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A romantic stately home wedding in Sicily

Written by Katie Byrne, published 7th april

Francesca and Marco didn't let rain put a dampener on their Italian celebration...



Francesca Vitale, 29, and Marco Polistena, 32, who are setting up a business in Firenze together, said ‘I do’ at Chiesa di San Giovanni Battista, in Ortigia, followed by a reception at Commenda di San Calogero in Catania, Italy.

Budget: £25,000

Floral budget: £3,000

Marco and I met 10 years ago on holiday in Tropea in the South of Italy. This was one of the reasons why we wanted an outdoor ceremony with hippy-chic style and a dreamy allure.

We wanted to keep things simple and intimate; an effortless outdoors wedding that was elegant and romantic, so we played with the lights and had an abundance of hanging flowers to create the perfect dreamy atmosphere.

Our venue was Commenda di San Calogero, a gorgeous Sicilian country house. We loved the cohesion of rustic Sicilian charm with a hint of luxury.

We also loved being outdoors surrounded by lush gardens and beautiful landscapes, as well as the Mediterranean colours and the white stone of the century-old architecture.

I believe that flowers add beauty to everyday life and are important in any occasion, especially a wedding! They add a touch of colour, perfume the air and create ambience.

My favourite blooms are ranunculus and English roses and we used them for my bouquet and the centrepieces. We used pink and white flowers and green hedges to line the aisle.

It rained non-stop on the actual day itself – and the church didn’t have a rooftop! We bought 60 white umbrellas for our guests, although when I entered the church, thankfully the sun started to shine. It was a magical moment.

Italian wedding ideas

Italian wedding

One of our favourite moments from the whole day was dancing to the sound of the Babil On Suite (a Sicilian band) with all of our family and friends.

Also, Marco’s grandmother sang a folk song which she dedicated to us, which was filled with so much love.

We bought our favours in Caltagirone, a Sicilian city famous for its ceramic products. We went for colourful and traditional Sicilian pots, also known as Moor Heads. We had them personalised with watercolour stripes in the colours of our stationery and then we added succulents to the pots.

My tip for brides-to-be: Follow your imagination, go your own way and enjoy every single moment!

Steal their style!

PHOTOGRAPHY: Giuseppe Marano FLORIST: Francesca e Davide Giardinaro VENUE: Commenda di San Calogero PLANNER: Rossella D’Agata at Diverso Event Design DRESS: Laure de Sagazan HEADPIECE: Cecile Boccara GROOMSWEAR: Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss CAKE: Squiseating MUSIC: Babil On Suite FAVOURS: Andrea Branciforti


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Tissues at the ready, people...