Welcome to the super stylish wedding of Giulia & Wayne

This wedding which took place at one of our favourite wedding venues, Calke Abbey blew our socks off. This venue is truly a blank canvas for you to let your imagination run wild and Giulia and Wayne did just that – their creativity and eye for style is clear for all to see. A pure delight of a wedding. Here’s the super stylish bride Giulia to tell us more;


The Need to Know
The Riding School at Calke Abbey
Ticknall, Derbyshire
Cicily Bridal
Not Known
Rebecca Goddard Photography

"I knew exactly what I wanted as soon as I got engaged"

“I knew exactly what I wanted as soon as I got engaged, I had been putting together a secret wedding board on Pinterest for months, collecting many ideas of my dream wedding. I wanted the whole day to commence in a rustic surrounding, an old barn, with lots of lights to create the perfect romantic setting! After hours of trawling the Internet and visits made to various venues trying to find the perfect place that was completely unique, I nearly gave up as I couldn’t find anywhere quite ‘rustic’ enough.

I was then told about Calke Abbey, which even though was close to home, I had never heard of and it never came up in any of my searches. My fiancé and I decided to visit on their Wedding open day and as soon as we walked in we knew we had found our venue. The Riding School is adjacent to the old stables that are part of the Calke Abbey estate; a grade 2 listed building with exposed brick work, a blank canvas that you can completely make your own, creating the perfect rustic feel we were after! I loved the fact that it was bare, that it had nothing in it, no minor detail putting me off like other venues had and the grounds; well they are absolutely stunning. We fell in love instantly!

I wanted to create a stylish wedding, beautiful to look at and a little different to the norm. I felt it was really important to add our personality to the day with little touches, such as reading our own vows, which were humorous but loving, and also threading an Anglo Italian theme throughout the day to reflect our heritage. This theme inspired the food, the bridesmaids arrived in fiat 500s and we even danced the Tarantella, a traditional dance from the south of Italy where my family are from. Most importantly we wanted our wedding to be fun. I have been to weddings that have had little atmosphere and I wanted the complete opposite to that. We chose to have two bands on the day; a low key acoustic duet (KaBen) for when guests were arriving, continuing into our drinks reception and then an evening band (Marc and Abi) that really got the party going. We wanted EVERYONE dancing. Live music was really important to us.

"For me, choosing a dress was very daunting ..."

The little touches took a lot of planning, I am a perfectionist and tend to dither and change my mind a lot over detail, taking forever to make a final decision. My advice to brides would be to not rush on this and take your time. Through wedding events, Pinterest and Instagram I got many ideas and really fell in love with modern calligraphy. I found someone for the right price via Etsy (Elerihafdesigns) and I would highly recommend her.

For my favours, one of my closest friends runs her own soy candle company, Evermore and her scents are to die for. It was a no brainer asking her to make our favours which were custom made, bespoke for our day. These went down a treat with all of our guests!

For my colour scheme I chose to use nude tones but with a contrasting deep dark aubergine which worked really well, also a little different. I chose to link this with gold and light grey, although I had about 50 shades of grey which wasn’t intentional but worked really well in the end. I had a lot of green foliage too, just because I love it so much and think it looks so beautiful. My florist Justine from did such an amazing job, she listened to what I wanted and executed everything perfectly, I was so happy with everything she did for the day.

Wayne, my now husband, was going to wear a navy blue suit with a burgundy tie to link in with the colour scheme, but turned around to me one day and said, “do you know what, I’m going to get a burgundy suit!”. I had my doubts at first, but I trusted him and it paid off. He looked incredible and the tailor really admired his admiration to be bold and do something a bit different from every other groom!

For me, choosing a dress was very daunting. I never wear dresses and being petite, not even 5ft, I didn’t want to feel overwhelmed by a dress; I really didn’t know where to start. I would have worn a jumpsuit if I could! I wanted something simple but elegant. I found a few designers online but they were all international and the logistics of getting the dress to the UK and having to return it if necessary was just sounding way too complicated. So I was really stuck. I eventually came across this beautiful store in Ashby called Cicily Bridal and spotted a dress in the window, I booked an appointment straight away and fell in love with the Charlie Brear collection. As soon as I put on the Sada dress I knew it was ‘the one’ different to what I had in mind but perfect for me in every way. I chose to where this with a long lace trim veil by hmveils, that paired with my flower crown was my outfit sorted!

My day was everything I could have wished for and more.”


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