Abbazia San Pietro, Valle, ITALY


Nestled in the Italian mountains is Abbazia San Pietro in Valle, an eleventh-century abbey with panoramic views overlooking the Neva River. It was the magnificent venue that Makada and Ken travelled thousands of miles to get wed.

It was quite an international union. Makada was born in Trinidad before living in the UK and then growing up in Canada. She met Estonian Ken when travelling all around the world on various expeditions. Now Australia is where they temporarily call home before they make their permanent move back to Canada.


On their jaunts around the world, the couple has made friends with people in various different places and it was so lovely to see lots of their friends make the effort to join them for their wedding day. 


So how did I end up travelling from Durham to Italy to film a wedding for a Canadian and Estonian? Back in March, Makada saw one of my films online and reached out to me to ask if I’d be interested in joining them. I couldn’t turn down this opportunity to visit Italy for the first time and shoot another destination wedding.


I researched the venue which looks absolutely stunning however it is only when you get there you realise the photographs do not do it justice. Makada had just booked her photographer, Stu Tucker, when we started speaking. I always like to speak to the photographers before a wedding as essentially we are a team and need to work together in order for the couple to enjoy their day hassle-free. Since we got put in touch Stu and I have probably chatted every day on WhatsApp and friendship has formed that will extend past the wedding.

Often people think that destinations are all glamorous as you jet around the world to some amazing countries and locations however they are a lot of hard work as you spend more time working than a typical wedding at home. For this particular wedding, it was one and a half days travelling to get there and a full day on the return as I travelled to Manchester and then took a flight to Frankfurt before the final one to Rome. It was then a two-hour car ride to get to the venue and then the same journey back to the UK.


We arrived at the abbey just when it was getting dark which in Umbria is just before 5 pm so we couldn’t really see the venue in the light. On arrival, we were welcomed by Makada and Ken and their guests were arriving. 


For destination weddings, we like to immerse ourselves in the whole story of the wedding and the culture of the location. The location plays a huge role in a destination wedding film as I try to incorporate it in the films as much as possible as after all couples travel from around the world to get married in such grand places.





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