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Romantic Outdoor Wedding in Ancient Rome

There is an old saying that all roads lead to Rome, and after scrolling through the gallery courtesy of Amy and Stuart I couldn’t agree more. From their ancient cloister reception to the regally romantic ceremony, Italia Celebrations was on hand to make sure marital dreams became reality. Watch the entire day unfold and see every picturesque moment here!

From Italia CelebrationsMolly and Patrick were such a lovely couple and so much in love. They had a special relationship with Rome and so wanted to have their wedding there with their closest friends and family. Shortly after meeting them I took them to a special cloister in Rome that was closed to the public up until just months earlier. Although the cloister dates back to the Middle Ages, it currently houses the Institute for Ancient Roman Studies and the setting could not be more appropriate for this purpose. It was the first location that we saw together and it was love at first sight.

The entrance of the cloister was designed as an optical illusion so that the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, although two miles away, fills the entire view. My only demand was that the couple let me fill the triple arches on the exterior of the building with three huge chandeliers. I always love chandeliers but this exterior was just begging for them. Happily the bride agreed. What I didn’t the bride was that I had months of meetings and site inspections with our lighting specialists and up until the final installation we were still making engineering and electrical adjustments. But it all worked out perfectly.

Both the cloister for the reception and the church for the Catholic ceremony are set on one of the founding hills of Rome dating back almost three thousand years and just everything is ancient and historic. Their Catholic wedding took place in one of the very first Christian churches ever constructed, dating back to the year 425 A.D. and now home to the Dominican Order of Catholic priests. So important is this church that it is the first step in Catholic Rome for celebrating Lent on Palm Sunday. In the photos you can saw many Ancient Roman details that are a part of the church’s architecture and decoration.

Once the ceremony concluded the guests were able to walk only 100 feet away to the ancient cloister for the reception to begin. There they were greeted with a vast assortment of Roman hors d’oeuvres both hot and cold. And it wouldn’t be a true Italian wedding celebration without a whole prosciutto leg that is hand sliced upon request. The bride and groom made their entrance into the cloister to the cheers of the guests who had arrived there before them. From the inner cloister the group moved to the garden terrace with a spectacular view over Rome. The garden was divided into the dinner area on the right hand side and the the after dinner lounge and dancing area was set up on the left hand side. During the seated dinner they were entertained by a Supper Club Jazz Sextet.

Following the dinner was the cutting of the cake and the first dance. The cake was a classical Italian millefoglie with wild strawberries and pastry cream. Once the cake had been eaten and washed down with Italian bubbly it was time for everyone to kick off their heels in the after dinner lounge area where a DJ was waiting for them. They were also treated to an ample dessert buffet and an open bar.

The photographers are the super talented duo of Amy and Stuart who had flown over from California to shoot the wedding. In the plans was a second day of shooting around Rome with the bride and groom back in their wedding finery. Just have a look at the photos, it looks like a travelogue of Rome. The photos are just astonishing and Amy and Stuart did an amazing job.

Photography: Amy And Stuart | Event Planning: Italia Celebrations | Floral Design: Noosheen | Wedding Dress: Ines Di Santo | Bride's Shoes: Manolo Blahnik | Hair And Make Up: Italia Celebrations | Entertainment: Supper Club Jazz Sextet | Groom's Attire: Ralph Lauren | Groom's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Bridesmaid's Dress: Swoon Bridal | Bridesmaid's Dress: Amsale | Bridesmaid's Dress: Mac Duggal | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Institute For Ancient Roman Studies | Linens: Italia Celebrations | Veil: Lovella Bridal

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Positano Spring Engagement Session

With National Proposal Day coming up tomorrow, we’re getting in the spirit with some sweet stories, starting with this darling duo. If their proposal – at the bottom of the Grand Canyon – is any indication, they’re bound for endless adventures together, kicking off with this epic Positano engagement shoot. Kay English captured not only their love but the beauty of this area and we just can’t get enough.

