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A Quaint Italian Village Was Their Perfect Wedding Location

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.

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From Laura Gordon PhotographyIrish 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.

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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: Bespoke Louis Copeland | 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

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Trends to Take Your Dress from Ceremony to Sexy with Gabriella New York

Every bride wants to make a fierce entrance, but a head-turning outfit change to really shake things up? Even better. But before you go splurging on dress numero dos, you’re going to want to see this. Gabriella Rissati — industry pro and brains behind Gabriella New York — is spilling her trade secrets to getting double the pretty out of that dress of yours. Think detachable skirts, chic boleros and separates galore to take you from ceremony to reception — for half the hassle! Press play now … and thank her later!

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Trends to Take Your Dress from Ceremony to Reception
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Trends to Take Your Dress from Ceremony to Reception
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Just Wait Until You See Their Epic Wedding Send-off

Talk about making an exit, because this couple? They literally flew off into the sunset. That’s right, and if you think that’s good just wait until you see the campsite wedding that happened beforehand. The perfect representation of Southern charm and classic details, we’ve got Rachel Whyte Photography to thank for capturing it all. Fall in love firsthand with every single moment via The Vault!

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From Rachel Whyte PhotographyRachel and Ford’s wedding was one for the books. Their wedding weekend took place at Camp Waldemar in the Texas Hill Country. The venue was absolutely gorgeous and they were blessed with perfect, Texas fall weather. (Not raining and not blazing hot- that’s a major win!) Rachel and Ford are a class act couple and their wedding was a perfect representation of them. Rachel was a radiant, peaceful bride and Ford’s love for her was so evident.

Their ceremony took place in a beautiful stone amphitheater on the banks of the Guadeloupe River, and they said said their vows under a canopy of trees. The reception was held in a large tent on a field and they danced the night away under the stars. Rachel’s Oscar De La Renta gown and their epic helicopter exit were just two of the stunners of their big day. The happy couple was surrounded by hundreds of their closest friends and family and the weekend was filled with love, laughter and happy tears. It was an honor to be a part of such a special event!

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Photography: Rachel Whyte Photography | Cinematography: Sight and Sound Films | Event Planning: Lynn Huntress | Floral Design: Viridian Design Studio | Wedding Dress: Oscar De La Renta | Cake: Bird Bakery | Catering: Perini Ranch | Hair + Makeup: Veronica Ibarra | Ceremony and Reception: Camp Waldemar | Reception Band: In10City

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You Have to See Their Incredible First Look Photo!

A late fall wedding in San Luis Obispo equals rich, seasonal vibes but with loads of sunshine still on your side. To play up the setting, this Bride and Groom opted for berry tones accented by lots of greenery, all brought to life by their floral designer, April Flowers. Thanks to Mirelle Carmichael for the full wedding gallery including a first look under an oak tree that’s guaranteed to take your breath away.

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From The Bride…After graduating from Cal Poly, I moved back to the Bay Area to pursue a career in aviation. I’d taken up an internship in return for flight lessons at the San Carlos Airport where Brian was also working as a corporate pilot. From the moment I saw him, I felt butterflies. And four years later, he was down on one knee.

While both of us are Bay Area natives, we wanted to escape the hustle, traffic and energy of Silicon Valley. This made San Luis Obispo an easy choice. We opted for a fall wedding date to skip the heat of summer and allow our guests to experience the gorgeous, vibrant colors the wineries have to offer at that time of year. Santa Margarita Ranch ended up being the perfect venue and reflection of us. The ceremony would take place outside on the gorgeous garden grounds under an oak tree. We’d then move inside to a historic barn to eat, drink and dance the night away under twinkle lights.

It was my always my hope to be married outside and play off the natural beauty of San Luis Obispo. Once we had chosen a November date, I knew the color palette should reflect the changing colors of the grapes and leaves at that time. So we opted for berry tones accented by lots of greenery. It was really important that the wedding felt beautiful, natural and not at all harvest-y. My incredible florist, April Flowers, knew exactly how to bring this to life. In keeping with the casual theme, we left things loose, a little wild and texturally interesting.

My wedding dress ended up being the opposite of what I had imagined. Initially, I looked for an ethereal, boho dress, but I quickly discovered that’s not who I am. Nicole Miller’s dresses fit my body well and I’m drawn to the simplicity of her designs. When I slipped this dress on, I thought it could be the one – classic, timeless and so comfortable. However, I feared it might look ridiculous at my outdoor, relaxed wedding. Nevertheless, I made the decision to go for it and it worked wonderfully. To tone it down, we added ribbons to my bouquet and I wore open-toe wedges rather than heels.

Everyone tells you that your wedding day will go by so fast – must have heard that 50 times. So, in an effort to enjoy every moment that weekend, we broke away from several traditions. We trimmed down the invite list substantially as we couldn’t bear the thought of spending our one night surrounded by people that we didn’t know well. Instead of a hotel room, we rented out Flying Caballos Ranch for the weekend and invited some of our closest friends stay on-site with us. We skipped a rehearsal – saving everyone a Friday afternoon trip to the venue. Instead we enjoyed an early dinner on the ranch and ended with drinks around the fire pit. To keep things exciting, we offered train rides around the stunning property during the reception and then open seating at beautiful farm tables for dinner. Our signature drink was “Gin and Joost” to play off our last name. In lieu of favors, we made a donation to the Wounded Warriors Project Healing Waters, which was beautifully noted by a calligraphy sign of a fly fisherman. To top it off, we brought in a local ice cream truck for dessert, skipping the cake entirely. By ditching some of these traditional wedding pieces, we were able to make the night our own and a real reflection of the two of us.

It’s far too difficult to identify my favorite moment – maybe the vows or the first dance or even walking back to our cottage late in the night hand-in-hand as husband and wife. I loved absolutely every second and will forever hold onto that special feeling.

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Photography: Mirelle Carmichael | Cinematography: WADE Koch | Cinematography: Ryan Denning | Event Planning: Lara Kreutner | Floral Design: April Flowers | Catering: Taste Catering & Eatery | Hair + Makeup: John Olavarria | Calligraphy: Rosey Calligraphy | DJ: THE FLASHDANCE | Transportation: SLO Safe Ride | Venue: Santa Margarita Ranch | Bridesmaids' Hair + Makeup: The Queens Bees | Getting Ready Venue: The Flying Caballos Ranch | Ice Cream Truck: Negranti Ice Cream | Rentals: All About Events

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These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here