Lancashire Wedding photography by Emma Billsborough

11 March 2014

Adventures in Rome : An Italian engagement session in The Villa Borghese Gardens

Last year my good friend Sam and I were sat having coffee and discussing how amazing it would be to plan a styled shoot in a foreign city... a beautiful backdrop with lots of culture and history... with a gorgeous couple, hair and make-up stylists, and us with our cameras ... experimenting with film and having a lot of fun!

It was just a dream really, but about a week later we discovered Retreat Gatherings and their first ever planned trip... 'Retreat Rome'. We jumped at the chance, immediately signing ourselves up and every few days exchanging excited messages of 'WE ARE GOING TO ROME!!!'

So, In December, after months of excitement, we found ourselves in a very sunny Italy with bags packed full of camera gear and ready to go. It was my very first visit to Rome so we tried to soak up as much of the city as we could in one day! Surprisingly we saw an awful lot! Then we hopped on a short train ride to Frascati to meet the girls and start our Retreat.

The whole experience was one of the best things I've done in my life. The organisers, Jessica and Buffy, along with the other wonderful suppliers and fellow attendee's, were so lovely and welcoming .. And obviously the setting was just perfect.

I have quite a few (tons) of photos to share from the various shoots we did, but I'm going to start with this amazing engagement session in the Villa Borghese gardens. The beautiful couple are Trebor and Jacqueline, who volunteered to come over from the States to be our models. During this shoot we had no idea what was going to happen at dinner that evening.... but after the most beautiful afternoon we all sat down to be presented with surprise envelopes.... which turned out to be Wedding Invitations! Trebor and Jacqueline had come to Rome to ELOPE!!!! The wedding was to be the very next day and we were going to witness it and photograph it. There were a few tears :)

Anyway... here are my shots from their engagement shoot... it's no wonder Trebor and Jackie look so happy and in love really... knowing that the very next day they were going to be married!

I've listed all the talented and very amazing suppliers and organisers below... do be sure to have a look at their beautiful work. And also make sure you check out Sam's blog today too as I know she'll be sharing some of her images from our trip :)

Retreat Gatherings: Retreat Rome 2013
Photography: Emma Billsborough
Floral Styling & Design: Bo Boutique (Amy Bowley)
Artwork, Calligraphy & Paper products: Signora e Mare (Katie Hyatt)
Hair & Make-up: Pastel Make-up & Hair (Jen Lewis)
Editorial Sponsor: Wedding Sparrow (Sara Russell)
Styling: Fine & Fleurie (Jessica Gallo)
Event Coordination: The Wedding Care (Cristina Ditta)
Gown: Liz White Couture (Liz White)

Thank you to the ever fabulous UK Film Lab for the scans, and of course to all the Retreat girls... the hard-working suppliers/organisers and my fellow attendee's... all of whom will be friends for life :)

Check back soon as there's plenty more to see from this amazing trip... Including Trebor and Jacqueline's perfectly intimate wedding!



  1. Absolutely breathtaking work Emma!

  2. Oh my gosh, I love the colours, the light everything and now I want to go to Rome to shoot beautiful people :) Stunning! x