Leanne & William
Fall in love with this fairytale Florence wedding, held in an Italian castle!
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Lauren Michelle Weddings,
You’d be forgiven for imagining that Leanne and William’s engagement was lifted from the pages of a love story.
“It was an autumn night in October. William had surprised me with a new outfit, dinner date and tickets to see my favourite band. After returning home from dinner, I went up to get ready for bed while William made a cup of tea… or so I thought. He was actually filling the living room with candles, lilies and roses. He’d compiled a memory book from the day we first met. After leafing through and with tears in my eyes, I turned to see him on one knee with a ring in his hand!”
Working as a commercial model and wedding stylist, Leanne had modelled many bridal collections for photo shoots and catwalk shows already.
“I knew from experience that what I liked on the hanger didn’t always look great on, so choosing my wedding dress was tricky.”
“Nonetheless, the lovely staff at Ava Rose helped me to find my dress at the first shop I visited!” Leanne set her heart upon a separates set by Martina Liana. “You had the option to have the two pieces sewn together to form a dress, but I loved the idea that I could wear them again individually, perhaps choosing the top for our first wedding anniversary.”
The bride accessorised with a belt from Richard Designs, floaty princess sleeves created by the seamstress and Jenny Packham at Debenhams shoes. “Victoria Walker, a local jewellery maker, personalised them for me with jewels, also making a bracelet to match.”
William looked every bit the handsome groom in a black dinner suit finished with a bowtie. “They all looked so charming and sophisticated. The groomsmen had pink and white rose buttonholes with eucalyptus to complement the bridesmaids’ posies, while William wore an ivory rose.”
Six bridesmaids stepped down the aisle with Leanne, wearing dusky pink dresses. “They each had unique hair colours and skin tones, and yet the colour suited everyone. I surprised the girls with a large pink box, featuring Ivory & Co earrings, a lace embellished handkerchief from Jupon and a white satin clutch bag.”
Having previously met makeup artist Jessica on a shoot, the bride knew she’d found the perfect fit for her big day beauty.
“Wearing our hair up helped with the hot weather, and the accessories gave the styles a more bridal finish.”
The couple fell head over heels for their Florence wedding castle venue, Castello di Vincigiliata. “The atmosphere was so tranquil and the gardens breathtakingly beautiful. It was so romantic that our jaws quite literally dropped when we walked through the castle gates.” 80 guests joined the couple to celebrate.
“We embraced some Italian traditions for our Florence wedding day, so William walked down the aisle first with his mother before I entered with my father.”
“We married beneath a floral arch of sweet and avalanche roses, white hydrangea, eucalyptus parvifolia and ruscus. Each alternate chair had a loosely tied garland of roses to decorate the back.”
The ceremony had a personal flourish, with the host, Jo Bertolino, sharing stories of the couple’s life together and what they loved most about each other. “We also chose to write our own vows. One of my favourites was William promising to make me a cup of tea every night before bed – a promise he has so far managed to keep!”
The couple brought over all of their own table decorations from Set The Scene’s covetable collection for their Florence wedding. “While my bridesmaids each had their hair done in turn, the rest of us worked to decorate the ceremony and reception spaces. We set up hurricane vases, white umbrellas for shade and confetti cones in the ceremony area, before decorating the courtyard.
We used silver beaded charger plates, crystal candelabra, glass vases, candleholders, a glass card box, sequin table cloths and even an easel to style the space. I was after timeless romance, so we avoided artificial light altogether. Instead, we clustered hundreds of candles to create the perfect candlelit dinner, complemented by the castle’s fire torches.”
Guidi Lenci were the caterers to create the couple’s foodie, four-course Italian feast. “Not once did anyone need to ask for another drink. It was by far the best service we have ever witnessed. We were over the moon with the quality and presentation, too.” There were also two wedding cakes. One was the traditional Italian millefoglie, the other four tiers of lemon, strawberry, chocolate and Nutella sponges.
Leanne’s hand-tied, cascading bouquet featured sweet and avalanche roses, white freesias, spray roses, eucalyptus and trailing ivy. The bride’s sister also created a miniature poem and picture of their late uncle to carry with her in her bouquet.
Following a fantastic disco and open bar, the couple enjoyed their final dance of the night rather appropriately to Ed Sheeran’s ‘Castle on the Hill’.
“We were lifted onto people’s shoulders, it felt like we were dancing the night away in the sky!”
A seven-day minimoon on the west coast of Italy formed the perfect finale to their Florence wedding.
VENUE Castello di Vincigliata, Italy
DRESS Martina Liana at Ava Rose, Colne
GROOM For similar, try Slaters
ACCESSORIES Richard Designs, Ivory & Co, Jenny Packham, Victoria Walker Boutique
HAIR & MAKEUP Jessica Goodall
CELEBRANT Jo Bertolino, Tuscan Pledges
CATERING Guidi Lenci
FLOWERS Francis Flowers
CAKE Dolce Lab
DÉCOR Set The Scene
ENTERTAINMENT Alma Project
VIDEOGRAPHER Angelo La Torre