Lottie & Charlie – Villa Dianella, Tuscany

There’s very few better feelings than meeting a couple and to hear/see their sheer excitement for their upcoming marriage (and all of the celebrations) to hear that they want to put their trust in YOU to come along and capture all of that for them. I genuinely feel this for every couple that choose me to be able to document this day for them in the best way possible, to help them relive their memories of the day over the years to come!

I met Lottie and her (crazily awesomely exited, big smiley faced) chief bridesmaid Raoudha at The National Wedding Show back in Autumn 2016, they were drawn to the relaxed vibe of my images on display, and after nattering away like mad, it felt like we really hit it off and felt very comfortable in each others company 🙂 Lottie expressed how she and her partner, Charlie were very laid back and they wanted their photographer to be able to be a fly on the wall and to capture beautiful, classy, timeless portraits/shots with absolute minimal direction- nothing forced or posed! (tick, tick tick!) We got so stuck in to conversation, that it came far too far down the line as to if I was actually available on their date, or even where their wedding was due to be held… so of course when they spilt the big old can of beans on me, that the day was due to be held at a private villa in beautiful Tuscany, AND it appeared that I was available, I almost had to stop, drop and roll with excitement!!!

A few days after the show and Lottie and I caught up over Skype to chat about their plans in more depth and to fine tune the sort of coverage they would want. It was lovely to hear her thoughts on the day and what marriage meant to her and Charlie. Over the course of the next few months we stayed in touch frequently to discuss plans, logistics and the opportunities that we’d have for photography. I couldn’t have felt more excited for the day of my flight the following August to come around and to jet off to meet them and their families in the incredible location that I’d been Googling like mad for months and months!

The day was drawing closer and I asked if one of my assistant shooters, Jay, could come along and accompany me for the trip. It’s always good to have an extra pair of hands, especially knowing that Italy was experiencing the European heatwave Lucifer, with soaring temperatures of around 40 degrees! Spending the long weekend in Tuscany with Jay by my side was fantastic, Lottie and Charlies day was just as relaxed and beautiful as we all had planned for it to be. Lottie wed Charlie in a beautiful outdoor ceremony (barefoot!) at 5pm, as the sun started to come down across the surrounding vineyards, shortly followed by an aperitif in the wine cellar at Villa Dianella, with cured meats, cheese and a surprise speech by Lottie! Guests were fed, watered and very well looked after, we drifted between the cool, dark wine cellar and the beautiful gardens upstairs, we even managed in the heat of the moment to organise a handful of more formal portraits, hehe! Something that I know they’re grateful of having now for the future 🙂

The thing that I loved most about their day and Italian weddings, is the focus on enjoying a long evening with friends and family with small courses of beautiful, fresh food. We were served two different pasta dishes, followed by a selection of pizzas, hog roast and big salads. Dining outside under festoon lights, this was where guests spent most of the time. After each course we had a different speech and it was just nicely broken up and enjoyable for everybody. You could get up and have a wander around, it didn’t feel too formal or regimented. You can certainly tell that from how relaxed a comfy their guests looked (of course the warmth and the incredible wine helped everyone to relax too!)

The dinner effortlessly moved in to an outdoor cake cutting (It looked like something from a film!) The Pinterest worthy cake made by Signy, Lottie’s mum, was carefully flown over from the UK, I think probably cradled the whole journey! Hehe! With everyone enjoying their cake, Richard James the guitarist and musician for the day announced the first dance and Lottie & Charlie busted out a few moves to One Republics ‘Good Life’. Jay and I stayed on, grabbed some cake and capture guests in to the evening, before regretably having to pack our cameras up and head off!

Lottie and Charlie’s day absolutely blew us away, what a fantastic pair and an amazing opportunity/highlight to have in my photography career… This ones for you guys! x

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