Ross and I met in 2007 at our local pub- not very romantic!! I thought he was very quiet but he took me by surprise when he asked me out on a proper date!
The next few years were very exciting, filled with dates, travelling and luxury holidays and we finally decided to buy a house together. Not long after, in September 2013, we took a trip to Lake Como, Italy and Ross took me to a beautiful Villa- Villa Cipressi- in a little town called Varenna. It was a beautiful day and we walked through the gardens and it was here that Ross proposed! He then went on to suggest we get married here, in this very Villa the year after! We booked the Villa whilst we were still there for 2nd September 2014.
We started planning properly in January 2014 and firstly we got the invitations made by Debbie Jenkins, they were beautiful, very simple and exactly as I imagined.
One of the first jobs after the stationary was to find a photographer. I allocated this job to Ross as he is very into photography and knows more than I do! We drew up a list of ones here and ones in Italy and a friend had recommended a couple to us as well. Ross decided that the best was Simon Buck– one of the ones that came recommended to us- after meeting him, we were so happy with our decision. We got on extremely well and we were very impressed with his experience and work.
I didn’t want a ‘theme’ for the wedding, I wanted something very simple, elegant and intimate.
I work for a family as a nanny and they have a girl who we really wanted to be a flower girl, she was absolutely delighted and very excited! I asked my sister to be my bridesmaid. I only wanted the two- simple. I also knew I wanted them to wear pale yellow. I didn’t want to choose a colour that was in at the time, or my favourite (red!) so I wanted something in keeping with my dress but not white. Luckily, both of them are tanned so they looked good!
Very kindly, a friend paid for me to have a beautiful headpiece created by Elena Wetherall of Fancy Bowtique Bridal Couture. She created it from scratch to fit in with my hairstyle! It was gorgeous! She also designed hair pins to match my sister’s dress and a pearl hairclip for my Flower Girl.
I arranged for a florist in the town to do the flowers for us- Giglio Fiordelmondo- they were stunning and exactly what I had asked for!
On the day, everything was perfect. I had my hair done in the morning with my sister by a very talented hairdresser in the village and came back to the Villa to get ready.
The ceremony was beautiful, I had arranged for a harpist to come and play before and throughout the ceremony with music I had chosen. The ceremony took place at the Villa in the gardens and was said by the Mayor of the village.
After the ceremony, we had Prosecco and canapés whilst listening to the Rat Pack played through the speakers in the garden. We went off for photographs whilst our guests enjoyed the food and drink. An hour or so before dinner, we asked all out guests to walk down to the beach, where we surprised them with a private boat tour, which took us all around the lake, with Prosecco for everyone! When we got back, the Villa had laid out the table exactly as I had asked and the playlist that we had created was playing softly in the background. The 6 course meal was absolutely amazing and couldn’t fault it! We had a few photos taken during the meal as the lighting was perfect.
I didn’t want dancing, so I had created a little ‘date night’ game where all the guests would write down their best date night idea on lollipop sticks. We had such a laugh reading through them!
At the end of the evening, we walked all our guests down to the dock where we had arranged for a private taxi boat to take them across the lake to their hotels.
It was the happiest day of my life!
The legal requirements for getting married in Italy were quite confusing and time consuming! We had to firstly make an appointment at the registry office (this could be done up to 6 months in advance) to apply for a Certificate of Non Impediment (CNI). This takes just over 3 weeks as they have to post notice of marriage so anyone can object!
Then we had to visit our solicitor to have a statutory declaration completed and signed.
Once you have both these documents, they then had to be sent off to be legalised. This went to the Legalisation office to be stamped with The Hague Apostille. Beware of 3rd party companies charging extortionate rates for this and promising to have it back within 3 days! Go direct
When these are returned, they then have to be sent over to Italy so that they can be translated. I had been in touch via email to one of the ladies that worked in the town hall in Varenna and she recommended a translator to send out documents to in Milan. We sent them off and waited for them to come back to us.
Once they arrived back, we had to then send all of them plus a photocopy of each of our passports and a copy of each of our witness’ passports over to the town hall in Varenna. Paperwork complete! Big sigh of relief when I had the email from her to say she had them and they were all correct!!