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Intimate Tuscan Wedding + Florence Engagement

Pack your bags, pretties. We’re about to escape via Vicki Grafton’s amazing images to the streets of Florence and the hills of Tuscany. We’re peeking into the ultimate destination celebration with the most talented local vendors like Chic Weddings In Italy and Galateo Ricevimenti. Starting with a pre-wedding shoot near The Duomo and ending with a beautiful film from East West Productions, your Monday just got so much sweeter. More inside The Vault.

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride…Shaun and I met in the chorus room of our high school when we were 15 years old. It was NOT love at first sight! But one year later, we officially started dating and began our lifelong journey of friendship and love. The years went by and we were simply there for each other—through all of life’s challenges, triumphs, struggles and successes. It was just after our eight year anniversary and the day before my birthday when Shaun proposed at a vineyard in the Virginia mountains, owned by a famous Italian winemaking family. It was fitting for Shaun to choose such a location to propose because we studied abroad together in Florence, Italy in college, and fell in love with everything Italian. In the years leading up to our engagement, we talked about the possibility of getting married in Italy as a way of introducing our favorite place to our favorite people.

After our official engagement, it was clear to Shaun and I that we really did want a small, intimate wedding, and wanted to use this time of celebration to travel with our friends and family to Italy. While it was difficult making the decision to have such a small guest list, since Shaun and I both have large families, we knew it was what we really wanted. So we began brainstorming our perfect Italian wedding that we knew would include lots of amazing food, wine, and frolicking in our beloved Florence.

Thanks to our long engagement, I had the time to plan every detail, and really think about each and every decision to be made. Shaun and I both spent many years working in the food and hospitality industry, so we knew what details to consider and prioritize to pull of a successful event and create amazing memories. Thankfully, every single one of our vendors was top notch and extremely professional, and I felt we brought together the dream team to help make our day the kind of event we wanted. We also enlisted the help of Chic Weddings in Italy, as I knew we would need assistance navigating Italian customs and culture, while seamlessly integrating customs and traditions important to us. Sara of Chic Weddings in Italy was an invaluable asset to the team, and the day would not have gone so smoothly if not for her.

After nearly two years of planning, Shaun and I arrived in Florence for a few days of fun in the city before heading off to the Tuscan countryside for three days of rest and relaxation with our friends and family. During the planning process, Shaun and I were able to fly to Italy on a venue scouting trip. Our original intention was to pick a venue inside Florence proper, because we love the city so much. Among the venues we saw, Sara insisted we take the trip out to see Borgo Stomennano. She even drove us herself! Being the stubborn girl that I am, I was not too thrilled about seeing a venue 45 minutes from Florence, but once we drove up the driveway lined with cypress trees and saw the gorgeous villa just beyond the gates, we knew our city wedding had turned into a Tuscan countryside dream. Borgo Stomennano not only was to be the location of the wedding events, but also served as accommodations for the majority of our 35 guests. We reserved the villa for three days and spent our time swimming in the infinity pool, staying up late laughing and drinking wine, and enjoying the surrounding views of the Tuscan hills and the medieval town of Monteriggioni, where we held our rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.

Once wedding day arrived, it was as everyone says, and they day flew by so quickly. Rain threatened the entire day, and it was stressful in those first few hours making the decision to keep our plans of an outdoor wedding. But once the decision was made, I can’t remember another part of the day where Shaun and I didn’t have a goofy grin on our faces—except when my sweet groom couldn’t keep his tears at bay during practically the entire ceremony. Our ceremony was short, but meaningful as we said our vows among the olive trees. We concluded the ceremony by jumping the broom, one of our favorite parts of the day. After pictures with family and the bridal party, and strolling through the olive grove hand-in-hand for our portraits, Shaun and I were able to join our guests during the aperitif held in the gorgeous Italian gardens at the front of the villa. We will never forget when the sun settled beneath the clouds and cast the most amazing glow in the sky, with Monteriggioni in the background. Magical doesn’t even begin to describe the moment!

