Today’s blog post holds a special place in my heart for more reason than one. Regular readers may remember that I travelled to Rome, Italy last month to attend Retreat Gatherings, a fine art photographers retreat with a difference. Founders Buffy Dekmar and Jessica Gallo had envisaged an all-female sanctuary where photographers could shoot, style, talk, bond and share. They curated five stunning shoots over three wonderful days including a huge surprise on the last day. Attendees were unaware until the very last moment that the model couple they had spent all day shooting for a styled engagement shoot in central Rome were in fact there to elope the very next day. I can’t tell you just how hard that kind of secret is to keep!

So this engagement session of Jacqueline and Trebor in Villa Borghese, Rome was a mixture of excitement for those in the know and downright utter beauty as the sun shone down upon the beautiful bride to be. Jacqueline’s teal dress from Liz White Couture was the perfect colour and style for this old world romantic shoot. The smokey eyes and tousled hair were dropping mouths from passers by all day thanks to hair and make up expert Pastel Make Up & Hair! The Roman architecture had nothing on these guys…

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

From Buffy: “From the beginning, our goal for Retreat was to fuse beauty and authenticity in a picturesque setting, while fostering meaningful relationships between human beings. More than a photographers’ ‘workshop’ or ‘gathering’, Retreat Rome 2013 was intended as an experience – one of sharing, growing and encouraging one another, along each of our unique paths. This romantic engagement session at Villa Borghese in the heart of Rome was one of the beautiful events we worked on together during our time together. Jackie and Trebor joined our group as models and left as part of the Retreat family. The real love Jackie and Trebor brought to Retreat was the piece that Jessica and I knew we would need in order to bring our Retreat visions to life. The excitement, anticipation, chemistry and pure joy these two shared with us were pieces that surprised us all and brought tears to every single eye before the week was over. We couldn’t be more smitten with the feel of this set of photos… Real love in romantic Rome!”

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

From Jessica: “Jackie and Trebor traveled from North Carolina to Rome for their surprise destination elopement in the iconic ‘Eternal City’, just the two of them, sans family and friends. We wanted their engagement session to be equally as romantic and memorable as their story while keeping the styling of the shoot relatively simple; a beautiful setting, a gorgeous gown and a head-over-heels in love couple. I gave Liz White the smallest of direction on the aesthetics of the gown, telling her we wanted it to be a rich shade of teal, a hue that would make another appearance in the elopement colour palette, with a little bit of drama. Liz’s creation exceeded our every hope and I couldn’t be more pleased with the loveliness we captured that day.”

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Photography ~ Buffy Dekmar Photography

Retreat Gathering 2013 was a huge success and I couldn’t have met a nicer group of talented and inspirational women all of whom are friends for life. There is so much more inspiration to come from Retreat, this is just the tip of the iceberg!

If there’s one place you need to be this year, it’s Retreat Gatherings 2014…

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Vendor details:

Photography: Buffy Dekmar Photography | Styling: Jessica Gallo of Fine & Fleurie | Dress: Liz White Couture | Hair and make up: Pastel Make Up & Hair | Location: Villa Borghese, Rome | Coordinator: The Wedding Care

The Retreat Gatherings: Retreat Rome 2013 Crew:

Photography: Buffy Dekmar Photography | Floral Styling & Design: Bo Boutique | Artwork, Calligraphy & Paper products: Signora e Mare | Hair & Make-up: Pastel Make-up & Hair | Editorial Sponsor: Wedding Sparrow | Styling: Fine & Fleurie | Event Coordination: The Wedding Care

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