Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Vintage Twee for Country Weddings - the perfect combination!

Hi everyone, busy week here at Country Weddings Italy, but I really wanted to spend some time today showing you the truly inspirational work by a girl after my own heart. Joanne Linder is a northwest girl turned enterprising businesswoman who is proud of her British heritage, and who has a passion for anything vintage and “twee”, as she affectionately puts it. She also obviously has a magical artistic flair for making items that are just perfect for a wedding celebration. When I stumbled across her website (is it only me that starts off with an intention of looking at something in particular on the web, and ends up somewhere completely different??), I was immediately well and truly hooked!

Joanne’s  products are all made by her own fair hands, which must make her a very busy girl at times. She also told me that she works alone and makes everything from start to finish, a “mere” detail that many people overlook , as they think that Vintage Twee is actually run by a team of people. She obviously has a fine eye for attractive materials and detail too, and I, among many others,  think her creations are just wonderful. As a crafter myself, I have a fairly critical eye, but her items are clearly top-quality, worthy of adorning any wedding table or celebration. Her wedding favours, table decor, tea party range and stationery are lovingly made with inspiration from romantic times-gone-by that have never lost their appeal.

Vintage Love Letter wedding favour boxes.
Joanne set up the business just 18 months ago, but has already been featured several times in the press and her business has grown from strength to strength. This does not, however, stop Joanne from keeping her finger on the button at all levels, as she sources all her vintage materials personally, which she then takes to her studio and transforms into her handcrafted wares.
I really would have a hard time choosing my favourite item from all the ones featured here, but I think one of her most original ideas are the Afternoon Tea Recipe cards, which could easily be chosen as a wedding favour at a vintage, shabby chic or country wedding party.  Feast your eyes on these lovely photos and then visit Joanne’s website at

We truly hope some Country Weddings Italy brides will want to use Joanne’s creations on their special day. We would just love to see some photographs of them on the tables at our special wedding venues! 

Gorgeous paper cones to be used for rice or petals,
 or filled with sweets or  flowers as wedding favours

Cones for rice or petals made from original music sheets.

Just perfect for placing in your cupcakes at the dessert table.

Joanne personalises place settings with your guests' names!

Teabag favours! This lovely card is designed to contain an individual
 tea bag and has a lovely tea quote on the front

My favourite original idea from Vintage Twee - Afternoon Tea recipe cards

Such a cute idea! Teapot wedding favour box.

A lovely fairytale wedding favour box

A wedding guest book, which is actually a box containing 80 sheets of paper
where guests can write their best wishes for the couple

Friday, November 25, 2011

For the Love of Flowers.....

Walking into Rosella Antonelli’s floral design workshop on a cold, wet late autumn day here in the Roman countryside was better than taking a hot bath with a glass of Prosecco and my favourite book!! Talk about a child walking into Santa's Wonderland - I was immediately struck by the harmony of the colours, although they varied so greatly, and the style of the non-floral items that she uses to complete each styling project,  many of which reflect my love of the vintage, shabby chic, romantic look so accurately. We sat down to talk surrounded by flowers, crystal candle shades, silver candlesticks, glass bowls with floating candles and flowers, cushions and drapes. I was in heaven!

Rosella is a floral designer who works with love and passion to produce her creations. She has worked for several years in the wedding and events sector, designing and making her floral creations and providing all the finishing touches to bring the style of each event together. Flowers, foliage, candles, crystal, silver candelabras, voile, muslin, silk and fine linen are all components used to create the right atmosphere wherever she is asked to work, indoors or outside, from grand villas to country farmhouses.

Colour is very much  a part of Rosella’s wedding creations (just to provide an opposite point of view from the one I told you I was given last week, where white reigned supreme!), but one piece of advice Rosella gives to brides is to choose a bridal bouquet that is suited to the bride’s height and colouring.  Don’t drown yourself with a bouquet that is too big for you or drain your colouring with colours that are too strong for you to take. It is also a good idea to choose a bouquet that is comfortable to hold, as you will need to hold it throughout the day, or at least until you toss it to your single female guests (if you can bear to part with it!).
Rosella will be working with us to create floral decorations at future Country Weddings Italy weddings. Daniela and I immediately felt at home talking to her, and we soon realised we were all talking the same “language” in terms of work ethics and philosophy  and love of quality service. Another warm, talented person to add to our growing team! All the flowers in this post are Rosella’s creations - you could have them at your Italian wedding too!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

