Emma & Christopher
Rustic, relaxed and ultra romantic, be inspired by this destination wedding in Tuscany
PHOTOGRAPHY BY Courtney Louise Photography,
Childhood sweethearts Emma and Christopher have a storybook romance. “Our mothers have been best friends forever, so we’ve always been a part of each other’s lives. We started dating when we were 18 and tied the knot eight years later!”
Groom Chris planned the perfect proposal. “He surprised me with a weekend away in Cambridge – our hotel had stunning views over the city. At dinner that night he proposed with a beautiful sparkling ring.”
Much like finding your fiancé, finding ‘the one’ when wedding dress shopping is about discovering the dress you love exactly as it is, give or take a few alterations, as Emma discovered.
“When I tried on the Melanie gown by Maggie Sottero I felt so surprised, it was the first time I didn’t want to change a thing about a dress.”
“The back was perfect and I adored the buttons. I hadn’t tried on many dresses though, so I did visit a few more boutiques before returning to choose that gown. My nan kindly gifted me my dress.”
Emma accessorised with a hair vine from Lace and Favour, a veil borrowed from Chris’s sister and Rainbow Club shoes. “My jewellery for the day was all personally commissioned by Chris, so it’s one of a kind! It was a wonderful coincidence that it complemented the hair vine so well,” Emma smiles.
“Chris knew what he wanted to wear early on in the planning and had his suit made so he could choose every element.”
JS Tailoring created the bright blue suit, which he wore with a red tie and pocket square. The groom added Barker shoes to complete his look. “He chose the Ross design, which happens to be my maiden name, so it felt like it was meant to be.”
Five bridesmaids, two flower girls and one pageboy attended the bride down the aisle. “I never thought I would find a dress that everyone liked, but the ASOS design was a winner. It was simple at the front with a low back and a gorgeous detachable bow.”
An Italian hairdresser and makeup artist joined the bride on the big day, creating her natural makeup look and curly up-do. “I didn’t want the back of my dress to be covered so I had a relaxed bun with my hair vine and veil to finish the look off.”
The couple tied the knot in a civil ceremony at their destination wedding in Tuscany, celebrated at Il Castagno.
“I walked down the aisle to ‘Shine On’ by The Kooks with my father and step father. I love the song because it has a traditional wedding feel but a more relaxed, acoustic sound. Our ceremony was typically Italian and laid-back (if a little disorganised!) – brilliant from start to finish.”
In keeping with the location of their wedding in Tuscany, the newlyweds and their guests dined on a Mediterranean feast, starting with red-glazed onion risotto and fazzoletti pasta stuffed with pecorino cheese and tomato tartare. The main course featured a medallion of beef, served with rosemary potatoes and green beans wrapped in bacon.
Millefeuille, the traditional Italian wedding cake, offered a sweet dessert, accompanied by Chantilly cream. “We also had an English wedding cake, made by Chris’s aunt, with absolutely delicious chocolate, salted caramel and gluten-free Victoria sandwich layers.
One of Chris’s best men designed all of our wedding stationery for us, creating a rustic design with a recurring olive motif. He even brought the table plan to Italy for us in his suitcase!” The low-key theme continued with olive leaves on every table, log slice centrepieces and individual wooden table numbers.
“Our bouquets were wild and leafy in style, featuring a wide range of flowers, thistles and leaves like the Tuscan countryside surrounding us. Flowers & Co Di Provvedi Susanna supplied the flowers for us.”
“We hosted a barbecue and pizza party for guests instead of giving traditional favours.”
Rip-it Encore created the soundtrack to Emma and Chris’s big day. “They performed a lovely acoustic set after the ceremony, before playing late into the night! We chose Ed Sheeran’s ‘Thinking Out Loud’ for our first dance and Chris’s father also played ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra on the saxophone, a significant song for our family.”
“We did a tour of northern Italy for our honeymoon!”
“We planned the trip ourselves and took it in turns to drive. We spent two nights each in Lucca, Cinque Terre, Lake Como, Lake Garda, Verona and Venice, learning to cook Italian classics on Lake Como, visiting Juliet’s balcony in Verona and watching glass-blowing in Venice!
The alone time we had during our couple’s portraits was lovely. It felt so relaxed and we almost forgot Courtney was there taking pictures! She made us feel so at ease and was brilliant at capturing natural shots. We also had a wonderful moment afterwards, standing on a balcony looking out over our guests laughing, eating and drinking. We felt so lucky to have so many special people with us on our big day.”
VENUE Il Castagno, Tuscany, Italy
DRESS Maggie Sottero at Belle and Bouquet, Lincoln
BRIDESMAID DRESSES ASOS
GROOM JS Tailoring, Barker
ACCESSORIES Lace and Favour, Rainbow Club
HAIR & MAKEUP DIVI E DIVINE
FLOWERS Flowers & Co Di Provvedi Susanna
ENTERTAINMENT Rip-it Encore
VIDEOGRAPHER Lawson Films