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Why Tuscany Holds the Key to Wedding Day Perfection

If I could, I would crawl right through my screen just to experience the pretty captured by Allen Tsai Photography firsthand – it’s just that good. From those crazy chic florals, to the stunning scenery that is Tuscany, every darn detail is wedding day perfection and I’m just begging someone to recreate it all for their big day. See it all in The Vault and you’ll easily understand why I’m completely obsessed.

From Allen Tsai PhotographyMost wedding editorials focus on the bride and groom, but for this romantic Tuscan bridal inspiration we wanted to tell a story from the bride’s perspective during the quiet and intimate moments of her wedding day, pre-ceremony. Slipping into your bridal gown and writing a heartfelt note to your groom, a moment in front of the camera with freshly picked blooms from the Italian countryside, the linens on your reception table gently waving in the breeze as if anticipating the love and conversation to come over Tuscan wine…those are the relaxed pre-wedding moments we wanted to capture on film. There’s something extremely special and precious about those few pre-wedding hours before the guests arrive and the hustle and bustle begins, so we wanted to inspire brides to savor that time and capture some of that stillness in the beautiful surroundings they’ve created.

I can’t think of a more romantic destination wedding location than Tuscany, Italy, and the hilltop venue of Monteverdi Tuscany was a stunning backdrop of rolling green hills and tall Italian cypress trees, with rich surrounding textures of stone. From the stunning views to the fine wine and dining, every guest room has its own unique design, which makes for an unforgettable destination trip for your closest loved ones.

Letter Love Studio conveyed the tone for this intimate wedding experience with loose and organic calligraphy on handmade paper. The terra cotta colored ink mirrored the tiled rooftops synonymous with Italian architecture, and the imperfect ink splatters feel right at home in this simple yet rustic suite. Topped off with vintage stamps and a beautifully deckled edge cotton envelope from Italian paper maker Amalfi, this wedding suite lends elegance and character to this luxurious but understated shoot.

Wanting this editorial to be a true Tuscany experience, we included talented local vendors including floral design by Puscina Flowers, and hair & makeup by Andrea Hair Styling. For the tablescape, Tuscan fabrics from Biagianti, wrought iron sculptures from Biagiotti, and custom designed wood pepper mills by Brigitte Deval were all incorporated, lending an authentic Italian flair to our outdoor tabletop.

All of the wildflowers used were grown by Puscina Flowers on their own family farm. I’ve never felt so calm and close to nature as I did when I stepped foot onto their estate. 100% of their floral design is sourced from their own land, enabling them to have a rarely personal and profound understanding of the florals they use. The result is a unique, organic, and natural floral design that feels effortless.

To complete our old world influence, Watters “Florence” dress with its flowing silk mousseline skirt couldn’t have been more perfect for our bride. We paired it with a vintage inspired green emerald by Shapiro Diamonds, which was a custom design.

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Photography: Allen Tsai Photography | Floral Design: Puscina | Wedding Dress: Watters | Stationery: Letter Love Studio | Jewelry: Shapiro Diamonds | Hair + Makeup: Andrea Hair Stylist | Venue: Monteverdi Tuscany | Film Processing: Goodman Film Lab | Linen Rentals: Biagianti | Ribbons: Honey Silks And Company | Ribbons: FrouFrou Ribbon | Ribbons: Silk and Willow | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Wood Pepper Mills: Brigitte Deval | Wrought Iron Sculptures: Biagiotti

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A Quaint Italian Village Was Their Perfect Wedding Location

Roma, Roma, Roma. Is there any place more romantic for a destination wedding? Certainly not in my book. This couple felt the same and planned a celebration in a village just outside the city, sharing vows in a little church steeped in history. They asked guests to put away all cell phones, iPads and the like for a completely unplugged ceremony that set the tone for a truly meaningful day. Laura Gordon photographed and we cannot get enough.

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ChurchVilla

From Laura Gordon PhotographyIrish couple, Lindsay and Michael married in Italy last summer; their organic and elegant aesthetic, from the simple table setting foraged from the Italian villa to the dreamy hillside village where they said their vows. The old world feel paired with the impeccable style of this couple created what I consider the quintessential European wedding.

From The Bride…Michael and I got together about six years ago but we were actually pals for about seven years before that. We are still amused that we ended up together because neither of us ever had notions on each other…I even tried to set him up with my best friend at one point. Thank goodness that never came about because I just couldn’t imagine my life without him now. Living on opposite sides of Ireland to each other meant that most of our relationship was spent traveling at weekends just to see one other. Although worth it, it left very little time for family and friends and when we did get engaged, we both knew that we wanted a wedding that would allow us to spend as much time as possible with our nearest and dearest. I co-own an online destination wedding magazine and both of my older brothers had had weddings abroad, so I was well aware of how a wedding outside of Ireland meant that we would have two to three days of celebrating. Coupled with the fact that we couldn’t find a venue in Ireland that could cater for our tastes and our numbers, we started our venue search in Italy as it was relatively close flight wise and we could also have a legally binding Catholic wedding there.

