Jennie and Francesco, from Sweden and Italy respectively, met and fell in love in Bali where they currently live. The couple’s dream was to get married at Francesco’s childhood home: a farmhouse in Prima Porta near Rome. Planned by the team at Rome on Demand, their ceremony took place at sundown in a wheat field beside the house, with a typical Italian apertivo and dinner to follow.

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HOW THEY MET

“We first met 2008 in Bali during a surf competition in Ulu Watu. Francesco spotted me on the beach and for him it was love at first sight. At this time I was living in Bali, while Francesco used to visit the island a few months a year on holiday. The following year we accidentally ended up on an unplanned date when all our other friends cancelled the dinner. Before going home that evening, I promised that IF I ever visited Francesco in Rome, I would never put ketchup on my pasta (I never dreamt that five years later we’d be married…!) It would take another year for Francesco to win my heart, but when we finally became a couple we were inseparable. Francesco proposed in Sayan, Bali on our three year anniversary during a romantic stay at a resort next to a river in the jungle. Today we spend our time between Indonesia and Italy and I’m still trying to hold on to my promise of not putting any ketchup on my pasta!

DECIDING ON THE DESTINATION

We got married in the wheat field surrounding Francesco’s family home right outside Rome- it was always what we had in mind. The country house was simply the perfect place for a wedding with its beautiful hilltop location surrounded by fields. Also marrying at home means that every time we visit Italy we are spending time at our wedding venue, which brings back beautiful memories.

PLANNING

We used Rome on Demand as our wedding planner which was a great decision. Your wedding day is such an important day of your life and you don’t want to waste it stressing to make sure everything is perfect, so it was great having a planner to overlook it all. Rome on Demand also helped us with some necessary paperwork we could not take care of ourselves, living overseas as we do.

CHALLENGES

We decided to sign our legal papers the day before the ceremony at Campidoglio in central Rome. However a massive anti-government demonstration took place that day and the normally beautiful, historical building was covered with banners and rioting crowds. As Jennie is politically active we thought it was pretty hilarious at first but things turned a little stressful when some of the relatives could not make it through the crowd in time before the doors were closed.

Another challenge was the fact that Jennie does not speak Italian and in Rome you pretty much need to be fluent in Italian to be able to deal with any wedding matters. Luckily we had our wedding planner Monica that worked as a perfect intermediate and that also helped us translate important documents from Italian to English. The language was definitely a challenge but at the same time pretty funny!

STYLE/THEME

We went for a vintage country themed wedding. We tried to use what we already had available around the house as much as we could and got great help from family, friends and Rome on Demand. We wanted to make it personal, romantic and laid back with a rustic and simple look. The table floral arrangments were entirely hand made using fresh lavander, leaves and Gypsophila flowers arranged in jam jars. We had tablecloths from Australia, dresses and suits made in Bali, vintage plates collected from all over the place and a cocktail area put up in a forest- it was a great mix!

MOST MEMORABLE

To get married in the backyard of Francesco’s family home was just amazingly wonderful. The most memorable moment was definitely standing in a field surrounded by our family and friends for our ceremony. Jennie’s brother is a fantastic musician and was playing guitar while we walked up the altar. Reading our story and vows we were both laughing and crying, it was such an emotional moment.

ADVICE

The only regret is that we did not write a list of what photos we wanted to be taken on the day so we missed some important family ones. You think you will remember it all but when the day comes it all becomes rather blurry! The best advice we can give is to not take everything too seriously. The day is about having fun and all those small details you think matter so much when you are planning do not really matter in the end. Make sure you get to spend time with each other on the day of the ceremony and have time to take it all in- it will all be over so fast! Also, remember it is your wedding and don’t let anyone else tell you how things should be. For example people told us we were crazy having a massive bridal party (of 20 people) but as we have so many close friends from all over the world we didn’t want to leave anyone out. It ended up being a great decision; having a big bridal party asked for some extra planning but we would not have wanted it any other way!”

Wedding Planner: Rome on Demand | Photographer: Oliver Astrologo, Guido Caltabiano, Lorenzo Lofino & Valeria from Rome on Demand | Cermony & Reception Venue: Groom’s Childhood Home | Wedding Celebrant: Pierpaolo Pighini | Videographer: Lorenzo Marzocca | Florist: Nina e i Fiori | Catering & Cake: Caltabiano Catering | Stationery: DIY | Wedding Dress: Designed by Bride; Made by Hester Slaman | Bridesmaid Dresses: Faithfull The Brand | Groom’s Suit: Giorgio Taylor & Valentine Equine | Hair & Makeup: Julia Larsen and Lori Crump | Décor Rentals: Rome on Demand | Lace Table Runners: Marrighi Wedding & Event Décor | DJ: Surf Disco | Sound System Hire: Tiberio Samoila | Guitarist: Viktor Lindblom

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