A Floral Wedding Dress by Wendy Makin, for an Elegant Summer Garden Party Wedding in Italy

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This wedding is elegance personified, a destination wedding that features a very lovely floral wedding gown.  Hamish, who works in Foreign Exchange sales and Sara, a Structural Engineer, tied the knot on 29th August 2013 at Villa Pipistrelli in Montestigliano, just south of Siena in Tuscany, Italy.

The couple were assisted in planning their wedding by Barbara and Stefania from Weddings International, and the super talented UK based Claudia Rose Carter was their photographer.  We’re huge fans of Claudia’s work (more of which you can see here on Love My Dress) but it was Sara’s elegant floral wedding dress that stole the show on this occasion.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

Hamish and I have been together since 2007 when we met through friends in Sydney. Hamish proposed while we were on holiday in Sweden in 2011.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

It was winter and we were sitting down by a river with some mulled wine in a thermos after a day of cross country skiing. He had brought with him a ring that he had designed himself, and was more than a little scared to drop it in the snow.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

The Inspiration

We didn’t really have a theme we just knew we wanted a big summer garden feast, and everything outdoor – we didn’t even have a ‘Plan B’ in case of rain. We also wanted to make the most of what was available to us in Tuscany.  In the end we went with what suited the venue and setting best.  There was so much available to us already in terms of the buildings and colours, the views and the vines in the garden, we only had to add the details.

We opted for a natural soft palate with lots of greens which also incorporated olive tree branches from the estate.

Our wedding ceremony was short and sweet, we just wanted a beautiful moment in the amazing garden.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

The Dress

Australian designer Wendy Makin made my gown, and for the reception I had a shorter less formal reception dress, which I designed myself. 

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

I tried on a lot of white dresses, but when I tried this one  I just couldn’t go past it.   I loved that it was different and I thought it was just the perfect dress for our garden ceremony and reception.

My shoes were by Jimmy Choo.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

The Ceremony

We had a saxophonist and a guitarist to play during the ceremony; when I walked in they played Love Song by Adele.

We wanted to have our wedding on neutral ground (Hamish is Australian and Sara is Swedish) and Italy is one of our favourite countries to visit, rich in culture and amazing food and wine.

We had seen Montestigliano on a previous visit and knew it would be perfect.

It’s an old farm village converted to beautiful holiday rentals and it provided the perfect backdrop nestled among olive groves and cypress trees. Family and friends could stay for a week for a genuine Tuscan experience.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

The couple used a 1960’s Fiat 500 to take them from the ceremony to the reception.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

Photography

From the minute she arrived, our photographer, Claudia Rose Carter, added her personal touch to the photos, resulting in natural images that made the most of the light and surrounds as well as all the little captured
moments.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

Summer Garden Party Wedding

We used a lot of things from the farm, such as hay bales for seating and wine barrels as side tables – and a tractor to transport our guests from the ceremony to the reception!

Two girlfriends helped us make a couple of wooden signs for the personal touch, and my mum and sister went to the market in Siena and picked up a few additional bunches of flowers. We also used strings of lights hanging from the trees and over the dance floor.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

We had traditional Tuscan family style cuisine. We chose to go with local produce and traditional dishes
which, when you’re in Italy, can’t go wrong.  The beautiful way the antipasti and bread tables were presented during the cocktails was a highlight and also added to the décor.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter
Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

The cake was an Italian Millefoglie with fresh berries.  For extra entertainment it was assembled and decorated by the chef in front of the guests. It was absolutely delicious – and not a single piece was left the day after.

The after dinner dancing was so much fun. No one left the dance floor until the band stopped playing and everyone, young and old, had a ball!

Words of Wedded Wisdom

If you have your wedding in a different country, go local – there’s no need to bring champagne to Italy, stick with Prosecco, it will add to the experience and your guests may even get to experience something they wouldn’t have otherwise.  Also make sure to get a local planner that can help you source the best suppliers.

The only thing I would maybe do differently is to have stayed on for a little while after the wedding.  It all went too quickly in the lead up to the day and it would have been great to stay for a bit longer to just take it all in.

Wedding in Italy, Italian wedding, Wendy Makin wedding dress, Summer garden party wedding, outdoor wedding, Photography by Claudia Rose Carter

Love My Dress Wedding Directory Members

The below suppliers and venues featured in this article are part of the Love My Dress Wedding Directory.

Additional Credits

The below suppliers and venues are featured in this article, but are not part of the Love My Dress Wedding Directory.

Wedding Dress Designer
Bridal Shoes
Annabel

Annabel View all Annabel's articles

Founder of Love My Dress. Passionate Podcaster and Editor. Annabel lives in rural North Yorkshire with her husband and business partner Philip, their two daughters and menagerie of furry hounds. She loves photography, meditation, walking, being outdoors and star gazing. She is fierce when it comes to championing talent within the wedding industry and when she's not working on Love My Dress, she supports her husband Philip in the running of the family's sustainable flower farm and floral design business, Moonwind Flowers. In 2013, she became a published author.

13 thoughts on “A Floral Wedding Dress by Wendy Makin, for an Elegant Summer Garden Party Wedding in Italy

  1. Charming! I love the bride choice-really unique, elegant and stylish dress! She looks amazing! The destination is a ideal romantic place for fabulous wedding like this one! I wish Sara and Hamish a lot of happiness in future! Xx

  2. This is just…. just… stunning. Everything about it, but the dress, OH THE DRESS! Gorgeous photos from Claudia too. She never fails to impress.
    xxx

  3. I am in love with your dress! And the bridesmaids dresses are exactly what my bride is looking for.

    Can you please email me the designer???

  4. Her bridal gown is EVERYTHING! It is exactly what I’ve always envisioned. Could you please email me the name and designer at your earliest convenience?

  5. LOVE this wedding – so beautiful!

    I am also having a destination wedding in the South of Spain in May this year – loved the advise to stick to local produce and not worry about sourcing from home, as I have been frantically wracking my brains of how I will ship things over if I have to. It has definitely backed up my feeling that I want to go all out and have my guests try new things, while in Rome as they say (or in Spain in this case)!

    Congrats to the beautiful couple!

  6. I saw my first floral wedding gown in the window of a Florence wedding boutique, and have been busy persuading my brides to have one since!

    It all looks totally gorgeous. Many Congratulations and many happy, healthy years of wedded bliss to you, X X

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