From the Bride… Jason and I met our freshman year of college at Seton Hall University. He was a computer graphics major, and I was a journalism student. We lived in the same dorm and quickly became friends. But it wasn’t until halfway through our junior year that we realized there was a spark between us. We went on our first date in Central Park, and have been together ever since! We both love to travel and have been to Italy, Iceland and all over the Caribbean together. We love immersing ourselves in the beauty and history of new places.

After dating for over five years, Jason was finally ready to pop the question during a trip to the Grand Canyon. Though I’d always imagined we’d get engaged while on vacation, I hadn’t realized Jason had already bought a ring. So when our plane took off I was totally unaware that he had secretly stashed the most gorgeous ring in his backpack. Once we arrived at the Bright Angel trailhead, our backpacks loaded and cameras in hand, we started hiking down to the bottom of the canyon. By late afternoon, we unpacked and soaked in the gorgeous campsite near the river. The next day, we rested up at the bottom in the warm, sunny weather. All afternoon, Jason had been asking if we could take a walk together. I was exhausted, but finally agreed. He took me down to Boat Beach, a sandy shore along the Colorado River. There, he dropped to one knee and asked me to marry him! I was so excited and surprised that I burst into tears. The next day, we had a grueling hike back to the top of the canyon before we could finally celebrate with a nice dinner (and cell phone reception to tell our family and friends the good news!).

It wasn’t long after we got engaged that we decided to get married in Italy. Since we both love to travel, we knew we wanted to invite our loved ones on a trip to somewhere beautiful – full of history, amazing food and stunning vistas. We’d been to Italy before, but never to Positano. Yet as soon as I saw photos of the beachy town built into the cliffside on the Amalfi Coast, I knew it was the perfect place for us. We never got to visit Positano in person before the wedding, but when we arrived it was just as incredible as we hoped it’d be. The weather was especially warm, the water was crystal clear and everyone we met was so friendly. The night before our wedding, we hosted a welcome dinner for our 30 friends and family as a way of saying “thank you” for flying across the world to be with us.

Before an evening spent dining on the best Italian pizza and wine, we walked through the town and onto the beach for a destination engagement shoot. We visited the church where we’d be getting married the next day, strolled along the beach and walked through the small cobblestone streets lined with gelaterias and cute little shops. Just as the sun began to set, we sat down for dinner with everyone as we looked out over the Tyrrhenian Sea and sparkling cliffside of Positano. It was a night filled with so much love and laughter – a special memory we’ll always treasure!

Photography: Kay English Photography | Planner: The Amalfi Experience | Planner: The Amalfi Coast

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Rustic Foodie-Inspired Wedding in Italy

With the perfect amount of elegance yet a wonderfully casual vibe, this Italian soiree has the best of everything. Each stunning image from Lisa O’Dwyer captures a couple completely in love on a day that couldn’t be more charming if it tried. See every gorgeous moment here.


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Summer
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Elegance

From Lisa O’DwyerCatherine and Eoin are from Ireland, but wanted to have a destination wedding in Italy. Italy is close enough to Ireland so that most of their family and family could enjoy the wedding and then have a bit of a holiday too. When they discovered Borgo di Tragliata outside of Rome, they knew it would be perfect!

From The Bride… Eoin and I had been together for nine years when he proposed on a wild and windy June afternoon on the beautiful Bull Island, in Co. Dublin, Ireland! I moved to Luxembourg soon afterwards so it fell to Eoin to start the venue hunt and he researched lots of beautiful venues in Ireland. But the more we thought about it, the more we realised that we wanted to go somewhere where we could spend a few days with our guests who were travelling from all over the world and just relax and enjoy the celebrations. We had previously spent three weeks in Italy and had an amazing time so during October 2013, we flew to Pisa one weekend and Rome the next weekend to check out some venues. When we arrived at the Borgo di Tragliata, just outside of Rome City, we instantly knew we had found our wedding venue……it was an old Etruscan village that has been renovated into an organic, rustic farm with lots of onsite accommodation for our guests. When we met our wedding co-ordinator Cristina, it just reinforced our decision and we booked our three day wedding celebration that night!

