As my own Rome wedding plans were the inspiration for me to launch Fly Away Bride I thought it would be a good idea to fill you in on our plans, where we’ve come from and where we’re at now…

Rome Wedding

Myself an Alan met when I was 17 and he was 18! I know so young, and we’ve been together ever since. We were engaged in August 2008 after 10 years together and now our wedding is almost here, July 15th. We had planned from the very beginning to marry in Italy, we travelled around Italy one summer, inter-railing, when I was still in college and we both fell in love with the culture, the food and the people. We have been back a few times since and have loved every trip we’ve made. That summer we were in Italy is one I’ll always remember, it really was amazing.

So the big question was where in Italy? We looked at Tuscany, Sicily, the Amalfi Coast and of course Rome. In the end we settled on Rome, for it’s unique character, amazing sites, ease of travel and well because we both just love Rome. I have always loved city weddings too.

Our next big decision was the guest list, were we going to have a very intimate wedding and maybe have a party on our return, a very large wedding or settle somewhere in the middle. Initially we decided on a very small wedding with only immediate family and a big party on our return home from our honeymoon, however our plans changed, as they do!

We travelled to Rome in September 2010 to plan our wedding, to meet our photographer, Bella Lunardi, for our engagement shoot and to celebrate my 30th birthday. When we arrived home we had made the decision to invite some more close friends and family, having a slightly larger wedding in Rome and no party on our return to Ireland. Our trip to Rome was great, busy, hectic and exciting! We visited many hotels and restaurants looking for the right venue for our reception, after much discussion we were down to two Casina Valadier or De La Ville, and in the end Casina Valdier won out, our dream venue. Casina Valadier are helping us to organise flowers and decor for the reception and also music during and after the wedding meal.

We had picked out the Church before traveling to Rome and we were delighted with our choice, St. Isidore’s. It is located in an Irish Franciscan Monastery and has beautiful gardens and a gated driveway so it’s very private. Our priest Fr. Louis Brennan and Aida were so helpful and kind to us when we visited. Aida has been amazing and is helping us to organised flowers for the church, bouquets, the wedding car, church music and she also recommended Hotel Albergo Ottocento as accommodation for us and our guests.

I also have my wedding dress. I had been looking at it on the designers website, my mother called it, when she saw it she instantly knew it would be the one. It isn’t exactly what I had in my head, it’s so much nicer, but it does have the vintage Hollywood glamour feel to it that I have been so drawn to. I’ll let you all in on a little secret, it is a Jenny Packham gown, but I will reveal no more. Alan has said he wants it to be a total surprise when I’m walking up the isle. We also have the bridesmaids dresses and flower girl dress, which are all from Monsoon, you’ll have to wait from the wedding photos to see what they’re like.

We posted out our wedding invitations before Christmas, I designed the bespoke wedding stationery suite inspired by the romance and elegance of 1900’s to 19020’s style, Art Nouveau. The design features curved forms flowing from a stylised butterfly…

We chose to send our guests a flat invitation, a wedding booklet and and RSVP card. We wanted to provide our guests with all the information they would need to book their flights, accommodation and to plan their trip to Rome. We included in the wedding booklet a map of Rome, information about our favourite sights, restaurants, cafes and bars. We wanted to share our love for Rome with our guests giving them a sense of why we chose Rome as our wedding destination.

I went searching for a stamp that would compliment our stationery suite, the An Post Wedding Stamp or 2010 just didn’t suit at all, so I looked through their website and came across their Stamp Issues section. As soon as I saw the Czeslaw Slania stamp I knew it was perfect. The stamp depicts a scene from the ballet Romeo and Juliet, how fitting, and the colours of the etching were perfect!

It really is true once you’ve sent out your wedding invitations, everything does become very real, and very exciting! We’ve been receiving lots of RSVP’s this week and it’s looking like we’ll have between 50 and 60 guests traveling to Rome.