Being in the wedding industry, I guess I felt quite a lot of pressure from the outset and before even going to Italy on the venue scouting trip, I had to get a few things straight in my head. I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to separate my work from my personal life and I really wanted to feel like a bride, not a planner on her biggest event to date. The wedding was about us, not me and my job, so the venue was going to have to be able to cater for lots of music and dancing (Mike and I are both musicians and we originally met on tour) and be okay with our crazy, but amazing family and friend’s partying ways.

Finding a venue that could hold 200 guests abroad was not the easiest task but we struck gold with Borgo di Tragliata, an ancient village located outside Rome. The moment we landed on our first venue scouting trip, something just clicked. Apart from having one of the most amazing onsite coordinators I have ever come across, there was an atmosphere at the village that just felt right and I felt so relaxed there. From our first visit to deciding we wanted to stay one extra night after our wedding, we were treated like royalty. Two hundred people flew from Ireland to be with us for the weekend so it was important to us that we showed them how much we appreciated them traveling so far. We had a BBQ the night before the wedding that ended up being like a wedding in itself. The music was still going at 4.30am when Mike and I forced ourselves to say goodnight and only for our fab hairdresser arriving at 7am, I’d have snuck back down to the party.

We took a lot of the design inspiration for our wedding from the venue. Being an organic farm, we kept that in mind when it came to designing our invitations, choosing handmade paper and hand dyed silk ribbons. Ruby nailed it with the flowers, most of which were foraged from the venue grounds. The color palette kind of came about organically also. I started with greys and golds when putting together our stationery and introduced the soft pastels later on when it was becoming clearer to me what would be available around the time of our wedding and in Italy. My parents, who were traveling to the wedding via France in their motor home, very kindly allowed me to pack it full of our own gold cutlery and table decor so I didn’t have to stress about sourcing locally.

The wedding day itself was just like a dream. My feet didn’t touch the ground. We had asked guests to put away their phones and cameras for the church as I was bit nervous about the walk down the aisle and didn’t like the idea of being snapped on top of it. What we didn’t expect though was the effect it had on the entire ceremony. Everyone was so present. The mass was full of music with 22 musicians thanks to our talented families and friends but everyone got involved and one of my lasting memories is hearing what sounded like the entire congregation singing along to “You are Mine”. It was so emotional, I’m tearing up thinking back. No-one was reaching for iPads and cameras, they were just part of it. Of course our priest, Fr. Flor made it so personal. As a musician himself, he understood how important the music was to us and it was magical. The rest of the day flowed in the same way and I know it’s cliche, but it was the best day of our lives.

We were both incredibly fortunate to be surrounded by a team of vendors that are some of our greatest friends. Rodolphe, who shot our video is practically part of the family and we were so excited when he told us he was free to make the wedding. Sam flew from Ireland with a suitcase full of baking supplies and created a stunner of a wedding cake that tasted as good as it looked. Liv, who I’ve an endless amount of admiration for made the most beautiful headpiece for me. I cried when I opened the box. Laura, who I’d met on one of our recent Irish weddings was not only our photographer, but my sounding board for everything and I’m so lucky to call her one of my closest friends. We really couldn’t have pulled it off without their generosity and their kindness. Their talents know no bounds and we will be forever grateful to them.

On paper, our guest list was huge but somehow, it still felt like a very intimate wedding. With a few days to get to know one another, new friendships were formed and old ones reignited. That was what it was really all about for us. We have incredibly patient parents, brothers, sisters and a bridal party that would rival the best of them. They provided endless support during the planning and the memories they helped us create will forever be with us. We really feel like were the luckiest people in the world.

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Photography: Laura Gordon Photography | Cinematography: Best Day Productions | Event Planning: Fly Away Bride | Floral Design: Marry Lennox | Wedding Dress: Paolo Sebastian - Haute Couture | Cake: Cloudberry Bakery | Bride's Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Amsale | Hair + Makeup: Louise Faulkner | Groom's Attire: Louis Copeland & Sons | Groomsmen Attire: French Connection from Savoy Taylors Guild | Venue: Borgo Di Tragliata | Calligraphy + Stationery: House of Hannah | Event Design + Rentals: House of Hannah | Groom's Shoes: Ted Baker | Hair Accessories: Enchanted Atelier by Liv Hart

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Reason #936 Why European Elopements Are Insanely Romantic

You know how we feel about elopements. They’re just about the most romantic way to go, and this Tuscany-set day totally proves our point. With Thecablookfotolab behind the lens, these two sweethearts soaked up all the European charm as they said “I do” and Kristana Marie Events helped the nuptials run smooth from beginning to end. Go see lots more inside The Vault!

