Christina caught Shane's eye whilst cruising at 35,000 feet. "Shane was working as an air steward and I was a passenger on his flight travelling with my family," says Christina. "Making a first move isn't something that we both typically do but we ended up talking throughout the whole journey. Let's just say Shane didn't work at all during that flight."
A few years later Shane was planning the big question. "We were travelling along the West Coast of America with my sister – a trip that I was very excited about," says Christina. "We visited Yosemite National Park and had just done a three-hour hike up Glacier Point when Shane proposed. There was a gorgeous view and it was so peaceful. He knew I wouldn't be comfortable with the attention so this was perfect. I loved every minute and to also have my sister there to witness it was very special."
When it came to her dress Christina knew that she wanted a simple design. "I instantly loved it but because it was slightly different to what I'd been trying on. It was very figure hugging with a simple front and had a beautiful open back covered in lace and beads," she says. Her accessories were kept to a minimum to allow the dress to take centre stage. "I borrowed some beautiful sapphire earrings from my mum and wore a diamond bracelet to match. To finish the look I opted for a delicate lace-edged veil. I felt very special."
Their bridesmaids wore floor-length dresses in a dusky pink shade to suit the colour scheme of the day. "I added some delicate embellishments to the waist of the dresses so they didn't look too plain," adds Christina.
Shane and his groomsmen wore dark navy suits and Shane stood out by accessorising with a paisley print tie and pocket square. "He looked really handsome. I loved the tie that he picked because it was quite quirky. One thing that was really special about his look was the cufflinks he wore as they belonged to my nonno (grandfather in Italian)," she says.
Christina knew that she wanted their ceremony at St Bartholomew's Church where they both attend. "It's the right size for both our families and has this warm close-knit vibe," she says. Their dog Coco made an appearance at the church too. "She looked really cute with floral ornaments on her collar and she had a bandana that said Furry Bridesmaid on it – we loved it."
Luton Hoo was the last venue they'd viewed but they were taken a back when they did. "I remember the drive from the main entrance with the trees lining the road and when we saw the Mansion House we were both stunned," she says. I think we knew there and then that this had to be our venue."
They chose a traditional classic car for their wedding wheels. "Our 1920s white Austin was full of character. Driving from the church to the venue was the best part as it was probably the only time Shane and I were actually alone together. It was lovely," she says.
"We didn't have a particular theme but I knew that I wanted a simple, elegant and classic look with hints of dusky pink," says Christina. Being a digital designer, Christina designed their stationery. "I love peonies so I did an illustration of one and it was included throughout. It became a symbol for our wedding," she says. Their blooms were neutral in colour with just a touch of greenery. "Peonies were our main flower as they have a really positive symbolic meaning to them. There are a lot of different representations but the one that drew me most was that it represents a sign of happiness in a marriage," she explains. "Our floral arrangements were exactly what I envisioned. I remember walking into the Romanov Suite, where we held our wedding breakfast and thinking how magical it looked."
The traditional throwing of the bouquet took place in style. "After I threw it for the women, Shane decided he wanted to do it. No one realised that he'd orchestrated this with all the other men taking part and instead of running towards the bouquet they all ran away from it! It was so unexpected and comical," says Christina.
The duo opted for a three-tiered cake with flavours of coffee, almond and lemon zest and it was finished with cascading flowers down one side and delicate pipework. "We also had some vegan cupcakes that were decorated with ducks! Shane loved rubber ducks when he was younger andit was a running joke within the family. His mum asked if we could add that in somehow and so we did," says Christina.
"We gave our guests a traditional Indonesian bite size pastry with pineapple jam in it for the favours. It's where I grew up and Shane loves them so much. They went down well with our guests,"she says.The table plan was based on all the places they've visited together that hold special memories and they placed a photo of that particular holiday on each table.
Into the evening a live band got the party started. "The lead singer got our guests singing along. It was so much fun to see everyone up and dancing,"says Christina. "We also had a magic mirror booth with lots of props that was interactive and fun. Seeing all the photos after was a good laugh."When it comes to a top tip Christina recommends investing in a great photographer. "Splurge on someone who can narrate your dream day through beautiful imagery. We did this and Julia has given us a set of stunning memories that'll last forever."