Gemma and James were certain they’d be able to find the perfect spot to marry in Italy after getting engaged on a trip to Sicily and visiting the mainland numerous times. They narrowed their search to the Italian lakes area, enlisted the help of Varese Wedding, and found a beautiful old former convent near Lake Garda to hold their celebration. Convento dell’Annunciata‘s picturesque enclosed garden was just incredibly perfect for their intimate wedding ceremony, as you’ll see, and we have more from Gemma below on planning their destination wedding in Italy.

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“James and I met at work at a recruitment consultancy in Birmingham: I started as a new consultant and was introduced to James through a colleague. James proposed on a trip to Sicily in July last year. We were on a day trip to Mount Etna and it was as we reached the highest point that he got down on one knee and proposed with a beautiful ring which he had chosen himself.


We both love Italy and have spent many of our holidays there: Sorrento, Sicily, Milan, Venice etc so we knew we’d be able to find the perfect place to hold an intimate wedding with close family and friends. At first it was difficult to pin down a precise location in Italy, but since we always wanted to visit the Italian lakes we took the opportunity to spend our wedding and honeymoon there. I got in touch with Varese Wedding who sent over some beautiful venue options to consider. All of our family and friends turned the wedding trip into an extended holiday and took the opportunity to make the most of traveling to beautiful Desenzano and the Italian lakes.


We used Varese Wedding as our planner who I cannot recommend enough- everything on the day was perfect. We sent our invitations out quite early, since it was a destination wedding we wanted to give people as much notice as possible. We sent the official invites eight months before the wedding and had previously also sent a Save the Date. We really wanted a romantic, intimate wedding with just close friends and family so it was important to us to find somewhere traditional and memorable but also understated. Our venue was exactly what we were looking for, very romantic in its own way even without the wedding décor. We chose colors and decor which would compliment rather than distract from the venue: ivory, champagne, pale peach and pinks were used for the flowers and table decorations. We had tea lights surrounding the venue which looked beautiful in the evening. To incorporate local tradition we decided to have Limoncello as a wedding favor.


The main challenge was being so distant from everything and not being able to see things in true form, especially when choosing the location. I truly don’t think we would have been able to organize the day without the help of our wedding planner who helped us find exactly what we wanted from location to flowers, cake and décor.


The best decisions we made were definitely the venue choice and asking Varese Wedding to help us plan our day. If I had to pick a most memorable moment it would be arriving at the venue and walking down the alsie with my dad. The venue looked absolutely stunning, I could see my future husband waiting for me and couldn’t wait to marry him.


If you are planning a destination wedding I can’t stress enough how much help a good wedding palnner can be. From start to finish, Varese Wedding were on hand to advise and assist with our every wish and on the day they were there to ensure that everything ran smoothly- and it did!”

Photography: Infraordinario | Venue: Convento dell’Annunciata | Wedding Planner: Varese Wedding | Florist: Profumo de Fiori | Stationery: Wedding Paper Divas | Cake: Gusto Emozioni | Bride’s Dress: Mori Lee 1901 | Shoes: Rainbow Club | Jewellery: Liberty in Love |Flower Girl Dresses: BHS | Groom’s Suit: Ted Baker | Signage: Etsy | Hair & Makeup: Ilaman | Tableplan: Not on the High Street

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