How it all began
<p>James and Dominique were first introduced to each other by friends at a party, where they instantly hit it off. "Our friends said it was like watching a lightning bolt hit when we first met," Dominique explains. "They are now all strong believers in love at first sight." <br /><br />Seven years later, James proposed to Dominique on London's South Bank, where they'd had their first date. </p>
<p>Tuscany was the big day destination, chosen for its laid back vibes and excellent cuisine.<strong> "</strong>We always wanted to get married abroad," says Dominique. "We loved the idea of spending a couple of days with our friends and families - when do you ever get the chance to do this?"<br /><br />The couple enlisted planner Pia of <a href="http://www.oliveinlove.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Olive in Love</a> to make their Italian wedding dreams come true. "She was amazing!" says Dominique. "It’s a very small family-run company, which meant the service was personal and bespoke."</p>
After a small civil ceremony in Bath, the couple headed to the <a href="http://www.castellodibibbione.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Castello di Bibbione</a> in Tuscany for a symbolic service with friends and family, held in the Castle's olive garden.<br /><br /> <p>"We totally fell in love with Castello di Bibbione from the moment we saw it on our first trip to Italy in January, even in the pouring rain," says Dominique. "Our wedding planner had put together a two-day schedule to view eight venues. We knew we wanted somewhere where the view symbolised ‘Tuscan countryside’ but we also wanted it to be relatively easily accessible from Florence for our guests. It had the most beautiful terrace with a gorgeous view of rolling hills. We also loved the idea of staying on site (in the little farmhouses) with some of our friends and family." <br /><br /><strong>Planning | <a href="http://www.oliveinlove.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Olive in Love</a></strong></p>
Raising a glass!
James' groomsmen sent him down the aisle in style with a champagne toast - and they were a sharp-looking group, too. The matching blue waistcoats pink and blue spotted ties were from <a href="http://www.tmlewin.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">T.M.Lewin</a>.
The groom's outfit
James wore a grey suit from <a href="https://www.reiss.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Reiss</a>, with light blue tie from <a href="http://www.tmlewin.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">T.M.Lewin</a>.
<p>Dominique worked with designer <a href="http://stewartparvin.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Stewart Parvin</a> to create her dress, which was a combination of two different styles.</p>
...and the details
The lucky bride was able to rely on her family for the accessories - her father, a jeweller, provided the bling, and the veil was borrowed from her sister.
<p>Flowing, full-length gowns from <a href="http://www.houseoffraser.co.uk" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">House of Fraser</a> were chosen for Dominique's sisters, while her niece - and flower girl - wore a white dress with lace top from <a href="http://stewartparvin.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Stewart Parvin</a>, to match the bride's dress. </p>
<p>The couple said "I do" under a gorgeous hand-made flower arch in the venue's olive garden. <br /><br />"We chose to write our own vows, which was something we both enjoying doing as an activity one evening," Dominique tells us. "We got to talk about the promises we were making to one another and the commitments we wanted to bring to our marriage."</p>
Seasonal flowers in white, soft pink and green were chosen to reflect the rustic, natural surroundings of Tuscany and its countryside.
Starting to celebrate
Dominique tells us they opted for a traditional Italian reception after the ceremony. What does that mean exactly? "A two hour aperitivo with lots of food and prosecco!"
Flowers and olive sprigs adorned the tables that were set out in the courtyard of the Castello.
An Italian feast
<p>Dominique and James both come from foodie families, so getting the menu right was high on the list of priorities. For dinner, they served ravioli, risotto, guinea fowl and dessert - well-fed guests can dance for longer, after all!</p>
<p>"We wanted fresh, local and authentic ingredients," Dominique says. "So we were over the moon when we found a small catering company - <a href="http://www.ostegentiluomo.it" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">L’Oste Gentiluomo</a> - that did exactly that!"</p>
The first dance
Dominique and James were first to hit the dance floor, with Kodaline's <em>The One </em>playing. "We love the words and the song just symbolises us as a couple," Dominique says.
Dancing the night away
Guests partied with the newly-wed couple until 2am, before catching coaches back to their lodgings. "Luckily, we were staying in the castle grounds so only had a short walk to crash into bed after the best day of our lives," Dominique says.<br /><br />Photographs by <a href="http://www.jules-photographer.com" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">Jules Bower</a>