"So Many Shades of White" Wedding Inspirations

Last weekend, I spent three days in the most fantastic castle (you truly do get to visit some wonderful places doing this job!!) you can imagine. More on the castle as a dream wedding location in a future post (I'll just name-drop a minute to get you interested though....Tom Cruise, Petra Ecclestone, Mena Suvari...), but I wanted to tell you about its connection to my latest Country Weddings Italy  wedding inspiration collage. White is a colour that shouldn't be taken for granted at a wedding, whatever we may think. Trends come and go and even change the colour of the traditionally white bridal gown, but white remains the supreme champion of colours. 
The talented Floral Designer that I had the privilege to meet at the castle last week, Andrea Patrizi, emphasised the importance of this colour and reiterated the concept that it is THE colour to choose for all aspects of your wedding, possibly the only one. I wasn't quite sure about that, but the more photos I look at, the more I think he may well just have a point! From sophisticated roses to simple country daisies, pure silk or antique lace, icing sugar or the finest quality paper, white is one colour that is so easy to work with and that looks splendid in any environment.

Photo Credits: Wedding shrug from Monsoon; Bridal bouquet made to order by Porcelain Roses (and yes, they are really porcelain!); Pearl wedding invitation from Imagine;  Clutch bag from Etsy;  Daisy wedding cake by Maisie Fantasie, Tall cake featured on; White butterfly biscuits by Juliet Smallwood

Monday, November 21, 2011

Wedding Photographer - Reportage Italian Style

Photographs are a fundamental part of any wedding. Once the day is over, the guests have departed, the adrenaline has faded to a faint quickening of the heart every time we think back to those special hours, all of us want to open up our wedding album and relive each and every special detail of THE day by looking at our fantastic photographs. In order to be able to do that, the photographer needs to be somebody who understands the atmosphere, the style and the emotions of the occasion, capturing every special moment without being too intrusive or visible.
 I recently spent a few hours with an excellent photographer, talking with him and viewing his work with the intention of discovering whether he was somebody that Country Weddings Italy would feel comfortable with offering as a wedding photographer for their overseas couples coming to tie the knot in Italy.
A member of Tau Visual, the Italian national professional photographers’ association and the prestigious International Wedding Photojournalists’ Association (WPJA), Fabrizio Vinti is a photographer based in central Italy, but who is willing to travel to other locations too, given the opportunity. Membership in WPJA requires rigorous standards in technical skill, aesthetics and best business practices and the selection procedure is complex . To put it simply, they don’t just let anyone in! True to the WPJA mission, Fabrizio says his intention is to use photography to tell the story of your wedding day, not dictate it for you. His passion for this art form, which began as a child when he found an old Polaroid camera at home and started to use it, transpires from his every word.  Fabrizio gave up a career as a jeweller in the well-established family business to make photography his full time job several years ago and has never looked back since.

Fabrizio is a warm person who immediately makes you feel at ease, something fundamental for a nervous bride and groom on their most important day. He speaks English, which makes communication easier with his subjects, although his technique does not involve the need for long-winded instructions to tell the couple how to pose, as he likes to capture them spontaneously, using a natural, documentary style approach to the wedding day.

Take a look at the photographs and transport yourself to your Italian wedding in Lazio, organised by Country Weddings Italy (of course!), with Fabrizio capturing every detail and emotion of your unique, special day. You can contact us at for any further information you might like to receive.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A Romantic Hillside Monastery, the Perfect Country Wedding Venue

As mentioned a few days ago in my Antique Rose Wedding Inspirations post, this is another of the chosen locations that we will be offering to Country Weddings Italy couples as a wedding venue. You cannot help but fall in love with this place, its surroundings and its atmosphere. The buildings were constructed in the early 16th century as a monastery for Franciscan monks and have been lovingly restored to their current state as a venue for weddings, birthday parties and company events. The estate still has its own church, which can be used for Catholic wedding ceremonies, although couples can also choose to hold civil ceremonies in the grounds.

The monastery stands on a hill, with 10 hectares of lush vegetation and woodland. The views are spectacular, with the sea of unspoilt green countryside stretching to the very edge of one’s vision. It is a perfect setting for your wedding photographs.
The monastery management team welcomed Daniela and I and dedicated a whole morning to showing us around explaining every detail of how wedding ceremonies and receptions can be organised at their venue.

Aside from the breathtaking scenery, the historical prestige of the venue and the professional approach to organising each couple’s special day, we were also delighted to find such a friendly atmosphere and willingness to work to make each wedding unique. Just look at the photos, and picture yourselves enjoying your wedding day in the this very spot!
If you would like any further information about holding your Italian wedding at this venue, just contact us at: