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Fashionable Elopement in Tuscany

If I had the chance to wedding plan all over again, this Italian elopement is exactly what I’d do. Set in the most charming town hall, with their parents to bear witness, it’s exactly what intimate, wildly romantic nuptials are all about. SposiamoVi planned every moment and Lisa Poggi and Matteo Castelluccia captured to perfection. More photos (and that high-low McQueen gown!) waiting here.


From The Bride…I don’t always go for the “bigger is better” theory. That’s why, when Simon and I got engaged, we agreed to keep things intimate and romantic. What better way to honor that agreement than to escape to the Tuscan hills of Italy and elope! I did some online research and found SposiamoVi, premier Italian wedding planners, and got in touch with them straight away. They got back to me immediately, and we started planning…

From SposiamoViHailing from Australia, Catherine and Simon wanted to plan their elopement during their trip to Italy in early September, 2013, with their parents as witnesses. A wildly romantic plan, and one that left us all starry-eyed. We got straight to work. Through Skype, email, and Pintrest we were able to share inspirational wedding photos and ideas with Catherine.

After a careful search we were able to secure the age-old town hall in Radda, Chianti and the beautiful fourteenth century Villa Vignamaggio. Radda is a medieval village that is set snugly into the Chianti hills and encircled by forests, olive groves, and vineyards.

Villa Vignamaggio is a venue that sits upon a hill top and overlooks the surrounding vineyards and wineries. SposiamoVi has a long standing relationship with the Villa, and it was the perfect location for the accommodations and reception of this quiet gathering.

At last, the wedding day had come! Catherine – assisted by her mother, hair and makeup artist, and her personal SposiamoVi wedding planner – could finally don her fabulous high-low Alexander McQueen gown and silver Miu Miu t-strap platform open toe sandals, complete with sparkling cut glass heels.

Simon looked very handsome in his stylish light blue suit and polka-dot bowtie. And, as he waited anxiously for his bride, her bouquet of fresh flowers and greenery from La Rosa Canina in hand, his mother attached his boutonniere to the lapel of his suit.

As soon as she was ready, Catherine met Simon, her parents and his parents in the Villa’s elegant main reception room. After a few more pre-wedding photographs from renowned photographer Lisa Poggi and some additional video footage from respected wedding videographer Matteo Castelluccia, Simon’s and Catheirne’s parents got into a luxury taxi and made their way into Radda. Shortly thereafter, Catherine’s father escorted the bride into a vintage Fiat convertible and drove them to the town hall.

Arriving at their destination, Catherine was met by curious and appreciative on-lookers. Simon went on into the town hall’s loggia to meet up with his parents, while Catherine and her parents lingered just a bit before walking into the loggia to a waiting Simon. Their civil ceremony was peppered with much laughter and even a few tears. After they were pronounced “man and wife”, Catherine and Simon’s parents showered them with rose petals upon the town hall’s ancient stone stairs. The six of them then strolled in the warm Tuscan sunshine to a nearby terrace for champagne and hors d’oeuvres, sitting under a sun umbrella and overlooking the sparkling blue-green Mediterranean sea.

Back at Villa Vignamaggio, the SposiamoVi team was hard at work, transforming one of the Villa’s wine cellar into a cozy, culinary haven. Making sure that the dining table was set for dinner with antique lace tablecloth, fine dinnerware, tall candelabra, fresh flowers from La Rosa Canina, and small candles scattered artfully about the table setting. Soft accent lighting from the venerable chandelier above the dining table completed the romantic, intimate ambience.

Before coming to dinner, the bride changed into yet another wonderful Alexander McQueen creation. This one playful with a plunging back, lace accents, and short organza ruffles. Catherine, Simon and their parents enjoyed a delicious Tuscan meal together; each course topped off with a different wine, selected from the Villa’s own vineyard. After dinner the newlyweds cut their cake, and then enjoyed a private dance among the French oak wine casks in the Villa’s aged wine cellar; the photographer and videographer capturing each move, each loving moment.

