Welcome to the first day of March lovely ones! This year sure is flying by, so I’m going to get straight on with business and whisk you away over the seas to romantic Italy for the nuptials of today’s gorgeous couple. It’s full to the brim with loads of little heartfelt touches and reflects all of their shared loves. Enjoy!
Meet Laura, an interior stylist, and filmmaker Rob, who tied the knot on 12th September 2015 in the Italian city of Bologna, after falling for the sights and tastes of this lively city and its medieval architecture, colonnades, colours and delicious cuisine. They held their ceremony at Bologna Town Hall and the reception at Villa Isolani in the picturesque countryside. I am in awe of the couple’s stationery and decor – there were numerous little touches, clashing colours, amazing lego favours, little jars with flowers hung from the trees, and even the backdrop of a cinema set-up by the oak tree. How utterly divine!
“Rob and I are both really passionate about mid-century design, film and music, so it seemed natural to lean in this direction. My Pinterest board was called ‘Roman Holiday’ after one of my favourite Audrey Hepburn films, and whilst Rome was not the destination, a lot of guests did say they felt like they’d been in a vintage film all day, which was the ultimate compliment!”
Photography by On Love and Photography
“The styling of everything had this touch – from the 60’s chocolate box colours, my dress, and our original Fiat 500 car, to the fat, bloomy flowers and the classic films playing on our mini outdoor cinema. We were keen, however, not to seem too ‘themed’ and kept a contemporary feel.”
“I originally bought an original 60’s dress from Etsy and thought I might simply go with it, until I realised that it was too aged and too heavy to be special enough for my wedding dress. I took it along to an absolutely amazing woman called Tusneem Jabbar who is the designer and manager of Boutique Alterations in Stockport.”
The couple met through Laura’s best friend and had a long engagement, which Laura highly recommends. I love how Rob was so thoughtful in his choice of location for his proposal, making this moment extra special for his new fiancée.
“Rob and I met at ‘End of the Road’ festival through a mutual friend, my best friend (and florist) Anna. We hit it off immediately though we were both hesitant, as we’d both been very happily single for a while and had sort of decided not to give up that happy singledom, unless it was very much for the right person. We were soon dating in London and after about 18 months I moved into Rob’s flat in North West London.”
“Rob proposed completely by surprise (we’d never really talked about marriage much and it truly was out of the blue!) on Hampstead Heath, amongst a flurry of autumn leaves in the most perfect tunnel of golden trees, which was all the more special because it is my absolute favourite time of the year. He’d cleverly remembered that my favourite jeweller is Kamilla Ruberg in Islington and found the perfect ring there.
We had a lovely long, two-year engagement before we married. It meant we could really enjoy a year of being engaged before we started to plan the wedding – I’d recommend it!”
“I designed, drew and painted all of our wedding stationery. My brother-in-law Richard helped to get everything print-ready.”
“I did my own make up and had some help getting my hair into a bit of a beehive at the back by a lovely local hairdresser. Took all of 10 minutes and lasted all day!”
“The vintage Vera Wang bracelet was my ‘something borrowed’ – from my other best mate Laura who wore it on her wedding day and also leant it to my sister for her wedding day.”
“My mum bought my dress for me and my mother-in-law bought my shoes for me – gold Jimmy Choo little kitten heels with real 60’s pointed toes. I’m not really a heels girl, so these were as high as I was willing to go on my wedding day!”
“Together, Tusneem of Boutique Alterations and I sketched, rifled through fabrics, lace and linings and finally came up with a design that felt very much like the original dress but was completely and utterly bespoke and, most importantly, beautiful. It took 3 fittings to perfect and I loved that Tusneem clearly delighted in the process too.”
“I loved that it felt quite mid-century but also had contemporary touches – the skirt was certainly more modern than the original. And it was just so light and comfortable on the day – which is a really important consideration since Bologna still reaches 30 degrees even in September. I felt like me in it, not me dressed as a bride. My absolute favourite aspects of my dress were the neck-line (simply made through the daisy lace being cut and finished beautifully) and the huge bow at the back. I felt like Audrey Hepburn.”
“It was such a little wedding that it was just my sister Gem and my baby niece Florrie who were bridesmaids. Gem wore a coral silk draped shift dress from Whistles, whilst Florrie wore a little lavender-coloured bee print dress from an Etsy shop. I wanted Gem to have a dress that she felt like herself in and would hopefully wear again.