To make our celebrations even more special, we were able to get married in the Church in Rome City, St. Isidore’s, where two of Eoin’s uncles had studied during their training as Franciscan priests many years ago and we were delighted when one of these uncles, Fr. Tom Russell O.F.M., agreed to marry us. Our next priority was booking the photographer. I had seen Lisa O’ Dwyer’s work before and I loved that she used film photography so even though I researched almost 40 photographers, we knew that Lisa would be the perfect choice for us and we were thrilled that she could shoot our wedding!

Our wedding ended up as a bit of a global affair as I was based in Luxembourg, Eoin was in Dublin and our wedding party came from Dublin, Boston, Sydney, Auckland, London and Chiang Mai in Thailand, so there were lots of skyping and sending of pictures and ideas on a daily basis!

Eoin and I travelled to Italy a few days before our wedding to relax and prepare and during this time we met up with Lisa for our engagement shoot in Rome. We are not really ‘camera people’ but it was great fun and Lisa was fantastic at making us feel relaxed in front of the camera and giving gentle direction. It really helped us to relax on our wedding day and we didn’t notice Lisa at all.

Our wedding celebrations were more than we could have hoped for. We wanted to have a relaxed, fun and informal wedding celebration and were delighted that 90 of our closest friends and family could travel to Rome to help us celebrate! The weather was perfect and the sun shone brightly each day. The day before our wedding, our guests all arrived at the Borgo to a light lunch and some bubbly. Later on that evening, Eoin and I hosted a welcome BBQ, with lots of delicious Italian food and wine.

Our ceremony was very personal, led by Fr. Tom and Fr. Michael MacCraith, the curate of St. Isidore’s. My sister-in-law sang at the wedding and Eoin’s brother played the Irish low whistle (similar to the tin whistle), supported by an Italian duo on the cello and flute. The four of them only had an hour to rehearse before the ceremony but they played and sang beautifully.

Instead of having a guest book, we did an old Irish tradition of the ‘warming of the rings’. This is where each of the guests say a blessing or a wish over the wedding bands before they are blessed as part of the ceremony. I love that we get to carry their good wishes and blessings with us every day. We had chosen to have an unplugged ceremony where we had kindly asked our guests to not take any pictures during the ceremony and I have wonderful memories of walking up to aisle on the arm of my baby brother (sadly, my father passed away several years ago), surrounded by happy smiling faces. Afterwards, we had a short drinks reception in the beautiful cloisters of the Church before we returned to the Borgo for our wedding reception. We really embraced the idea of a traditional Italian wedding reception and we had a delicious drinks and canapé reception that lasted for a couple of hours. Just before dinner, both my Mum and Eoin’s father said a short toast and then Eoin and I cut the Italian wedding cake….it was the biggest cake we had even seen! Once I tossed my bouquet, it was time to sit down to a wonderful italian feast. After dinner, we had a dessert table outdoors and then it was time for us and our guests to set our Chinese lanterns into the sky. This was great fun and we have wonderful pictures of our guests setting them alight and floating them into the moonlit sky.

After this, it was time for the band to start….they were fantastic and everybody was up dancing ’til the wee hours. They were very interactive with the people on the dance floor and they really put on a show! We were having such a great time that we didn’t want the day to end so after the band finished, we set up our own music and continued the party until the sun came up!

The next day was very low key and most of the guests relaxed in their rooms or at the pool. That evening, Eoin and I hosted a farewell meal which included a pig on a spit and a traditional Irish wedding cake that my very good friend had made and brought all the way from Ireland! After dinner, we had the wonderful Mikey Martin play in the bar…he was fantastic and everybody seemed to get a second wind. My Mum even sang, which was a surprise bonus! Again, we didn’t want the day to end so after Mikey finished, Eoin’s brother Mark got out his tin whistle and we had a good old Irish sing song, which was the perfect way to end a magical three days.