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Spring
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Al Fresco

From ThecablookfotolabThis couple is a total romance. Two people should be madly in love if they make an elopement so far away from home without any guests. This couple from San Diego decided to tie the knot in one of the most romantic places in the world – in Tuscany. Everything was so lovely and intimate there: starting from preparations in the suite of the Executive hotel in Florence, then the lunch for two on the Terrazza Brunelleschi with the most picturesque view on Florence rooftops and ending with a touching ceremony held by the most amazing officiant Jo Bertolino from Tuscan Pledges and a couple session in the gardens of villa Gamberaia. I’m so grateful to them for giving me a chance to capture their shining eyes filled with endless love to each other.

From The Bride…Our wedding in Italy was something out of a dream, something we still can’t believe we got to experience. We live in San Diego, and though this is a stunning wedding destination itself, we just knew we wanted something different. We wanted to have more than just a wedding; we wanted to have an adventure together. Our wedding planner, Kristana Burreece of Kristana Marie Events is also located in San Diego, so even though we were traveling somewhere new for our wedding day, the planning process was comfortable and felt like home! She was so much fun to work with and really made us feel so excited for what our day would become. Kristana found our photographer, Darya Kamalova of Thecablookfotolab on Style Me Pretty, and we fell in love with her and her work right away! She is so adorable and has so much style and grace. Darya was so hospitable and warm through out the planning process, and she was very open to sharing lots of helpful information with us. She actually connected us with our florist and my hair & make up artist as well! I would trust her recommendations any day.

When it was finally time to travel to Florence, Italy for our wedding, I couldn’t believe that it was actually happening. We were going to have the experience of a lifetime and I was so thankful that the love of my life and I would always have these memories. We stayed at Hotel Executive, and they made us feel like royalty! Our suite was absolutely stunning, and it really was the perfect setting for us to prepare for our wedding day. We even chose to do our “first look” in the room because it was just that beautiful! For lunch we went to Terrazza Brunelleschi where Darya took some amazing photos of us overlooking the city. The views of the rooftops of Florence and the iconic Duomo were breathtaking. After our lunch, it was finally time for our wedding at the beautiful Villa Gamberaia. When we arrived and finally got to see the Villa in person, we were blown away. It looks even more spectacular in person, and we were so overjoyed that this would be the spot that we would recite our vows to each other.

We met our officiant, Jo Bertolino of Tuscan Pledges and she was just wonderful! She had been great through out the planning process and worked so hard to create the perfect ceremony for us, but when we were there in that moment, her words resonated with us and we felt her sincerity; it really made our ceremony so special. We were both so excited to recite our vows to each other because we had decided that we would both write them when we arrived in Europe so that we could truly capture the essence of this beautiful time in our lives. We wanted our wedding to be intimate, romantic, and an experience of a lifetime, and it was all that and more! I will never forget the way that I felt standing in those beautiful gardens hearing the love of my life’s vows to me. Our life together started in the most perfect of ways, and I am eternally grateful for everyone who helped make our dreams reality.

From Kristana Marie EventsWhen Kyla & Eric first told me about their wedding dreams, I was so excited to help make their day perfect for them. They wanted to travel together, as neither of them had ever been in Europe before. They wanted it to be intimate and romantic, making sure that they never lost sight of what that special day is all about. And they wanted it to be a fun & stress-free experience. The bride, groom, & myself are all from San Diego, CA so we did all of the planning for this beautiful Florence, Italy wedding from afar.

Style Me Pretty was an incredible tool and helped me to find the right vendors for their big day. Kyla was adamant that her photographer be the best of the best. And let me tell you, the photographer we picked definitely was! When I first came across Darya Kamalova from Thecablookfotolab, I knew she would be the perfect fit. Her style is stunning and she shoots film photography, which is something I hardly ever see anymore! Kyla & Eric trusted her artistry immediately, and really just wanted to let her create. Darya also gave lots of amazing recommendations for vendors that she has enjoyed working with, and gave us tons of tips about the city! She was an amazing help and really made my clients feel so special & taken care of.

The other wonderful contributor to their big day was Jo Bertolino of Tuscan Pledges! From the first skype meeting, it was so apparent that she takes so much pride in creating stunning & personal ceremonies for her clients. Kyla and Eric were overwhelmed with how perfect the ceremony was for them, and Jo really made every effort to make it express the love that they share for each other.

The venue was too perfect. Villa Gamberaia boasted beautiful gardens and architecture that really made Kyla & Eric feel the essence of a Tuscan dream wedding.

We truly had so much fun working together to create a beautiful, romantic, & intimate wedding that felt so authentically them!

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Photography: Thecablookfotolab | Event Planning: Kristana Marie Events | Wedding Dress: Allure Bridal | Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka | Ring: Diamonds Forever | Groom's Attire: Express | Officiant: TUSCANPLEDGES | Hotel: Hotel Executive | Venue: Villa Gamberaia Firenze

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