Gem added lilac heels to contrast with her dress – keeping that 60’s chocolate box palette alive! And for her hair, she wore tiny little hydrangeas in a lavender tone – my favourite flower and a prominent one at our wedding. Gem accessorised with earrings that she wore on her own big day – tiny porcelain petals by Marie Canning.”
Tusneem also made Laura a beautiful birdcage veil for the ceremony that she mounted onto a gold headband with a mini bow, which reflected the two bows on the dress, and then a simple headband with no veil for Laura to wear for the rest of the day.
The bride added 60’s-style gold daisy earrings with pearl centres from an Etsy vintage shop, a pearl ring given by her Mum for her 30th birthday and a beautiful vintage bracelet, as well as a fabulous pair of Jimmy Choo heels.
Rob’s suit also went down the bespoke route and he had one made by Richard Smith in a deep fir-green shade.
“Richard is a genius – so friendly, funny and amiable but really, really knows how to tailor. He even asked for my wedding Pinterest board so that he could understand the feel of the wedding before he put shears to cloth. I had the absolute pleasure of accompanying Rob on a few of his fittings and every detail was considered, right down to the thread the button holes should be bound in. The style was a nod to the 60’s but with a fresh, modern feel and secret flashes of yellow lining and details.
The best man wore a suit he felt comfortable in, and matched his yellow tie with Rob’s.”
“Our wedding car was an original Fiat 500 in turquoise, which was driven all the way from Florence for our big day. The most fun journey ever! We didn’t even mind that our driver got a bit lost as it just extended our adventure for a little while longer.”
“We fell in love with Bologna on a big Italian road trip we did in 2014, we stumbled across it by accident as a 2-night stop over on the way to Venice and just loved the medieval architecture, the colonnades and the colours. Bologna are proud of their heritage, but there is something thoroughly modern and creative going on there too which felt really different. And of course the food, some of the best meals we’ve ever eaten were in Bologna and this was a really important factor for our wedding.
We sought the help of a wedding planner, as we felt we needed a helping hand with translation, paperwork and someone with good contacts in Bologna. After a lot of web searching we came across Carolina Piazzi who runs A Taste of Beauty. She is originally from Bologna but now lives in London so just perfect for us. I knew as soon as we met her that she ‘got’ what we wanted to achieve.
We can now honestly say that she is a friend and very patiently guided us through everything we needed to sort. She was our guide, our brains (when ours had slipped into bridal mushiness) our inside knowledge into the beautiful city of Bologna and the very keystone of our wedding.”
“My Dad walked me down the aisle to The Arctic Monkeys version of ‘Baby I’m Yours’.”
We kept the ceremony incredibly simple, as it already had to be said in Italian and then in English. There were no special vows – we kept our words until the speeches later.”
Laura and Rob’s amazing photographers were Ben and Giulia of on love and photography. The couple already knew them as they shot Laura’s sister’s wedding, where they created dreamy, hazy, and romantic shots for their special day, thus it was essential that the couple also book them; with the bonus being that Giulia is Italian! I just adore the resulting images – the ‘reportage style’ shots highlight the intimate vibe to perfection.
“We knew we wanted the day to be recorded, but hate weddings where the bride and groom disappear for hours on end to pose for photographs! I created a mood board of shots we’d seen and liked and then asked them if they would document our wedding in a more reportage style – less posing, very few group shots but lots of spur of the moment photographs and just really trying to capture the essence of the day.
I can only say they over delivered and (in the very nicest possible way) we barely registered that they were there and yet somehow they captured ever little detail beautifully.”
“As my husband is a filmmaker, a lot of his close friends are also in the industry. A couple of good mates – Richard Garry and Eoghan Synnott – simultaneously captured the ceremony and the speeches and some bits of the day.”
“I think if both of us were to say what our favourite moment was, it was zooming through the streets of Bologna in our little Fiat 500 – roof down, sunglasses on and all of the locals beeping and waving at us. It was so much fun and a special memory for just the two of us.
I genuinely wouldn’t have done anything differently, except perhaps worry less before hand!”
“The pink, turquoise and yellow table runners, in clashing chevron and geometric patterns, were made by Cayson Decor on Etsy, the hanging paper honeycomb decorations from Oliver Bonas and fantastic festoon lighting. Then everything else decor-wise was all about the flowers!”
