Why did you choose to get married in Italy, Sal Galgano Roofless Abbey and our Private Villa in particular?
As David and I are from different parts of the UK and no longer live in England, it seemed natural to have a wedding abroad. Italy holds a special place in our hearts as David proposed in Venice and we wanted a romantic, rustic setting in the Tuscan countryside. We stumbled across San Galgano Abbey whilst searching venues. It was perfect for us as we loved the epic, ‘gothic’ architecture and the fact that it was roofless made it even more special.
We absolutely loved the private villa! The grounds and the surrounding scenery were simply stunning. It was the perfect size to accommodate our family while the location was perfect, being only a 10 minute drive from the Abbey and close to other forms of accommodation for our remaining guests.
How long in advance did you book your wedding?
How many guests did you invite to your wedding and how many accepted and attended?
We originally invited 30 guests and 22 attended.
We love your dress! What make was this and how long did it take you to find?
My dress was pretty much the first thing I bought! It was ‘Idde’ by La Sposa. I already had an idea of the style of dress that I wanted but I also wanted to feel comfortable on the day. I found my dress in the second shop that I went to! I loved the detail and how light it felt to wear. Perfect for an Italian wedding at the height of summer!
Can you tell us about your shoes and accessories, where were these from?
My shoes were Rachel Simpson’s ‘Isabelle’ in nude. I loved the style and the colour tied in nicely with the bridesmaids’ dresses. I found my headpiece from Etsy. My earrings were my ‘something borrowed’ from my mother-in-law and my necklace was a gift from my husband on our wedding day. I also wore my grandma’s ring for my ‘something old’.
What about the groom’s attire? Where was this from?
David put together and purchased his own suit. I didn’t have any input to it as he wanted to surprise me on the wedding day as I would him with my dress. He looked stunning in a grey suit with tails.
Your bridesmaids, what look did you choose for them and why?
My bridesmaids wore nude/blush dresses. I allowed them to choose their own as I wanted them to feel comfortable. I feel that one style of dress doesn’t necessarily suit all so allowing them to choose their own meant they would all look and feel great and reflect their different personalities. To tie their dresses together, I bought my bridesmaids matching necklaces and they wore their hair in the same styles.
Your bouquet is so gorgeous! Why did you choose this style and were you happy with it on the day?
I honestly don’t know much about flowers. I did know that an unstructured and loosely-tied bunch looked better and they had to include some white roses to represent my husband’s Yorkshire heritage. After scouring Pinterest, I sent a few ideas to Lisa that incorporated our colour scheme. I loved the end result. They were beautiful!
Did you theme your wedding?
From the start of our planning process, David and I agreed that we wanted an intimate wedding that was very personal to us and our guests. We wanted quite a laid-back and rustic feel but also wanted to include our passion for travel.
Can you tell us about the smaller details of the day….
One of the things we loved about our wedding was how personal it was. Everybody had a role; from my sister-in-law doing my hair to my mum making the table runners. For the favours, we had miniatures of everyone’s favourite drink tied together with a mixer and a mason drinking jar. Our guest book was a globe and our place labels were luggage tags to continue the travel theme.
As we are teachers working abroad, we also had lovely framed messages from some of the children written in their native languages. For the music, we had a pianist and violinist playing some of our favourite songs during the ceremony with Clair de Lune played for me as I walked down the aisle.
During the evening we hired a sound system and downloaded a playlist to which all of our guests contributed. We had a traditional Italian wedding cake and kept to a traditional three-course Italian menu for the dinner.
How did you find the planning experience from booking to the big day?
Lisa and her team were a great help to us, offering many ideas and suggestions. This continued when we arrived in Italy and met Samuele. He was such a great help in coordinating our legal paperwork and ensuring that everything ran smoothly on the big day. A great team!
Do you have a favourite memory from the day?
There are so many! The whole day was wonderful. But I think it has to be the ceremony itself. It started to rain slightly and thunder was rolling in the background while saying our vows, making it very dramatic and romantic. That moment when you are pronounced husband and wife is amazing. Such an incredible and unforgettable day!
How much did you spend overall on your big day? Was it on budget or over budget?
Overall we spent around £18k which is over what we originally planned to spend. However, this also included the rental of the whole villa for 5 days, making it excellent value relative to a UK wedding.
What do you think makes a wedding abroad stand out from a wedding in the UK?
The gorgeous surroundings! We loved having the beautiful Tuscan hills as a backdrop to our special day. Having a wedding abroad meant having a wedding week as opposed to just one day. It gave everybody a chance to relax and get to know each other well before the big day, resulting in everyone having a great time!