A Romantic Italy Inspired Love Story


This romantic, Italian inspired elopement, is filled with charm and wonder. Packed with vintage inspiration and old world charm, this whole session was inspired by the most beautiful love story. Keep reading for the hopelessly romantic and beautiful inspiration behind this shoot from Claire Clarke Weddings:


Our styled shoot acts as an aide-mémoire of a young couple who fell in love almost 100 years ago. 

He was a strapping young Vineyard hand and she was an Opera singers daughter visiting family. On a day out with her aunt, her eyes met his across the vineyard and their love story began. Not once did they let their different backgrounds get in their way, instead they defied friends and family and for 3 years following their initial meet the couple exchanged the most perfect love letters. Once old enough, the couple spoke of marriage and since the land of Southern Italy meant so much to the Monteparano family, Elenore made the move to be with Antonio in Puglia. They married, just the two of them, on a vineyard at the Castello Monaci estate and although there were no images of the day to look back on, the couple told a love story so vivid to their children and grandchildren that it were as if the day came to life for everyone they met. 

This is where our inspiration of our styled shoot came from; to re-tell the story of the beloved Elenore and Antonio. Their love story started at Castello Monaci and today, we have returned to bring their wedding day to life. 

In the beautiful region of Apulia, Italy among centuries-old olive trees and ancient vineyards, Castello Monaci keeps its magical, unaltered charm along with six centuries of history. Castello Monaci is set in the rolling countryside of Salento and reached only by a private road lined with ancient trees and vineyards as far as the eye can see opening up to a castle unlike any other. 

With beautifully characterful light stone walls and natural light streaming into every location, the colour palette of this shoot was chosen to best contrast against the location. With a mixture of lavender and soft lilac shades contrasted against the wash of ultra violet, the Pantone colour of the year, plum and mauves the colours popped against the light wash the castle locations offered. Wanting to recreate the wedding of Elenore and Antonio we used muted gold and brass touches which would have been popular at the time they met. 

The shoot was a combined collaboration of Wedding Planner Claire Clarke of Claire Clarke Weddings and Daniela Ferry of Ferri Photography. The beautiful fine-art yet documentary style Daniela offers showed this styled shoot perfectly and allowed the re-creation of Elenore and Antonio’s wedding day come to life. Also brought into show a different angle to the shoot was Marco Schifa of Marco Schifa Photography who videoed the styling, set up and couple exchanges throughout the day.

Our gorgeously classic Italian model wore a tulle and lace vintage inspired gown called “Lilac Time” from Cambridge based couture bridal and evening wear designer Bowen-Dryden from Woburn Bridal. Although on the surface a very boho style dress, when styled in the castle setting, the dress truly offered the vintage 1920s look we were after. The long embroidered sleeves added a touch of elegance which contrasted well against the low V back and slim fit and flare style. With textures being used more in the coming seasons we wanted to show that this could easily be combined with vintage elegance and the bespoke hand crafted bridal heels created by Mauro Slomp London showed this off perfectly. 

Our model needed very little make up so a dewy complexion was created with soft gold shades and pale pinks by local make-up artist Alessandra Renis. The beautifully elegant up-do by Maria Antonietta Miglietta of Brunetti6 Hair Parlor finished off the look allowing our model’s hair to be brought off her back and the detail of the dress to shine through.

Wanting to give a luxe feel to our groom, our Italian model wore a 2 piece Tuxedo from Suitors, crisp white shirt and black tow tie. 1920s glamour worked well in this luxury castle yet contrasted well against the light stone walls.

What can only be described as the most amazing flowers were supplied by a local florist, Annalori Blasi of Fiori Eventi Puglia. Annalori immediately grasped our vision and colour palette and using a predominantly Ranunculus, Freesia and Bromelia along with local foliage created beautifully relaxed yet luxurious florals for the day. The bouquet was a nod to the continuing oversized, relaxed and undone trend we’re still seeing with the table piece showing a more luxurious and tighter version of this continuing trend.

Kate Cullen provided beautiful silks in our varying colour palette to pull our bouquet and tablescape together. The lilac silks and linens entwined with the cream silks and used against the crisp white tablecloth added another contrast and created the perfect tones against the plum, mauves and Ultra violet florals of the table centrepiece. Wanting to keep the table elegant we used muted gold and brass cutlery and candle holders alongside classic crystal glassware and white china charger plates. Ghost chairs allowed the rich colours used to not get lost especially against the light stone wall backdrop that was used for our tablescape.

Stationery designer Laura E Patrick custom designed a luxe yet rustic suite detailing a hand drawn sketch of our venue inspiration, Castello Monaci. We asked for the stationery to have a used feel as felt the rugged edges added to the historic charm of this story. Tied alongside this stationery were love letters and vintage photos to bring our couple’s story to life and the beautiful diamond engagement ring from St Gyles Jewellers set in the velvet textured box from La Petit Box allows for swoon-worthy images.

The luxe feel of this shoot with soft details all based around the romantic love story will make any reader swoon and fall in love with our concept. Please take a moment to look through our beautiful gallery!


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