So whats next… at the moment I’m organising the paperwork, civil and religious. I’ve also been looking into our honeymoon, we plan to travel down the south of Italy, hopefully we’ll be booking it this week, we have our flights booked to Rome and returning from Sicily. We have to confirm our flower, menu and music choices. We have to organise the groomsmen suits. I have to design and print the reception stationery and I’m sure there is loads more I’m forgetting, but we’re getting there!

Wow, writing it all down has made me realise just how much we’ve done and how much more we have to do!

So to keep you up to date with our plans I’ll be posting some updates on my progress.

If you have any questions about our suppliers please don’t hesitate to contact me at

9 Responses

  1. Marie

    Hi Pam
    Love the site – well done! I was actually at a wedding in Casina Valadier last year. it was AMAZING, the food was unbelievable, the staff were great and the view was just beautiful. You and Alan are in good hands : ).

  2. flyawaybride

    Thanks Marie, great to hear feedback from someone who’s been there for a wedding, there doesn’t seem to be allot of feedback out there. We feel in love as soon as we saw Casina, can’t wait only 5 months to go now. How time flies!
    How are you? Would love to meet up, was emailing Tanya recently, would be great to meet up with you both in town some day?

  3. Marie

    Glad to be of service. It really is fab. Colm and I still talk about the food there!
    I’d love to meet up, let me know when you are in town and we’ll organise ourselves : )

  4. Isabella

    How was the Casina Valadier as a venue? Good food? How late does it stay open? Do they let you play music until late? And… how many guests can you have?
    Thanks for any advice

    • flyawaybride

      Hi Isabella, I’m so sorry for not getting back to you earlier.
      Casina Valadier was amazing, I cannot recommend it enough as a reception venue. I’ll have my wedding up soon I promise! We arrived to canapes, prosecco, juices and wine in the gardens, our own private area at about 6.00pm, we then went inside at aboyt 7.00pm, the first floor large room with beautiful frescos which e had exclusively for the night for our four course meal. The meal was delicious! Really delicious! We chose to have a music system for ipod playlist we brought ourselves, but they can arrange live music and DJ also if requested, but you have to organise music through the venue. As with allot of Rome venues music must stop at 12.30. This was not a problem as cocktails were flying at this stage and we were mostly sitting on the balcony. We arranged to leave the venue at 1.30 and organised to go to Gregory’s Jazz club for live music, this was a special arrangement with them, they were so accommodating. We were there until the early hours of the morning. We had an absolutely amazing day and our guests were astounded by the venue and it’s location, the jazz club went down a treat too.
      We had 46 guests in total, for exclusive use of the 1st floor Impero Room as far as I can remember you must have at least 40 guests and can have up to 150 guests.
      If you have any further question at all please don’t hesitate to comment or email, I would be delighted to help.
      Best wishes with all your wedding plans.
      Pamela x

  5. Maria

    Hi Pam,

    I just came across your blog, I wonder if you’re still checking this thread? I am having my wedding at Casina Valadier this august so it is great to see some good reviews! There are a few things I’m still trying to decide about, maybe you could help? We are planning to arrive at about 6pm for drinks, then dinner at 8. We also plan on doing our own ipod playlist but I hadn’t realised that the music needed to stop at 12.30. We were going to pay for the bar extension until 2.30 but maybe moving to somewhere like Gregory’s is a better idea.. do you mind me asking was there a fee for this? I thought about providing food again later on in the night (as you tend to get at Irish weddings) but did you feel this was necessary at yours? Again like you we have hired out the Impero room (there will be about 70 people in the end.. much more that originally planned!) but I had an idea that moving to the bar/garden after dinner might be nicer than staying in the room. Again any thoughts on this? Finally did you find them straight forward to deal with regarding costs ext, ie were there many hidden extras?
    Thanks a mill in advance!

  6. veronica

    Hi! I came across this blog and was wondering if you had a list of photographers or wedding makeup artist you researched or used for your day! thanks!


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