Becci + Joel romantic summer destination wedding at Villa Tolomei, Florence

Friday, August 21, 2020

Mr + Mrs Wiltshire
Tuesday 21st August 2018 |  Villa Tolomei, Florence, Italy
Becci and Joel held their dreamy Italian wedding on a beautiful summer's day in Floence, and we are obsessed with everything! From gorgeous tulle dress and the stunning location, to the cute campervan and those gorgeous golden hour shots. After designing and making her own wedding stationery, bride Becci decided to launch her own business RLS Illustrations.
How did you meet?
We met at University in Cardiff in 2010. We were both on the same art course and spent all day everyday together before heading off to separate universities in Bournemouth and Birmingham and giving long distance a go!
Tell us your proposal story...
We were travelling around Northern Italy in August 2016 and our first stop was my favourite place in Italy, Venice! We were cruising down the Grand Canal on a gondola at sunset and Joel got down on one knee! Other gondola’s were going past and people were clapping and cheering, it was like being in a movie! We knew from this moment we wanted to get married in Italy too, and two years later we returned to Florence to get married with 40 of our closest friends and family. 
Tell us about the dress...
I was so lucky to find my dress! One day, I was walking past a bridal shop (Alfred Angelo) and my dress was there in the window on a mannequin. It was THE ONE!!! It was a year before my wedding day, I hadn’t been dress shopping yet and wasn’t planning to for a few months still. But I saw this dress in the window, and I just knew instantly. I didn’t go in straight away because I was worried about pricing and if it would be within my budget. I got home and got in contact straight away to find out the price. It was a little over my budget, but I knew there was no way I could leave it there. I couldn’t wait any longer, I went there by myself and tried it on and I LOVED IT! I didn’t even look at another dress or try another dress on, I knew it was the one and said yes to the dress! 
A few months later and 2.5 stone lost in weight, me and my mum went together to collect my dress, I tried it on for her to see in person and She LOVED it! It was the perfect dress for me and I just can’t believe I happened to stumble upon it that day walking by, it was meant to be! I probably should have picked a dress more suited to the location and weather but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It ended up being 35 degrees and I was wearing what felt like 5000 layers under my dress, I’d never felt so hot in my life but I’d do it all again tomorrow..
What was the most emotional moment of the day?
The ceremony! I cried my eyes out as soon as I started walking down the aisle! But reading my own vows was the hardest for me! I’d read them so many times in my head before walking down the aisle but I never ever expected to get as emotional as I did. I’ve always been nervous with public speaking but this was something we always wanted to do from day 1, so we agreed to write our own vows and not show each other before the day. I knew I’d get a little nervous, but I didn’t expect to be balling my eyes out to the point where I couldn’t get a single word out or see the paper in front of me! 
What advice would you give to future brides?
Don’t let others dictate your special day. It’ll be the most special day of your whole life, so do what’s best for you both and everything will fall into place in the end. Everyone will have an opinion, but try and stick on the path that you both want. We contemplated getting married in the UK for the first 6 months of our engagement because it seemed to be what everyone else wanted us to do and we didn’t want to upset anyone. Eventually we realised that it was our special day and we knew we’d regret it for the rest of our lives if we did what everyone else wanted. We worried for so long that some people wouldn’t be able to make it if we got married abroad, but everyone we worried about ended up coming and they had the best week of their life! I wish we didn’t spend so much time worrying!
Favourite part of the day?
Our favourite part of the wedding day was when we hired a vintage campervan that drove us around Florence to get photos of just us two. We went to our favourite viewpoint and managed to get the most beautiful photographs overlooking the city of Florence. Our photographer captured these moments perfectly! After returning it was then time to get seated for dinner, we ate outdoors on the balcony overlooking the views of Florence whilst watching the sunset. It was so magical and unforgettable. 
What was your best wedding splurge?
The campervan made our day! This was a last minute add on that we literally booked a few weeks before. We searched for sooo long at the start to find a campervan, but either they were way out of our price range or booked up with it being a bank holiday in Italy. A last minute availability came up with this van and we were so delighted!! We booked it straight away and it made our day so much more special being able to head to our favourite spot in Florence for photographs! Because it was so last minute, none of out guests knew about it and it was a fun surprise when it showed up! We had lots of group photographs next to the van when we returned from our couple photos too. 
Tell us about your hen do...
My hen do was a complete surprise! All I knew was the date and location. I live in Bournemouth and most of my friends live in Wales where I’m from, but there were also friends coming from London, Midlands and Manchester so my bridesmaid planned it in Bristol so it was central! We stayed in an indoor caravan park with lots of old retro caravans to sleep in and the place was filled with hen party decor and the theme was ‘GlastonBecci’. It was a complete shock and surprise, I’d never seen anything like it before!! We spent one night in Bristol, from the minute we arrived it was go go go, we headed out to do cocktail making at Slug and Lettuce and then onto dancing on a boat for the rest of the night! Luckily there were no plans for the Sunday as everyone was so hungover that they got up and left straight away haha!
