Emily + Elliot by Grace & Mitch Photo & Film

Tell us a little about yourselves, what you do, what you love, what is unique about you and your relationship:

Our story started over 10 years ago when we met the old-fashioned way, in a bar! Numbers were exchanged and we went on our first date a week later. Despite having grown up a few miles apart and having many mutual friends, our paths had not crossed until this point, and living in a fairly rural part of the UK, that was pretty unusual!

A couple of years into the relationship (and before having even taken a holiday together) we decided to go travelling, after months of backpacking in South East Asia and Australia, we resided in Sydney for 6 months. Our first time living together was on the other side of the world away from home comforts, family and friends, building a super solid foundation for our relationship.

The key to our relationship, a shared love of travel, good coffee and Sunday brunch, oh and always being a team, we tackle all of life’s ups and downs together!

Tell us about your special day, was there a specific theme or style? Tell us a little about the setting, the styling and some of your favourite details:

Once we had decided on a destination wedding, we very quickly knew Italy was the location for us. Italian weddings are all about the food and good times, and that reflected us perfectly! A delicious, seasonal sit-down wedding breakfast, free flowing booze and no strict curfews so we could dance well into the night.

The venue: An initial visit to Italy took us on a tour of the beautiful Umbrian and Tuscan countryside, after visiting four venues, it was an easy decision, Abbazia San Pietro in Valle was the one for us.

An 8th Century Abbey nestled between the wild peaks of Umbria, a fairy tale location full of old-world charm. From the ancient chapel with its crumbling walls, to the atmospheric courtyard, tree-lined entrance and unforgettable views. The venue provided the perfect backdrop for our celebration.

The styling: The aesthetic for the day was heavily influenced by the location, albeit with a contemporary twist. The wedding took place at the end of September, so we opted for a seasonal, tonal colour palette which was inspired by the timeworn frescos and ageing burnt-orange and honey toned patinas found in the venue. 

We wanted our styling to suit the different spaces of the Abbazia, from a colour palette which beautifully complemented the chapel, to bold towers spilling with whimsical autumnal florals to complement the ageing architecture of the courtyard.

We also thought about the type of atmosphere we wanted to create to help guide our styling choices. The floral towers and round tables made for more conversation across tables, as the sun set, clusters of pillar candles on the tables and lining the central staircase washed the courtyard with a dreamy, intimate golden light and a large disco ball transformed a hidden, vaulted basement into an evening party destination.

Tell us about your main outfits:

It was the stunning lace of the Corella gown from Willowby by Watters which first caught my eye. It was totally unique and fit the setting perfectly. I loved the idea of a dress with a low back, and this dress delivered and more. From the plunging low cut, the skin peering through the embroidered lace to the unbelievable symmetry and that breath-taking train.

I finished off the look with a simple, cathedral length veil and a spritz of my favourite scent – this perfume was the first gift Elliot ever bought me and has been my go-to ever since!

Elliot’s wardrobe complemented the setting and styling too. A timeless tuxedo, with his two best men and our Dad’s dressed to match. We chose some extra details for Elliot, a unique bow tie, black buttons on his shirt and a special button hole to complete his look.

What were some of the most memorable/unique moments from the day:

It’s the personal touches from the day which mean so much, for me having both my Mum and Dad walk me down the aisle and my uncle as our celebrant made our ceremony so special.

A moment which many guests marked as their favourite, was the procession from the chapel, led by us with our band, who serenaded our guests with an acoustic rendition of Pharrell William’s Happy. As we walked round to the Aperitivo, guests got their first glimpse of the panoramic views from the Abbeys garden, making for a very memorable moment.

A notable unique idea (and one which helped to curb those wedding blues) was for an alternative guest book. Instead of the traditional format we purchased vintage postcards of Italy, which we then pre-stamped and addressed and placed on each dinner setting. During the speeches, we asked our guests to write us a message and pop the postcard in the Italian post before they departed. By the time we returned from our honeymoon we had received our first flurry of postcards with lovely handwritten anecdotes, some even arrived 9 months later!

Lastly, we will never forget that meal, the Italians certainly know how to do a wedding breakfast!

Any advice for other couples planning to spend the rest of their lives together:

When planning a destination wedding, be sure to find yourself a brilliant planner. Our vision for the day was bought to life by the wonderful Chiara. Her knowledge of the venue and suppliers was invaluable in creating our celebration. And of course, knowing she was on hand on the day, checking in on every last detail, meant we could both fully relax and soak up every single moment.                   

When planning for the rest of your lives together, we’ll keep this one short and sweet, always be the best team mate to each other.

Photography and Videography: @graceandmitch | Ceremony and Reception location: @abbaziasanpietroinvalle | Bride’s gown: @willowbywatters | Groom’s attire: @mossbros | Rings: @wcarterandson | Bride’s shoes: @asos | Groom’s shoes: @dune_london | Veil: @nymphi_design | Headpiece: @accessorize | Makeup and Hair: @louise_faulkner1 | Fragrance: @chanelofficial | Bridesmaid’s attire: @andotherstories | Groomsmen’s attire: @mossbros | Entertainment: @tmd_band | Styling and Planning: @avenuecipresso | Flora: @sartoria_floreale | Catering and Beverages: @apollinarecatering | Cake: @apollinarecatering | Candles: @esteranderik | Invitations: @heydaydesignsuk | Silk Ribbon: @pompomblossom | Vintage Postcards: @etsy