The offbeat bride: Fiona, music librarian

Her offbeat partner: Rob, secretary (soon to be masters student)

Location & date of wedding: Rome, Italy, at the Campidoglio — May 5, 2010

What made our wedding offbeat: Our wedding took place towards the end of a six week holiday to Europe. We were already planning the trip when we decided to incorporate our wedding into it. My husband is half Italian and lived there for a while, which influenced our decision to get married in Italy.


Our whole holiday was a ‘Grand Tour' of sorts, and our wedding, accordingly, reflected our shared love of history, art, design and architecture – with a lavish helping of 1920s decadence!

The specific location at the Campidoglio was chosen because of the spectacular ‘Red Room' at the Campidoglio (which is basically a Roman registry office – it beats our local Sydney Births, Deaths and Marriages offices hands down!). The historical significance of the location won us over as well. The beautiful piazza was designed by Michaelangelo, overlooking the ancient Roman Forum.

We wanted a small, no-frills wedding, and despite the grand location, that's exactly what we had! No bonbonieres or coordinated name placards, just a basic civil ceremony with only our immediate families present. Fortunately they could all afford to come at that particular time!

Tell us about your ceremony: A basic no frills Italian civil wedding ceremony, which outlines the articles of law relevant to marriage. We had an English translator as I don't speak Italian. Later that evening, we had dinner on the rooftop terrace at the Mirabelle restaurant (at the Hotel Splendide), which was delightfully fancy and gobsmackingly beautiful. I couldn't believe just how perfect it was!

Our biggest challenge: Apart from the bureaucratical obstacle course which we had to negotiate in order to get married abroad, it was sometimes hard for us to remain firm and true to what we wanted and thought the day should be like. I uttered the phrase ‘we should have just eloped' many times, when family tensions and pressure to do things in particular ways escalated, and it looked as though our attempts to keep the wedding low-key and simple were being derailed. In the end though, it was great having our close family there, and their input enhanced the day in a positive way (phew).

Love the red hat!

Next challenge: Rob is taking my name, which is shaping up to be an interesting journey.

My funniest moment: Turning around after the final kiss and being met with a crowd of tourists snapping pictures, one of whom gave me the thumbs up. Awesome! I'm glad he approved.

My advice for offbeat brides: Try to make others feel included in the planning if that's what they want. Sometimes it's better to (partially!) relinquish control of one or two less important aspects, than to risk creating/exacerbating tensions that could end up bringing you down.

Always retain your sense of humour. Do remember that, essentially, it's all about you (and your offbeat groom, of course… but mainly you. Just Kidding.)

Care to share a few vendor/shopping links?

Enough talk — show me the wedding porn!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Comments on Fiona & Rob’s Brideshead Revisited meets Roman Holiday wedding

  1. The first picture of them in front of the huge statue just made my day. Seriously.

  2. I’ve loved the book Brideshead Revisisted ever since I had to read it for AP English in high school, and this wedding beautifully reflects the style and elegance of Waugh’s masterpiece. Congratulations to you both!

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