Who doesn’t love a bit of wedding cinema magic? Jennifer and Joe’s heart-felt wedding in Apulia is wonderfully re-lived in this highlights clip by their videographer Angelo La Torre and after moving half way around the world to be with her love, we think it’s best to leave the telling of this love story to the bride herself.

Wedding in Castello Monaci | Jennifer & Joe’s Wedding Film from Angelo La Torre Films on Vimeo.

From Jennifer

“Joe and I have an interesting story. I am from New York and he is from London. It was 26 August 2011 and Joe was in New York for the World Police and Fire Games. He is MET police officer and was boxing at the time for the organisation. It was the evening before Hurricane Irene and my best friend and I decided to go out for drinks in New York City. We went to a hotel bar and it happened to be the same hotel Joe was staying at. His fight was cancelled that night because of the hurricane, so he went to the bar to grab a soft drink and kill time. We spotted each other and my friend got the conversation flowing. We ended up playing a game of pool. He and I were on one team, my best friend and his teammate on another. We lost the game that night, but from that day forward we haven’t gone one day without speaking. We spent Joe’s remaining 10 days in NY together and in November I went to London to visit him. The following month he asked me to move to London and 10 months later I did. The rest, they say, is history.

Our engagement came not so long after we settled in together. There is a large park in walking distance to where we purchased our apartment. It has a lake in the middle of it and Joe suggested we have a picnic and enjoy our new home’s surroundings. We packed sandwiches and spent the afternoon by the lakeside. He proposed to me after lunch and presented me with a dress ring, which was an interim ring until we had one designed. A well-known jeweller who has made jewellery for celebrities including Victoria Beckham made my engagement ring; he’s also made the sapphire heart necklace that was used in the Titanic movie. Celine Dion later purchased the necklace. I’ve had my eye on a three-stone emerald cut engagement ring since I was 16 and our jeweller was able to create it for me!

When Joe and I got back to the apartment, there was a bottle of vintage Moet & Chandon waiting and we toasted to our engagement while we called our parents to tell them the good news.

Because we are from different continents, our wedding was always going to be a destination wedding. We knew Puglia would be the perfect place because it has so much to offer. Great weather for the time of year we got married (April), great food and wine, which was a priority for us, beautiful scenery and not overly touristy or cliché. It was also an area that is gaining popularity as Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel recently wed there and the British Royal Family also vacationed there. Joe and I spent one of our first holidays together there and fell in love with it.

I am Italian and my family is from southern Italy—Calabria. My mom’s side of the family still lives in Italy so by having our wedding there my nonna was able to attend as well as my cousins, aunts and uncles.

Organising a wedding in another country was challenging, but I relied on my family in Italy to help me. Having a clear vision is important and will help you to make timely decisions. Choosing to have reliant and capable people around you is key if you are not using a planner.

We didn’t have a colour scheme or a theme for the wedding. Overall, we wanted the day to be classic and elegant. We wanted a traditional wedding with a modern twist that was going to be an experience, and it was incredibly memorable. So much so, that our guest wrote us thank you cards!

Everything we chose for the wedding was carefully selected. We created custom elements including our save the date, invitations and welcome bags, which included customised water bottled, a customised survival kit (for the hangovers), Italian/English dictionaries and taralli.

Our save the date was designed by a friend who is an art director. They were postcards with images of Puglia, designed in a realistic and modern way.

Our invitations were also custom and designed by me. I searched for a company that could offer a bespoke option and worked with them to achieve premium invitations that left an impression and set the tone for the wedding. They were handmade using high-end paper and gold coloured ink. Gold and cream in colour, the invitations were like miniature booklets that opened to reveal an invite and other information including the RSVP cards and reception cards.

We chose classic flowers with pops of colour reminiscent of spring. They complimented my dress and worked well with the bridesmaids’ dresses, which were all different. Because my bridesmaids lived in different countries, it was impossible to get them in matching dresses. Also, not having uniform bridesmaids is a modern approach.

We also included some local Puglian wedding traditions and our favours were white personalised pumi, which is a very traditional figure in Puglia. We also had food that was characteristic of the region and wine from the venue’s vineyards. I think this is important and makes the day that much more special and authentic. We also included taralli in our welcome bags. Taralli are Pugliese snacks.

The groomsmen wore grey suits, but not identical ones. Joe’s three-piece suit was custom made. So there was some uniformity, we purchased Hugo Boss ties for the groomsmen. Joe wore the same tie.

Our wedding day was quite long so it was important to keep the element of surprise. Wedding highlights included handmade mozzarella, live music and a DJ, personalised bar napkins, personalised seating cards, a cigar and whisky bar, a cocktail bar, dancing shoes (white flip flops for the women at the wedding) and fireworks.
There were so many memorable moments from the day. The most memorable moment for both of us was the first time we saw each other in church and my walk down the aisle.

We didn’t have much time to plan our wedding because once we selected a venue we had just over six months to plan. Our wedding was on 11 April 2015 and we sent invitations after Christmas. We sent our save the dates in October 2014. In hindsight, I would have liked to have more time to plan to alleviate some of the pressure and enjoy the process a bit more.

My parting advice is to be as organised as possible and ask for help. Don’t try to do it all on your own. Your friends and family will be happy to help you and it will make the day go that much smoother. Also, don’t forget to take into consideration shipping costs. Bring a backup pair of shoes. I loved my shoes, but my feet and legs were swollen for two days after the wedding!”

Videographer: Angelo la Torre | Photography@ Zerosettanta | Ceremony Venue: Basilica di Santa Croce | Reception Venue: Castello Monaci | Florist: Donato Chiriatti | Stationary: Imagine Invites | Wedding Dress; Teokath of London | Groomswear: A Suit that Fits | Brides Shoes: Manolo Blahni | Brides Jewellery: Jurgita Etsy | Bridesmaid Jewellery: TheFabWedding2 | Wedding Celebrant: Michele Giannone | Hair Stylist: Mito Parrucchieri | Make Up Artist: AM Truccheria |

One Response

  1. Tracy Allen

    Haven’t heard much about Apulia, Italy, but this article highlights how beautiful it is! great location for a wedding


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