Our newest member of the team Jemma (The Destination Bride) & her husband Stuart chose Sorrento, Italy for their glamourous destination wedding on the 23rd June 2013. They tied the knot alongside close family and friends. Professional photographer Maria Farrelly was commisioned to travel to Italy and capture what was a truly beautiful and intimate day. Here’s Jemma with all the details on her big day…
What was your budget?
Between 15,000 – 20,000 however in the end we totally lost track of what we were spending, with lots of things being added in last minute
How would you describe your wedding theme?
Italian Glamour, we really wanted to fit into the surroundings of the beautiful town, so everything was very classic with the tailoring and styling and I had a traditional Mediterranean veil made.
Lots of cream and blush colours were used to complete the theme.
My first vision of a destination wedding was very Barefoot and Boho however when we seen the venue we knew we would have to up the stakes!
What was your favourite part of your wedding?
Turning up out our reception venue, we walked up a staircase where all our guests were waiting for us, the Italian version of “My Way” was playing and all of our guests were cheering and clapping. We then cut the red ribbon to the entrance to the reception and then a duo playing an Italian Guitar and Mandolin carried on to entertain our guests at the drinks reception.
Who did you pick as your bridesmaids &/or best man and why?
My three best friends who I have known for over 20 years, two of which flew in from Sydney to be at the wedding, also my younger sister, Our daughter Grace wanted a very special job so she was our maid of honour and wore a similar dress to mine! Stuart’s Best Man was Tim who again he has known a very long time.
Why did you choose your venue?
My whole life is centred around travel it was inevitable that it would be abroad, Italy offers the amazing hospitality, scenery and beautiful weather with it still being accessible for people to come.
The original venue we had chosen the year before has been closed for refurbishment, so my planner showed my a new venue two days before the wedding . In true Italian style I was told that “It wasn’t a problem” and we went high up into The Sorrentine Hills, to a private venue in its own vineyard. From one side you could see Mt Vesuvius and the other Capri, we were completely blown away and even preferred it to our first venue. We kept it a surprise for our guests so they would have the same surprise on the day.
How did the proposal happen?
After being together for 10 years already having a child and a house the wedding conversation came up a few times. He actually asked me whilst at a friends wedding, however we made it official whilst on a holiday in Dubai. Here we went to The Diamond Park and I got to choose from thousands of rings, was a very special moment
Any DIY stories/tutorials you’d like to share?
Getting married abroad I think it is still important to incorporate personal touches, we took all of our decorations out with us and we decided all the tables would be named after our favourite pubs in West Wales .
We didn’t have the time or energy to do anything DIY so I found some great people to help with all the little touches I wanted.
What was your first dance & why?
We had two, we are not into soppy songs so the first was The Beatles Let It Be a classic song we both like and the Second Plan B Stay Too Long, in order to get everyone on the dance floor and join in.
In hindsight, was there anything you would have done differently?
Everything went to plan and exceeded all of our expectations, the ambiance of the wedding was amazing and that is something you cannot plan for. Maybe I would have had a professional videographer however my Dads version of a wedding video is hilarious.
Do you have any advice for future couples?
If you are considering a destination wedding, be prepared that a lot of things are done last minute, I found my hairdresser two days before the day and she was amazing! There is only so much you can do via email and you will not be able to control everything. Its always worth going out to the destination beforehand to get some contacts and a feel for the place, but its amazing how everything comes together in the end.
What’s the best piece of marriage advice you received?
We already felt married before we went, and knew it wouldn’t be much different afterwards, however it was lovely for our daughter to be in the centre of it all and all of our friends and family to celebrate with us.
What was your favourite thing about planning a wedding?
Flying out to Italy a year before, trying lots of dishes and Limoncello, a lot of the planning was done via email and as some stages quite unnerving when you send your birth certificates off to Italy via courier and not knowing when you will see them again. However having a wedding planner to help you through the process is priceless and gave a lot of reassurance.
- Photography: Maria Farrelly Photography
- Videographer: My Dad!!
- Wedding Planner: Sorrento Sunland
- Ceremony Venue: Cloisters of San Francesco
- Reception Venue: Private Venue in Sorrento
- Bride’s Dress: Stewart Parvin
- Bride’s Shoes: Christian Louboutian
- Bride’s Headpiece: Hand Made Mantilla Veil
- Bride’s Jewellery: Vintage Pearls belonging to my grandmother
- Groom’s Outfit: Calvin Klein
- Bridesmaid’s Dresses: Warehouse
- Cake: Locally Made
- Flowers: Local Florist
- Hair: Local Hairdresser
- Make Up: friend
- Stationery: Cardiff Invitations
- Caterers: Don Pedro Family Sorrento
- Other: Stayed in La Favorita and flew British Airways from London
The Wedding Album
Click on the images to view larger: