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A Three Day Wedding in a Medieval Garden in Italy

There was a welcome dinner served in the Medieval garden of the Castle with an outstanding sunset as a background!


Couple: Julie-Anne Griffen and Stephen Macken

Wedding date: 22nd August 2019

N° guests: approx. 100

Venue: Castello di Montignano

Photo and video: Alessandro Mari



Love Story:

“Stephen and I met in Dubai 3.5 years before we tied the knot.

I moved to Dubai in 2012 to join Emirates Airline as cabin crew. In 2016 Stephen moved to Dubai with an international company and we met when he was still new to the city. From day one we knew it was meant to be – we were stuck like glue.

After 3 more years of flying (6 in total) I left Emirates for a more conventional job. Luckily, my last ever flight was to Dublin. When I arrived back from that overnight flight I fell asleep and woke up ready to celebrate the end of an era.

We were going to Nobu for dinner to mark the occasion and we toasted to the next chapter.

When we came back to our apartment after dinner, we walked inside I was so confused – I thought someone had broken in. My instinct was to call Parker our dog and check she was ok. For some reason I couldn’t understand why she was locked in the kitchen….. then I saw there were candles lit everywhere and a trail of rose petals to the living room. Still not entirely sure what was happening,  I continued calling Parker. Stephen walked over to the kitchen and let her out. She ran over to me and there was something tied around her neck.

I said this to Stephen and when I turned around he was on one knee and said “will you marry me”. Parker was very relieved to get rid of the ring box around her neck!! Between lots of tears I said YES!

Little did I know, earlier that day while I was sleeping after my flight, Stephen brought Parker to the dog groomer (Paul) who was walking Parker while we were at dinner and dropping her home – he played a blinder in keeping a Parker calm with all of the strangers in the house. He also managed to get her not to eat yet another ring box (she ate many others – thankfully with no ring inside!)

Our friends snuck into our apartment and lit candles and scattered rose petals and filled our fridge to the brim with champagne! They were around the corner in the hallway when we entered the apartment and had a great laugh at my lack of understanding at what was going on!

That was in August 2018 and we tied the know in CDM in August 2019!

……and lived happily ever after (or at least the past 6 months )

Some people thought we were crazy to have a destination wedding when we already lived abroad, but travel has always been a passion for both of us, and we have both always loved Italy and could not think of a more beautiful place to say I do, and meeting you and Giuseppe solidified our decision even more so.”



Took place over 3 days.

There was a welcome dinner served in the Medieval garden of the Castle with an outstanding sunset as a background!

Lovely food, drinks and excitement for the day after.

On the wedding day, Julie Ann got ready in her private area, the Fireplace hall of the Castle, with her Bridesmaids and lovely Italian Prosecco to celebrate!

Stephen instead got ready in his private area on the fourth floor of the Castle with his Best Man and Groomsmen.


The ceremony took place in the Castle’s chapel with beautiful flower decorations and the entrance of the Bridal Party was superb!

After the ceremony, drinks and delicious starters were served by the pool.



The wedding reception was set outdoors in the Park area of the Castle in a perfect “alfresco style” with a breathtaking view in the Umbrian hills and romantic lights setting on top of the tables!

During the dinner, emotional speeches and then cutting of the Cake!



All the guests held sparklers to create a magical moment for Julie Anne and Stephen.

All the guests then moved in the Pavillon for the first dance and a never end party!

On day 3, we hosted a Pizza Party in the Pavillon. Lots of delicious Italian Pizza and the day was accompanied by a DJ-set and Sax!





Location & Catering: Castello di Montignano | Wedding Planning: Castello di Montignano – Beatrice Fuso | Flowers and Decorations: Castello di Montignano – Mariana Flower Stylist | Band & DJ set: Event Music Planner – Gabriel Canelles | Photo and Video: Alessandro Mari | Rings were custom made by a guy called Ron in Cara Jewellers in Dubai. | Hair and Make Up artist: Giulia Cresci | Bride dress is by “Studio San Patrick” | Groom’s suit was custom made in Dubai by a tailoring shop called Parmar.

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Kelly Jane Hartmann

Kelly is a former wedding planner and a lover of anything pink. She believes that any bride can plan her own wedding, with a few tips and helpful tools.

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