Is there anything you wish you'd done differently?
I wish we had a videographer! It’s our biggest regret ever! There is so much of your day that you don’t see or remember. When you look back through photos you notice so much that you didn’t know about or you can’t remember. The whole day becomes a blur so quickly because it’s so overwhelming all day. I wish we had a video to look back on as well as photographs so we could feel like we’re really living the day again. If we could go back and do it again, we’d definitely have a videographer!
Favourite wedding planning moment?
Flying out to Italy for venue hunting and then again a year later for menu and cake tasting. These were such memorable moments. We’ll never forget our menu tasting, sitting in the exact spot at our venue where we would eventually have our wedding breakfast, looking out to the view of Florence in the sunset and thinking ‘Next time we sit here, we’ll be married and be with 40 of our closest friends and family’. It was so magical, and even better because we had soo much good food to try!
Worst wedding planning moment?
The stress of last minute drop outs! Even with it being abroad and flights being booked, so much changed within the last few weeks and months. I had a very pregnant sister-in- law who could no longer fly so stayed home with my niece, my nephew broke his arm just a couple of weeks before and almost couldn’t make it last minute! My sister didn’t come and my Nan was too ill to fly. It’s crazy what can happen in the two years of wedding planning, you think you have it all figured out way in advance but so much springs up on you last minute like you wouldn’t believe! 
What is your wedding must-have?
An amazing photographer! We both agreed that an amazing photographer wasn’t something we were willing to sacrifice, we wanted to end up with the perfect sunset golden photographs that we could treasure forever. We spent so long looking for a photographer because we wanted to make sure they were perfect and also able to travel to Italy with us from the UK to capture the day! As we’re both designers with creative backgrounds, we know the work and time that goes into photography so we put a lot of time into finding the right photographer for us. 
As soon as we came across the Honeydew Moment’s website, the photographs blew us away. We just knew instantly that Natasha would be our photographer. I sent an email as fast as I could and we just prayed she would be happy to travel abroad (and be free on the week of our wedding!). Luckily Natasha was just as excited as us, we got along so well too and we booked her straight away! We decided against an Italian photographer, mainly because of the language barrier and our Italian isn’t great! I think it’s important to get along with your photographer like they’re a friend/guest and be able to communicate easily with them in order for them to coordinate the best photos!
Favourite wedding supplier?
Photographer! It’s been 2 years since our special day, and even now we still look at our photos and love them even more each time! Photos are one of the only things you have left after the day has come and gone, so it’s important that those photos are everything you wanted and more. We have so many canvases, frames and albums around our home filled with photographs from our wedding day, they get better everytime we look at them!
Tell us about the cake...
We went cake tasting and had no idea what flavour we wanted. We assumed we’d go for 3 tiers and have 3 different flavours. We knew we wanted it to be half naked with a wooden cake topper and olive leaves wrapped around the centre. Joel was always raving about lemon cake and I’d never tried lemon cake in my life! We got to try lots of different flavours and the lemon ended up being my favourite too!! In the end we opted for all lemon on both tiers, we thought it had a nice italian link too and guests loved it. The two tiers were the perfect size for 40 guests too with some left over. We didn’t even get to eat any cake on the wedding day, we were just so busy! 
Tell us about your Honeymoon...
We spent a few days in Florence staying at our venue before friends and family flew back home. We then headed to the Amalfi Coast for 7 nights and spent our week looking at the most beautiful views, boat trips to Capri, swimming in the sea, eating tonnes of ice cream and also watching the sunset every night from the most beautiful restaurants we’ve ever been to! We then headed to Rome for 3 nights for a little city break before heading home. Our dream honeymoon was a roadtrip around west coast USA, so we saved hard and did this 9 months later! We roadtripped across LA, Vegas, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, San Francisco, Seattle and then into Canada and visited Vancouver and Whistler. It was a trip we’ll never forget! You can watch a video of our USA roadtrip here.
What was your first dance song?
Tom Walker - Just You and I. We discovered this song about a year before our wedding and loved it, it was perfect! It felt even more special because on the day nobody else really knew the song yet, as it didn’t hit the charts until the following year! Then friends and family would hear it on the radio and message us and say ‘OMG your wedding song it on the radio!!!’ and it’s so nice to know that people hear that song and remember our special day too. Most of our wedding was outdoors including the ceremony, wedding breakfast, cocktail hour, cake cutting and sparklers. We had a DJ for our evening entertainment, it was all set up in the wine cellar which led out onto the italian garden with views overlooking Florence at night. 
Photographer: Honeydew Moments
Stationery: RLS Illustrations (Bride)
Hair + Makeup: Beauty on Fleek
Bridesmaids Dresses: Dorothy Perkins
Wedding Rings: Forum Jewellers 
Band/DJ: DJ Gaetano 
Décor: DIY

 From Brides, With Love xo

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