Good morning lovely one – I hope you’re feeling well rested and ready for a new day. I wonder, have you booked your wedding photographer yet? And if you have, how many of you are having your wedding photographed on film (as opposed to a digital camera?). Film photography has seen a huge renaissance in the past couple of years, thanks to movements like FIND and of course the popularity of wedding blogs raising the profile of this beautiful art form. I simply adore film and ‘fine art’ style photography – it makes my heart skip beats. There is something about the cinematic style and grainy texture of the images, their tone and hue, something just so timeless and magical about it.
Rebecca and Justin had their wedding shot part digital and part on film by photographer Britt Spring, whose work I’m a huge fan of and who I’ve had the good fortune of having met as she assisted on the shoot for my book. The couple’s wedding took place on 11th May 2013 at Villa Geno with the stunning Lake Como in Italy as their backdrop. Here Rebecca tells us about her beautiful day, the choices she and Justin made and recalls some of her fondest memories of the occasion.
“My mum is from a small village in the borough of Como, Italy, and all her family still live in the area. It is a place very close to my heart – I have so many childhood memories of playing there. My Grandmother ‘Nonna’, who used to work in a hotel there, would take me there regularly – she loved it. We would often sit at the park, or take a boat ride and she would tell me stories of her youth, which revolved around Como – her friends, work, everything she could remember – and she’d point out landmarks that were important to her.
There is such a strong connection to Como for me, especially as both Nonna and Nonno, my Grandparents, have passed away and would not have been able to share this special day with us. I really wanted their presence and to know that if they were there they would have been so happy and proud of us both.”
Photography Copyright (c) 2014, Britt Spring
“Justin and I met in London, where I’m from. Justin is from Australia. We first met at Friday night drinks- I was surprised we’d not properly met before as we had mutual friends. Over time, our feelings deepened for one another and eventually we attended a wedding of a mutual friend together.”
“At this stage Justin had already quit his job and bought his one-way ticket back to Australia – we ended up really hitting it off at his leaving party! That lead to a drawn out (and expensive) long distance relationship, during which I moved to Melbourne so we could be together and see if we had a future together.
Justin finally proposed to me in Italian at the top of Primrose Hill in January 2013 – the perfect place. London is my home, and Primrose Hill is where he lived for his years in London. After he proposed we went to the Southampton Arms Pub (great ales!) where he had arranged all our mutual friends to be there waiting for us to celebrate. We then went back to Australia and had five months to plan our Italian wedding.”
“Due to all our friends and family living all over the place, Italy was neutral ground in a way. Everyone had a lot of fun and made a holiday of it. Our idea was to be in the same town and walk around a few days before and after and bump into friends. The days prior my friends were meeting Justin’s friends by guessing they were guests at our wedding as they were speaking English or Australian! Clearly they also all spoke to a lot of randoms! It was a great atmosphere for everyone, and made the wedding day very relaxed and a lot of fun!”
“I wore a dress by designer Brittany Mossop – a dress maker from Melbourne in Australia. I get very red and blotchy when I am nervous, so I needed my chest and neck covered. I also wanted something simple, as I would have already felt overdressed in a long white outfit! Brittany was great, as we chatted she sketched away my dress. I love the subtle slit along the back which compensates for the high front.
The belt is beautiful, made from an art deco style brooch with a blue stone added in the middle. Brittany put that together herself, and it was exactly what I wanted, it also breaks up the dress, matched my shoes and engagement ring. The long trail made it feel special. The style and fabric made me feel very comfortable.”
“We were keen to keep things simple, yet stylish and elegant. We had certain specifics that we wanted like lots of sunflowers, lanterns and candles. We looked at a lot of blogs for inspiration like Love My Dress®. We were aware that most of our guests would have to travel to attend, in some cases long distances, so we were always conscious of making things easy for them.
Our venue, Villa Geno, was suggested by my mum. The Villa had been abandoned for a long time, but had had a makeover and been completely re-styled in recent years. As a little girl, my mum and her best friend would go and play near the villa. Together they would pretend that the Villa was their home and they were from a noble family!”
“I wanted bright colour shoes and they needed to be not too high! I was able to find a cobalt blue pair with matching bag from Aldo. Coincidently it matched my engagement ring, and which lay the basis for my dress and accessories.”
“My bracelet looked similar to my belt, and I bought this at the Covent Garden Antique Market in London. It had an art deco feel, with marcasite and a blue centre stone. From the Market I also bought an Art Deco style brooch to put on my bag.
