We can think of few places in the world as charmingly romantic as the Castello di Gargonza. Nestled in the rolling hills of Tuscany, the old village is enclosed by a medieval castle wall and surrounded by dense forests, rustling olive trees, and grapevines as far as the eye can see. Isabel and Will could imagine only this idyllic setting for their wedding day. “My family has been going to Castello di Gargonza for years, so when Will and I got engaged, we knew immediately where it had to be,” Isabel said. The dreamily pastoral location lent itself beautifully to the wedding’s casually elegant vibe, with the main focus on family, friends, good food, and good times. “Neither one of us is remotely traditional, and we knew we really wanted an easygoing and relaxed wedding that was more like a fantastic holiday with our family and friends than anything else,” Isabel recalled.
No one could have captured the mood of the day or the lovely details—from Isbael’s understatedly graceful Jenny Packham gown to the dusky pink roses accented by fronds of lavender—as well as photographer Cinzia Bruschini, whose approach to photography can be described as honest, playful, and organic. “Our fantastic photographer, Cinzia, shows that we spent most of the day laughing, which was exactly what we wanted,” Isabel said.
Q + A with Isabel
What’s your love story? How did you meet and fall in love?
Will and I met at university nine years ago and have been together ever since! We’ve moved around the globe together, going from England to the States to Canada, but we knew that our wedding had to be at Gargonza. And it was perfect—I wouldn’t have changed a thing!
Can you tell us a little bit about the details of your wedding and your sources of inspiration?
My family has been going to Castello di Gargonza for years, so when Will and I got engaged, we knew immediately where the wedding had to be. It’s absolutely beautiful, with incredibly friendly people and amazing food to boot! Neither one of us is remotely traditional, and we knew that we really wanted an easygoing and relaxed wedding that was more like a fantastic holiday with our family and friends than anything else. I loved reading wedding blogs and magazines, but I spent a lot of my time avoiding anything too “wedding-y.” As one of my bridesmaids can attest, I actually rejected a veil at a bridal shop because it was too “bridal” and told the sales assistant that I wouldn’t cry when I found “the dress.” And, indeed, I absolutely loved my Jenny Packham dress, but I didn’t cry! The ceremony remained pretty untraditional, too. We planned it ourselves, wrote what we wanted to say, and picked one of our best friends, a cabaret performer with bright purple hair, to officiate. It was perfect—sincere, beautiful, and funny. I think there’s sometimes pressure to be solemn and serious about a wedding; if that’s what you want, you should absolutely go for it, but if that’s not you, then don’t! We wanted the day to be fun, funny, and irreverent, which it was. Our fantastic photographer, Cinzia, shows that we spent most of the day laughing, which was exactly what we wanted.
What kind of advice would you offer to future brides?
I’d say two things, probably. One: Figure out what’s important to you and stick with it. You can afford to be more relaxed about the little things if you know what you really want and don’t want. Everyone says it, but it’s true! We knew that we didn’t want a first dance, and despite everyone’s insistence that we had to have one and would regret it if we didn’t, we didn’t and don’t regret it for a second. It just wasn’t us, and we knew that! Two: Do try to do as much organization as possible before the day itself—we spent quite a few hours agonizing over room allocations and our reception playlist in the months before the wedding—and then just relax and go with the flow on the day. If you have to change the time, alter the menu, or reorder the music, it doesn’t matter. Just relax and enjoy yourself!
Photography: Cinzia Bruschini / Ceremony and reception venue: Castello di Gargonza / Flowers: Stiatti Fiori / Bride’s dress: Jenny Packham / Bridesmaid dresses: ASOS and Nordstrom / Flower girl’s dress: Monsoon / Groom’s suit: Ted Baker / Hair and makeup: Bride / Invitations: Paper and Poste
This wedding was submitted via Two Bright Lights.