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A Stunning Autumn Wedding At Villa Catignano

Updated: Feb 1

When I first met David and Rowena, they were unsure whether to hold their wedding in the UK or choose a destination wedding in Italy.

However, after many meetings and emails, showing them what was on offer in both countries, they finally decided on the stunning area of Tuscany.

They always knew they wanted an outdoor wedding and this was one of the main reasons for choosing this location.

With a vision in their heads of a gorgeous Tuscan villa with a beautiful courtyard and stunning views of the surrounding countryside I knew immediately which venue to offer them.

Once I had shown them the pictures of

their minds were made up and after checking nothing else would do, they chose a wedding date, paid a deposit and booked a venue visit for January 2023.

Situated in the heart of the winemaking region of Chianti Classico, is a gorgeous 17th century building. It offers a peaceful, relaxed environment and its closeness to all the most popular cities and towns, such as, Florence, Siena, San Gimignano and Arezzo make it a truly ideal destination. The picturesque Tuscan countryside provides the perfect backdrop for creating magical memories.

Venue Visit to Villa Catignano

The Couple had booked a two day visit to the area and on the first day, they explored Siena, a truly amazing medieval town close to the Villa.

On day two it was all about getting to see their chosen venue. The day was cold but bright and Mother Nature had sent a dusting of snow to cover the gardens, giving it a gorgeous, romantic look.

They explored the grounds and viewed all the rooms that could potentially be used if a Plan B had to be implemented.

Top Tip...

Having a bad weather plan is so important...even in Tuscany! and I always make sure every venue I offer has a beautiful option for a rainy day

The Villa Says...

"Hosting a wedding at our 17th century Villa promises to fulfill your every fantasy on this most memorable of occasions. The picturesque Tuscan countryside and unique private villa provides the perfect backdrop for capturing each special memory. Let us welcome you exclusively by accommodating your entire party, family, and friends for all the wedding festivities in an intimate surrounding."

The Wedding Week at Villa Catignano

Welcome Pizza Party

David and Rowena had chosen to hire for four nights which allowed them to share some fabulous times with their family and friends and treat them all to some wonderful evenings full of great company, delicious food and plenty of local wine.

The first of these evenings was a gorgeous pizza party, decorated beautifully with a traditional Italian theme as shown in the below which are taken with my iPhone. The catering and furniture was supplied by and the beautiful table decor supplied by

The Wedding Day at Villa Catignano

It is usually at this point I will say... "the day dawned bright and beautiful!!"

However, on this day that was not the case.

The rain was beating down, the sky was dark and gloomy and the forecast was not good.

We had been closely monitoring the weather before hand though so myself, my team of amazing vendors and the couple had decided on which rooms to use for Plan B and the suppliers all arrived extra early to enable us to transform the Grey Hall into a romantic, intimate ceremony space.

We filled the room with a sky full of stars supplied by and placed candles everywhere there was a space. The florist filled the hall with beautiful florals which gave the room the most gorgeous scent (which is something you don't appreciate when the ceremony is held outside!)

Top Tip

Always have a contingency fund for unexpected expenses. That way if a Plan B is needed we can add any extra decor necessary.

While we were setting up the rooms for the day, the couple were enjoying a leisurely breakfast with their guests.

The arrival of the hair and make up team

and photographer

caused a flurry of excitement and the

preparation began. The bride had chosen her gown from a local boutique to her in West Sussex and the groom and his men wore

Top Tip

When I plan the timeline of the wedding day, I always allow a whole hour of time once the couple and their bridal parties are ready.

This gives the photographers plenty of time to get some beautiful pictures without rushing. This also allows time for a first look moment, if you are having one. In this case, the first look was with the bride and her adorable Mum.


Your photographer will always want to take pictures of your wedding day details such as jewellery, perfume, flowers shoes etc...

Top Tip

I always suggest to order an extra set of your chosen stationery suite and bring it with you carefully packed, as you will get some great flat lay images for your memories.

Pre wedding pictures

This hour is such a special time, it gives the couple an opportunity to get some great photographs with their special people without any interruptions.

The Ceremony at Villa Catignano

Once the guests were seated it was time to break tradition as the groom wanted a moment with his sons to walk down the aisle to take their places.

The chosen music, the theme tune to Rocky, was a big hit with the guests who broke into rapturous applause and cheers to accompany the guys down the aisle.

Then it was time for the bride and her girls to take the wet and windy walk to the ceremony. But despite the rain Rowena was so happy to be walking to meet her groom.

The couple had not seen the set up for the ceremony before they arrived to walk down the aisle, as I wanted to surprise them and their gasps of surprise were all I needed to hear!

The ceremony was beautifully executed by the celebrant Jo from with some personally written vows spoken by David and Rowena and some readings from David's sister and Rowena's brother. It was personal, romantic, emotional and so happy. And the reaction from Rowena was pure happiness, with David full of tears of joy.

After the ceremony, the joy and happiness was radiating from the couple as they exited the hall and waited to greet their guests.

Once the emotions had calmed and everybody had given their congratulations, it was time to head over for some apertivo time. Once again provided by the fabulous

Top Tip

When I am working out a timeline for the wedding day, I always allow two hours for the apertivo time. This allows time for people to totally relax and mingle in a chilled atmosphere.

It also gives the photographer plenty of opportunities for any group photos requested by the couple and once these are done, they can then whisk the couple away for some incredibly romantic couple shots.

Couple Photo Shoot at Villa Catignano

Like a miracle, the rain stopped during apertivo and this gave Chrissy, a chance to grab the couple and head into the beautiful grounds of the villa for some romantic pictures and some alone time. They had such a great time.

Dinner is served in Tinaia Hall at Villa Catignano

While this gorgeous shoot was taking place, the guests were making their way to the Tinaia Hall for the wedding banquet where myself and my team, the florist, lighting and catering suppliers had gone all out to make sure Plan B was just as stunning as the original plan of having the banquet in the courtyard.

It did not disappoint!

First Dance in Tinaia Hall at Villa Catignano

The dinner was served, the speeches were spoken and then came the first dance. A choreographed routine that David and Rowena had learnt and then performed with perfection. The sound system and cold sparks provided by

And then there was cake!

And then came the part of the evening that the children had been most looking forward to all evening... the cake!

David and Rowena had chosen to serve their guests a traditional Millefoglie and with that comes a live demonstration of the making of it by the pastry chef, which of course the couple have to get involved with!

Great fun and absolutely delicious.

After Party in the Grey Hall at Villa Catignano

Once the coffee, limoncello and grappa shots had been served, it was time to move over to the grey hall where the bar and DJ were waiting to entertain the guests until the early hours of the morning.

The following day was all about relaxing, and the sun decided to make an appearance!! We had arranged a late start for breakfast service and a chilled afternoon. Some guests went off to visit Siena, others decided to just relax at the villa.

Farewell Party in the courtyard at Villa Catignano

The couple had arranged a bbq for the evening and this was set up in the small courtyard by the caterers

The photographer had headed back to the States, but below are some iPhone pics taken by a guest.

It was a great evening and a perfect way to finish the most magical of weddings

Every wedding we plan is completely bespoke to your wishes and we strive to make sure we give you the wedding of your dreams.

If you would like to have a chat with us about planning your own wedding in the UK or Europe, please get in touch

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Music, sound system throughout the day and cold sparks





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