Natalie and John's wedding journey took them from the thrills of Las Vegas to a peachesand- cream big day in Poole

Natalie met John on a night out on the town, and although he was slightly the worse for wear, after checking her out on Facebook the next day, they started going out together. Nearly four-and-a-half years later John proposed during a trip to Las Vegas to celebrate Natalie's 30th birthday. Despite her suspicions, he managed to throw her off the scent and popped the question while having dinner overlooking the Bellagio Fountains.

“People thought it was going to happen while we were away, but before we left John explained that money was tight after paying for the holiday and we'd recently bought our house, so I really wasn't expecting it,” explains Natalie. “It was a complete shock and one of the best moments of my life.”

Their dream day featured a peaches-and-cream colour scheme set against the sumptuous surroundings of the Italian Villa within the Grade II listed gardens of Compton Acres. Read on for Natalie's account of their big day...

That’s amore: Image 1
Natalie Windsor, 32 and John Ruda, 31, tied the knot at the Italian Villa, Compton Acres on 4th May, 2014.


That’s amore: Image 2aWe loved the elegance of the Medici Suite and as soon as we saw it we could picture ourselves getting married there. We viewed other venues but the team at the Italian Villa was extremely professional and as I was heavily pregnant and working in the lead-up, I needed to be in good hands.

That’s amore: Image 2 My sister cried when I tried on my Valerie dress by Maggie Sottero, plus all the staff at Chameleon agreed it was the one for me.


That’s amore: Image 3
Natalie's top tip: I bought an extra pair of my wedding shoes in black, which I wore during the six months leading up to the wedding to get used to walking in them.


That’s amore: Image 4aOur flowergirl carried a basket of petals which she scattered down the aisle.

That’s amore: Image 4 My auntie made a quilt for people to sign, which is a wonderful keepsake of our day.


That’s amore: Image 5
John chose a traditional tail suit which was totally unexpected. He wore a peach buttonhole and a grey cravat with an ivory waistcoat to stand out from the other groomsmen.


That’s amore: Image 6aThe table plan and numbers were printed in subtle shades to match our colour scheme.

That’s amore: Image 6 Our friend Cindy Rowley made personalised chalkboards to decorate the venue.


That’s amore: Image 7
I had a simple bouquet of soft peach and cream flowers with matching smaller versions for my bridesmaids.


That’s amore: Image 8aWe gave scratchcards as favours in handmade envelopes with a lucky penny attached to each one.

That’s amore: Image 8 The girls loved the silver sparkly flip-flops. They were a real life-saver for walking around the grounds and dancing in the evening.


That’s amore: Image 9
A string quartet played during the drinks reception and we had garden games including giant Jenga and Connect Four. We also gave out sunglasses to our guests, which were so popular, nobody would give me a pair!


That’s amore: Image 10aWe had tall Martini vases as centrepieces filled with peach and ivory roses, peonies and other flowers. We also had hurricane lamps with pillar candles set in floral rings, with tea lights, crystals and rose petals scattered around the tables.

That’s amore: Image 10 We had a naked cake as we wanted to keep it simple and I love good old fashioned Victoria sponge. For extra glamour, the florist added some beautiful peach flowers and fruit in keeping with our theme.


That’s amore: Image 11
The evening food was delicious, with mini portions of fish and chips, bacon sandwiches and cheese toasties. We also created our own cocktail for the evening called the Rudanator, which went down really well.


That’s amore: Image 12
We went to the beach and our photographer Nick Rutter captured some stunning sunset shots.


Natalie Windsor and John Ruda's contact book

Bride's dress and accessories

Bride's hair
Debbie Mclean
Tel: 07747 783 834

Bride's make-up
Abella Nails & Beauty

Sweetcheeks Bakehouse

Beales Gourmet

Ceremony music
String quartet

Flowergirl's dress

Flaura Boutique

Groom and groomsmen's suits
Well groomed

Photo booth

Nick Rutter Photography


The Italian Villa

Venue styling
Tinkerbell Wedding Services

Wedding night
Haven Hotel, Poole


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