Our wedding in Lake Como

wedding ring cushion

Over the years I have been to plenty of weddings, and have pretty much covered everything from being a bridesmaid 5 times, to a best man, florist, gift list person, hen weekend rep and of course the ribbon person…called in to do cars and pews.  This time I was going to be a bride.

 

Italian wedding prosecco

Normally I don’t shout out too much about my personal life, but I’ve had endless requests for an insight in to the wedding, and many of you have asked what ribbon did I use, to what dress did I wear, what flowers, food and colours and who is the new husband?

Italian wedding canapes

 

We do have a pretty unique story. I was working for Dior in Milan and met David in Malpensa airport after he threw his passport at me to keep his place in the queue, when our flight was cancelled because of snow a few years ago. Several months later we got together and met for a coffee and the rest is history.

Jane Means and husband David

To be honest getting married has never really bothered me, it’s more about being with the right person.  We got engaged en route to India and had a week to talk about our wedding plans  We wanted a total mixture of mountains, water, something cosmopolitan yet informal, special details and very intimate with only our close circle of friends and immediate family.

lake como wedding

As we met in Milan, we decided to marry there, and chose the stunning Villa del Balbianello in Lake Como as our venue (The James Bond film ‘Casino Royale’ was filmed here as well as other films).

villa del balbianello wedding

With busy careers and only 6 months to plan our wedding we enlisted the help of Lake Como Wedding planner Rachel Birthwistle who did a fantastic job.

Intimate wedding

 

Getting married in Italy is certainly a challenge.  We did the notice of Impediment at Marylebone Town Hall (in the exact room where Paul McCartney married Linda!), and the documents then had to be sent to the Immigration Service in Milton Keynes, before being sent to Lenno Town Hall in Italy (this is when we let Rachel take over!)

Jane Means with her father

 

Getting married for the first time later in life, the thought of a big fat white meringue and a dribble of bridesmaids filled me with horror, so I decided to go for 1950’s glamour with a  twist of Audrey Hepburn and Jackie O. Here my dad is eagerly awaiting to walk me up the aisle at long last.

Stephanie Shine Pillbox hat powder blue

 

By pure fluke, I ran in to Karen Millen after a quick lunch in Soho and there was my dress… A chic powder blue satin fitted dress. I loved the bow detail at the back and knew it was a great detail as so many wedding photographs are behind the bride and groom.  The best thing is that it was in a sale! I added an Ostrich Feather Cape from Monsoon for the chilly evening and dressed it with quilted shoes and my favourite nude clutch bag from Dior.

powder blue felt pillbox hat

My very good friend Stephanie Shine is a  talented milliner (you will have seen her hats at Ascot and Royal Weddings to name a few) and I was lucky enough to have one made for a wedding present.  She created it in days with help of some sketches and I was over the moon with it.  My hairdresser Yvonne Bell from Bailgate Hair  also came out to Lake Como and did a great job of my hair, giving it a fun and natural look.

rustic wedding pew flowers italian

Having been a florist previously in life and the rip off price of wedding flowers, I decided to do all of my own flowers including my bouquet, and with Rachels help, I popped along to the florist wholesaler in Como and did everything in a day.

wedding flowers by Jane Means

We were lucky enough to use beautiful candle holders and vases from a big American society wedding several days before (that Stevie Wonder had played the piano at!).

wedding velvet ribbon

I designed my own ribbon, a baby blue and off white Stripe that I called ‘Como stripe’ and decided that this was a complete one off design for my own wedding. I also love the luxury element of velvet, so added in powder blue velvet to decorate the chairs and vases.

 

wedding place settings

 

I have always loved cameo brooches and designed a silhouette logo with the help of the talented designer Abigail Warner who put it all together from my amateur photos.

villa del balbianello wedding

With only 20 guests at our ceremony in Italy, we certainly had a really special celebration.  We wrote some of the vows ourselves and everyone had a little job or honour to do which made it even more personal.

lake como intimate wedding

 

With both of us having such demanding careers, we wanted to have some time alone during the day to take everything in.  Not only were we blessed with the view of the lake, mountains and surroundings, but the weather was perfect!

Lakeside wedding

One of my favourite moments was enjoying quality time with friends and family.  Here we are joined by good friends Artist Suzi Morris and film director Tristan Loraine, catching up on lost time whilst overlooking the lake during sundown.  It was heaven.jane means wedding ceremony Italy

I have always loved Lake Como.  On my first school skiing trip aged 14, I remember seeing the lake in moonlight whilst driving through the mountains to the resort.  I’ve never forgotten that tranquil picture, and to me it is one of the most special places I have visited in the world.  Little did I know that I would be married there.

jane means wedding dress

 

 

 

Despite working harder than ever before, I have had the most incredible year with my career.  Although we enjoyed getting married in Italy, it was straight back to work.  The last 3 months have been fully booked with private clients, luxury brands, Harrods gift wrapping training, radio and television appearances, demonstrations in Liberty’s windows and gift wrapping for the likes of Chanel, Dior, Ralph Lauren, Jack Wills and Selfridges.

borabora

I am working right through until Christmas eve, and we will finally get away for our honeymoon in Tahiti (and a well earned rest) on Christmas Day!

 

 

 

Categories: Inspiration, Projects & Demos, Ribbon, Themes, Tips + Techniques, Uncategorized, Weddings | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Luxury Gift Wrapping in Paris

I have always been a huge fan of Dior perfume and have often gazed at their displays and windows filled with luxurious bags and couture fashion
Several years ago I landed a dream job and headed out to Milan on my first assignment. I travelled throughout Europe working in their boutiques gift wrapping for their VIPs which was very exciting.
This year I returned to Paris and worked at their new pop-up boutique in Le Printemps department store
My long enjoyable days were spent gift wrapping in front of customers, Discreetly going at record speed to avoid queues.
I lost count of how many gifts I wrapped in the days I was there, and after wrapping so many small circular items I headed back home for Christmas to give my hands a very well earned rest!
To give you a flavour of the boutique pop up shop in Paris, you can view the Dior advert on YouTube
Categories: Christmas, Gift Wrapping Courses, Projects & Demos, Tips + Techniques | Tags: , , , ,