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Coral Charm Peonies Make This Italian Celebration All the More Pretty

If there’s one flower that consistently steals our affection it’s the peony. And this stunning Italian celebration? Well it’s filled with them. Bursting with vibrant coral charm florals and one fabulous celebration, Kir & Ira Photography has captured every bit to share and we’ve got it all waiting for you to fall in love with in The Vault!

Al Fresco

From The Bride…I’ve been organizing events around the world for the past 15 years that’s why we decide to plan our wedding celebration ourselves. The expectations from our friends and family were high towards this one, which did not make planning any easier. We started looking on the Internet for ideas and places we liked. With guests coming from 21 countries, we wanted to rent a whole villa/house for a week, so all of our friends and family could stay near by to us. We also were looking for flexibility from the venue we were going to use, so we could decide our own suppliers, with not so many restrictions. Most important factors for us were great food and drink, good weather, nature and a peaceful unique place as we live in London, we wanted to get away from the crowd. We chose Italy, as it was easy to get to for us and our guests, offered great places to visit and it is a paradise for foodies.

We enjoyed doing site visits to Italy. We visited Tuscany twice to organize and see things, as we have organized our wedding ourselves. We chose the idea of travel and globe as a seating plan. We had an old map and we allocated guests per countries. We also really wanted to have two long banquet tables and it worked really well for our wedding. At our wedding we had many kids who were given kids packs full of games, stickers and toys to keep them entertained.

I liked the idea of braces and tie bows for page boys, and they were the stars of the day. We saw San Galgano Abbey and straight away decided that this is the place for us. On the evening of our first visit there, they had a opera concert, which we stayed and decided on that same evening that Opera during our ceremony would be a real wow factor as we enjoy it and our guests would have a different experience.

We had local honey as small presents to our guests. We found these little pots of honey in local shop and a supplier made special stickers for us (Tatyana and Lee, meant to bee) and we got lavender honey (bees been collecting piling from lavender flowers only). Peach and coral color scheme started from peonies, flowers which I have fallen for and which were used in wedding flowers as well.

Wedding took place end of April, and we decided it would be the best time as it was not to hot, not too busy with tourists and prices were lower compared to peak time. Only thing we had to consider was changing weather, therefore we have booked a big marquee and placed it just outside of the villa as we wanted most of the wedding to be outdoors, and we didn’t want to take a risk on the rain. We had booked two musicians, who stayed with us for from Friday until Monday playing piano, and guitars for us. On our wedding day we have put lots of effort to our entertainment program, which included traditional Russian games as well as some less traditional dance offs. We had also prepared a song list for our Italian DJ who successfully catered for each taste of music and got us all dancing to great hits like to Kalinka, Macarena and many Italian classics.

Best parts of the whole wedding planning experience was driving our classic car in the most beautiful areas of Tuscany, visiting places and trying food during our site visits and meeting with the Mayer of the town, two days before the wedding to sign pre marriage documents. We have met and made friends with great people including Jacopo, who is the owner of Villa di Corsano, so was there to give us great suggestions and local knowledge.

If you want to organize a wedding in Italy we would recommend to choose a place which is near places for sight seeing. We had Sienna only 15 minutes away, Florence 1 hour away plus many other great places. Make sure you use only recommended suppliers and it is not easy to book services in Italy, as people are very relaxed. We had very personal experience as our dear friend Carmen who is from Italy, was translating our ceremony into English. For Russian guests who did not speak English, we translated menus and order of service for them. We also had best mans and grooms speeches translated beforehand, to make it more personal on the wedding day.

As we had such a international wedding, we did our own website, where our guests could find travel info, tips and photos. It was the easiest way to communicate info and updates. In total we had just over 90 people and 60 of them stayed for the whole week. We made a holiday out of this and every evening we had BBQ and meals together, so we have an outstanding wedding party.

