Once an Abbey built in the 8th century it is now a luxery hotel that also hosts weddings. A venue full of unbelievable history and beauty!

Photography: Squaresville Studios | Floral Design: Crocus Fiori | Stationary: Susan Asbill | Catering: Hora Media | Calligraphy: Lettering Art Studio | Location: Abbazia San Pietro In Valle | Planning: Marco Angeletti At Umbria Bee Coming | Stationary Styling: Bows And Arrows

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Chic Country Wedding in Kent Film

I swear, to my American ears, everything sounds a bit more lovely in a British accent. So my heart melted a little extra wax when the groom made his toast to his bride. But accents aside, there’s beauty bursting from everywhere thanks to help from Bow Occasions  and every draped fold in the bride’s Monique Lhuillier gown. Just take a peek at this video from Wedding Film Studio and prepare your feet to be swept.


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From the Bride… Oliver and I met almost 10 years ago when I was living in Dubai and he was on holiday visiting a mutual friend. To my good luck he decided to move there a few years later and it didn’t take long for us to become great friends and then something more. We got engaged in the summer of 2012 and moved to London shortly after.

Planning the wedding was a dream for me. With the help of my amazing parents and my wonderful in-laws, we were granted everything we could have hoped for for our big day. The first thing we decided on was the venue, Oli’s family home in Kent, Little Bedgebury Farm. We fell in love with the idea of having a chic country wedding at a place that felt personal to Oli’s family and mine. The rest was a breeze, from finding our wonderful photographer, Sophia Hanbury, to choosing Simon at Wedding Film Studio to document the day, to Oli’s favourite part of the planning process, deciding on the cake!

The day itself couldn’t have gone any better. The weather was perfect, we had our closest friends and family around us, and the setting was dreamier than I could have ever imagined. Simon did an incredible job in capturing all of this and more. Our families have watched the DVD of the wedding more times than they can count, and every time Oli and I watch it, we get transported back to the best day of our lives.

Photographer: Sophia Hanbury | Videographer: Wedding Film Studio | Flowers: Sweet William's | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Cake: Creative Cakes Kent | Stationary: Letterpress Of Cirencester | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Cartier | Bridesmaids Dresses: Alfred Sung | Groom's Attire: Gieves And Hawkes | Celebrant: Lynne O'Hara | Entertainment - Band: Big Girls Blues Band | Hair & Make-Up: Tori Harris | Marquee: Four Jays | Veil/Headpiece: Toni Federici | Wedding Co-ordinator: Bow Occasions

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Weddington Way and Wedding Film Studio are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Summer French Chateau Wedding

Destination weddings don’t get better than a 3-day extravaganza in France. With 70 guests from every corner of the globe, this gorgeous duo treated their friends and family to the experience of a lifetime – all while pulling off a dream wedding in the process. Polly Alexandre captured the magic at Chateau La Durantie and the gallery is filled one perfect moment after another.

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Summer
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From Polly Alexandre… Cassie and Benjie met through work and had a whirlwind romance. They have a great sense of fun and absolutely love each others company, partying together as well as building a life together and supporting each other.

Benjie used to be a ski instructor and this sense of fun and adventure is at the heart of their relationship. For honeymoon they even went heli-skiing in Santiago in Chile!

Cassie fell in love with Chateau La Durantie in Lanouaille in the Dordogne region of France. It offered them the opportunity to host a house party style wedding, with their close friends and family staying in the Chateau or nearby for the whole weekend. Rumour has it the night before the wedding was *almost* as much fun as the wedding itself!

A traditional ceremony took place in the local church in the village before a drive through the beautiful countryside to the Chateau, with summer cocktails served on the terrace and lawns accompanied by a local jazz band.

From the Bride… Growing up I never allowed myself to think about my ‘dream’ wedding for fear of jinxing it but after Benjie’s romantic proposal in St. Petersburg on our 1 year anniversary my imagination was given carte blanche to create the perfect party in an idyllic location. We both love to travel and with one of our top priorities being fine food and wine France became the focus of the search.

When I came across the stunning Chateau La Durantie I knew that we had found our dream destination. We gave ourselves 18 months to organise the wedding which flew by. One of the best things about a destination wedding was that it gave us (and family members) the excuse to go out to France beforehand in the name of research, and the more we visited the more we loved it. When Benjie and I first talked about what we wanted our wedding to be like the answer was always “it’s got to be one huge party with the people we love most in the world.”

With the chateau being such a beautiful backdrop I wanted effortless, relaxed glamour to complement the natural surroundings and chose a palette of greys, pale pink and lilac. The stationery was created from scratch by our designer, who struck the perfect balance between elegantly stylish and not too feminine. My bridesmaids wore dresses in grey chiffon from Dessy, and were all allowed to choose their preferred style as I wanted them to wear something they felt suited them best and to be comfortable. Flowers were pale pink peonies in the bridal party bouquets and rustic displays in wooden planters for the tables, incidentally the tables were all named after ski resorts as a nod to our shared passion.

Planning a 3-day extravaganza abroad for 70 guests is a logistical challenge at the best of times but none of it would ever have happened without the extraordinary Charlotte, our planner, who solved issues left, right and centre whilst keeping me calm throughout – an absolute angel.

With guests traveling from all 4 corners of the earth we wanted to make their trip worthwhile and get to spend enough time with loved ones without being rushed, therefore a 3-day event was the obvious solution. On Friday night we had a sumptuous dinner in a local restaurant (complete with impromptu karaoke on the coach on the way home) and on the Sunday following the wedding we made the most of the blue skies with a huge BBQ and pool party.

The use of local produce was very important to us and where possible all food and wine was local and organic, instead of a traditional cake we had a tower of French cheeses draped with fruits and artisan breads available next to it. My mouth still waters when I think of that cheese tower, it was impossible to do it justice but we gave it a good go!

Looking back through Polly’s photos never fails make me smile. I can almost hear the jazz band playing as we sipped cocktails on the lawn and feel the warmth of the sun as it started to set across the rolling French landscape. We are blessed to have had the happiest day of our lives captured so perfectly, I hope you enjoy looking!

Photography: Polly Alexandre | Florist: Lisa Gatenby At French Flower Style | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Dessy | Catering: La Table D’Aline | Bride's Dress: Vintage Lazaro | Singer: Chris Southgate | Wedding Reception: Chateau La Durantie

Alfred Sung, Dessy Collection, Dessy Flower Girls, Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. JLM Couture, Inc is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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