After the sun set, we moved to the back of the villa were the dinner table was laid out. We set the mood with chandeliers in the trees, many candles, soft and inviting music and incredible florals by La Rosa Canina. Shaun and I love good food and Shaun is a bartender who makes the most amazing craft cocktails, so the food and drinks had to be phenomenal. Galateo Ricevimenti worked with us to craft a perfect menu that included pesto lasagna, risotto with duck, filet mignon with Chianti Classico sauce and various Tuscan wines. We ended the meal by serving a traditional Italian wedding cake, millefoglie. The layers of puff pastry, Chantilly cream, and berries were assembled in front of the guests, and this moment turned out to be one of the highlights of the whole day. After the meal, we ended the evening by dancing the night away poolside and munching on a midnight snack of gelato and various Italian cookies.

As we settle into married life, and recall the day beautifully captured by Vicki Grafton and East West Production, Shaun and I cannot help but feel tremendously blessed. The years leading up to our wedding were the most stressful of our lives as I finished law school, but every second was worth it. The whole wedding week, we were filled with such peace and love for each other and our crew who surrounded us as we entered into the covenant of marriage. The wedding turned out to be even better than we ever dreamed. We are so thankful for our friends and family who all traveled a long way to celebrate with us, and the beautiful memories that were created that week. I have a feeling many more trips to Italy are in our future.

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Photography: Vicki Grafton Photography | Cinematography: East West Productions | Event Styling: Chic Weddings In Italy | Floral Design: La Rosa Canina | Wedding Dress: Essense Of Australia | Invitations: Written Word Calligraphy | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Bridesmaids' Dresses: Jenny Yoo | Catering: Galateo Ricevimenti | Hair + Makeup: Giulia Cresci | Calligraphy: Betsy Dunlap | DJ: Francis Jay | Groom's Attire: J. Hilburn | Groomsmen Attire: The Black Tux | String Quartet: Firenze Classica | Venue: BORGO STOMENNANO | Bridal Boutique: Betsy Robinson Bridals | Event Production: Chic Weddings In Italy | Groom's Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo | Hair Accessories: Jennifer Behr | Programs: Written Word Calligraphy | Save The Dates: Carol Woldhuis Designs | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
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Elegant + Romantic Seaside Portofino Wedding

Portofino is known as perfection the world over, so to host your special day there is what dreams are made of. And to host a bash filled with peach bellinis and blooms overlooking the colorful city below makes it all the better. Set at the Belmond Hotel Splendido, with Facibeni Fotografia capturing it all, these pics are my prescription for any hump  day blues – get your fix in our VAULT right this way!

Colors
Seasons
Summer
Settings
ChurchHotel
Styles
Classic

From Facibeni Fotografia… Sarah and Shaun got married in June 2015 in Portofino on the Italian Riviera. They had travelled to Portofino for a romantic escape and fell in love with the authentic beauty of the small traditional fishing town. A year later they hosted an intimate and heartfelt wedding with their closest family and friends. Their two children, Harry and Jessica, witnessed the day.

The bride is a romantic by heart and her personality was reflected in every little detail of the decor. The ceremony, one of the highlights of the day, was celebrated at the picturesque church of Saint George, protector of the town. Bride and groom reached the port on a little Italian cart while guests paraded behind them. While guests were treated to a delicious local ice-cream, Cristiano from Facibeni photography sneaked in some quiet time with the bride and groom for portraits along the marina. The light was magical.

About the design and styling – Sarah and Shaun shared lots of inspiration from their home design, to their personal taste in dresses and favorite colors. Alice from Sposiamovi designed all the decor and little details around them. As they love Portofino they wanted local features to be incorporated like the Bellini cocktail bar, the little three wheeled Ape car they rode to the town, the elegant dinner setting with incomparable views over Portofino and an Italian singer that learned all their favorite songs to make it extra special.

A little advice for couples planning a destination wedding is a little hiccup can happen when handling wedding paperwork for Italy. We had to redo a document from scratch with very little time. Lucky we had planned ahead and had enough time to reapply at the Consulate for the Nulla Osta. So, remember to double check your paperwork each time is submitted and plan ahead to allow enough time to amend any mistakes. Start as soon as you can!

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Peruse more destination weddings here!

