We're off to Italy for today's real wedding, with a beautiful church ceremony in Capalbio, Tuscany and a fabulous poolside reception.
Nancy & Nick are a couple from the US and UK respectively, and thought a destination wedding would be the perfect opportunity for their friends and family to get to know one another.
With that in mind, they opted for thoughtful substance over ornate style, with details that truly enhanced their guests' experience, rather than a focus on too much decor or florals.
And capturing their time in Tuscany, was the ever-talented, Stefano Santucci Photography.
I love it when couples take their role as ‘hosts' seriously, and that's especially important for a destination wedding.
From their welcome dinner the night before (pizza and Peroni sounds like the best party theme ever!) to their al fresco Italian feast on their wedding day, Nancy & Nick treated their guests to the finest food, warm Tuscan hospitality, and thoughtful touches, that made their time in Capalbio so memorable.
Likewise, their ceremony was just as authentic, with Nick & Nancy including Church of England hymns in their Catholic ceremony in the beautiful village church.
Keeping the decor simple but chic, the couple used local produce, like lavender, olive sprigs, and lemons to decorated their day, along with plenty of lanterns and candles to light up their outdoor reception.
Scroll down to be inspired by this beautiful bride, her dashing groom, and their relaxed, yet refined Italian wedding.
How We Met
We met in the pub. Thankfully we were introduced (albeit unintentionally) by two mutual friends.
Nick proposed on a stunning cliffside in Portofino.
We concentrated on the ceremony first and foremost and let the gorgeous architecture of Capalbio’s village speak for itself.
We were married in the 12th century Church Chiesa Di San Nicola and we opted for minimalist flowers of white peonies, lavender sprigs and olive branches around the door and the altar to keep to the natural Tuscan beauty.
The Dresses & Flowers
I wore a Spose Di Gio lace dress and my mother’s veil, the bridesmaids were in floral dresses by PPS Couture.
I had white peonies and lavender in my bouquet, similar to the bridesmaids. The men had lavender.
We incorporated English hymns to make Nick’s British family and friends feel more at home.
We were both keen to get the entire church singing and our guests were very obliging which made the ceremony even more special! My personal favorite was “I vow to thee my country”.
Our fantastic string quartet – led by Enrico Peluso based in Rome, played an assortment of my favorite classical songs as well including Canon in D by J. Pachelbel for the bride and father’s entrance. Nessun Dorma and Ave Maria were other highlights.
Perhaps the best of all was the string rendition of the Beatles “All You Need is Love” for the exit.
Our priest, Don Mulenga, delivered a beautiful service and presented us with a special certificate from the Pope. We were fortunate to have Nick’s father, a Vicar in the Church of England, deliver a special Nuptial Blessing.
Nick and I read traditional vows but composed our own “Couple’s Prayer,” which was very sentimental.
We chose Stefano because we liked his portfolio and we enjoyed his company the first time we met in Florence.
I wanted someone to capture my friends and family on the day but I did not want to feel suffocated by too many photo ops.
Advice for Other Couples
Don’t sweat the details or get too absorbed in Pinterest and Instagram. Let it be your day and ignore social media’s exaggerated sense of the perfect day.
There was a formal sit down meal but we also had a cocktail reception immediately after the ceremony featuring Bellinis, Champagne and Campari cocktails.
There was a special prosciutto carving station and a table dedicated to Italian cheese! The wedding cake was traditional Italian cake with layers of Pistachio and Chocolate filling. We served stracciatella gelato on the side, of course.
For the Friday Welcome Party we had a fantastic pizza and Peroni party with lawn games and the DJ that included a vintage gelato cart – a big hit!
We fell in love with Barbara, the hotel manager, when we stayed in Capalbio for another friends party the year before our wedding.
We were struck by the unspoilt beauty of Capalbio, the stunning views from Locanda and the amazing food and wine.
The one-hour drive from Rome’s international airport was also a big selling point for my US-based family.
The Decor & Details
We had minimalist flowers that matched the bridal bouquet, but I didn’t want to go overboard and take away from the natural beauty.
We had lights and lanterns everywhere!
We focused on making sure our guests had a fun time, spent less money on details like decorations and flowers.
Jumping in the pool at the end of the evening with a running start holding hands to our favourite Taylor Swift song.
We went on an Italian journey, starting at Il Pellicano and working our way south to Capri, Ravello then back north to Venice.
Advice to others would be to give yourself at least two nights to wind down and catch up on sleep.
Doesn't it look special? I love the idea of a poolside wedding, it's like something out of a movie. Also, how gorgeous is Nancy's wedding dress – I love the appliqué on the bodice – so romantic!
Thanks so much to Stefano Santucci for once again sharing his wonderful work, and to Nancy & Nick for letting us take a look at their beautiful wedding in Tuscany.
Get more ideas for your own destination wedding.