Sandra and Bruno’s DIY Rustic Chic Wedding in France With a Romantic Bohemian Twist by Marie Marry Me
Today I am taking you off to the gorgeous South West of France for this...
Another cold Monday morning, so I’m bringing you some well needed sunshine in the form of this Italian Wedding set on the gorgeous Amalfi Coast. I seem to have had an influx of Italian weddings for you lately, which is no bad thing as each one has been so different, and it’s been lovely to see so much of the amazing Italian scenery! Today’s wedding comes courtesy of Cinzia Bruschini and it’s sure to brighten up your day!
The lovely couple are Sarah and Ben who were married on 1st June at Torre La Cerniola, Amalfi Coast, Italy. ‘We did the “legal bit” at the local municipality in Maori in the morning, then both went our seperate ways to get ready for the main event, which was a symbolic ceremony performed by Blessings in Italy. It was quite informal with people standing and laughing at points throughout. We originally intended on having an informal summer garden BBQ. We had never been to Italy and then saw a TV programme about Amalfi coast which blew us away, then shortly after we started to see a gorgeous old fashioned car parked near our house with “Chic Weddings in Italy” written on the side, due to the serendipity on the situation we decided to arrange a meeting with them to enquire….the rest is history! We had 40 guests and we took 18 months to plan’
How they met
We have now been together 7.5 years, but it was 7 years when we got married.
We met in my (Sarah’s) home town of Bognor Regis, I was living in London but visiting my mum for the weekend for her birthday and a night out with my sister. Ben had been playing football against a local team and had gone out after the game with a mutual friend who introduced us. We all decided to go back to my mums to have a few drinks at the end of the night, everyone else eventually went home, and Ben and I were still chatting when the sun came up. Ben chanced his luck with a kiss on the back door step and shortly after came to London to visit me for dinner, conveniently forgetting his wallet!
Ben and I were in Amsterdam for a city break between Christmas and New Years. He arranged a surprise private tour around the canals one evening that he had decked out with roses and a bottle of champagne. The proposal wasn’t a complete surprise as I chose my own ring, but he had told me that the ring wouldn’t be ready until the new year so I had no idea it was coming. Ben proposed as we were floating passed “lovers tunnel“, I tried to shhhh him as I was listening intently to what the tour guide was telling me about it, not realising Ben was holding out the ring!
Why did you choose your photographer?
We were sent quite a few suggestions by our Wedding Planner, all of which had great portfolio’s, but Cinzia’s stood out a mile with her unique point of view and detail. Her photos seemed to capture the small moments that people feel, rather than just the ones people see. You could really get a feel for the ambience, mood and characters involved in the scenes, and even imagine what was going on out of shot, which we loved. Her fun and playful manner on the day really put us at ease, it made Ben & I laugh out loud when we kept seeing her head pop up over the turret wall every now when she was trying to get a particular angle of a detail everyone else had undoubtedly missed. An amazing photographer and a lovely person
After 5 appointments and around 50 dresses I gave up looking on the high street and decided to design my own as I seemed to only ever like one aspect of each dress I tried, like the neckline or the back, or the skirt, so I decided to combine all of my favourite aspects and design my own. Someone suggested a lady who had just setup on her own. It turned out that her shop was just 100 metres from my front door. The coincidence or serendipity (again!) of it made me make an appointment with Lin Chan Bridal sraight away. My shoes were Nine West, huge red high heels, and accessories were my mum’s pearl bracelet and £15 fake vintage pearl earrings from Glitzy Secrets.
The suit and bridesmaids.
The suit’s were all from T.M.Lewin, light grey suit’s with a quality white shirt, no ties or crevats, just a button hole. Bridesmaids wore fresh green strapless, on the knee dresses. I told them they could all choose different dresses for individual looks, but they ended up all wanting the same one, so they all chose their own individual shoes, accessories and hair instead. My nieces were flower girls and they all had the same dress from Next.
Theme or colour scheme
I only knew I wanted khaki green for the bridesmaids and Ben wanted light grey for the suits. The rest developed over time. We ended up with white & light grey, fresh green and soft apricot pink.
