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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From Lisa O’Dwyer
…Catherine 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 Photography | 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