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Intimate Italian Destination Wedding from Lauren Michelle Photography

Jetting off with the one you love for “I dos” in the Italian Riviera sounds like a dream. But what makes this story even cuter (if you can handle) is that these sweeties met at the tender age of 15. Fast forward 11 years and you get what has to be one of the most romantic weddings EVER. Ocean views, Italian charm and all. Exclusive Italy Weddings made sure it went off without a hitch and Lauren Michelle captured it all behind the camera. Click here for sooo much more.


David and I met when we were 15 years old, and after 11 years together, we got engaged in Central Park in New York City. We knew that we wanted a small, intimate wedding with only our family and close friends. The most important thing for us was ensuring that we could offer our guests an amazing, unforgettable experience since so many people were traveling from all over the U.S. to spend the weekend celebrating with us. I knew I wanted the day to feel romantic and elegant. We both love to travel and we had visited Portofino Italy while we were in college. Even though David and I are both from Los Angeles, when David and I were looking at different venues we knew that Portofino was the perfection destination.

For the ceremony, we picked San Giorgio Church, a traditional church that is situated atop a cliff with beautiful views of the Portofino square, anchored yachts, and the Mediterranean Sea. My bridesmaids and I rode in a tiny Ape up the cobblestone road that led to the church where we were greeted by tourists visiting Portofino.

David and I chose the Imperiale Palace Hotel for the reception because of its stunning ocean views, large communal table, and beautifully painted ceilings. The day was truly magical and everything I could have ever dreamed of. I knew the moment our wedding planner showed us photos of the reception room that the setting would be luxurious, yet intimate — everything we wanted. We chose a color palette of navy, blush pink, ivory and gold and each of my bridesmaids wore a navy lace dress of their choosing. Peonies are my favorite flower — so there was no other choice for me. My bouquet was ivory peonies and the centerpieces were ivory peonies with hint of blush pink. It was a bit difficult to find peonies that were growing in season, so all our flowers were ordered from Holland.

We are incredibly grateful to Lauren Michelle who captured the entire event beautifully, our videographer Mat and to the Chiara at Exclusive Italy Weddings for making everything look impeccable and the day run seamlessly. David and I have the best memories from our wedding day and it is so amazing to be able to revisit them with all the beautiful photos and video taken that day.

Photographer: Lauren Michelle | Cinematography: Matteo Castelluccia Videomaker | Wedding Planner: Exclusive Italy Weddings | Floral Design: Il Giardino SNC Di Morelli | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Ceremony Venue: San Giorgio Church, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy | Reception Venue: Imperial Palace Hotel, Santa Margherita Ligure, Italy | Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent | Bridesmaid Dresses: Joie | Bridesmaid Dresses: Monique Lhuillier | Bridesmaid Dresses: Diane von Furstenberg | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Music: Co-Max Production | Transportation: Autonoleggio Stelvio | Wedding Dress Style: Monique Lhuillier - Jessica

Monique Lhuillier is a member of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. Exclusive Italy Weddings is a member of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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Tuscany Wedding from Emm & Clau

Florence is bar none my favorite place on earth. It’s a city rich in history, architecture, scenery and romance — but that’s only the beginning. Dive in a little deeper and you’ll find a city just begging to play backdrop to a gorgeous wedding like this, which is why the full gallery from Emm&Clau is a complete and total must. Have a look here!


From the Bride… When one of our friends started telling us about her recent, small wedding in Italy, we thought, why couldn’t we have an intimate Italian wedding? After all, we DID get engaged in Florence, Italy back in November of 2011- it just seemed idyllic.

My fiance, Jone, and I first searched for a wedding planner who could find us our perfect venue. We knew we wanted to get married in a castle, late night dancing and unlimited open bar was a must, andit had to be easily accessible for our guests.We scoured through locations such as Venice, Rome, Verona, Lake Como, Almalfi Coast, and Florence. Every Italian city oozed romance and deciding on one location proved to be a daunting task. Our hearts were set on Castello Di’Vincigliata-a 13th century old castle perched up in the rolling Tuscan Hills surrounded by olive trees and vineyards served as a perfect backdrop to our Italian wedding!

I wanted our wedding to exude elegance, glam, classical romance, and soft tones. We chose champagne, ivory, gold accents, and white flowers to compliment our castle venue.

The week started out with 50 of our closest friends & family arriving in to Italia. We toured through Tuscany where did some wine tasting , had some of the world’s best gelato, and ate the most succulent, local organic food made on-site at a vineyard. Jone and I hosted a welcome/rehearsal dinner at a Florence favorite, Mamma Gina’s, the night before our wedding where everyone got to stuff their belly’s.

