A Halfpenny London Bride & her Stylish Black Tie Wedding in Rome

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Today we’re giving you black tie elegance, a colour palette of ivory and gold, and a beautiful, ancient village venue just outside of Rome for this timelessly glamorous destination wedding, culminating in a joyful feast under the stars.

Deciding to be married in Italy, our couple celebrated in style over three days, joined by family and friends from near and far.

Maison Pestea + Follow

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On the 16 August 2019, Aislinn and Paul were married at Borgo di Tragliata, on the outskirts of Rome, which is an idyllic farming village filled with history, restored and brought back to life as a self-contained wedding and events venue. They ceremony was held in the Church of Sant’Isidoro, which was followed by an outdoor party and wedding feast.

An elegant suite of illustrated letterpress printed stationery was by Magva Design + Letterpress, which really gave a wonderful flavour of the celebrations to come, and the spectacular setting, too.

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Gorgeous, subtly glamorous hair and make-up was by Rome-based Janita Helova, and Aislinn’s perfume was Santal 33 by Le Labo, which she layered with the matching body lotion for all day staying power.

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Aislinn’s marvellous dress was by Little Book member Halfpenny London, and she discovered it at Northern Ireland boutique The White Gallery.

I love the contrast between the slinky silk dress, with its Bardot style top, which Aislinn then paired with a tulle over-skirt with bold, floral embroidery.

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“The girls at The White Gallery are amazing! It was such a gorgeous experience going there and trying on their dresses, it really was such a special day. I would highly recommend them any future bride that is looking for something a little bit different. They were so helpful from the beginning when choosing my dress, right up to the final fittings – even helping me choose the right earrings.”

“It took me quite a bit of time to find the right accessories. I wanted earrings that were a statement but wouldn’t take away from my dress. After trialling numerous pairs, including a set I waited on two months to arrive from Australia, I settled on a pair much closer to home – a £2 pair from Primark!”

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“After a lot of online shoe shopping fails I settled on a pair of jewelled court shoes from the Dune Bridal Collection – the ‘Breanna’ in ivory satin. Surprisingly very comfortable to wear for the day, and long into the night.”

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“I felt so comfortable in the dress, loved how elegant and timeless it was, and that I could take the overskirt off later on in the night for dancing! The embroidered flower detail on the overskirt was stunning.”

“What I loved the most was actually my veil. I ended up choosing quite a traditional veil from The White Gallery in the end; a double layer silk tulle veil that was so dreamy to wear on the day. I loved the drama of it in photos.”

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The bridesmaids looked wonderful in off-the-shoulder ivory gowns by Dessy, which complemented Aislinn’s own dress beautifully. These were chosen at Nikki Kavanagh Bridal in Ratoath, Co. Meath, but this boutique is sadly now closed.

“I bought the girls pearl and gold statement earrings, which looked great with the neckline of their dresses. I picked them up in Brown Thomas, Dublin.”

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“We have always loved Italy, and the venue itself is beautiful and so picturesque. Upon our first visit to the Borgo we knew immediately it was where we would like to get married. Our guests travelled from near and far to celebrate with us over three days.”

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“We kickstarted the celebrations with a welcome BBQ and finished things off on day three with a prosecco pool party and farewell pizza party. An unforgettable few days. The Borgo have an amazing wedding planner on site, Cristina. She was incredible from the very beginning, and made everything as easy as possible for us.”

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In keeping with the ivory and gold colour palette, bouquets and floral arrangements were filled with cream hydrangea blooms, garden and spray roses and lisianthus, with pretty hints of soft lemon yellow. I Fiori di Donatella & Giuliano were recommended to Aislinn and Paul by their venue, and did not disappoint.

“Donatella was fantastic! I showed her pictures of what we wanted, and she re-created them perfectly. The flower arch outside the church was my personal favourite, it made the photos.”

