Relaxed Destination Wedding in Italy with the Bride in Black

Damien Milan

June 12, 2017

Adrienne and David decided to have a destination wedding in Italy, and wanted it to be intimate with a unique relaxed holiday vibe. They didn’t want to follow any traditions, so decided to not have a first dance, cake cutting, religion in the ceremony, big crowds, long speeches or for the bride to wear a white dress!

“We didn’t actually go and visit any venues,” began Adrienne. “All we knew is we wanted to get married in Italy! We picked our location from photos provided to us by Design Anarchy Studio, our wedding planner. We wanted as many people as possible to stay at the venue with us for the week leading up to the wedding so we wanted a really special house that would be able to cater for the wedding as well as be a great place to stay for the week. From all of the options we had, Masseria AlChimia clearly ticked all the boxes; it was a stunning house (divided into individual apartments), surrounded by a private olive grove, a big terrace and lots of cacti! Winner!”

“We loved spending the week before the wedding with our friends and family in Italy! It was just so relaxed and perfect. Dad cooked up a storm for everyone with the local produce. Those moments really brought everyone together before the actual wedding day.”

However, the couple did find that organising a wedding from overseas came with it’s challenges, “A lot of our requests were lost in translation (we still really had no idea what we would be eating until the night of the wedding!) and the flowers for my bouquet ended up being Australian natives! I had to laugh when she opened the box and showed it to me on the morning of the wedding. I didn’t have the heart to tell her that I hate Australian natives! At least I didn’t mind leaving them behind when we headed off on our honeymoon.”

In the run up to the wedding, Adrienne found searching for a wedding dress to be quite difficult, “I really struggled to find a dress”, she explained. “Overall, I found most bridal boutiques a stressful experience. I put it down to being a very private person (I didn’t like having the women in the boutiques fussing over me), and also being in my 30’s (I’m a bit more sensible than I used to be so I wasn’t prepared to spend too much money on a dress that I would only wear once). I told myself that if I found a dress that actually blew my mind then I would be happy to spend a bit of money on it, but I just couldn’t find one that did it for me. At one point I was seriously thinking about wearing my favourite leather jacket and jeans down the aisle! Part of me really wanted a show-stopping white wedding dress, but when I put them on they just weren’t me. I felt swamped, or silly. I just didn’t feel like me. In the end, about a month before the wedding, my mum and I went to the city and we found a classic Alex Perry cocktail dress. It was a black, strapless, 3/4 length pencil dress with a silver zip all the way down the spine. Needless to say, we celebrated with a prosecco! And I took my leather jacket with me to Italy in case I got cold!”

The couple did some DIY projects for the wedding, but were limited to the amount they could do as they had to take it all overseas with them. “We made welcome kits for everyone (personalised hessian bags filled with survival goodies like painkillers, toothbrushes, mints, Berocca, hand sanitiser etc.), the menu cards, and my mum made my veil! We also brought cushion covers from home, which is great because now they’re on our couch back home now and are a subtle daily reminder of our wedding.”

The couple found most of their vendors through their planner and also through Instagram, “Chic Weddings provided us with lists of vendors to choose from, which was great. We found our photographer Damien Milan from hours of trawling photographers on Instagram for style inspiration. We loved his work, ended up stalking his website and realised he would be in Europe around the same time as us. It was also a no-brainer when we saw our videographer Story of Eve‘s website. We were so enamoured by Michael’s style. His videos felt so professional, and yet didn’t seem to take themselves too seriously! They had a vintage twist to them, giving them a heart – but modern finishes, making them super creative.”

“Our favourite part of the wedding day was the time we spent alone together before the ceremony. After we had a ‘first look’ full of laughter and tears, we hopped into our vintage Fiat 500 and took off to explore a local town together called Locorotondo. We had so much fun, wandering around the streets together in our wedding outfits. We just kept saying ‘wow’ at every corner we turned.”

The couple actually had two wedding ceremonies, unbeknown to their family and friends! “This is a bit of a secret… but we got actually married before our wedding. And it was the BEST thing we’ve ever done. A fortnight before our wedding, we snuck away and secretly got married on our own. With just a celebrant and two witnesses. It was so perfect. We were 100% ‘there’ and ‘in the moment’ during our vows. There were no distractions. It was so pure. We heard and felt every single word that we said to each other. And then straight after the ceremony, we didn’t have to speak to anyone else except us! It was great! We had a beautiful long lunch together and spend the night at a stunning private villa in a winery. We kept giggling over how special and private it was. We think it made the wedding in Italy better too as it was then more about our guests, our family, the ‘witnessed’ ceremony and the celebration. We still cried and got very emotional during our vows in Italy. It was still our wedding day, but we don’t recall a lot of the ceremony in Italy because there was so much else going on around us.”

“Our advice for future brides and grooms is to stay true to your individuality” she concluded. “Don’t let wedding tradition or what your friends have done before you influence you. Try to listen to yourself, and do what makes the two of you happy. Ignore anything that doesn’t feel good.”