Predicted to rain on our wedding day, and being that we were both from the Northwest, it wasn’t something we weren’t used to acclimating to. A couple hours before our wedding, we had thunder showers, but the skies cleared, and we had perfect sunny weather for our special day. No treacherous plan B needed. As a nod to my Vietnamese heritage, I wore a traditional Vietnamese dress (ao dai), and we paid tribute to our parents and family with a customary tea ceremony in the morning where plenty of tissues were used to wipe the emotional tears.

My fianc had a vision of a very particular dress he wanted me to walk down the aisle to, and when I fell in love with this Lazaro number online, I had to immediately try it on as soon as it came off the run way. I loved the exquisite French alencon lace with the delicate sweetheart neckline, and the dramatic layered ball gown skirt made of silk organza…nothing else I tried on could even compare, it was perfect. It was the one. Needless to say, Jone was very pleased when he saw me walk down the aisle.

Some personal touches included: our Save the Date cards were local post cards specially delivered to us from our wedding planner in Florence. In lieu of the guest book, we had everyone sign a handmade map we purchased from Etsy, which indicated where we first met,, where we got engaged, where we would marry, where we’d be living as husband and wife, and where we would honeymoon.We released two doves to symbolize our eternal love and had our guests write well wishes on wish tags that would hang on the reception chandeliers.Our guests enjoyed local Italian aperitifs and belinis in the castle’s courtyard while overlooking the garden and Tuscan sunset. Dinner proved to be a culinary experience as our palates were met with wine from the castle’s cellar, delicious Tuscan cuisine, and an Italian wedding cake delicately made in front of our guests, which they all still rave about. To thank our guests, the wedding favors were Italian limencellos.

To have a fun-filled week with our nearest and dearest friends and family meant the world to us. We loved that our guests got to experience Italy and see why we both fell in love with it’s old world charm. We even got to stay in the same room at the same bed and breakfast where Jone proposed to me!

It all went by in a blink of an eye and we are so blessed with the team of vendors who made a stressful destination wedding, an enjoyable one. Our wedding exceeded our every desire- it truly was an unforgettable day, in which I wish we could relive all over again, in slow motion!

Photography: Emm&Clau | Cinematography: Mickael and Benjamin | Wedding Planner: Samuele Gallorini | Flowers: Marie Lou | Wedding Dress: Lazaro | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Andy Bridal | Catering: Delizia Ricevimenti Firenze | Hair: Mej Staff | Grooms Shoes: Hugo Boss | Celebrant: Joe Bertolino | Bride' Shoes: Christian Louboutin | Bride's Jewelry: Nadri VIA Nordstrom | Chandelier Rental: Samuele Gallorini | Groom's Ring: Cartier | Groom's Tuxedo: Calvin Klein | Groomsmen Attire: Mens Warehouse | Makeup: Azzurra Makeup | Programs, Menu, Place Card, Reserved Seating: By Invitation Only | Rentals: Delizia Ricevimenti Firenze | Venue: Castello Di' Vincigliata

Hayley Paige and Jim Hjelm Occasions are members of our Look Book. For more information on how members are chosen, click here. JLM Couture, Inc and Il Cerimoniere Italian Weddings are members of our Little Black Book. Find out how members are chosen by visiting our FAQ page.
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A Bride on the Streets of Venice from Katy Lunsford Photography

Roaming the streets of Venice in a gorgeous Claire Pettibone dress, bedazzled with gems and furs most definitely falls into our category of ‘enchanting’. And with Katy Lunsford behind the lens, we can gaze at one of the most enchanting shoots we’ve seen lately, right here in the gallery, for as long as we please.

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From Katy… Quite simply a beautiful bride in a beautiful dress on the streets of Venice… the aim of the shoot was to create some beautiful fine art bridal portraits in Venice, using the tones and textures found there as inspiration, with a bohemian twist. A Claire Pettibone dress was a must, and Constance, with her rich dark cream lace and unstructured silhouette was the perfect choice (and easy to transport in my hand-luggage!). To create a few different looks I chose two headpieces; the first an intricate beaded piece with a full-length, lace scalloped-edge veil attached, which provided both drama and elegance. The second, a delicate circlet made of tiny hand-crafted clay flowers, beads and jewels, with a pretty train of ribbons and organza in blush and peachy tones, which created a more boho feel. We added long cream gloves and a fur wrap for more theatrical glamour. Our model was perfect, her gorgeous red hair and tan brogues working perfectly with the dark cream lace of the dress and the pale terracotta and aqua tones of the city. We spent a lovely morning wandering the back streets, alleyways, canals and bridges of a rather flooded Venice, creating dreamy and romantic imagery to inspire, delight and enchant. For who could fail to be delighted by a beautiful bride in such an enchanting city?

Photography: Katy Lunsford | Wedding Dress: Claire Pettibone | Wedding Dress: Style - Constance | Bridal Boutique: The White Closet | Floral Circlet: Lila Lila | Headpiece + Veil: HF Couture