20 Mar 2014
An eight-course dinner beside (and in) the pool was just one of the quirky touches when Paul and Gemma were married in the Tuscan sunshine
Paul Lamb and Gemma Wilson
Where: Ceremony at Cortona Town Hall followed by reception at Villa San Crispolto, Tuscany, Italy
Photography: Valentina Weddings
Paul wanted a wedding abroad. We both love Thailand but Paul’s dad, Mick is terrified of flying so we settled on Italy as he could jump on a train. We wanted a small wedding and Villa San Crispolto could accommodate our entire wedding party. I booked it without visiting it.
As I’m a wedding photographer with past experience as a wedding planner for two Harrogate venues, I have very specific ideas on what I like, so the wedding was pretty much planned within two hours. I hunted in vain for a halter neck dress. I finally found a strapless one I loved, then had the halter strap added.
The day was absolutely beautiful. It began with my make-up being done overlooking the stunning lake while the girls giggled behind me having their photos taken. Seeing my father, Les, in our family kilt, shedding a tear when he saw me in my dress was very emotional. Driving into the narrow streets of the 2,000-year-old walled city of
Cortona was simply breathtaking. The ceremony was spoken in Italian then translated. It was incredibly romantic. Outside a crowd of people gathered and all cheered for us when we came out of the ceremony. It was wonderful how strangers were so happy for us. Thankfully all of the tears stopped for the ice cream in the piazza after the ceremony.
I tried to add quirky details including an envelope of hydrangea petal confetti, plus a paper fan for the ladies, pink, heart-shaped sunglasses for the bridesmaids to wear when we went for ice cream after the ceremony and white roller skates for me to wear in homage to my roller derby team, the Spa Town Roller Girls, (from Harrogate).
Our photographer had us walking the streets of Cortona, climbing into a field of sunflowers, walking down abandoned railway tracks and me roller-booting down a pier at sunset.
We returned to the villa for Prosecco and canapés by the pool then we dined on an eight-course Italian meal in the glass-sided marquee. Later we ate our assiette of desserts by the pool – or in the pool in the case of myself and one of my bridesmaids,
Bobs Cormack. I gave a speech as Paul hates attention. My father and the best man, Chris Champion, also said a few words that made me blush once or twice. My uncle, Mervyn Wilson, sent a recorded message and my friend in Australia, Valerie Chan Davies, sent a written message, which made the speeches that little bit more tear jerking.
After dinner Paul and I jumped in the pool with the bridesmaids in their dresses (I took a cheaper dress for this) then we had a guitarist and violinist play to us by candlelight around the pool.
WHO DID WHAT
Photography: Mark Raffan, 07831 434075, www.valentinaweddings.co.uk
Venue: Villa San Crispolto, Passignano Sul Trasimeno, Tuscany, www.romanticitalianweddings.com
Dress: The Harrogate Wedding Lounge, Harrogate, 01423 888242, www.theharrogateweddinglounge.com
Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jane Norman, www.janenorman.co.uk
Hair & make-up: Danni Alexandra, 07767 470040, email@example.com,
Groom’s outfit: Custom-made suit
Stationery: The bride
Flowers: Interflora Piazza della Republica, Cortona, firstname.lastname@example.org
Catering: La Locanda del Castello, Passignano Sul Trasimeno, Italy
Venue Dresser: Villa San Crispolto
Transport: Limousine Service Il Girasole, www.limousineserviceilgirasole.it; guests, Holiday Planners, www.holidayplanners.it
Entertainment: Ensemble Hubay Pianist, www.ensemblehubay.com; Ensemble Hubay jazz band duo, violinist, Stefano Rondoni; guitarist; Vincenzo Buongiorno