#8 Ciao Bella!

Our Brides #8 – Ria

Here’s a stunning half-Italian bride in a Spanish designer wedding dress – who said Derbyshire wasn’t cosmopolitan?! Mind you, they did meet outside a sweaty indie club in Leeds called The Cockpit. I remember it well, Ria…

Ria searched high and low in the big cities (Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool) before finding her dream wedding dress right here in Pilsley, only 20 minutes from where she grew up as well as the venue for her big day. And the results are pretty darn bellissima as you can see.

Congrats Ria and Rob! Surely the best thing to ever happen outside The Cockpit!

Jess x


How would you sum up the style of your wedding?

Rustic Italian meets heritage Derbyshire.

Where and when did you tie the knot?

On 15th June 2019 at Santo’s Higham Farm Hotel near Alfreton in Derbyshire.

And what was your wedding dress?

A Jesus Peiro beauty called 8017.


How did you two first meet?

We were both studying at the University of Leeds. We were at our favourite club at the time, The Cockpit…

Rather (un)romantically, he chatted me up outside the club, told me he was cold so he could lean in for a snuggle. The rest is history…

What about the proposal? When, where, how?

Being half Italian myself, there was no other place he could do it other than Rome. I felt it coming though… After 10 years together there aren’t many secrets!

After a failed opportunity on Avantine Hill we went for dinner and drinks and he ended up proposing outside the Trevi Fountain when we were strolling back to our hotel.


Did you have an idea of what you wanted when you first started looking for your wedding dress? And did you stick to it?

I hadn’t a clue what I was looking for when I started the search for my dress. I know I didn’t want a lot of adornments, but as for shape and style I knew I’d only know when I started to try some on and find the style that suited my shape.

How did you find the whole experience of searching for the right dress?

Bridal dress shopping was my absolute favourite part of wedding planning.

I don’t get to see my mum that often as we don’t live near each other, so having her around and getting to try on gorgeous dresses at the weekend was wonderful.

I didn’t find my dress straight away though: I tried quite a few different shops in Leeds, Manchester and Liverpool. And who knew my dress was in Alexandra Anne, a mere 20 minutes away from where I grew up and where we were getting married? Completely fate.

What was it about your dress that made it ‘the one’?

Finding Alexandra Anne first of all made the whole decision easy. You get this warm, welcoming, prestige feeling as soon as you walk in.

I had in my head an idea of the brand of dress I was looking for, but the selection they have there made it a tricky decision in the most wonderful way possible.

In the end, I did choose the brand I initially started out looking at and that was Jesus Peiro.

They’re timeless, classy, elegant and after umming and ahhing over tweaks I wanted to make to other dresses, with this one (8017) I just needed to be measured and that was my dress.

How did you feel once you’d made the big decision?

A little bit sad to be honest! I really did enjoy purring over such beautiful gowns and I didn’t get to do it anymore!

Do you have any top tips for other brides out there shopping for their bridal gown?

Just enjoy it and take someone with you that will tell you the truth!


Tell us more about your outfit on the day. How did you complete your look?

I did initially have a belt for the dress but decided a few days before that the cowl back of the dress was the star and I shouldn’t mess with it!

My hair was vintage Hollywood with some dried flowers, and some cool Etsy jewellery finds.

The shoes were Alexandre Birman – I knew I didn’t want a classic wedding shoe and something I’d re-wear.

And your bridesmaids?

Ted Baker actually: black and floral.

My flower girl wore a Labube dress, sticking with the Spanish theme!

What do you remember about the morning of the wedding?

I was a bit nervous but mostly excited! We had a BBQ the night before with all of our wedding guests so it was just lovely to see everyone beforehand.

Who did your hair and makeup?

Lipstick and Curls.

Who took your wedding photos?

Emma Case Photography.

Did you follow any traditions? Or was there anything unusual about the ceremony?

I’m half-Italian so it was all about the food for me!

Welcome drinks were Aperol Spritz and Negroni, then a 4-course Italian menu and pizzas for the evening do!

The first dance was with my papa too.

How did your dress feel when you were walking down the aisle?

I was just beaming. The room was gorgeous and just overwhelming and lovely to have all our favourite people there.


What are your favourite memories of your wedding day?

There was a bit of downtime after food and before the dancing started. Everyone was sat in the courtyard under fairy lights, mingling and chatting and happy.

It was wonderful to take a step back and just enjoy it.

What gave you the biggest laugh?

My 4 year old gorgeous niece!

During the speeches she just kept bursting out with “you’re so funny!”… We couldn’t have timed it better if we’d tried.

What got the tears flowing?

The next morning when everyone was leaving!

If there was one piece of advice you could give to a new bride-to-be, what would it be?

Be organised. I’m not a last-minute kind of person but planning in advance meant the few weeks running up were relatively chill!

And last but not least, where is your wedding dress now?

It’s just been dry cleaned and then it will have an annual try-on!



8017 by Jesus Peiro


A mix but mostly Etsy finds


Santo’s Higham Farm Hotel, Derbyshire


Emma Case Photography

Hair and makeup

Lipstick and Curls


Mostly homemade


Avant Garden Weddings


Gray Starling Designs


Santo’s Higham Farm
Emma at Hello Cake

Table plan theme



Lewis Crossley

First dance song

Il Mondo by Jimmy Fontana
(Walking down the aisle: I Like the Way This is Going by the Eels)

Has Ria got you feeling all Romantic?