As we had previously wanted a BBQ and we knew we definitiely didn’t want a seating plan we decided on a traditional italian buffet which worked fanastically, we were welcomed with amazing canapes, paper cones of seafood, Zucchini flowers stuffed with ricotta all cooked by chefs on the spot in front of you. Then the main buffet was a stream of pasta, cheeses, Italian meats, salads, all kinds of bread, bruschetta and a Wedding cake of “Crostata di fragole in forma rotunda” (Strawberry cake in round shape). Yummaz!
We had so many songs that we loved from over the years and knowing how good music can really make or break any event we decided to make an evening of it one night and went through our entire music library selecting all of our favourite songs. We created 4 playlists for different moods/stages of the day. “Funky/soul”, “80’s & Rock”, “Current” and “Dance”. These were given to the poor DJ in advance, to play in any order. The day also had a few playful touches such as a fancy dress photobooth done by our photographer Cinzia Bruschini, a rum & cigar corner, sparklers and sky lanterns once the sun had gone down.
Not sure what the names of flowers were, but the colours were soft apricot pink, white peonies, foliage and wild flowers. And the bridesmaids and flower girls had bracelets instead of bouquet’s with a flower headband for baby Matilda.
We were trying to create a fresh, summer sea side feeling. So there were corals, sea urchins and candles on a long imperial table with grey & white striped table cloth and white rattan chairs. Lots of candles on the tables. White cushions around the dancing area with lanterns spread all around. We also printed our order of service on fans placed on everyones chair for the ceremony
Personal or DIY touches
• Our music playlist and my wedding dress as mentioned.
• We also decided to only do email invites and updates to save paper and allow for easy communication with our guests. People replied much quicker than usual because it was just, hit reply and type “We’re in!” rather than remembering to post something back with menu options etc. This allowed us to start booking accommodation earlier and get discounts, and easily send round updates as people started booking flights and accommodation about where people were staying and what towns they had booked in etc.
• We also had Ben’s brother read out a reading chosen by his grandparents as they couldn’t make it, and my sister wrote her own gorgeous reading too.
• And our nephew Finlay who was 2 and dressed in the same light grey suits as the groomsmen bought us our rings on a red velvet ribbon tied around his neck.
• Me and most of the girls had learnt a short simple routine which we all got up and danced to when Tina Turner Nutbush City limits came on which was hysterical.
• ……Oh and we also brought jaeger and redbull with us which the bar agreed to serve and also assisted with consumuing! Ha ha ha
Hearing “I’m Kissing You” by Des’ree playing (my entrance music) realising “it was time”, then turning the corner into the ceremony and seeing all my family and friends beaming back at me with Ben waiting at the back grinning with the most amazing coastline view behind him. Breath taking.
That and sitting down at a huge table with all my nearest and dearest, eating amazing food in the warm open sea air as the sun went down, listening to music and the waves lapping against the tower. Hearing everyones banter and laughter around the table by candlelight. It doesn’t get better than that.
• Give ALL jobs on the actual day away to others in advance, prepare envelopes and instructions if you have to. Your only job should be turning up.
• Make wedding jobs into fun date nights together. We put aside a Friday every now and again where we wrote down a few things we had to sit down and get done like menu choices, an email update, reserach accommodation and flights…… we’d put on some good music, one would cook while the other read out the questions and decisions, poured some wine, had a few laughs, a few dances and a few giggles. It worked really well and took the chore out of the “to do” list.
• Take your time on the more formal family shots, it’s worth getting quite a few as it’s so rare to have them, make them count. I still wish I had done more!
One of my best friends turning up from Australia. I asked her to be a bridesmaid, but she was destined to be living in Australia at the time of our wedding, so she had to decline. But she decided a few weeks before the wedding that she was going to return to the UK and subsequently contacted Lin Chan and the other bridesmaids to get another bridesmaid dress made in secret. Lin Chan did an Amazing job creating an exact replica of the dresses in a short timeframe against the odds to make it all happen. Lucie surprised me by springing out from under a pile of blankets in the back seat of a car resulting in me screaming then squeeling with delight for the next 15 minutes. Best present ever!