Rebekah in Alon Livne for her Elegant Italian Wedding at Abbazia San Pietro in Valle

Wedding at Abbazia San Pietro Valle, Italy. The bride wears Alon Livne. Lewis Membery Photography.

Rebekah and Sean tied the knot Italian style on 26th August 2023 at the spectacularly beautiful Abbazia San Pietro in Valle, nestled in the lush green hills of Ferentillo in Umbria.

I’m beyond delighted that this beautiful bride discovered Morgan Davies Brid through Love My Dress – a superb bridal boutique with locations in London and Hitchin In Hertfordshire. Through a visit to the London boutique – an experience she highly recommends to other brides, she discovered her gorgeous Alon Livne gown.

These exceptionally beautiful photographs are by Lewis Membery, whose sublime modern wedding photography we adore publishing on Love My Dress. Enjoy!

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The Venue

Our first holiday as a couple was to Italy in July 2019. It was Sean’s first time in Italy and I was able to see the country through his fresh eyes. We spent gorgeous long days in the sun wandering the cobbled streets of Rome, with all the amazing pit stops for pasta and gelato, taking in the music, the art, the wine, the culture, and the sheer romance that is so unique to Italy.  One evening over a bottle of wine on the roof of our hotel, we both fantasised about the idea of getting married in Italy someday.

Both of us love architecture and the outdoors, and for that reason it was an obvious choice to choose Abbazia San Pietro in Valle which is a 9th century monastery in the mountains of Umbria. We knew we wanted to get married in the chapel as soon as we saw it, so even though we wanted most of the day to be outside in the beautiful scenery, it was important to us to have the ceremony in a place with gravitas.

We had the help of the amazing Lisa and Gaetano at Rossini Weddings. They are specialists in Italian weddings. 

Abbazia San Pietro in Valle, wedding venue, Italy.

The Dress

My wedding dress was an Alon Livne dress  with a Stephanie Allin overskirt. My wedding dress, overskirt and veil were all purchased from Morgan Davies Bridal in Islington, who I discovered through Love My Dress – I cannot recommend them enough.

Rianne was my bridal consultant and she was truly exceptional at understanding exactly what I wanted to achieve – we went on a creative journey together to pair the Alon Livne dress with an overskirt which would give me a more whimsical feel for the ceremony but without too much added volume given the 35 degree plus temperatures Umbria has in August!

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I wore the Monica Vinader pearl earrings that I was wearing when we got engaged to remind me of the excitement of that moment. Other than this I just wore my engagement ring – I wanted to keep it very clean. 

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I wore a pair of Mandarina Shoes. Hair and makeup was by  Tania Nitsak. I wore a rose oud perfume we bought together in Morocco.  My bridesmaids wore dresses by Ghost. My flowergirl wore a dress from Angel & Rockett.

Flower girl in Angel & Rocket dress
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The Ceremony

We were extremely lucky to be able to have the ceremony in the chapel as rules had recently tightened to allow catholic ceremonies only. Also, the chapel announced it would soon close for urgent renovations, so there were times when we were wedding planning when we thought we might lose the dream ceremony we wanted.

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Luckily the chapel had stayed open and will close this year so we were extremely grateful to get in there before that happened.

My Mum and three bridesmaids walked me to the chapel where I met my Dad who walked me down the aisle. My church entrance song was Unchained Melody by the Mantovani Orchestra

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A local catholic priest, Don Bartolomeo, lead our ceremony. We had a traditional catholic wedding ceremony which included traditional wedding vows and readings given by our friends and family. 

We chose traditional wedding vows. There were more modern versions we could choose within the catholic church options, but to us, the original vows are perfect and  we felt that they perfectly summarised everything we needed to say.

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Our readings felt the most meaningful to us. In particular we felt the Song of Songs reading sounded more like poetry than a bible reading and our Priest even said he had to check it was in the bible and it reminded him how poetic the bible can be.

We loved having a catholic ceremony and having the romance that came with readings and prayers which have been present at thousands of weddings across the world – it felt that there was something really beautiful about the level of history in the readings we chose. Our other readings included Responsorial Psalm 148 and the Universal Prayer (Prayer of the Faithful).

Find Your Wedding Readings
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We bought our wedding rings on a wedding planning trip to Italy. We extended it by a few days and went to Florence. We tried rings on at a number of jewellers in the famous jewellery district on Ponte Vecchio. After a few Aperol Spritz we went back and bought them from a jeweller  called Sergio Vaggi. We opted for matching traditional yellow gold wedding bands.

Our favourite part of the day was the ceremony. Nothing could prepare us for the emotions of that moment where I walked into the church and we saw each other. Standing in front of family and friends who had travelled from far and wide to be there as we said our vows was the best moment of our lives so far. 

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Photography by Lewis Membery

Hiring Lewis Membery as our wedding photographer was one of the best decisions of our lives. We have the most stunning photos of our wedding day which so perfectly capture the full range of emotions of that day but also so many tiny moments so dear to our hearts and so many big moments we could never describe to anyone who wasn’t there. 

