CLARE + SCOTT
CONTI DI San Bonifacio, GAVORRANO, TUSCANY
I’ve been DESPERATE to share this wedding with you all and seeing as though I’m pretty hacked off with our fabulous British weather this is the perfect time to transport you all to Tuscany for Clare and Scott’s stunning boutique, wine resort wedding earlier in May. They chose a Spring wedding as the Tuscan landscape would be at its most beautiful with the lush green grass and the countryside bursting with wildflowers – JUST LOOK AT THAT VIEW! I’m still pinching myself! From the moment Clare’s email landed in my inbox right up until now I haven’t stopped SWOONING over their day and won’t stop for many, many years to come. They were the perfect hosts and I’ll be eternally grateful to them both.
I met up with Clare and Scott the day before their wedding at a villa they had hired close by. We planned to do a pre wedding shoot and have a visit to the venue to scope out where my hotspots would be, get a feel for the area and to run through timings for the day. I spent the whole glorious day with them the next day – WOW. BEAUTIFUL!! The day after the wedding all were welcome back to the wine resort to have a BBQ Pool Party. Just amazing from start to finish. I’m so incredibly lucky and Clare + Scott you are just THE DREAM!
If any readers are planning a wedding overseas GIVE ME A CALL – I”M YOUR GIRL! Here is their story and PROMISE you’ll scroll RIGHT TO THE END!
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO GET MARRIED IN ITALY?
We always knew that when we got married we wanted a destination wedding with a more relaxed feel. We first visited Tuscany in May 2017 and we were both blown away by its beauty. The scenery was absolutely stunning and once we got engaged, we just knew it would make the most magical backdrop to our wedding day. We are also both huge fans of Italian food and wine so there really wasn’t any competition! Conti di San Bonifacio was the first wedding venue we visited and as soon as we entered the vineyard and drove up the cypress tree lined driveway we knew it was the one. From the jaw dropping scenery across the valley to the chic rustic details of the traditional stone built resort and its beautiful grounds, everything about it was perfect for us.
DESCRIBE YOUR DAY.
A relaxed intimate Italian wedding set in the beautiful tuscan countryside filled with all the best things in life and shared with the people closest to our heart. It really was the most perfect day and we will cherish the memories forever.
HOW DID YOU MEET? HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN TOGETHER?
We met during our time at high school as part of a wider group of friends. We got together in sixth form and we’ve now been together for 14 years.
TELL ME ABOUT THE PROPOSAL?
We got engaged during a city break in Barcelona as part of Clare’s 30th birthday present from Scott. After spending the evening at a roof top bar watching the sunset, Scott got down on one knee and proposed. Even after so long together it was still a complete surprise!
HOW DID YOU SPEND/ALLOCATE YOUR BUDGET?
The most important and largest expenditure was the wedding venue which included the cost for the legal ceremony, catering, wedding cake, coordination and accommodation. Once we had that cost confirmed we then budgeted for the other items as to where they were on our priority list. Our next priority was the photographer followed by the florist and of course the wedding dress.
WHERE DID YOU SPLURDGE/WHERE DID YOU SAVE?
We splurged on the venue as we wanted somewhere which we had exclusive use of. We paid to have the resort to ourselves for two days so we could also throw a post wedding BBQ and pool party for our guests. We saved by using a wedding website as an alternative to stationary and we also made our own table numbers, name places and menus.
HOW/WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER?
We chose Georgina as we had come across her work during a number of our friends weddings. We were so impressed with the stunning photographs she produced for them and her technique for getting that perfect shot. Neither of us are natural in front of the camera but Georgina puts you at ease and captures the moment beautifully. Not only is Georgina a passionate photographer but she is also such a warm and friendly person. She is always one step ahead of you and helps out in whatever way she can so that you can both enjoy your special day.
THE DRESS? ACCESSORIES?
My dress was by Badgley Mischka from the Bridal Collection in Harrogate. I wanted something elegant with a medium length train and some embellishment which would twinkle in the sun. Originally I wasn’t going to wear a veil but once I tried it on with my dress I was in love. It just gave the dress that added detail to the train and it looked so beautiful on the photographs. My shoes were also by Badgley Mischka and because my dress already had embellishment to it, I kept my accessories simple and wore a Monica Vinader diamond heart pendant, received as a wedding gift from Scott, with stud earrings from Accessorize.
Scott’s three piece suit was from Hawes and Curtis which he paired with shoes from Dune. The groomsmen’s three piece suits were from Next. The groom’s party all wore silk paisley silver ties and pocket squares also from Hawes and Curtis. The bridesmaids wore maxi dresses in different shades of pastel colours from ASOS. To tie in with my wedding dress two of the bridesmaids dresses were embellished with the other three having lace detail necklines.
DID YOU HAVE A THEME/COLOUR SCHEME?
Our theme was Italian rustic chic to complement the wine resort and its stunning scenery. We didn’t want to take the focus away from the natural beauty of the resort and its surroundings, so we chose a neutral palette of Italian greens, white, silver, grey and pastel colours.