My earrings were my Nonna’s, original crystal from the 1950’s, which my mum kindly let me borrow. I also had a spare Swarovski pair for the dancing in the evening so I wouldn’t lose my nonna’s.”
“We weren’t keen on a limo or other luxury vehicle, and wanted to use something Italian. My dad’s best friend, a journalist from Verona, loaned us his Fiat 500. He kindly sent the car to the mechanics to make sure it would withstand the journey to Como. I remember travelling in this car as a little girl when we would go and visit, so it was great that I could use it for my wedding day!”
“Florist Becky Eyre of Ivy Pip and Rose florists in London and I have been friends for a few years. She is a brilliant up and coming florist. When I told her I was engaged she kindly offered to do the flowers for us. It was a challenge as I was still in Australia planning everything and it was the worst spring in Europe, so my initial thought was to have a lavender bouquet, but this was not possible due to the bad weather. We simply couldn’t order any.
I am not very knowledgeable with flowers, but Becky was able to come up with alternatives and suggested delphiniums. We kept with the sunflowers, got some dried lavender and my Aunty gave me some fresh herbs and flowers from her garden, which just made it so perfect. She had some Lilly of the Valley which was included in my bouquet.”
“Justin used to work as a graphic designer, so he designed everything, and then we utilised local printers in Melbourne and Milan. We had a lot of fun putting these together, we even designed and printed our own envelope liners which we put together.
Justin thought about every small detail, even though knowing that the majority of people would probably miss it, but we would we proud of the final outcome. The save the date and the wedding invites had an Italian theme, the save the date was a Fiat 500 styled as a post card which we sent as a pdf, and the wedding invites were the classic Lake Como picture as a postcard. The seating plan and table name places had a London underground theme, with each table being a different tube line.”
“We arrived at the villa by boat. As the Villa was close to town, we were able to have a short journey there and arrive on the jetty. It was a bit of a fun James Bond-esque moment! To make things easy for our guests, we also hired a coach to transport them from Como to the ceremony and back again. Justin travelled in with everyone on the coach, which was a good chance to spend time with all the guests, and take some last minute advice.”
“Our photographer is an Australian living in London, Britt Spring. We had a mutual friend in common, and thanks to social media I stalked Britt for quite a while! I think quite early on I had decided that should I get married I would like to use her for my photos. The best part was bumping into her by chance at a wine and cheese night before our engagement and meeting her and her husband – two of the loveliest people we have met. Justin and I got on with them famously.
Without saying a word Britt was able to capture the things we loved throughout the day. From Nonna’s Village to my great Grandmother’s throw to important people at the wedding – Britt was so switched on I didn’t have to think or worry, she just knew – and the results show that. Amazing really, for someone who had never been there and who didn’t know me. I think my favourite part was Britt making her husband randomly stop the car for the perfect spot on the way to the reception. Some of our most favourite photos came from that!
There is so much light and love and warmth in Britt’s photographs, that looking through them it is literally reliving the day. We couldn’t have had a better photographer – even when we received the photos they were beautifully packaged – Britt had provided some prints and a frame as an unexpected gift It was so exciting to receive them and open up the package full of red tissue paper and ribbons to un-tie.”
“My make-up artist Laura Mos was just amazing! I have known her forever, and she is a very dear friend of mine. I felt confident she would be perfect. I don’t wear a lot of makeup, and she adapted to that really easily. I had no idea what I wanted to do, I just knew that I didn’t want it to be too ‘bridal’. I didn’t have to say anything, she just knew. And she had evening makeup for me too, with a couple of little stars and silver glitter. It was very subtle and fun! Laura also helped me a lot to relax on the morning of the wedding.
Vanessa O’Regan did my hair. She is an Australian friend of mine who came to our wedding and also a hairdresser and kindly agreed to do my hair. It was so lovely to be surrounded by friends the morning of my wedding.”
I decided to leave my hair loose and curly, to try and be as natural as possible. My dressmaker Brittany made me a hair comb, which was the art deco brooch like my belt with added gems like pearls, which matched my buttons on my dress.”
“I think I am the luckiest girl, as I got a placement ring! Two rings for your engagement doesn’t happen to every girl, and the second being one of a kind. Justin went to Hatton Garden in London and bought me an antique sapphire ring for when he proposed. On our return to Australia a friend put us in contact with Glenn, and we had a modern version of the original ring made, and also 2 plain wedding bands for ourselves. All in white gold. We both were not keen on the classic solitaire diamond, and wanted something different.”