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Paul and the groomsmen wore classic tuxedos from Protocol Menswear in Dublin, and Paul wore his with a watch that Aislinn gifted to him on the morning of the wedding, as well as a pair of custom made cufflinks with the coordinates of the location of their engagement.

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At the church, string quartet Consonus played, and as Aislinn walked down the aisle with her dad, they played the Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana.

“We met in university in Dublin, and were together six years before getting engaged on my birthday at the Christmas markets in Vienna in December 2017. We were engaged for 20 months before our wedding in August 2019, so we had lots of time to plan.”

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The wedding mass was conducted by local priest Don Sergio, and in between the couple’s vows, there were readings, too. The first was from 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (‘Love is patient, love is kind’) and the second was from the Letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians.

“We chose these readings as we felt they captured the true meaning of marriage, and emphasised the qualities you need for a
long and happy marriage.”

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Aislinn and Paul solidified their commitment with the exchanging of rings, too, choosing antique wedding bands at Dublin jewellers J.W Weldon.

“The ceremony was our favourite part of the day. With all the anticipation over the preceding hours and months, when we stood beside each other at the top of the church, we both started laughing.”

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We have the brilliant Peggy Picot of Maison Pestea to thank for these gorgeous, sun drenched images, perfectly telling the sweet story of Aislinn and Paul’s day. Videography came courtesy of Fulvio Greco Films.

“Peggy is fantastic! We chose her initially because her style of photographs were relaxed, natural and exactly what we were looking for. Words can’t describe how amazing she is! She made us feel completely at ease on our wedding day, and took the most incredible photographs with such ease, we hardly noticed her there.”

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“Peggy has a very relaxed style, which suited us perfectly, and captured our wedding in the most beautiful, elegant way. She put us completely at ease on the day of the wedding, and made our portrait session so fun and easy!”

“We can’t recommend Peggy enough, she was honestly the best decision we made.”

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“The venue itself is so beautiful we really didn’t have a huge amount to do in terms of décor. We wanted to keep things simple, elegant and timeless.”

“The colour palette was primarily ivory and gold, which carried from my choice of bridesmaid dresses to floral arrangements. We decided on black tie attire for men, as we felt it complimented the colour scheme but also ensured the timeless element to our photographs.”

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During the drinks reception, there was live music from party band The Gloves. Tables were set for dinner outside – long banqueting tables laid with simple white cloths, and decorated with flowers and candles.

Place settings were decorated with sprigs of olive leaves, and wooden laser cut names sourced via Etsy. The couple’s table plan was set up under the shade of a tree, inside vintage suitcases adorned with greenery and candles.

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Everyone sat down to a lovely wedding banquet from the venue’s in-house team, which began with strozzapreti pasta with chicory, bacon and Pecorino.

This was followed by handmade ricotta and herb ravioli, with Pecorino and thyme seasoned tomatoes; fillet of beef or swordfish, and then for dessert, delicious choices from a buffet table of treats.

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After dinner under the stars, Aislinn and Paul cut their cake (which came courtesy of the Borgo) and surprised their guests with a fireworks display, before the dancefloor beckoned.

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The couple’s song of choice for their first married dance together was The Whole of the Moon by The Waterboys, and later on there was more live music from The Gloves.

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Words of Wedded Wisdom

“Enjoy every minute of the lead up to the wedding, no matter how long or short the engagement. Every stress, every quarrel, and every moment of indecision enables you to have the most special day of your life. Regret what you do, not what you don’t do.”

“On the day itself, take a moment to yourselves. You’ll be simultaneously tired and full of adrenaline, so it’s important to remember why all your family and friends are in the one spot, celebrating your happiness.”

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Aislinn and Paul, huge congratulations to you both. It’s been a delight to share your elegant celebration, and we have Peggy from Maison Pestea to thank for these exquisite images, too.

Until next time.

With love,


Credits & Thanks

Laura Callan

Laura Callan View all Laura's articles

Laura is a freelance writer and content creator who loves telling stories. She has keen eye for photography and art, and lives with her husband, cats, and huge amounts of books.