Roma, Roma, Roma. Is there any place more romantic for a destination wedding? Certainly not in my book. This couple felt the same and planned a celebration in a village just outside the city, sharing vows in a little church steeped in history. They asked guests to put away all cell phones, iPads and the like for a completely unplugged ceremony that set the tone for a truly meaningful day. Laura Gordon photographed and we cannot get enough.
From Laura Gordon Photography…Irish couple, Lindsay and Michael married in Italy last summer; their organic and elegant aesthetic, from the simple table setting foraged from the Italian villa to the dreamy hillside village where they said their vows. The old world feel paired with the impeccable style of this couple created what I consider the quintessential European wedding.
From The Bride…Michael and I got together about six years ago but we were actually pals for about seven years before that. We are still amused that we ended up together because neither of us ever had notions on each other…I even tried to set him up with my best friend at one point. Thank goodness that never came about because I just couldn’t imagine my life without him now. Living on opposite sides of Ireland to each other meant that most of our relationship was spent traveling at weekends just to see one other. Although worth it, it left very little time for family and friends and when we did get engaged, we both knew that we wanted a wedding that would allow us to spend as much time as possible with our nearest and dearest. I co-own an online destination wedding magazine and both of my older brothers had had weddings abroad, so I was well aware of how a wedding outside of Ireland meant that we would have two to three days of celebrating. Coupled with the fact that we couldn’t find a venue in Ireland that could cater for our tastes and our numbers, we started our venue search in Italy as it was relatively close flight wise and we could also have a legally binding Catholic wedding there.
Being in the wedding industry, I guess I felt quite a lot of pressure from the outset and before even going to Italy on the venue scouting trip, I had to get a few things straight in my head. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to separate my work from my personal life and I really wanted to feel like a bride, not a planner on her biggest event to date. The wedding was about us, not me and my job, so the venue was going to have to be able to cater for lots of music and dancing (Mike and I are both musicians and we originally met on tour) and be okay with our crazy, but amazing family and friend’s partying ways.
Finding a venue that could hold 200 guests abroad was not the easiest task but we struck gold with Borgo di Tragliata, an ancient village located outside Rome. The moment we landed on our first venue scouting trip, something just clicked. Apart from having one of the most amazing onsite coordinators I have ever come across, there was an atmosphere at the village that just felt right and I felt so relaxed there. From our first visit to deciding we wanted to stay one extra night after our wedding, we were treated like royalty. Two hundred people flew from Ireland to be with us for the weekend so it was important to us that we showed them how much we appreciated them traveling so far. We had a BBQ the night before the wedding that ended up being like a wedding in itself. The music was still going at 4.30am when Mike and I forced ourselves to say goodnight and only for our fab hairdresser arriving at 7am, I’d have snuck back down to the party.
We took a lot of the design inspiration for our wedding from the venue. Being an organic farm, we kept that in mind when it came to designing our invitations, choosing handmade paper and hand dyed silk ribbons. Ruby nailed it with the flowers, most of which were foraged from the venue grounds. The color palette kind of came about organically also. I started with greys and golds when putting together our stationery and introduced the soft pastels later on when it was becoming clearer to me what would be available around the time of our wedding and in Italy. My parents, who were traveling to the wedding via France in their motor home, very kindly allowed me to pack it full of our own gold cutlery and table decor so I didn’t have to stress about sourcing locally.
The wedding day itself was just like a dream. My feet didn’t touch the ground. We had asked guests to put away their phones and cameras for the church as I was bit nervous about the walk down the aisle and didn’t like the idea of being snapped on top of it. What we didn’t expect though was the effect it had on the entire ceremony. Everyone was so present. The mass was full of music with 22 musicians thanks to our talented families and friends but everyone got involved and one of my lasting memories is hearing what sounded like the entire congregation singing along to “You are Mine”. It was so emotional, I’m tearing up thinking back. No-one was reaching for iPads and cameras, they were just part of it. Of course our priest, Fr. Flor made it so personal. As a musician himself, he understood how important the music was to us and it was magical. The rest of the day flowed in the same way and I know it’s cliche, but it was the best day of our lives.
We were both incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a team of vendors that are some of our greatest friends. Rodolphe, who shot our video is practically part of the family and we were so excited when he told us he was free to make the wedding. Sam flew from Ireland with a suitcase full of baking supplies and created a stunner of a wedding cake that tasted as good as it looked. Liv, who I’ve an endless amount of admiration for made the most beautiful headpiece for me. I cried when I opened the box. Laura, who I’d met on one of our recent Irish weddings was not only our photographer, but my sounding board for everything and I’m so lucky to call her one of my closest friends. We really couldn’t have pulled it off without their generosity and their kindness. Their talents know no bounds and we will be forever grateful to them.
On paper, our guest list was huge but somehow, it still felt like a very intimate wedding. With a few days to get to know one another, new friendships were formed and old ones reignited. That was what it was really all about for us. We have incredibly patient parents, brothers, sisters and a bridal party that would rival the best of them. They provided endless support during the planning and the memories they helped us create will forever be with us. We really feel like were the luckiest people in the world.
Photography: Laura Gordon Photography | Cinematography: Best Day Productions | Event Planning: Fly Away Bride | Floral Design: Marry Lennox | Wedding Dress: Paolo Sebastian - Haute Couture | Cake: Cloudberry Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Hair + Makeup: Louise Faulkner | Groom's Attire: Louis Copeland & Sons | Groomsmen Attire: French Connection from Savoy Taylors Guild | Venue: Borgo Di Tragliata | Calligraphy + Stationery: House of Hannah | Event Design + Rentals: House of Hannah | Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker | Hair Accessories: Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart