(cont.) The wedding took place within the grounds of a beautiful castle overlooking Florence called Castello di Vincigliata. I had seen pictures of the same castle online before, but had no idea exactly where it was or what it was called. I certainly never imagined that we’d be able to get married there! Later, once we’d found our wedding planner and he suggested it as a venue, I couldn’t believe it. We booked it before even visiting and I’m so glad we did. It was perfect.
I waited until just before walking down the isle before seeing my dad for the first time. We are both massive cry babies and I thought that this might keep potential soppiness to a minimum. It kind of worked!
Ed wrote the ceremony himself which meant it was really personal to us. It was short and sweet with 3 lovely readings, read by some of our closest friends. I’d heard snippets before, but it was quite emotional hearing it in full, it was very special to me. I walked down the isle to a slowed down, acoustic version of ‘Home’ by Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zero’s, sung by our incredibly talented friend, Meghan. In my eyes, she was the star of the show! It was just stunning. Most people would argue that Malala stole the show when she walked down the isle with Ed before we arrived. I only saw the videos but oh my, did she look so sweet!
After the ceremony, I was so excited to see my friends and get an aperol spritz down me! We had drinks and aperitivo in the gardens before sitting down a couple of hours later for dinner on the terrace at sunset.
After dinner we headed to the courtyard for some good old 90’s/00’s dancing. The music throughout the whole day was an absolute highlight for me. Mark, our DJ from The High Life was amazing. If you’re getting married in the UK (or are willing to fly someone out) I would seriously recommend him. He was introduced to me by my dad (a fellow DJ) and he made sure that he knew exactly what we wanted at each part of the day. We met in person and he also sent us a music planner for us to fill in to help him get an idea of us and our music taste. We opted for Ibiza House during cocktails and Motown and 90’s RnB /Hip Hop for dancing. He was fab! He came to our BBQ the next day and ended up sorting out tunes all day for us then too! Check him out if you’re looking for a DJ for any kind of party, he really knows his stuff! Our first dance was to ‘Be Young, Be Foolish, Be Happy’ by the Tams and the night ended on a massive high to our all time favourite song, which reminds me of partying with all my pals over the years, The Bay, an Erol Alkan remix of a Metronomy song. I had totally forgotten that we’d told Mark about it so when it came on it was the best surprise to the end of an incredible day surrounded by people we LOVE. God, I LOVE love (told ya I was soppy!)
A gigantic snog to everyone who made the effort to fly out to Italy and party with us. We love you all so much! Now, someone else get married will ya so we can do it all again!?
My Top Tips For Getting Married Abroad
- If you’re not religious, do the official bit beforehand.
We were officially married at Islington Town Hall in a double wedding with Ed’s sister a few months before our big day. We had no guests there, just the 4 of us and it was lovely! Because both weddings were abroad doing the legit bit here made them much easier as we could do the whole day in the same place. I think this makes a big difference if you’re getting married somewhere hot. Nobody really wants to be shlepping around in boiling weather and it means your guests are totally relaxed and settled once they arrive. It also means 2 wedding anniversaries (winning!)
2. Make a Website
I made a free website on The Knot It was really easy to make and was a good way of keeping everyone upto date with any changes etc. We didn’t send out paper invites the second time around and just used our website for everything. You can link your gift list on there if you have one too! If you’re getting married in Florence, feel free to copy and paste from ours here! (There’s quite a lot of travel etc… info)
3. Pre-wedding get together’s and post-wedding rendezvous
The actual day goes so quickly, I’d recommend doing an informal event before or after (or both) to hang with your mates. We invited all our guests to a bar in the centre of Florence for drinks a couple of days before the wedding and all our close friends round for a BBQ the day after. It was so exciting seeing all our friends in one place before the wedding day and it really got everyone in the party mood. It’s also a really good chance for people who haven’t met to meet beforehand. Ours was one of the first weddings of our friends and I think it’s safe to say that we were all super excited and maybe got a little bit carried away. If you’re worried about cost and have somewhere large enough, you could ask everyone to bring a bottle with them. For the BBQ the day after the wedding, everyone brought drinks along with them, which meant we were able to host another party without adding loads more costs. (Tip: If you’re going to do a get together before the wedding, choose a location that will accommodate your guests. We chose a relaxed bar that we had come across a few months earlier run by two young brothers called gosh who liked to party! At one point, it was going to be at a posh rooftop hotel bar and looking back, i’m so glad it wasn’t, as they wouldn’t have been very impressed with us at all!)
You might not want to, I understand it’s not to everyones taste but I really loved having a hashtag. Find a hashtag that’s not been used before so you can see all the pictures in once place! We used #fredwed17 and it was so nice to see our friends sharing pictures during the run up and after the wedding. It’s cool to see the day from different peoples perspectives (and I found it really fun!)
I would say, it’s really important to know what kind of pictures you want from the day and chat about it before hand. We met John, our fantastic (UK based) photographer for a drink beforehand to explain that we really wanted to get the ‘cheesy’/bridesmaids/ family (etc..) shots out of the way quickly (sorry guys!) So that we could enjoy the day with our friends properly, as opposed to been hidden away from them, feeling awkward holding hands and staring into each others eyes. We didn’t want many posed pictures at all and just wanted pictures of people enjoying the day. We were really happy with our photos and I was so glad we’d explained that first!
7. Think about getting a wedding planner
This makes things stress-free in terms of language barriers, foreign suppliers, general last minute stressors and it means you can focus on the day. I would highly recommend getting one if you’re planning on getting married abroad!
6. Have Fun!!!
Definitely don’t take it too seriously, it’s just a wedding. Enjoy the day, spend as much time with the people that you love as possible, drink as much as you want and enjoy the fact that it’s all about you. I really didn’t think i’d like that part, but actually it’s really nice. If you don’t take it too seriously, I think you have more fun! We ended up being introduced to Kanye West’s ‘Goldigger’ which we had never planned to do but thought it was really funny at the time. I think those last minute decisions that you make when you’re totally relaxed and having fun are the ones that you’ll remember forever! Oh, and if you are planning on getting married, CONGRATULATIONS! xxx