Viva Italia: The Lake Como wedding of Elaine and Martyn Gill

15 Jun 2016

The stunning backdrop of Lake Como in Northern Italy played host to Elaine and Martyn Gill's destination wedding

How did you meet? 

We were both serving in the military and stationed at RAF Digby.

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Tell us about the proposal.

Martyn had been in The Falklands for four months. Upon his return, he had booked a surprise trip. I did not know where we were going until we went to a BBQ the day before flying and someone asked if I was excited about going to Barcelona! At this point I still did not know that he was planning on proposing. On day three of our four-day trip we spent the day sightseeing and Martyn said he knew where he was going. We ended up walking 22km and I was in flip-flops. Upon returning to the hotel with sore feet, he ran me a bath with bubbles and petals. He proposed to me whilst I was in the bath.

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What was the theme for the day, and did you have a colour scheme?

We wanted the day to be classy and intimate. The colours were yellow and navy.

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When did you know when you’d found ‘the’ dress?

I saw a dress advertised on Facebook and went with my maid of honour to go and try it on. It was perfect, and I loved it. To make sure I loved it I tried on some others, the second of which I loved even more, but it was out of my budget so I bought the first. A few weeks later, the dress that was out of my budget was advertised on the shop's Facebook page as half price! I rang the shop and asked if I could swap – they were happy for this but as it was a sale dress, I had to pay in full. I did and absolutely loved my dress, which ended up being cheaper than the first.

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Where did you find your suits?

The groom and his best man got their suits from Hugo Boss.

Tell us about your floral arrangements.

Because we were travelling abroad I decided that it would be best to get silk flowers. I could have had fresh flowers from Italy, but was concious that I would not be able to do anything with them after. I researched the different silk bouquets online and different companies that did silk flowers. I knew that I wanted sunflowers as they are my favourite flower and complemented our colour scheme. My bridesmaids got to keep their flowers and I was able to add a little pendant with a photo of my late nan and grandad on mine, so they could be part of our special day.

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Often the aspect that makes a wedding original to the couple is the detail – tell us about the details of the day.

The location was what made our wedding original. Our wedding planner dealt with the decorative aspects. We were lucky enough to have a harpist learn our song, Ed Sheeran – 'Thinking Out Loud' which I walked down the aisle to. We went on a river boat after the ceremony as husband and wife. It was truly amazing.

How did you feel as you walked down the aisle?

My mum gave me away and I felt so fortunate to be in such a beautiful setting, with close family and friends and about to marry the man of my dreams.

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What was your most memorable moment?

Seeing Martyn's face as I arrived opposite him at the end of the aisle.

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What was the most challenging aspect of planning this wedding?

The most challenging aspect was feeling confident that we had found a legit wedding planner.

What was the most important investment for you?

The location was our most important investment, alongside the photographer. We wanted the amazing location to be captured in our minds and in our wedding album forever.

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What song did you choose for your first dance, and why?

Ed Sheeran – 'Thinking Out Loud', This was 'our song' and the words mean a lot to us.

Tell us about your wedding cake.

The cake was organised as part of the catering of the hotel. It was a traditional Italian wedding cake and it was delicious!

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If you could go back and change anything, what would it be?

I think we would opt to have the videographer on the boat with us after the ceremony. We had asked him to stay with the guests to capture what we would miss out on.

Where did you go on honeymoon?

We stayed in Lake Como, but were lucky enough to stay in The Grand Hotel Tremezzo.

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Do you have any advice for couples in the planning stages? 

If you are looking for a location wedding with breathtaking views, a variety of options for a wedding ceremony and reception locations covering a wide variety of budgets, Lake Como is perfect.

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Steal their style:

Wedding Planner: My Lake Como Wedding, www.mylakecomowedding.com
Photography: Steve Richardson Photography, www.steverichardsonphotography.com
Videography: Wedding Italia, www.weddingitalia.it
Make-Up Artist: Other Face, www.otherface.eu
Dress: Cotswold Frock Shop, www.thecotswoldfrockshop.co.uk
Flowers: Silk Blooms, www.silkblooms.co.uk
Ceremony Location: Villa Carlotta, www.villacarlotta.it
Hotel: Grand Hotel Tremezzo, www.grandhoteltremezzo.com

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