The Harpers – Our Dream Italian Wedding

I can’t believe it’s been a year since we got married in Tuscany, Italy on what was undoubtedly the most incredible day of our lives. We chose Castello Di Celsa in Sovicille as our magical location (or should I say it chose us) and were the first people to ever be legally wed there which made it all the more special…


We got engaged in Iceland on our 8th anniversary on the 18-01-18 and it was a total surprise. So much so that I had to ask William if he wanted to get married or if he just wanted to be engaged. I genuinely had no idea what he was thinking, but he had very sure plans of a wedding in 2019, and at the exact same time we both said ‘What about Italy?’ We allocated a morning every Saturday to wedding planning as William wanted to be completely involved which was so heart warming and he really was incredible the whole way through.

We decided to head to Tuscany for my birthday and combine it with meeting wedding planners and visiting venues. We were so excited and a little too much champagne in the lounge (and apparently something to do with me looking for an eyebrow pencil) meant that we missed our flight to Florence turning our plans upside down. It meant that the Castello – a place I’d randomly found online – had to become the first venue we’d visit. They say that everything happens for a reason and just like when we met – it was love at first sight and we both knew that Castello Di Celsa is where we’d be tying the knot.

We planned a trip to meet with various wedding planners and visit some venues and were super excited to get started and explore Tuscany. However we were so excited that we had a little too much champagne in the lounge and missed our flight to Florence meaning all of our plans turned upside down. However, Celsa then became the first venue we saw, and just like when we met – it was love at first sight and we instsantly it was where we’d be tying the knot.


I felt honoured that Princess Aldobrandini allowed me to use the Castello and her room to get ready in. We were limited to the amount of people we could have there so I kept it to my Maid of Honours, my Bridesmaid Nina who was also my Hairstylist and Make-Up Artist and the photographer. It meant that getting ready was rather serene and peaceful. I wasn’t really aware of what was going on in the Castle grounds and just enjoyed the process.


Our ceremony was a dream come true. More than anything, we wanted the day to be a celebration of our love, with those that we love. And it really was. I had worried (for years to be honest) that my wedding day would be filled with sadness from not having my late Dad with me and to walk me down the aisle. But the unexpected happened and I could not stop smiling the moment I started walking down the aisle, and to be honest, for the rest of the day. We were married by The Mayor in Italian and English with our Mum’s being our witnesses and readings from Fleabag (yep you read that right) and Nick Cave.

My Dad was a heart transplant patient and also passed away on Valentine’s Day – so the symbol of a heart could not be more poignant to me. Every year on the 14th of February we release balloons in his memory. I had an idea – that would work – or fail. To release 64 red heart balloons upon us being announced husband and wife. (He lived to 64 years old and we wanted to celebrate his life and not his loss). To be completely honest I was so full of joy that I forgot all about it until I heard all of our guests gasp, and as we looked up, the balloons floated in to the sky behind us. My Dad was with us.


This is probably the part that took the hardest work. I wanted a table that included everyone so it felt like an Italian dinner. I wanted Chandelirs, candelabras, flowers, lots of flowers, and the table settings had to fit the venue. Our plates were decorated with 22kt gold and looked magical with all of the details. I’m a lover of crystals and wanted to be able to give our guests something positive and uplifiting as wedding favours, so we opted for blue agate slices that doubled up as their place names.

The food was incredible. I mean, it’s Italy…. And our cake. I was blown away. I thought I had always wanted a traditional iced wedding cake but upon tasting the Mille Feuille – we couldn’t not have it. The tradition in Italy is to have a round cake that is cooked by the chef in front of your guests – but knowing what we had planned, I got to design a tiered Mille Feuille and it was spectacular, and it was out of this world delicious.

We signalled the end of dinner with the cutting of the cake and a surprise fireworks display which was even better than we could have imagined.


What’s there to say other than we danced all night to our amazing band. We had an incredible bar that served our favourite cocktails from Bellinis to Dark and Stormys, a pizza stall and a gelato cart – and I didn’t want it to end.

I often see photos of our wedding shared online and am like, ‘Wow that’s amazing!’ and then realise it’s our wedding. No one will ever know how much hard work and love we put in to it and that’s ok. It was the BEST day ever.


Photography by Allison Stoddard.


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