We chose Lewis because we had a Zoom call with him and knew he was not only extremely talented, but had the kindest soul and we trusted him immediately. He took the time to get to understand us as a couple and meeting him at our wedding was like meeting an old friend even though it was the first time we met. 

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On the day he was so much more than our photographer. He was a friend. He was there in some really hard moments (like our best man, Sean’s brother, who was struggling with cancer, being rushed to hospital – taken there by my Mum). Lewis stayed with me in the bridal suite whilst I had my hair and make up done and kept my calm whilst everyone else was rushing around.

When they returned from hospital in time for the ceremony and my Mum walked into the bridal suite and hugged me, we both cried. Lewis captured that hug and all the emotions in it and that’s a perfect example of how his pure heart makes him an incredible photographer.

We could never recommend him more highly. Lewis is a genius at what he does and our wedding photos brought us to tears (and continue to).

Paul Van was absolutely incredible to work with. As with Lewis, we could not recommend him more highly. We have watched our wedding video more times than we could count now. It exceeded our wildest dreams and he was such a kind and warm soul to have with us for the weekend. He went above and beyond.

How They Met

We met the old fashioned way (swiping right). Our first date was on a hot summer’s day in 2018 when we met outside London Bridge station after work. After a few cocktails on Bermondsey Street we knew we had found something amazing. Just 24 hours later and we were already on our second date.

When covid hit we bought a car and our golden retriever pup (Cooper) and left London for a remote working road trip around the UK and Ireland staying in a new Airbnb each week just the three of us. A year later we bought our first house in Tunbridge Wells, our second golden retriever (Maple) and got engaged. 

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Sean popped the question on our three year anniversary in Santorini. We arrived at our anniversary dinner which was at a restaurant built into the side of a cliff over the Aegean sea. It was perfect because it was right at sunset.

We were at our private table when Sean got down on one knee and asked. After lots of ugly crying by me we Facetimed our loved ones and had chamapagne and seafood risotto.

Just under two years later we got married, in August 2023.

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A Note From The Wedding Planner

Lisa Wheeldon, Rossini Weddings

For Rebekah and Sean’s wedding at Abbazia San Pietro in Valle our brief was to create an atmosphere of relaxed elegance and romance. Aligned with their vision of crafting a day reminiscent of a cherished love story, the venue itself provided a breathtaking backdrop that perfectly complemented their aspirations.

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Outside the church, we worked with Sartoria Floreale to create two asymmetrical floral arrangements with blush and white roses and greenery.

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Inside, a flowered ground arch decorated with clusters of white and blush flowers intertwined with greenery, embraced the bride and groom’s from the stairs to the altar.

Soft candlelight placed among the florals which cast a gentle, flickering glow that illuminated the frescoed walls, enveloping the space in a sense of warmth and intimacy.

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For the dinner reception, crystal bottles adorned the tables, filled with white and blush roses, with crystal candelabras and votives with blush pink and white tapered candles, lending an air of delicate sophistication. Personalised menus, each bearing guests names, and flatware delicately wrapped in blush pink ribbon, added another thoughtful touch. 

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Rebekah’s bouquet refined simplicity that defined the entire affair, crafted with a selection of pristine white and blush roses, accented by a blush silk ribbon.

From the fabric-hung welcome sign to the signature cocktail drinks and, notably, to the bride’s exquisite bouquet, every detail of Rebekah and Sean’s wedding at Abbazia San Pietro in Valle harmoniously captured the essence of relaxed elegance.

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Paired with numerous cherished moments shared with their nearest and dearest, these memories will undoubtedly serve as enduring testaments to their love, cherished for years to come.

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Our caters were Lincei Catering – we had a traditional Italian Millefoglie wedding cake – a traditional Italian wedding cake made of layers of beautifully crisp pastry topped with whipped cream and berries.

Italian Millefoglie wedding cake. Black and white wedding photography by Lewis Membery.

Evening & Dancing

We are both old souls and love 60s music so had our first dance to Aretha Franklin’s ‘You Send Me’. It’s a song we would often dance to in the kitchen on a Sunday morning and it just felt so relaxed and joyful, and that’s exactly what we wanted to capture.

We hired Tenor Singer, Maurizio Marchini.

We hired DJ Laura Harvey of Spin Sisters, an all female DJ company for the party in the evening.

Words of Wedded Wisdom

I would commit to suppliers earlier on. We immediately chose Lewis Membery and Paul Van (thankfully) but on some other suppliers we were less decisive and delaying decision making can give you space to think but also may mean you aren’t progressing the planning as much.

 It’s important to remember that this is your day and you only get one. If you’ve both always dreamt of a destination wedding, don’t let go of that dream, even if it means making hard choices about guest numbers and having to accept that some people won’t want to make the journey. The ones who do are people who really love you and want to be there, and that only enhances the atmosphere.

Having family and friends together for a long wedding weekend abroad can really feel like an extension of celebrations which meant we weren’t limited to one day only and it creates a real holiday vibe. 

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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 Planner
Wedding Dress Designer
Bridal Shoes
Hair & Makeup
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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.