Romantic & Sentimental: Poppy & Riccardo’s Dreamy Italian-Inspired Wedding at Fanhams Hall in Hertfordshire

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Poppy and Riccardo tied the knot on 1st June 2023, at Fanhams Hall, a beautiful Jacobean mansion located in the heart of the Hertfordshire countryside.

The couple wanted to host a romantic wedding that paid homage to the groom’s Sicilian Heritage – so the Poppy, a talented illustrator, designed and created all their Italian inspired stationery and floral designer, Lily & Liz, provided lots of Italian inspired greenery and lemons to decorate the reception and dining space.

Poppy chose to wear a gorgeous, figure hugging, lace gown by Grace Loves Lace and a cathedral length veil which photographer Lewis Membery captured beautiful as it danced on the summer breeze. We’re delighted that Poppy discovered her veil through Love My Dress recommended supplier, The Wedding Veil Shop.


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Venue & Location

Our venue was Fanhams Hall in Ware, Hertfordshire. It was the beautiful grounds that really sold the venue to us, they were so romantic and even from our first visit I could picture the day happening there.

Our most significant inspiration was simply romance. We’re both quietly romantic and sentimental and we really wanted that to come through on what was (hopefully!) going to be the most romantic day of our lives.

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The Dress

Grace Loves Lace

I found my dress in the Grace Loves Lace London showroom. We were welcomed with fizz and shown into our private room where my chosen dresses were waiting.

The sales assistant was so helpful, she gave us plenty of time with each dress, fetched veils and accessories and helped me in and out of each dress. 

It was a really special experience and I’d definitely recommend it to other brides. 

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The dress just felt like an extension of me – it was so comfortable, so beautiful and almost exactly what I pictured when I first thought about what I would wear on my wedding day. I love the mix of classic and modern – beautiful classic lace with a modern silhouette.

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I wore a cathedral length wedding veil with a blusher, that was from The Wedding Veil Shop. My shoes were white heeled leather mules, from Russell and Bromley.

My scent was Jo Malone’s ‘Wild Bluebell’. We both chose Jo Malone scents for the day and went together to help pick out each others’.

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I knew I didn’t want a huge amount of accessories – my hair was down so I didn’t have hair accessories and I loved the neckline of my dress without a necklace, so I really wanted a statement earring that would work with the green of the cravats and bridesmaids. I chose the beautiful Graciela earrings from Christie Nicolaides – they were perfect and really pulled the whole look together.

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My bridesmaids wore four different dresses in shades of green. I loved how they looked on the day. The dresses were from John Lewis, Coast, ASOS and Azazie. My bridesmaids also all wore pearl bracelets from & Other Stories.

My flower girls wore beautiful lace dresses to match mine, from Next.

The Ceremony

For that reason we chose a beautiful small Catholic church for the ceremony. We were both raised Catholic so it held huge sentimental value.

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Both parents accompanied me to church and my dad walked me down the aisle. Kissing You by Des’ree (string quartet) as Romeo & Juliet is one of our favourite films.

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I think we were lucky the church agreed to this! We also had some traditional hymns played throughout the service and we left the church to Ave Maria.

As we got married in church we followed traditional catholic wedding vows.

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Our wedding rings were from King of Diamonds in Hatton Garden. My ring is an eternity band in 18ct gold, and Ric has a simple wide gold 18ct band. 

For the ceremony and drinks reception we had a string quartet play some of our favourite romantic songs. 

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Our photographer was Lewis Membery. We loved Lewis’ body of work, his photography captures such meaningful, human emotion and so many of our photos tell a whole story in just one image.

He was so wonderful on the day, he calmed my nerves, made me smile and went far and above his role of ‘photographer’ – I couldn’t recommend him highly enough.

Photographers we recommend
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How They Met

It was the first day of my first year at university and we ended up sat together. He was a distraction I didn’t think I wanted but he persisted (and persisted) and it’s been me and him ever since.

We got engaged after eleven years together and were married a year later. 

It was the first day of my first year at university and we ended up sat together. He was a distraction I didn’t think I wanted but he persisted (and persisted) and it’s been me and him ever since. We got engaged after eleven years together and were married a year later. 

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The Reception

The romantic house and gardens of Fanhams Hall for the reception and the general style of the wedding was soft Italian romance as a nod to Ric’s Sicilian heritage.

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Our florists were Lily & Liz. Hannah’s romantic style of floristry was perfect for our wedding – we went for a beautiful soft yellow theme with lots of greenery as a nod to the Italian theme.

A family friend made our cake for us. It was a simple, classic design, finished off with a beautiful floral arrangement from our florist Hannah.

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Later in the day a close friend performed and sang our first dance, followed by an hour of Italian dancing from a live accordionist and then a DJ.

I have a degree in illustration so I designed all of our stationery for the day, including invitations, menus, place cards, order of the day and the table plan. I wanted the stationery to feel romantic and elegant, and fit in with the underlying Italian theme. 

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Evening & Dancing

We chose ‘At Last’ by Etta James, performed and sung by one of our close friends. It’s a song we’ve always loved and we’ve danced in the kitchen to it many, many times. 

My very favourite part of the day was the very last song of the night, dancing and singing to ‘You To Me Are Everything’ by The Real Thing with my new husband, my parents and his parents, surrounded by all our favourite people. The day had been perfect and although in that moment I knew it was over, I was happier than I’d ever been.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

Personal touches will make all the difference – we wrote individual messages to all of our guests on their name cards and it is still the most talked about feature of the whole wedding (and was essentially free to do!). 

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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.