“Justin wanted to have a blue suit from early on and it was a bit of a mission to find it. We didn’t see anything we liked in Melbourne, and knew we could get better (and cheaper!) in Europe. My brother recommended Boggi in Milan, and they had a great range, were very helpful and also offered quick alterations.
Justin was keen on something cool that stood out and also hoped to find blue shoes to tie in with my outfit. He was hoping he could find some blue shoes to tie in with my outfit. Again we couldn’t find anything suitable in Melbourne, but knew if we shopped about in London we would find a pair. Dune in Covent Garden fitted the brief perfectly – they even swapped the laces for brighter blue ones.”
“Villa Geno have an onsite restaurant and through them we put together our food and drinks menu. We provided our own post dinner drinks, so plenty of Limoncello and some Sambuca, Grappa and Montenegro thrown in, in keeping with the location.
We had antipasti outside in the garden and as a wedding present my aunt and uncle paid for 2 musicians, Raffaele Kohler and Manuel Consigli, who played the trumpet and guitar. They made it into a perfect setting, it was very beautiful. Post dinner we had a local DJ who played classic tunes, including Italian classics.”
“Neither Justin or I like a traditional cake, and in Italy they don’t often have it anyway. We were keen not to have a cake cutting moment, and were not bothered about tradition. So we thought of having a dessert buffet instead. It went down a treat and it was so different to what our guests were expecting, so it was a nice surprise and was greatly appreciated.”
“To begin with we were not going to have any favours, but then I had a brilliant idea of giving everyone a little Lego Man. A friend of ours in the UK is a massive Lego fan, so we knew who to delegate this adventure to! Our friend went to the Lego store in London and had to individually pick out every head, body and legs and put them together. He did a fantastic job!
We put these (as individual pieces so people could put together their own unique Lego man) in chevron paper sweet bags from notonthehighstreet.com, along with some TfL stickers, a Berocca (for the morning after!), a Baci Perugina chocolate, a London underground pen, and a postcard with our address on and a card asking people to please fill out the post card and send it back to us.”
“The venue was already very decorative so where we had dinner we just had flowers and herbs in different vases, purchased from Ikea, and a lot of tea light candles.
Outside we again had flowers and herbs on the tables with candles. We also had different coloured paper lanterns which we purchased from EBay, and hanging lanterns from Ikea. My florist Becky also made some DIY hanging lanterns from glasses and decorative wire.”
“I can’t pick a favourite part of the day – I loved the aperitivo part of the meal, with everyone outside excited and the sun reflecting on the lake. I think the overall feeling of the wedding was my favourite.
We had 80 guests spanning from different locations in Australia, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand and England. Friends of Justin and I who had never met each other and family who had never met. It could have been a disaster, but it was just brilliant, everyone became friends with each other and there was a massive relaxed holiday party feel to the wedding, with a lot of mingling.”
Words of Wedded Wisdom…
“Really think about what you want and care most about. For me it was to have good food and for Justin it was having his friends there.
Don’t worry too much about the weather. We were lucky on the day, but the weather had been terrible, until our wedding day, and we just focused on our friends and to have fun. Just remember that the day does go so quickly that most things you thought were going to be important aren’t on the day, so relax and HAVE FUN!
A lot of people might tell you not to worrying about the details. But we felt that you should worry about them as they are what makes your wedding different and unique to others. You will be happy on the day that you put the extra effort in and it came together.”
“Make sure the speeches are short!
As I was getting ready, my cousin provided some food and proscecco for us all to nibble on. Britt has taken some great photos of the food, it was just so Italian, and we all gathered around the table nattering and eating and drinking. My brother also made sandwiches for Justin and I to eat in the car after the ceremony.
Also, a final thought – Love My Dress really helped us visualise what we wanted. It featured many of the things that we had thought of doing, especially with the herbs. We came across it searching for herb themed weddings!”
What a truly beautiful day, huge thanks to photographer Britt Spring for sharing her work and very many thanks to Rebecca and Justin for letting us in to their lives to appreciate and be inspired by their love for Lake Como.
You can explore more Lake Como weddings here on Love My Dress.
Are you planning a destination wedding?
Photographer – Britt Spring
Venue – Villa Geno, Lake Como, Italy
Brides Dress + hair accessory – Brittany Mossop
Shoes – Aldo
Grooms Suit – Boggi + Dune shoes
Florist – Rebecca Eyre using Flowers from the Milan Flower Market + Dried Lavender
Transport – Boat + Coach
Rings – Glenn Thomas (Australia)
Make-up Artist – Laura Moss