Today has been miserable and grey so I’m super excited to share Steph & Jonny’s beautiful sunny Lake Garda wedding… in a castle!
With Lake Garda as their backdrop and four, yes four! different venues the whole day with all the special touches is spectacular. In particular I love the shots of walking through the cobbled streets and the incredible boat trip – it’s just all so dreamy. I was writing this on the sofa, with a cup of tea under a blanket and it’s managed to make me feel all warm and summery – hope it does the same for you!
Photography by Married to my Camera
Claire Pettibone dress
Steph, the bride: My amazing dress that I never wanted to take off, was ‘Gardenia’ from the Claire Pettibone Romantique collection. I bought it from Blackburn Bridal in Blackheath six months before the wedding. It was absolutely perfect for the day as it was so light and comfortable. I also thought it suited our Italian Castle wedding perfectly.
My veil was also from Blackburn Bridal and shoes were Kurt Geiger. The earrings were a gift from my sister, they were Victoria Fergusson from Liberty in Love. The bracelet I wore was a wedding gift from Jonny I’d received the night before (a lovely surprise which definitely brought on the tears)
My wedding gift to Jonny was an Omega watch – I gave this to him a week before the wedding in case he needed to get it altered or didn’t like it. Luckily he loved it!
No Bridemaids or Ushers
We didn’t have bridesmaids or ushers, instead we had our niece and nephews as flower girls and pageboys. Our flower girl wore a dress from John Lewis and our pageboys wore matching outfits – their shorts were from Ralph Lauren, shirts from Next and braces and bow ties were from Ebay.
Lake Garda Castle wedding
Lake Garda was our main inspiration, we wanted our wedding to be very minimal and natural to fit in with our beautiful surroundings. As we were getting married on the top of a castle over looking Lake Garda we didn’t want anything to take away from such a romantic setting. Our reception was held in a restaurant on the edge of the lake so again we didn’t feel the need for table decorations as the lake was breathtaking enough.
We moved around four different venues: Our ceremony was in the castle, reception was in Al Corsaro restaurant and we took all of our guests on a champagne reception boat tour around the lake – we hired a traditional sailing boat for this and it was amazing. We ended the night in Bar Oasi which is right on the lake front.
A natural feel
Everything we incorporated into the day had a very natural feel to it – Hessian bunting, wooden table hearts, chalkboard signs and a wooden table plan. The main colours were used in my wedding bouquet; pink and white roses, gypsophila and yellow gerbera daisies. The boys all wore white roses in their button holes.
We had a Civil ceremony – luckily the Town Hall own the castle and that’s why we could get married in such an amazing setting! To make it extra special We had a classical Harpist play throughout the ceremony. I walked down the aisle to Pachelbel Canon in D and our recessional was ‘You are my sunshine’.
We always knew we wanted to get married abroad, and Italy was always our top choice because of how beautiful and romantic the country is, we just didn’t know where in Italy. When I started researching Italian weddings I came across David’s (Married to my Camera) photos of a wedding he had done in Malcesine – his photos made me fall in love with Malcesine. They captured everything I wanted in our wedding and straight away I knew this is where I wanted to get married.
Jonny was in charge of booking the photographer, after some research he said he had found a photographer that seemed perfect – the photos on his website were exactly what we were looking for: Natural, different, artistic and seemed to capture each moment perfectly. It was only once we had decided on Married to my Camera and made contact with David that I realised he was the photographer that had taken the photos that had originally made me fall in love with and decide on Malcesine as our venue – after this we had to hire him as it seemed like fate. David was absolutely amazing, he captured our wedding perfectly and most of the time I didn’t even realise he was there! His photos tell the story of the day and it was so nice to look back and remember moments that we had forgotten about or missed. Everyone in the photos looks so happy and this is what we remember most – everyone smiling and having a great time.
Lara at L’Oasi Florita in Malcesine created all the flowers. She was fantastic, I gave her a picture of the sort of bouquet I wanted when my mum and I went to visit in April and it was exactly what I wanted.
Traditional heart shaped cake
Our wedding cake was provided by the restaurant where we had our reception – Mario at Al Corsaro – they arranged it all for us. It was a traditional Italian Wedding love heart cream cake and I’m pretty sure it was the most delicious cake I have ever tasted (and I’m sure that wasn’t only because I had not eaten cake for about 8 months) everyone said it was delicious! Our niece and nephews had what was left for breakfast the next day!!
Italian inspired favours
For our favours we wanted to give everyone a reminder of our wedding day, so we gave everyone a bottle of Limoncello which we bought in Malcesine and Amaretti biscuits also bought locally.
Final thoughts & advice
There is not one thing I would change about our day, it was absolutely perfect from start to finish. I always say to Jonny I wish we could do it all again and his response is always ‘Nothing could beat that day, if we did it again there is no way it could ever be as good because it was so perfect the first time around’.
Don’t stress about the little things. Take in every moment. Get married as early as possible – the day goes by so quick that you want to make it last as long as possible. Our ceremony was at 11am and it still felt like it was all over in a flash.
You don’t need a wedding planner – I did it all myself and everything turned out perfectly. Malcesine runs on weddings so everyone is willing to help and give advice. Look on trip advisor at their wedding boards – this is where I found all my information and contacts. The hardest and most stressful part was the legal paperwork – it’s just a worry to make sure you have everything right but again was easy enough – you just need to be organised.
Congratulations you two, your day was absolutely stunning! And thank you to David from Married to my Camera for capturing the day, and sharing it with us.
Steph & Jonny’s little black book
Photographer – Married to my Camera
Ceremony venue – Castello Scaligero
Reception venue – Al Corsaro Restaurant
Bride’s dress – Claire Pettibone from Blackburn Bridal
Bride’s accessories – Liberty in Love
Bride’s shoes – Kurt Geiger