I came upon this Tuscan wedding right in the midst of my fiance and I pondering honeymoon locations, and well, I think Italy just jumped up the list a few notches. With stunning views like these, how can you go wrong? This celebration, captured by Melissa Fuller, is what destination weddings are made of and I’ll be mentally escaping to this gallery for the rest of today, for research purposes of course.
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I stood atop a rolling hill in the middle of the Tuscan countryside, the sounds of a crowd of people clapping and singing huddled around a long table complemented by the low hanging afternoon sun. At the end of the table was Robin, the wild haired Italian groom, waiting for his bride and the mother of his son Lev, to round the corner of his father’s farmhouse, parse the crowd, and sit down on the opposite end to sign their Ketuba and make a commitment to one another in front of family and friends. It was so stunning and perfectly intimate that I wanted to pinch myself.
The couple brought with them their Rabbi Noa Kushner from SF who they met with many times leading up to the wedding to make it personal and meaningful. By the day of the wedding they knew her very well and she knew them. The two never rehearsed the ceremony because they didn’t want it to seem rehearsed. The beauty in the organic nature in which it all just sort of happened was well worth it. – Melissa Fuller, photographer
Immediately after the ceremony, Robin and I intentionally took 10 minutes together to contemplate what just happened. After we returned to the group, things got “messy” with traditional Jewish circle dancing, and Klezmer music. It was festive! It was fun and silly! Chairs! We had a silly dance (which actually we never danced at the wedding, we recorded it afterwards because Robin couldn’t bear being in the spotlight for another second!- Keren Bigio, bride
The creative mind of the groom Robin, who works in San Francisco as a designer, was epitomized by the Chuppa that he designed and built from scratch. He made eight paper models and one quarter scale model with real materials! The result was a fantastic geometric roof that Robin spent the wedding morning setting up alongside his best friends. – Melissa
Our siblings held the poles of the Chuppa. The Chuppa actually symbolizes our future home (it’s open on all four sides to invite everyone in). Our siblings held the poles of the Chuppa to symbolize helping us “hold” our home. – Keren
An Artists Hand
Robin hand painted and designed all of the signs (parking, bathroom, etc) as well as all of the collateral (menu, invites, seating assignment cards, etc.). My favorite detail was a little box that guests could use to deposit cards, notes and drawings, complete with an illustration of Keren and their son Lev painted on the top. – Melissa
Overall, a very “DIY” wedding – there was no “wedding planner”, We made it happen ourselves! Tony and Alicia, Robin’s father and stepmother, definitely worked super hard to execute the our vision (quite perfectly!) – Keren
What better venue than the rooftop of an old Roman apartment overlooking the colosseum to bring in a warm welcome for your guests?! A few days before the wedding, Robin’s mother hosted a fabulous rooftop party that went into the night allowing international guests to explore Rome before heading up the coast to the countryside for the big day. It was a true coming together of their worlds! Friends from 11 (!) different countries! Mainly, Europe, Israel, the US and Canada were in attendance. – Melissa
I loved how everyone became friends after Friday night and hung out together the whole weekend! It made the wedding day that much more intimate. I also loved that people took daytrips together on Saturday before the wedding (and also after the wedding), and made dinner plans, etc.- Keren
What to Wear
Robin’s mom, Martina, found my dress when she was visiting SF! It was actually the first (and only) dress I tried on. It was found in a tiny store on Valencia (2 blocks from my house!) called Laku. The owner of the store, an amazing Japanese seamstress, found the vintage dress and kept it in the store as a design piece on a mannequin. It wasn’t even for sale. Robin’s mom saw it and fell in love. We went back to the store together and convinced the owner of the store to let us buy it! She did A TON of work on it to fix it up – and custom fit it. Robin’s Suit was custom tailored by by Taylor Stitch. We wanted to tone of the wedding to be casual, intimate, and mostly just comfortable. We told people to dress “countryside chic” – which totally confused people ;) – Keren
Keren’s good friend Amir played guitar for them at the ceremony. Guests and even me, the photographer, were asked to refrain from taking images and just be in the moment after the two came down the aisle. It made the ceremony one of the most special ones I have seen.
Dinner was served long into the night in a true Italian fashion. Their baby Lev, woke up just in time to steal the show and make an appearance! Long family style tables were set up with some of the most delicious plates of traditional pastas, salamis, and seafood passed around from guest to guest. Also, let’s just say the wine was just as good :) Yum! The food was catered by a local restaurant (literally a block from the house in Tuscany) Le Mandorlaie. – Melissa
Photography: Melissa Fuller | Venue: Private Farm