Intimate Italian Countryside Wedding at Villa Cetinale

Sep 12, 2014 | Weddings

Boy do we love intimate stylish weddings! Today's stunning Italian Villa real wedding is full of delicate details and ideas for your destination wedding. From the Louboutin shoes to the iconic conical Italian trees, we're in LOVE with this beautiful wedding from Heather Waraksa Photography...

From the bride, Lee: "Cristiano and I met abroad, as you do, in the South of France. It was a total set-up by mutual friends. We actually dated long distance for almost 2 years  - I was living in London. Cri was part-time living in Italy and the rest of the time in Dubai. We travelled non-stop all the time seeing each other before I made the move to leave London and relocate to Dubai. This made a big impact on our wedding, as we have friends literally all over the place."

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A few things made our wedding special. Firstly, numbers. Cristiano and I are really wanted something small, intimate and private. We wanted to do something beautiful, but do it for the people that really mean the most to us. I couldn't really stomach the idea of exchanging our vows in front of 200 people. That was something really important to me - I wanted to be comfortable, not feel like I was performing. Imagine that when Cri and I first did our list...haha...cri's list was only 6 people long! So, we had 29 or 30 people total for the ceremony and lunch, and then had other friends join us in the evening for a reception. I guess our total numbers were like 50 or so?

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I didn't want a standard Tuscan 'wedding factory' wedding. Villa Cetinale beyond fulfilled our dreams - it has such innate personality because it's a true family home (Jasmine Guiness did the interiors though, haha, so let's not kid ourselves, this ain't a normal family home). This was only the 2nd time it's ever been rented for a wedding.

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Every bride's nightmare... Timing. Cri and I got engaged in July, and we wanted to get married in October. We both had travel planned for the whole month of August more or less, which left us basically 8 weeks to plan everything. It was a lot to take on, but actually the time limitation was quite freeing. Instead of endlessly researching for a year, I had to trust my instincts and just go with the flow a little bit.  I didn't have time to order a wedding gown because it was just too tight, and I wasn't willing to pay thousands of dollars extra for rush charges. So, I had my dress made by a local designer in Dubai while I was in Italy planning the wedding and doing paperwork. I literally saw her twice before the dress was pieced together on me. I flew to Dubai a few weeks before the wedding, and we did 8 or 9 fittings in 36 hours, no joke. She was literally putting the last stitches on the dress as we ran to the airport to fly back to Italy. In the 8 weeks before the wedding, I flew like this: Dubai-London-Italy-London-Dubai-Bali-Dubai-Italy-Dubai-Italy. Haha!!

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I guess we take it for granted, but there was obviously a very international vibe to our wedding. In a small group of 30, we had guests from the UK, Netherlands, America, Australia, UAE, Italy, France, Hong Kong! We also mixed in lots of Italian elements because of Cristiano's Italian family: we had 'cantucci' from a famous artisanal baking family in Prato, we also had 'confetti' which in Italian is actually almonds with sugar coating. Our wedding gifts were little jars of marmalade made by Cristiano's mom, she even grew the fruits for the jam on her land, and knitted her own doily type cover for each jar. Oh, and we had a double rainbow.

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Vendor details

Photography: Heather Waraksa Photography | Film Lab: Richard Photo Lab | Venue: Villa Cetinale, Italy | Dress: Made bespoke by a dressmaker in Dubai, Anastasia Yermakova | Bride's shoes: Christian Louboutin | Groom's shoes: Ferragamo | Earrings: Annoushka | Cufflinks: Hermes | Florist: Heaven Flower Fioristi | Embroidered chair backs: Etsy

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