Alexa Ding, 35, married Ying Man, 36, at Villa Monastero Pax, Lenno, on the shores of Lake Como, Italy, on 27 August 2014. She says:

We got married abroad as we wanted a celebration with just our family and close friends. It actually felt more like a holiday!

Ying and I wanted to break with tradition and so didn't have a best man and maids, opting instead for an intimate gathering of the people special to us.

We both chose the Villa Monastero Pax - a former Roman villa and convent - for its sensational views directly over Lake Como and its gorgeous gardens. To make it even more magical, we added tealights and petals to the table, and placed hurricane lamps filled with candles in the grounds.

Our pastel palette consisted mainly of yellows and blues - we wanted the wedding to have a romantic, laidback feel.

My hotel was situated across the lake from the villa - so instead of a traditional wedding car I decided to go by Lancia, a type of rowing boat. It was like a fairytale.

We wanted our favours to be a bit tongue in cheek, so we handed out 'Two Peas in a Pod' salt and pepper shakers and honey-scented 'Meant to Bee' beeswax candles. Our guests loved them.

The soundtrack was mostly Motown - although this soon gave way to a few modern hits perfect for late-night dancing.

My top tip: Remember: it's your day! Don't worry about tradition or what others say - you can't please everyone, but you can make yourselves happy.

Photography by; Planner,