An Italian Elopement

Imagine the beauty of a styled shoot curated by a team of the most talented wedding suppliers, hosted at a luxurious venue just outside Rome, with no boundaries or brief other than elegance and style.  Imagine that styled shoot was not just a shoot, but a real elopement wedding, a surprise to everyone except the bride & groom themselves?  There’s no need to imagine… when a group of photographers gathered at the end of last year for fine art photography workshop Retreat Rome they had no idea what they were about to witness.

On the first evening of the workshop, after shooting Jacqueline & Trebor’s engagement session, everyone was handed an invite for the next day and big secret was revealed.  Of course, with such a talented team involved, it’s filled with the most swoon-worthy (yes, I did just use that word) peach and aqua details coordinated by Fine & Fleurie; beautiful calligraphy and stationery from Signora e Mare, floral design to-die-for from Bo Boutique, the stunning surrounds of Villa Bertolami and a perfect dress by LWD Couture.

I am so thrilled to share these elegant images from Photography by Bea, who was there to capture this very special celebration…

Jacqueline tells their most romantic story ~

Trebor and I actually have known each other since school.  We didn’t really hang out in the same crowd throughout our middle and high school years. He was very serious about wrestling and I…well…I liked to have fun! To be honest I always said he was a jerk! Go figure… About 4 years later a mutual friend wanted us all to hang out; we ended having an awesome night. He was not the same guy from high school, thank goodness.

The proposal was Trebor’s usual style – it’s always an adventure. He nonchalantly suggested we go to our favourite hiking spot called Max Patch. I was having a really stressful week, so I thought he was just trying to take my mind off things. Never did I suspect a proposal. He even brought along champagne, delicious cheese, raspberries….the works! We walked around for a bit, and then all of a sudden he just gets down on one knee and proposes! Of course my jaw dropped to my knees and it took me a minute to really know what was going on. I just screamed, “YES!”  Then of course we drank lots of champagne, cuddled up, watched the sunset…complete bliss.

Our elopement was part of a photography workshop called Retreat Rome 2013. I am a model here in Asheville, NC so have plenty of friends in the wedding industry.  One of them, Liz White persuaded me I should send in some pictures to a model request… and then I immediately got a response from Jessica, and then she let out the big surprise – she was looking for a couple to come and actually elope in Italy and to be a part of their workshop! I think I was so giddy reading the whole thing that I was squealing and bouncing up and down in my chair. I was in complete disbelief and awe! An elopement in Italy?! Everything taken care of?! What?! What’s funny is that I responded with an immediate YES without even talking to Trebor. I knew that he would totally do this crazy thing, because that’s what we do…we have adventures, we’re spontaneous, and we love to travel! Better yet, he did not have to see me become a crazy, wedding obsessed planning bride-zilla. Everybody wins!

I was never one of those girls that knew exactly what type of cake and dress I wanted to have on my wedding day…I just knew I wanted it. More importantly I dreamed about the man I was going to marry, not the wedding. All of the vendors involved made our wedding day absolute perfection. The flowers by Amy Bowley of Bo-Boutique were some of the most beautiful arrangements I had ever seen! My favourite part was the venue. I had no idea where I was going to get married at in Rome until that day when we were driving there. I knew it was a Villa, but I had no idea what to expect. Villa Bertolami was an absolute dream! From the rustic fire place, the amazing art, the beautiful wood panelling…it was everything you would think a villa in Italy would be. Every sense of mine was filled with it’s historical beauty! Trebor and I just walked around with our jaws dropped and then would just look at each other and laugh!

Of course our favourite part was saying our vows (we heard nothing but sniffles behind us!)….but afterwards was divine! Our “reception” started with the most delectable champagne and hors d’oeuvres  by the most amazing catering company, Natalizi. We sat around the fire place with everyone which had now felt like family even though we only met all the attendees of the workshop the day before. We drank, we laughed, nothing felt out of place or unnatural. Poor Trebor was the only male there! He handled himself well!  At dinner we sat around the absolute most beautiful table ever! And the meal? Delicious doesn’t even cover it. The best night of our life hands down. We met some amazing women that will always hold a special place in our hearts. We are so thankful for the amazing experience and adventure.

The best thing you can do is be true to yourselves as a couple. I feel as though many couples have a lot of pressure on them when it comes to planning their big day. I always want to ask, “Who are you planning it for?” The answer should always be you…not anyone else. Forget about what Aunt Joan wants or where your mother is going to sit. Geez! Relax and do what you want to do. That is why Trebor and I eloped without a second thought. We stayed true to ourselves. What better way to start out our lives together but with an amazing adventure it Italy! Life is too short not to have fun and do what makes you truly happy.


After a decade-long career in corporate interior design, I took a giant leap of faith, left the security of an office job, and founded B.LOVED in 2011 as a platform for romantic and beautiful wedding inspiration. Thanks to a whole lot of creativity, hard work and passion, my gamble paid off and B.LOVED became one of the leading wedding blogs in the UK.

I'm also a co-founder at The Brand Studio, where I design and curate beautiful photoshoots for wedding and lifestyle brands, as well as running wedding industry community the B.LOVED Hive where I support and nurture wedding pros building industry leading businesses. Yep, I definitely have the best job in the world.

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This just made me get all teary!

Thanks for featuring this Louise, and for sharing Bea’s stunning photography and Jacqueline’s brilliant words!
To be a part of Retreat Gatherings in Rome was one thing, but to be a part of this incredible time in Jacqueline & Trebor’s lives, is something completely unfathomable.

Hope everyone loves the flowers as much as I loved creating them! ;)


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Ridiculously beautiful and seriously romantic… *sigh* Oh and the colours are divine, from the pale blushes to the deep hues of the surroundings! Love this x