It seems like we see more and more gorgeous Italian destination weddings every day… and it’s not hard to see why. When spots as beautiful as Borgo di Celle are just a quick flight from home, why not?!
Getting married in the Umbrian countryside was extra meaningful for today’s London-based couple, Jenny, a teacher, and Neil, an accountant, because the bride grew up in Rome and her parents own a country home close to the venue – and we love how these two combined their traditions and cultures, English and Italian, Jewish and secular, to make one very special wedding day.
To honor both Neil’s Jewish heritage and Jenny’s non-Jewish background, the couple crafted an ultra-personal ceremony including a civil ceremony by the mayor of Città di Castello, a Jewish blessing by a family friend of the groom’s, and the perfect simple chuppah made of a tallit resting on bamboo poles, held up by friends of the couple – don’t miss Paola De Paola’s gorgeous photos.
And of course we love how these two incorporated Italian traditions into the day with fun touches like millefoglie cake and customary Italian wedding favors of Sulmona confetti – the same candies used in Meaghan and Harry’s wedding! In keeping with Italian tradition, each guest got a box of 5 confetti – symbolizing the indivisible bond of marriage, since you can’t split an odd number – awwww!
Now we’ll hand you over to the bride, who found the perfect effortless gown to stay cool in that hot Italian weather in Alan Hannah…
How we met
Jenny, the bride: I left Italy to come to the UK and teach in London. When I arrived, I started teaching, but I met him too… we met three years ago, it’s incredible because it seems like we met yesterday!
When I was a child my family moved to Rome, where I lived all my first experiences and I met my very good friends. As a good British family, we bought a house in the countryside of the Umbrian region to escape the noise of the Eternal City. We spent most of our weekends and happy moments in Città di Castello.
Neil has always loved Italy, so we definitely wanted to get married there.
We chose Borgo di Celle because we wanted to get married in a beautiful Italian landscape, and a borgo with its small streets, little corners, and beautiful views was what we dreamt about. Borgo di Celle is also near to my parents’ house so it was the perfect location!
Planner to the Rescue
Neil and I started to plan our wedding by ourselves. In fact Neil is an accountant, he’s used to keeping accounting books and he would have known how to do it. We were very excited because our fairy tale was becoming reality!
We started our research but then we realised it was really difficult and confusing. We didn’t find suppliers and we didn’t have ideas. Since we don’t have creative minds, we had trouble in identifying the right design for us. In conclusion… we needed help.
We asked Amoretti Weddings to plan our wedding. We had a first meeting with Emiliana where we started telling her our ideas but we were so confused, we were using other people’s wedding ideas to give suggestions on what we wanted without realising that those design didn’t fit with our identities.
Emiliana, after a long chat in front a glass of wine, understood our personalities and tastes and came out with the design of our wedding… modern boho!
A thing I really loved about my wedding and is the table settings! They were designed thinking about Umbrian trees but in a modern way, so everything was matching! Our modern but at the same time traditional souls were fully represented.
Olive Leaf Invites
We really wanted something special and bespoke, representing our personalities and matching with our wedding. This is why we worked with Marry Me by Amoretti, the twin company of Amoretti Weddings that does bespoke invites and stationery.
We wanted our invite to represent us and our special day, so something simple but classy, with olive leaves to represent Umbria, hand embossed with gild leaf. They did an amazing job! The invites, with that design, were absolutely what we were looking for.
Hair + Makeup
I don’t usually wear makeup and I always wear my hair down so I didn’t want to change this too much. I wanted to be at my best but still myself on my wedding day! Since my sister’s hair and makeup always look great and she is one of the people that know me the best, I asked her to help me.
An Alan Hannah Dress
The designer is Alan Hannah… I fell in love with the dress because it was simple, just like me! I wanted a simple design that would be comfortable in the heat of the hot Italian summer and that dress perfectly suited all my wishes. So it became my dress!
Earrings for the Bride
I don’t like to wear too many jewels and accessories, they don’t represent me! For this reason, I was wearing only a pair of earrings, very beautiful, given to me by my mother in law as a gift.
No heels for me, I wore a pair of flat sandals in white and silver. They were just amazing. They were also very comfortable so I could wear them all day long with no pain!
The handsome groom
Flower Girl Style
I had a flower girl who wore a headband of olive leaves and flowers, just like the design on the invitations.
A Jew-ish Wedding
We didn’t have a ketubah, only a Jewish blessing. My family isn’t Jewish and lives in Italy and Neil’s is Jewish and lives in England. We wanted to make sure the wedding reflected this.
After a civil ceremony by the mayor, a close family friend, Malcom, who prepared Neil for his bar mitzva, performed a Jewish blessing, which made it special.
The chuppah design was suggested by Malcom. We used bamboo poles to support the tallit, held up by close friends of the groom.
Here Comes the Sun
For the ceremony we wanted something classic that enhanced the nature surrounding us, so we chose for my entrance ‘Brandebur Concerto no.3’, Jean Sebastian Bach.
For our exit, we thought that the perfect song was ‘Here Comes The Sun’, The Beatles.
We both love indie music so we found an excellent Britpop covers band called Britannica, who are based in Rome, to play at the wedding. We opted for an all friends and family first dance and it was ‘The Concept’, Teenage Fanclub.
The fabulous florist was Hiden Floral Design! They did a stunning job! The bouquet was made of peonies and English garden roses mixed with greens like eucalyptus and olive leaves, the colours were really bright!
The button holes were small pink and purple roses and the table centres were high gold metal stands with lots of greeneries resembling Umbrian trees, adorned on the base by small poses of all different white flowers.
Our photographer was Paola De Paola, found her through our wedding planner and it was an easy choice!
The amazing cake… we got inspired by our venue which was very traditional and very Italian, and so the cake was an Italian millefoglie with strawberries.
We chose traditional Italian wedding favours to honour our host country! They were the Sulmona confetti, the same used in the British Royal Weddings! They were given in beautiful boxes on the tables and in each box there were 5 confettis, to symbolise that the marriage is indivisible since you cannot split an odd number, as the Italian tradition says.
Taking It Poolside
We had a live band that really made our day super fun and we had also an area seated up for the children with games, Lego, colouring etc.
Towards the end of the party most of the guests jumped in the pool! It was really fun, a way to escape from the Italian summer heat!
Road Trip Honeymoon
We went to Canada and the USA on a road trip, it was amazing! We wanted to go there because it had always been our dream, we are travel lovers and the idea of a road trip, just me and Neil, sounded amazing!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
Well, I would say to hire a wedding planner! Emiliana was thinking about everything on that day so I could “relax”, party with my loved ones, and think only that I just got married to the love of my life.
Jenny & Neil’s little white book
Photography – Paola De Paola
Wedding planner – Amoretti Weddings
Venue – Borgo di Celle
Bride’s dress – Alan Hannah
Groom’s attire – Next and House of Fraser
Flowers – Hiden Floral Design
Band – Britannica
Favours – Sulmona confetti
Stationery – Marry Me by Amoretti