Photography: Lisa O'Dwyer | Event Planning: Linda McAllorum | Flowers: Debra Flowers | Wedding Dress: De Stafford Couture | Makeup Artist: Janita Helova | Venue: Borgo Di Tragliata | Church Ceremony: San Isidoro, Via Degli Artisti, Rome | Hair Jewelery: Jules Bridal Jewellery

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Romantic Roman Wedding at St. Peter’s Basilica

I’m a big fan of church ceremonies; I find them beautifully traditional. But a ceremony at St. Peter’s Basilica is on a whole other level. This stunning Roman wedding evokes an almost regal feel, orchestrated by the Getting Married In Italy team and captured by the talented David Bastianoni. As we enter into the weekend, I’ll be living la dolce vita as I get lost in this stunning gallery.

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Summer
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ChurchHotel

From Getting Married In Italy… Getting married at the Vatican for a Catholic couple is more than just a dream. Maritess & Irwin fulfilled their wedding dream with a solemn Catholic marriage at the Vatican, the largest church in the world. They were surrounded by history and the holy during their private and intimate ceremony in the Choirs Chapel of the Basilica of St. Peter whose doors were closed for the event to pilgrims coming from all over the world.

After the ceremony, they indulged in a photo shoot inspired to the Roman Dolce Vita around the eternal city with stops at Castel Sant’Angelo, Colosseum and Lungotevere. 

Their wedding lunch was held at a private panoramic neoclassical villa dating back to the XIX and overlooking Rome, one of the most beautiful point of view of the city. A private veranda was set up with a long imperial table, decorated in black and white colors with a touch of gold: phalaenopsis, roses, hydrangeas, dahlias and anemones brightened the atmosphere against black chiffon table runners.

The bride creatively worked on wedding stationery from glittered fans to fabric bags and kids favors. The Italian taste was completed with small bottles of limoncello liqueur to thank their guests and toast to La Dolce Vita.

Photography: David Bastianoni | Videography: David Bastianoni | Event Planning: Getting Married In Italy | Wedding Cake: Casina Valadier | Stationery: Tiny Prints | Church: St. Peter's Basilica | Reception Venue: Casina Valadier | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Catering: Casina Valadier | Favors: Pallini | Flower Design: Dordas

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Romantic Rome Garden Wedding at Villa Aurelia

This wedding is the definition of a destination dream wedding. Can you even imagine saying I do to your main squeeze in Rome with the stunning Villa Aurelia setting the scene for a perfect garden soiree? It just doesn’t seem like it could all possibly be real, but for it was for this couple, and thanks to Studio A+Q we get to devour all the gorgeous here.

Colors
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Summer
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Villa
Styles
Elegant

From Stefanie CoveAgatha and Ryan’s general aesthetic (whether it is their personal taste or when designing restaurants) is very natural and organic – not exactly typical for Roman event styling, where the wedding decor often boasts red roses, fabric treatments and other lavish elements! However, as it IS the most romantic city in the world, there was no better place for a beautiful garden wedding overlooking the amazing city lines. The idea was to create an atmosphere where the guests felt relaxed while at a simple yet elegant dinner party…nothing traditional or stuffy about it. Chefs serving the guests themselves with fresh burrata (made THAT morning) helped establish this dinner party at-home atmosphere. Villa Aurelia was the perfect location to create this enchanted garden vibe. The ceremony was held under a canopy of gorgeous trees within the lush gardens. The dinner was in an area referred to as the “Secret Garden.” Guests dined al fresco on wood tables that were draped with handmade, sheer linens. The center of the tables featured terra cotta vessels that were filled with a mix of ivory dahlias and garden roses with green accents of hydrangea, baby ferns and fresh figs –Agatha’s favorite! After dinner, the guests lounged on chesterfield sofas, enjoyed authentic Italian gelato (served from the cutest vintage cart) and danced the night away with the city of Rome lit up in the background.

Photography: Studio A+Q | Planner: Stefanie Cove | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Catering: Roscioli | Ceremony And Reception Venue: Villa Aurelia