Wow-oh-wow. Brace yourselves for a seriously beautiful destination wedding – it’s Pinterest-worthy perfection captured beautifully by Moumou Photography.
Gorgeous London-based couple Louise and Justin tied the knot last summer at Villa Catureglio in the stunning Borgo a Mozzano, Italy and celebrated with breathtaking garden party, under the Tuscan sky. There’s blush hues, vintage touches, a Kate Halfpenny dress and a truly dreamy setting. *Oh swoon*
Here’s beautiful bride Louise to talk us through planning her dream destination wedding and how they dealt with the language barrier too…
Justin and I first got together when we were at school over sixteen years ago. Clearly not ones to rush into anything, our engagement was a very long time coming and I had no clue how Justin would end up popping the question.
I had been studying for some exams for work for a couple of months and after I got my results, Justin left a card at the side of my bed one morning for when I woke up. He asked me to meet him at the airport that evening and when I arrived he passed me a present, a guide book and tickets to the beautiful city of Venice.
I was blown away but I did have an inkling of what was to come! He waited until the Saturday evening to pop the question on a quiet little ponte (bridge) overlooking one of Venice’s canals. He was a lot more nervous than I expected, but of course I said yes instantly.
When we came across the venue online we instantly fell in love with it…
We searched high and low for a venue in England that ticked all our boxes, but with no joy. As we love to travel, we decided to start looking a bit further afield. When we came across the venue online we instantly fell in love with it. When we then visited the Villa in person, we were blown away by its beauty and we had our heart set on getting married there.
We both already had a good idea of what we liked and how we wanted to dress ourselves and our bridesmaids/ushers, so a lot of it looked after itself. I’d describe our theme as: Italian Garden Party Smart. Despite the heat (the temperature on the day topped 37 degrees), Justin enforced a strict shirt and tie policy, so the gents all looked very dapper. The women all looked wonderful in an array of different summer dresses.
Kate and Rose run most of the weddings at Villa Catureglio and so they helped us plan all aspects of our wedding, introducing us to our caterers, a wine merchant and florist. The rest we took care of ourselves, spending a lot of time scouring wedding blogs for inspiration.
Destination wedding challenges
There were quite a few challenges. Not being able to speak Italian made it a little difficult to communicate our preferences and to get everything set up just how we wanted it on the day. Also, getting all of our wedding gear and decorations to the venue posed a bit of a problem. We had to pack all our possessions into cases and boxes and entrust their safe transit to members of our family. Thankfully, most things arrived in one piece!
Making it ours
We had to organise everything for the day, which was hard work but ultimately meant we had complete creative freedom. We designed and made our own save the date and wedding invitations, which meant we sent out something very unique and personal to us.
At the venue, my family worked tirelessly to help decorate the barn with lanterns and ribbon streamers, which we also dressed the entrance to the villa in to tie it all together. In addition, we put together a wall of pictures of the two of us together and our friends and family growing up, which was very amusing for our guests.
Justin also has a way with words, so he wrote a beautiful and funny poem for my bridesmaid Shelley to read out at the beginning of the ceremony. It was perfect and captured both us as a couple and the whole vibe of the weekend.
We also wrote our own vows together and read them out a line each at a time. It was lovely to sit together and put down on paper exactly what we mean to one another and reading them out on the day was one of my favourite moments of the wedding.
We didn’t have a traditional first dance. Instead we played “We Are Your Friends” by Simian, a very upbeat and dancy track and we invited all of our guests to join us on the floor to start what became a very hot and sweaty but incredibly fun knees up!
My tips for other brides and grooms to-be are…
Just remember what is most important to you as a couple and don’t lose sight of that. At times it was hard not to be overwhelmed with all the decisions we had to make and worried too much about wanting to please everyone, which it is almost impossible to do. It’s your day. Make it yours!
On the day, we’d recommend giving yourselves five minutes away from your guests so you can savour a small slither of the day together, just the two of you.
What we enjoyed most about planning our wedding was…
All in all I enjoyed most aspects of the planning, but I have to say that the two trips that we absolutely had to make to Italy before the wedding for the menu and wine tasting and meeting all the suppliers were a highlight! We managed to sneak a few days in Elba as part of our final trip and it’s definitely one of the most beautiful islands we’ve ever had the pleasure of visiting.
My least favourite part of wedding planning had to be…
The language barrier ultimately proved very frustrating. Whereas if we were getting married in England, a quick phone call could answer any question or allay any worries we had, we were totally reliant on our wedding planners. I found the lack of control quite stressful, but the sacrifice was all worth it to get married in such a beautiful setting.
Honeymoon hotspot: A dream trip to Sri Lanka and the Maldives.
Oh, let’s just take a minute to bask in this wedding’s beautifulness! Wasn’t it a complete stunner?
Thanks to Louise and Justin’s fabulous photographer we felt like we were a part of their magical atmosphere – how ruddy gorgeous was EVERYTHING?!
From the warm sunshine to the twinkling fairy lights, rustic décor to personalised vows and a friends and family first dance, it’s clear that a lot of love went into this idyllic Italian wedding – and boy oh boy, does it show!
Congratulations Louise and Justin and thank you for sharing your bellissimo big day with us. We’re head over heels for it! Massive thanks to Moumou Photography for these beautiful photos too.