This was truly an experience that Catherine, Simon, and their parents will look back on for years to come with broad smiles on their faces. A fabulous location, an intimate setting, a charming couple, and loads of love!

Photography: Lisa Poggi | Cinematography: Matteo Castelluccia Videomaker | Flowers: La Rosa Canina | Wedding Dress: Alexander McQueen | Hair And Make Up: Lara Navarrini | Bridal Shoes: Miu Miu | Villa: Vignamaggio | Wedding Planner And Designer: Sposiamovi Italian Wedding Planners

Mike Larson Tuscany Workshop from Alchemy Fine Events

If there was ever a shoot that made me want to crawl through the screen and spend the rest of my days surrounded by its pretty – it would be this Tuscan dream from Mike Larson and Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations. I’m just a wee bit upset they didn’t ask me to come along for the ride. Because if it was half as magical as it appears in these images, I would basically be in heaven. And I would probably still be there, sunning in the Tuscan sun, because why oh why would you ever want to leave something this pretty? Good thing for all of us, you can surround yourself in all the goodness right here in the gallery. And if you want to be a part of something this fabulous, check out their workshop announcement below!

From Vanessa of Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations… With inspirations of an Italian love story in mind, we created the vision of Terrae Mare, or Land and Sea for the Mike Larson Tuscany workshop. The story is this… a seaside beach beauty in love with a dapper polo player wed amidst the vineyards in Tuscany, bringing together the land and sea for a juxtaposition of styles.

Set against the backdrop of the rolling vineyards of Chianti in a Romanesque villa, Tenuta di San Giusto was the locale for this magical shoot designed with modern, classical, seaside and rustic elements. For an updated twist we paired white mid-century modern Arne Jacobsen chairs with a rustic wine tasting room wood table and layered on vintage battenburg lace napkins, sterling silver chargers and bone inlaid flatware. To combine the romantic and modern inspirations onto the tablescape we painted leaves and greenery an opaque white and mixed them into the arrangements of white roses, lilies and lisianthus along side sea shells and neo-baroque candleabras.

Dresses for a casual romantic ceremony our bride was styled in an ethereal ruffled skirt and vest by BHLDN. Our ‘sposabella’ cradled an eclectic bouquet featuring lush white peonies, lisianthus and gords with sea urchin shells nestled inside of them. Clad in a nautical inspired casual yet preppy attire, our groom’s garb boasted a royal blue blazer. After changing into casual glam evening look our ‘bella’ bride boasted a 40’s inspired beaded gown by BHLDN and dangled rhinestone and fabric earrings to make her eyes sparkle as she gazed upon her. The invitation to this intimate affair featured modern typography on a textured cardstock that was carefully nestled inside of a dove gray silk invitation box with a seashell adornment on top.

Workshop Announcement

This year Mike Larson’s annual photography workshop will be held on the white island of Ibiza, Spain in conjunction with Alchemy Fine Event’s recent partnership with Bonder & Co., a top luxury concierge company, which allows the workshop to reach new heights. Throughout the four-day workshop, students will capture two editorial shoots, an engagement session for a real couple and a live fashion show featuring Spanish designers covered by international press.  All shoots will be designed and styled by Vanessa Van Wieren of Alchemy Fine Events. Students will benefit from direction and one-on-one time from Mike Larson, morning roundtable discussions and photo critiques from esteemed editors worldwide, networking with the cream of the crop in the industry and receiving exposure on an international level, making this workshop an invaluable experience. So, if you are a photographer looking to take the next step in your career by pursuing the luxury destination wedding industry, come experience the stunning island of Ibiza, learn about wedding trends for 2013, and get your work exposed on a higher platform!

Photography: Mike Larson / Venue: Tenuta di San Giusto in Chianti (Siena), Italy / Art Direction, Design, Styling, Floral Design + Stationery: Vanessa Van Wieren of Alchemy Fine Events & Invitations / Fashion Styling: Stefania Warren / Bride’s Dresses + Accessories: BHLDN / Bride Model: Carolina Rosini / Groom’s Attire: Zara 

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