WHAT SORT OF FLOWESR DID YOU HAVE?
The bridal and bridesmaids bouquets were organic style with olive and eucalyptus branches, ivory roses, white veronicas, white lisianthus and ivory spray roses. The flower girls wore olive crowns with white lisianthus and carried small vimini baskets filled with white rose petals and decorated in greenery. The groomsmen had olive leaf boutonnières with Scott having his own personalised boutonnière which included a white ranunculus, a white veronica, lisianthus and olive leaves. The organic greenery and white flower theme was carried out throughout the other floral arrangements used to decorate the resort.
WHAT DID YOU EAT?
We served a traditional Tuscan four course menu to our guests which included organic produce from the resort’s garden and locally sourced ingredients.
Antipasti: Assembly of organic tomatoes, ricotta cheese and pestoPrimi: Green risotto with broccoli cream, crispy cured ham and garden herbsSecondi: Rolled Leghorn cockerel served with milk potato mousse and dried fruit crumble
Dolce: Citrus cheesecake served with wild berries
The food was complimented with the resort’s own organic red and white wine with Prosecco to toast. We also served his and hers signature cocktails during the after party which were garnished with sprig and flowers of thyme, fresh from the resort’s garden.
WHAT DECORATIONS DID YOU USE?
The resort allowed us to utilise everything they had to offer. We used two of their large pewter mirrors to create a welcome sign and table plan and we placed these in front of the main entrance with a mix of patterned lanterns. For the ceremony set up we used a mix of their cast iron and wooden chairs decorated with white peonies and falling eucalyptus. To the entrance of the aisle we had two wine barrels topped with silver urn flower arrangements and to the base a mix of large silver glass lanterns. On the register table we placed a flowing ivory runner decorated with tapered candles and more silver urn flower arrangements. Around the pool area for the aperitivo we used rustic white wooden tables and benches together with cast iron tables and chairs. These were decorated with small pattered metal lanterns and the bridesmaids bouquets. For dinner we decided to have three long tables. Two of which had the silver urn flower arrangements and the middle table had a runner of olive and eucalyptus branches with white flowers. Each table was decorated with tapered ivory candles in antique silver holders and small crystal votives holding tealights. At the base of each table there was a mix of the large glass lanterns and we reused the chair decorations from the ceremony. The venue supplied strings of lights across most of the outside space which really added to the ambiance as the sun went down and we also had a light projection of our initials and wedding date on to the front of the resort building which the DJ provided. The cake table was placed in front of the olive tree on the panoramic terrace and it was decorated with a mix of the cast iron patterned lanterns and white flowers. Other than the flowers and candles which the florist provided everything else belonged to the wine resort.
ANY PERSONAL TOUCHES?
Using metallic pens we created the name places out of hexagonal marble tiles and the table numbers and menus were written on acrylic and cork frames from Ikea. We also used the resort’s full length pewter mirrors to create a welcome sign and table plan.
WHAT ARE YOUR SPECIAL MOMENTS FROM THE DAY?
There were so many! Obviously seeing each other for the first time was a very special moment which we will cherish forever. All three speeches were so beautiful; they were personal, incredibly emotional and spoken straight from the heart. We really enjoyed the after party in which our highlight was being able to dance with Clare’s grandmas and then having them lead the conga with everyone up on the dance floor. However, our most special moment had to be when we were able to sneak off during dinner for our sunset photoshoot in the vineyard. We were able to look back up at the venue and reflect on what a wonderful day it had been so far and how incredibly lucky we were to have so many friends and family there to share it with us.
WHAT WAS YOUR BIGGEST SURPRISE OF THE DAY?
The live assembling of the Italian wedding cake in which together we finished off the decoration before cutting the cake and spraying Prosecco. We knew the cake would be live assembled, but we hadn’t realised it would be ourselves placing the final berries on the cake to form a love heart. Also had we had known about the spraying of the Prosecco; Scott would have practiced in advance!
For the ceremony Clare’s brother Richard sang ‘Love Someone’ by Lucas Graham as the bridal party walked down the aisle. We also had a DJ and saxophonist who played during both the aperitivo and after dinner party.
ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER COUPLES PLANNING AN OVERSEAS WEDDING?
Our advice for the wedding day itself is to enjoy every single second. Everyone tells you it will go so quick and it really does! Make sure you take some time away to be by yourselves so you can reflect on the day. Even just a couple of minutes to say I love you, thank you or just to catch up on the day’s events so far. We would also recommend a post wedding party so you can catch up with your guests after the wedding day. We found everyone had a story to tell from the day before and it was so nice to hear that everyone had a great time. We also loved being able to spend time with our guests in a more relaxed environment and we got to do our thank yous and goodbyes twice!
Venue, planner, catering and cake: Conti di san Bonifacio
Florist: Flowers Living
Hair and make up: The Tuscan Beauty Wedding
DJ: Betty DJ
Saxophonist: Joint Sax
Wedding Dress: the bridal collection