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Photography: Kir & Ira Photography | Event Planning: Events by Taty | Floral Design: Fiori da Elena | Ceremony Venue: Abbazia Di San Galgano | Reception Venue: Villa di Corsano | Bride's Shoes: Atelier Fatima Alves | Rings: KultaNalle | Catering: Royal Catering | Hair + Makeup: Irina Kondratenko | Calligraphy: Kate Pshenichnaya | Film Processing: ImpressionFilmLab | Legal Papers: Italian Wedding Papers

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: Frou Frou Chic | Ribbons: Silk & Willow | Ring Box: The Mrs Box | Wood Pepper Mills: Brigitte Deval | Wrought Iron Sculptures: Biagiotti

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Chic + Intimate Elopement in Tuscany

Today we’re giving MAJOR props to this darling duo. For not only did they elope in THE most beautiful part of the world, but they also managed to plan the entire celebration via e-mail. I mean, that right there is proof that they had the utmost trust their vendors, and the payoff? AH-MAZING. It’s the perfect intimate ceremony complete with endless love and thanks to the ever-so-talented Jasmine Star we’ve got it all waiting in The Vault!


From the Bride… The most difficult part about planning an elopement in another county would be the communication, specifically the language barrier. Several of the important details from my perspective (hair, makeup, flowers, ceremony plans, etc.) were all discussed, negotiated, and confirmed/secured via email. That can of course be a little nerve-racking, especially when contracts and an exchange of monetary value is involved. However, as we’ve socially evolved as a culture over the past decade there are so many secure sites that make doing business internationally much more accommodating! Oh, and the time difference. Carl and I found ourselves up at 4am here in Florida calling the event coordinator at La Foce or our priest to discuss details, details, details.

The advice I would give to other brides wanting to plan an elopement internationally would be to start “planning” or at least securing your “must have” vendors (photographer, ceremony site, etc.) at least a year in advance. Engage with your “core vendors” for recommendations on other “must haves”. For example, when scouting a designer for a unique veil ask ask your photographer, “What’s the most beautiful veil you’ve ever photographed..and who designed it?”

Lean on your inner-circle of friends, colleagues, co-workers, family, etc. as a resource for different aspects of the inital planning. This could be as simple as posting on social media a question about “Anyone been to Italy? What was your favorite region? Any breathtaking venues I MUST know about when planning a special getaway?”

Build relationships with everyone you communicate (especially those who are located at your chosen destination). Yes, build relationships with folks you initially email simply inquiring about a venue, pricing on something, etc. How do you do this? Be diligent with your email follow through. Google their name and establishment to find something unique about them and mention it in your correspondence. Read reviews online and highlight something special someone said about their experience with said person and/or venue. If the person is extra helpful, write them a hand-written card thanking them. This “relationship building” in turns helps you find your “local liaison”…which brings be to my next point….

Find a local “liaison” of sorts to help you navigate the (even small) barriers of planning (language, time difference, etc.) This person isn’t necessary your “coordinator” (for instance Carl and I didn’t have a local coordinator/planner), but instead someone who you’ve emailed and/or spoken with on the phone enough times that you can perhaps Cc them in an email with someone they have referred you to to help explain something when you’re having difficultly understanding or “connecting a dot”. For instance, this person for us was the rental manager at the estate we stayed at and had our wedding ceremony. She was so helpful when we initially reached out to inquire about the property that I felt comfortable Ccing and including her on the email exchanges we had with our priest about ceremony details when we were each having a hard time articulating certain things. She was happy to chime in and help both ends fill in the blanks. We kept the theme of “relationship building” going with her by bringing her and her assistant a gift from Paris upon our arrival.

The real unexpected perk was getting to experience the special Sposi Novelli treatment at the Papal Audience where Pope Franicis welcomed people from all over the world to celebrate the anniversary of the Second Vatican Council and did a special blessing for those approved to sit up front (newlyweds!!!!). Newly married couples traveled from all over the world to experience this so for us having already scheduled a wedding and honeymoon in Italy and THEN finding out about this opportunity was definitely an UNEXPECTED perk. Needless to say we revolved our honeymoon schedule around getting a special blessing from The Pope. Apparently the tradition of “blessing newlyweds” has evolved over history (depending on who is Pope).

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Photography: Jasmine Star | Floral Design: Stiatti Fiori | Reception Venue: Chiarentana | Makeup: Sam's Parrucchieri | Wedding Venue: Chiesa Di S. Bernardino