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American-Scottish Destination Wedding in Tuscany

We’ve touched on first and second part of this beautiful wedding weekend in Tuscany already today, but it’s time for the Grande Finale. And oh, is it grand. Tuscan Villa, glittery bridesmaids, big and beautiful flowers, fireworks-grand. And we love every second. Italia Celebrations planned the whole weekend, which was captured brilliantly by both Magnus Bogucki and Cinemate, and it is the very definition of superb.


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From Italia Celebrations Wedding Planning… After two spectacularly fun and eventful days leading up to the wedding, this was the proverbial icing on the cake. The beauty of a destination wedding is that the wedding is usually not just one day but a series of days that make up the whole experience. Whereas the days prior were in turns rustic, historic, colorful and entertaining, the wedding day was stunning in its refinement and elegance.

From the bride Meghan… After two previous days of spectacular scenery, décor, events, and magical moments, Steven and I expected to wake up on our wedding morning and feel like we were prepping for another fantastic party. However, as the Il Borro villa began to come to life around 6 am, it quickly became clear that this day felt much more special.

As I got ready in the bridal suite, overlooking so much beautiful Tuscan countryside, our wonderful videographers and photographer snapped away. We had multiple hair and make-up people, nail technicians, and wedding planners coming and going. It was a full room. We could hear the string quartet practicing below us, shrubs being moved into place and chairs being positioned.

What can I say other than every cliché about walking down the aisle is completely true? I spent hours choosing décor and music and fretting about flowers. However, when I turned the corner to walk into the ceremony all I saw was Steven standing there. I never saw a single flower or chair or the aisle runner I was walking on. All I cared about was finally being in that moment with him. That moment was what the wedding was all about.

Sometimes people ask if I felt like a princess all day. I say, no, I felt like I was in a cloud. With the 18 ethereal layers of tulle and lace that made up my dress, the gentle Tuscan breeze, and all the white flowers, I just felt like I was floating in a happy, loving cloud all day.

After the ceremony we went off to take photos in all the exquisite hidden places around Il Borro. The guests went to the villa garden for the cocktail hour. When we arrived back after the photo session, we were announced into the garden and led down the stairs; it was a moment I will never forget. All of our guests in the manicured Italian garden, in their tuxedos and beautiful dresses with the medieval village as a backdrop created a stunning seen – it was as if it had been pulled from my imagination and come to life.

Dinner was held on the villa terrace with long tables filled with lush white flowers and candles decorating every inch. After dinner we cut our cake, had our first dance, watched fireworks, and I danced with my dad. This whole sequence was full of moments that were magical for us. When guests returned to their seats they were served mini wedding cakes that coordinated with our large wedding cake.

Finally, when the DJ started playing “Tonight is Going to be a Good Night” by the Black Eyed Peas I was so excited to dance that I got up and ran to the dance floor. when I turned and looked back the tables were empty. Every guest had gotten up, ran with me, and had started dancing immediately. That’s just how amazing our friends and family were and it took my breath away to see their excitement. Needless to say, we danced the night away and the party didn’t slow down until around 3 a.m.

To say it was the best three days of our lives is an understatement. Truthfully, I didn’t know such happiness and amazing, joyful things existed before planning and having our wedding. We will never forget this time in our lives and will always cherish every moment as well as all the people who were there with us.

The process was so amazing that I became a wedding planner myself along the way. Now I get to plan weddings for other couples in the U.K. (with my company Extraordinary Days). Thank goodness, because if I didn’t have more weddings to look forward to I don’t know what I would do!

All of the people that we worked with on our wedding were amazing. Our wedding planner, Brenda Babcock of Italia Celebrations made every dream Steven and I had come true. Noosheen Flowers gave us flowers more beautiful than I ever imagined. Cinemate created a wedding video we will treasure forever. Magnus Bogucki, our photographer created photos we will never get tired of looking at (and showing people!). Paper Moss and Ceci New York gave me an obsession with fabulous stationery and a joy of design rounds. Asprey designed our rings which we will love all of our life. Then, of course, last but certainly not at all least, Vera Wang Chicago gave me a lifetime experience at a bridal boutique I wish every bride could have as well as my dream dress. Every one of these businesses is made up of kind and passionate people you would want to entrust your wedding to. Thank you all.

Photography: Magnus Bogucki | Videography: Cinemate | Event Design: Italia Celebrations | Event Planning: Italia Celebrations | Floral Design: Noosheen | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Melanie Seccaini | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Rings: Asprey | Bride's Clutch: Judith Leiber | Bridesmaids\' Dresses: Alice And Olivia | Groom\'s Attire: Prada | Tuscan Villa: Il Borro

Italia Celebrations, CineMate Films and L'Arte Della Torta di Melanie Secciani are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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An Italy Workshop: The Wedding Inspiration

This, my sweets, is a Jose Villa workshop, Italian style. And it comes bubbling over with talented craftsmen like Kate Holt Of FlowerwildLaurie Arons Special Events and a team of artists who transformed Villa Cetinale into pure wedding magic with a good dose of old world elegance. Have a look here for even more inspiration and if you missed it, the engagement session that started things off.

A note from Laurie AronsThe 17th century regality of Villa Cetinale inspired our “wedding” design for the Jose Villa workshop. Built by the Medici family for Pope Alexander VII, the Villa’s Roman Baroque architecture and religious artifacts set the scene for our faux formal wedding in the beauty of the Tuscan countryside. I felt a carefully selected shade of deep plum befitted an occasion at the elegant villa. Used as a accent color against a palette of ivory, cream and rich beautiful gold, it struck just the right note of royalty and romance.

