This morning we shared Ore & Lawson’s stunning wedding film, and now, we’re eager for you to see their beautiful photographs and read more about the story behind their day.

A London-based couple, they always new they’d have a destination wedding, and after some fortuitous Google results, they landed on a stunning Italian castle in Apulia, Castello Monaci, and they planned a suitably regal celebration to fit.

To capture memories of their stylish and romantic day, Paola Colleoni was their photographer and Angelo La Torre was on videography.

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When we asked Ore for three words to describe her and Lawson’s day, she said, “Elegant, glamorous and fun-filled” and we couldn’t sum it up better ourselves. 

Ore chose two stunning wedding dresses, a romantic ceremony gown with sheer embellished detailing by Tarik Ediz and a glam reception dress by new London designer, AloNuko. Lawson was just as stylish as his bride, with a black tuxedo which he swapped out for a white jacket for the party. 

Ore put her own planning skills to work (which is a tricky task with a destination wedding!) but with the help of Instagram and a pretty magnificent backdrop, she created an elegant reception, with lavish blooms, gilded details, and lots of personalised touches.

Add in some fabulous food, a rather epic wedding cake, lots of dancing, a firework finale and a dip in a fountain, and you do indeed have yourself one seriously elegant, glamorous and fun-filled day.

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Our Love Story

Lawson and I met when we were 16 years old at the library of all places!

We were both studying there for our A-levels and were introduced by mutual friends. For the first year we were purely platonic however on the last day of school we all went out and depending on who’s telling the story, one of us made the first move!

Fast forward past university, starting our careers and getting a mortgage and we found ourselves nine years later still not able to get rid of each other!

Lawson proposed just after our nine year anniversary  (one week three days after to be exact….not that I was counting). As I was about to shoot out the door for work, he got down on one knee and popped the question and then told me that he’d  secretly got me the day off and I had one hour to pack for a weekend away in Barcelona!

I always knew we were going to spend our lives together but it was so amazing to know that it would finally be official and that I’d have my best friend by my side for the rest of my life.

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The Destination

Before Lawson and I even got engaged we’d discussed having a destination wedding. With the weather being so unpredictable in London and both of us loving to travel, it seemed like the best option for us so once he popped the question I began searching for the best place to host our friends and family.

Initially we decided on Greece as we’d been there together a few times and thought it had some of the most beautiful islands we’d ever seen – however our engagement also fell at the same time as the Greek financial crisis and with things so up in the air with the economy we we forced to look elsewhere.

A random google search later for European wedding locations and I stumbled across a place called Apulia in an article written about where Justin Timberlake got married.

The place looked beautiful, stunning vineyards and farmlands however a beautiful coastline and beaches too – it seemed like the best of both worlds so I commenced looking for wedding venues there even though neither of us had ever been to Italy!

A few more clicks on Google and I found the stunning Castello Monaci, I sent it to Lawson and asked him what he thought and if he liked it even though it wasn’t our dream of Greece and I’ll never forget his response “Dude are you serious…it’s a friggin Castle…like I’m a King – IT’S PERFECT!”

We both went to Italy for the first time to view the wedding venue and fell in love there and then! We’d hoped to have about 18 months to plan the wedding however (testament to how popular it is) the venue only had one date left available for the whole of 2016 and that  was 11 months away in June so we snapped it up and I went into overdrive on the planning front.

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The Inspiration

Our theme for the wedding was glamorous and romantic with a colour palette made up of marsala, blush and gold metallic finishes.

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The Venue

Castello Monaci is an stunningly romantic castle in Apulia – a region in Southern Italy –  filled with breathtaking gardens, it’s own winery and surprises around every corner.

Along with it’s beauty what really sold it for us was the amazing staff! They worked tirelessly to make our wedding the wonderful day that it was, and both in the lead up and on the day, their help was priceless.

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The Photography & Videography

Both our photographer and videographer were amazing beyond words. After the wedding a lot of our guests said they didn’t even realise they were there and that is testament to how seamlessly they blended in and captured the moment without disrupting the natural flow of the festivities.

The wedding trailer by Angelo is something Lawson and I could watch time and time again.

Although only a few minutes long, it captures in a nutshell the very essence of the day and the spirit of us as a couple – the love, the joy and most importantly, the party!

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The Decor & Details

I’m a planner by nature and run a bespoke surprise planning business alongside my day job as a business consultant so I knew from the offset I wouldn’t be hiring a wedding planner.

Although stressful at times, it was a great opportunity for me to fully get involved in every detail of the wedding and seeing everything come together in the end and have our guests enjoy it all was priceless.

Paper goods were a particular area of importance for me as I think it serves as someone’s first impression of your wedding – plus nowadays all I get through the post are bills so I wanted to send something that would make our guests smile.

To that end I designed Save the Dates using PowerPoint (all those hours making consulting presentations clearly weren’t wasted) in the form of boarding passes as this was the first time our guests found out the wedding would be abroad.  

For our formal invitations I and some of my amazing bridesmaids handmade boxed invitations. What seemed like a great idea at the start turned into 12 hours of sticking, folding and ribbon tying however I wouldn’t have changed a thing as our guests loved our invitations and doing it DIY meant we could get them exactly as we wanted them.

There were countless other details that I loved, from our terrarium ring holder through to our home made charging station (I hate my phone dying at weddings especially when there’s so many pictures to be taken!).

Our guests particularly enjoyed our personalised gym towels that we gave out as favours along with Italian Limoncello!

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Advice for Other Couples

My top tips for any couples planning their big day, especially those not using a wedding planner is that social media is your best friend!

We got married in a very remote region of Italy and so I initially struggled to find details of vendors online – that was until I turned to Instagram.

Hashtags were super useful e.g. #apuliaflorist and it also meant that I could see a visual of the vendor’s work right away.

I ended finding my photographer, videographer and florist all via Instagram so it definitely became a useful resource.

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Favourite Moments

Our favourite moment of the wedding was the reception party. Lawson and I knew early on that although we wanted the wedding to be a romantic occasion we also it wanted to reflect how much we love a good time.

To that end we flew out two of our favourite DJs from London and partied until 4.30am in the morning!

At one point, at the end of the night, let’s the just say we and our friends ended up dancing in a fountain in the middle of the castle gardens – it’s a memory we’ll never forget and one that highlights just how happy, uninhibited and carefree we were that night…and wet, definitely wet!

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Such a cool wedding, right? I just love the setting, though the style, the decor and all those details are pretty special too. Make sure you watch the wedding film for a feel of all the emotion and atmosphere behind the day.

Thanks so much to photographer Paola Colleoni, videographer, Angelo La Torre and of course, gorgeous Ore & Lawson for sharing their beautiful wedding day with us.

See more unique & beautiful real weddings

Photographer: Paola Colleoni / Videographer: Angelo La Torre / Venue: Castello Monaci / Bride’s Dress: Tarik Ediz, Morgan Davies Boutique / Bride’s Dress: AloNuko Custom Dress / Groom’s Attire: Hackett / Bridesmaid Dresses: David’s Bridal / Groomsmen Attire: Marks and Spencers Tux / Flowers: Flower Addicted