Stephi and Martyn flew to Italy last May for their beautiful and intimate ceremony in Venice. Their wedding party consisted of 40 guests who attended the couple’s ceremony at Palazzo Cavalli, the Venice town hall, before heading through the city to the stunning Ca’ Zenobio, a 15th century palace in the Dorsoduro area of Venice, for the reception. Captured by Barbara Zanon and planned by Angel Lion Weddings, their big day was an absolutely beautiful success.

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“Martyn and I met at work; one night I was working late and he walked past my desk and asked if I wanted to leave and go and get a drink, I said yes and that was that! We had an amazing first date and arranged our second for the very next night, we’ve been inseparable ever since. We both love to travel and Martyn asked me to marry him on a surprise trip to Amsterdam.  He hired a boat and we sailed around the canals and when we went under a very pretty bridge I turned around and he was down on one knee with a beautiful diamond ring.


We decided we wanted a small wedding as we wanted it to be a special day just for us without all the hoopla of a huge wedding and so a wedding abroad made perfect sense for us. We had visited Venice for Martyn’s birthday a few months before we got engaged and decided that it was the perfect location for our special day. To us it is the most romantic and unique city in the world, where else do you travel around by boat and have the views of old buildings and beautiful bridges (while eating delicious Italian food!)


We hired a wedding planner to make things easier for us which was a great decision. Amber took care of all of the legal stuff to do with getting married in Italy and also gave us options for photographers, caterers and other vendors which made the process so much easier as we didn’t have to do our own research, we could just pick from her lists! It was really easy to plan the wedding from afar and lovely to go to Venice for the odd planning trip with my Mum.

We had 35 of our closest friends and family at the wedding and everybody came on the Friday evening for a meal the night before the big day and a lunch on the Sunday  so it was really a weekend-long wedding! Because we had such a small number of guests we decided not to have a wedding party with best men and bridesmaids but our closest friends helped us with aspects of the wedding and know how special they are to us without being given titles.


We aren’t religious and didn’t want to follow a lot of the normal traditions. We didn’t wake up separately on our big day, we wanted to spend as much time together as possible! We had a delicious breakfast together and then got ready in separate rooms. We then had all of our portrait photos done before the wedding, travelling around Venice with Barbara, our amazing photographer. It meant we didn’t have to leave our guests later on to go and have photos and we were really calm, relaxed and excited when we got to the town hall for the ceremony.  We wrote our own vows and our friends shed a few tears, it was really meaningful and special for us.

The theme for our wedding was romance and love. We didn’t have a specific colour and I hadn’t even seen the the type of flowers or cake we were having before the wedding. We trusted Amber and our wedding vendors and Martyn had said to me during the planning process, “If we don’t pick every single thing and just go with the flow then it will be a surprise for us too!” It was such a good idea because we didn’t have to plan every minute detail and I was blown away by how beautiful everything looked when we arrived at our venue after the ceremony. I did pick a few things, I loved the see-through chairs we had and think they looked perfect outside at the beautiful long table. We had a cocktail reception in a beautiful palazzo, ate outside with the sun shining in one of the largest gardens in Venice and then partied inside with pizzas turning up late in the evening for the late night revellers.


Stephi: My favourite moment was saying my vows to Martyn and hearing his to me, I had goosebumps. Martyn: My favourite moment was seeing Stephi for the first time , she took my breath away and I couldn’t wait for her to be my wife. Our advice to someone getting married abroad would be, don’t try to plan everything! You can’t be a bridezilla and get married abroad, trust in your planner and the suppliers you choose and then just be  carefree and enjoy it.

Martyn and I are currently still on our honeymoon (nine months after our wedding in May). We love to travel and so what better way than to take a year off to see the world and spend this first year experiencing incredible things together. We have had the most amazing time and even after nine months of spending literally every second together, we never get bored and still act just like honeymooners even though we’re up to country number 30!”

Photographer: Barbara Zanon | Wedding Planner: Angel Lion Weddings & Events | Reception Venue: Ca’ Zenobia | Civil Ceremony: Palazzo Cavalli | Flowers: Fantis Fiori | Hair & Makeup: Letizia Cordella | Catering: Tres Chef | DJ: Roby Palma | Bride & Grooms’s Palace: Residenza Widmann | Bride’s Dress: Justin Alexander | Shoes: Kurt Geiger | Earrings: Stephanie Brown (Alexandra earrings) | Veil: Olivier Laudas | Groom’s Suit: French Connection | Groom’s Bowtie: Saks Fifth Avenue

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