I worked with A Day In May Design to develop the invitation suite, thank you notes, menus and day-of details. Together we enlisted Tara Jones Calligraphy, as her beautiful free hand style of calligraphy reminded us of Old World Italian documents. While most of the printed pieces were created on natural, antique feeling papers, we decided to print our menu/placecards on deep plum card stock with guest names calligraphed in gold. They photographed beautifully on the dining table against the plum taper candles.

Another favorite detail were the welcome trays we created for each student in the workshop. Kate Holt from Flowerwild hand-painted Florentine trays I sourced in Florence, which we topped with personal calligraphed stationery by A Day in May and Tara Jones. We then found gifts from the region including pears from the local market, Italian fine chocolate and candles from Santa Maria Novella, the oldest ‘farmacia’ in the world.

A note from the Kate of Flowerwild“Dove il cielo si incontrano la terra” – where the heavens meet the earth. This quote wrapped around the leather passport covers which were a pre-welcome gift for attendees – a hint at the marvelous and things soon to unfold on their travels to the Jose Villa Workshop. Not to be sappy – but this is my second workshop with Jose and it is so eye-opening for me to observe him teaching, and see all the talents around him come together to create something unique. I learn SO much with each experience. I know I have him to thank for many great strides by business has taken since I was lucky enough to observe him teaching in Mexico a few season ago. No denying… that was life changing for me. I’m certain all his attendees feel the same.

For this workshop I was simply drawing from the space, the unbelievable villa, the tones within the landscape, and the natural environment and architecture to create a look for Jose and his students to photograph. Going there sight unseen -except for what I could gather from online imagery- sort of opens up the experience to half good-planning and forethought, and the other half- a strange mix of luck and an ability to focus and seek out the best of what the environment provides. I find that if I lock myself too deeply into one direction or look – I am inevitably sidetracked or slowed down by certain items not being available, or sought after materials being impossibly elusive.

To begin designing, I started with the little Italian phrase, and then researched traditional Italian weddings to see where it would lead me, to see what I could learn about another culture’s approach to the vows between two people in love. I looked at poems, timeless traditions, wardrobe history, baroque architecture (the style of the villa) and did my best to gently weave these ideas into the bones of the look.

Deep olive and plum tones, veils to the ground, easter lilies, an abundance of altar of candles, dramatic gowns, and gold embroidery are a few notes that I began to build the look from. Laurie and her team dreamed up these very deep toned-plum, standing place cards with gold calligraphy. For me, these set the tone for everything moving forward from there. I basically just looked to balance the high drama and luxuriousness of the villa against the real, rawness of the countryside there. Some items were painstakingly resourced by Laurie, Katie, Summer, and my husband and I – and others were serendipitously discovered along the roadside. With some very generous guidance from a friend on the ground in Italy – Tomasso – and some amazing luck we were able to make it all happen!

To me the workshop is such a collaboration – as all weddings are. We all lend what we can and are lucky enough to have Jose and his students capture it. I hope we can continue to do it “per cent anni!” for a hundred years!

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Gown: Reem Acra From Gabriella Bridal | Gown: Samuelle | Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair & Makeup | Calligraphy: Tara Jones Calligraphy | Beaded Charger: The Ark Event Rentals | Car: Zephyrus Sienna | Creative Direction And Design: Kate Holt Of Flowerwild | Design And Planning: Laurie Arons Special Events | Florentine Charger: Casa De Perrin | Graphic Design And Printing: A Day In May Design | Guest Speaker: Summer Watkins | Guest Speaker: Joel Serrato | Guest Speaker: Laurie Arons Special Events | Guest Speaker: Shira Savada Of Martha Stewart Weddings Magazine | Leather Work And Brass Tags: Amber Moon Of Pitbulls And Posies | Models: I Love Management And Casting Italy | Special Assistant And Decor: Tomasso Of La Rosa | Veil: Preston Olivia | Venue: Villa Cetinale | Villa: Villa Cetinale | Wardrobe Stylist: Summer Watkins

Preston & Olivia is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Jose Villa Photography, A DAY IN MAY DESIGN, TEAM Hair and Makeup, Joel Serrato Films and Casa de Perrin are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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An Italy Workshop: The Engagement Shoot

When it comes to dreamy landscapes and gorgeous photography, Jose Villa is our go-to guy. He proves time and again that this is a winning combo. For his latest Italian adventure, Jose set up shop at Villa Cetinale, sharing his talent and knowledge with a handful of photographers. The result is this vintage inspired engagement shoot styled by Summer Watkins and beautified by TEAM Hair And Makeup. Check out the full gallery and we’ll be back a bit later with the wedding shoot!

From Jose Villa… This was Day one of the Italy Workshop where we photographed models in an engagement style shoot. This gives the students an opportunity to learn how to pose couples in a natural way.

Photography: Jose Villa Photography | Hair And Makeup: TEAM Hair And Makeup | Models: Casting Italy | Models: I Love Management | Villa: Villa Cetinale | Wardrobe Stylist: Summer Watkins

Jose Villa Photography and TEAM Hair and Makeup are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
Jose Villa Photography

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TEAM Hair and Makeup

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