Inspired by incredible food on a previous trip to Bologna, the cuisine was a vital part of the planning of their day. They were very impressed with their chosen caterers, who also made their yummy cake, which was adorned with a tribute to their mutual love of Lego.
“Our caterers were Neoclassico in Bologna – they made the most amazing food, with gob smacking quantities and seamless service.
They also made our cake – a simple, large, flat, one-layer mille-feuille cake, filled with crema pasticcera, dusted with icing sugar and mixed fruits and edible petals. The cake topper was a lego bride and groom (we are both more than a little obsessed with Lego!).”
“My florist was also my best friend Anna Collins of Adventures in Flowers. The poor girl, I sent her moodboard after moodboard, said no to many an idea (being an interior stylist, I was weirdly fussiest about flowers more than anything), but finally we found the perfect balance. Billy buttons (happy yellow 60’s pom-pom shaped flowers), hydrangeas (my favourite), airplants (because they are a perfect turquoise) and then a festival of other blooms in clashing shades. I wanted it to feel like a 60’s floral print fabric and I think this was very much achieved!”
“Every guest had an original vintage matchbox waiting for them at their place and inside was a gold-plated Lego brick. The little note said ‘Thank you for being here today as we build our married life together’.”
“We set up a little cinema area by suspending a screen from the late oak tree at the Villa. Rob created a film of clips of all of our favourite TV shows, animations and films and then ran full length versions of films like ‘Roman Holiday’ – this was projected throughout the meal but also as a backdrop to the dancing.”
“Our first dance song was to The Flamingoes ‘I only have eyes for you’. It’s a track that we’ve just always listened to throughout our wonderful relationship and reminds us of each other. It just felt like the right song, although we have so many songs together it was incredibly hard to choose. We didn’t know until we looked at the photos but projected behind our first dance were Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck – dancing just like us.
Rob created playlists for the picnic, the appertivo, the dinner and the dancing – we ensured we had great speakers, but that was it and quite frankly, it was perfect. Everyone was asking for the playlists after the wedding!”
Words of Wedded Wisdom
“We wanted a small wedding, where food played a major role and wanted to create a day that suited us. It’s easy to get swept up with so many ideas and opinions but we kept checking ourselves, kept it real and remembered that ultimately, we just wanted to get married and if we did that, our goal was achieved.
I would say that, in our mid 30’s and as true teammates, we absolutely wanted to stay together the night before. Again, a few eyebrows raised and mutterings of ‘unlucky’ but it’s what we wanted and it was wonderful to kiss Rob goodbye in the morning and say ‘see you at the townhall.
Because the main meal was a really important aspect of our day, we put quite a lot of impetus on the speeches. This was a very, very emotional part of the day and was just wonderful. Both Rob and I gave a speech, as did my Dad, Rob’s dad and my best friend. And the best speech of the day had to be Aidan’s (the best man) who had everyone in stitches and in tears at the same time. A word of advice would be to see the speeches as an opportunity to really personalise the day, rather than something that has to be done.”
What wonderful words of wisdom – especially when it came to staying together the night before. Sometimes going against what is considered ‘tradition’ just feels right, so do it!
Sending huge thanks to On Love and Photography for the wonderful images of the happy couple and thank you to Laura and Rob for allowing us to share their romantic day. If you’ve been inspired to head overseas for your big day, see here for more gorgeous destination weddings we’ve previously highlighted.
Here’s to a brill rest of week everyone!
Love Jo -x-
Photographer – On Love and Photography
Wedding Planner – Carolina Piazzi from A Taste of Beauty
Ceremony – Bologna Town Hall
Venue – Villa Isolani, Bologna
Wedding Dress + Birdcage Veil – Boutique Alterations
Shoes – Jimmy Choo
Jewellery – Gold daisy earrings with pearl centres via Etsy + pearl ring (a birthday present from her Mum) + vintage bracelet
Bridesmaid Dresses – Whistles + Etsy
Bridesmaid Accessories – Own Marie Canning earrings
Groom – Bespoke suit by Richard Smith
Florist – Anna Collins of Adventures in Flowers
Rings – Kamilla Ruberg + Oria Jewellery
Stationery – Designed by the bride
Catering + Cake – Neoclassico
Entertainment – Homemade cinema
Transport – A hired Fiat 500