Photography: Facibeni Fotografia | Cinematography: Riccardo Lavezzo | Event Planning: SposiamoVi | Floral Design: Genio & Sregolatezza | Wedding Dress: Berta Bridal | Stationery: SposiamoVi | Bride's Shoes: Valentino | Groom's Attire: Hugo Boss | Ceremony Music: Musica Evento | Venue: Belmond Hotel Splendido | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here
These Featured Designers are members of our Look Book.
For membership information, click here
Late Autumn Destination Wedding in Italy

Looking for the perfect Italian celebration to inspire your own nuptials? Well, look no further because Duepunti Fine Art Wedding Photography has delivered just that. The ultimate vineyard affair filled with sentimental surprises, this is one gallery you won’t want to miss. See it all unfold firsthand in THE VAULT!

 

Colors
Seasons
Fall
Styles
Al Fresco

From The Bride…Kirill has never believed in destiny, neither have I. So much of our relationship is about coincidence and luck, that the story of how and why two people come together reminds us of a well ­orchestrated screenplay. By the moment we exchanged our first messages in Facebook, we realized that our accidental chat would change everything. It was the decision to stay instead of moving to another city to our shared love of traveling and hunger for new impressions, that finally led us to Italy. That became homeland for our hearts and creative minds.

Living between two countries helped us to bring up both ourselves and our relationships. Sometimes life is not only about discovering what you are passioned about and simply becoming the best, however this way might work. But the more interesting, thrilling and unpredictable choice is to take what you are good at and combine it with strongest point of the other person. Synergy of two people creates something greater than the their sum as separate parts. Thus after almost six years together, opening a studio and being tired of the routine we faced, we put our stuff in bags, figured a possible route, took the tent and left everything that seemed to be impossible to leave. Forty days on the way to freedom, forty days of traveling, forty days to define ourselves, ended up with a proposal among the hills of the wild medieval village Vetulonia. I was amazed how fast the destiny reacted on our sudden desire to escape from mediocracy.

We loved the spontaneity of our decisions and agreed not to dive into wedding fever for as long as we can. We really wanted to keep the feeling of lightness and ease through out the planning and the day itself.

The venue was chosen accidentally during the next weeks of traveling. Again the matter of luck. We were having aperitivo with our italian coffee partner at Relais Russiz Superior vineyard, when we both felt the same: “That’s it!” Hospitality and cozy spirit of the house reminded us about the time when we used to gather all together at one long table, chatting about nonsense until the sunrise. We decided to revive this atmosphere and build the whole day around the idea of enjoying time with our loved ones, accompanied by particular food of the region and refreshing Pinot Bianco.

For decoration we chose natural tones and materials: beige linen tablecloths and grey silk ripped ribbons, sewed by me and my mother, were seasoned by branches of eucalyptus, rosemary and brunia berries. Our ideas were implemented by very talented Marta Petrioli ­ Flowers Living, who shared our vision right away and made all floral decoration looks organic and consistent. The fragrance of roses and eucalyptus filled the air and intoxicated our hearts with dreams about wild nature and adventures.

When it came to wedding dress, I knew from beginning that it should be something unique. I was looking for simple shapes, clean outlines, weightless materials and sense of purity. A Long skirt from natural silk and a lace crop top, that were created together with Alexandra Grebneva, became my manifesto of freedom and piece of delight for Kirill.

We optioned not to see each other before the ceremony. The moment my dad was walking me down the alley, the moment of seeing Kirill coming towards me; swirl of emotions, reinforced by his hugs; the way he was holding my hand all way long through the ceremony; his pray with every single word turned into my tear of happiness. Blurred faces of guests all like in a fog. A Moment that we will never forget.

A few minutes after we were driving our Alfa Romeo Spider Cabrio to the seaside in order to do what we love most of all: escape from mediocracy among the waves, listening how monochrome ripples whispered the mystery of love. Desaturated sky bestowed some calmness and left some time for our thoughts. Having young and old generation together, mixture of cultures and traditions, fueled the day with endless vibes of honesty, home warmth and ease. The day ended up with wedding cake, despite it was impossible to cut the first piece because of waxwork edges, everyone bursted out laughing and it was remarkable end of the day.

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See even more head-turning trends here!

Photography: Duepunti Fine Art Wedding Photography | Floral Design: Flowers Living | Wedding Dress: Alexandra Grebneva | Bride's Shoes: Manila Grace | Catering: Società Gastronomica Friulana | Makeup: Alice Pontoni | Groom's Attire: Armani | Venue: Capriva Del Friuli | Vendor: The Bride's Aunt & Grandmother

These Vendors are members of our Little Black Book.
For membership information, click here