When these two couldn’t find the right venue to say “I do” here at home, they decided to follow their hearts and return to a place they fell in love with before… and they weren’t disappointed. With the gorgeous Tuscan hills all around, they became Mr. and Mrs. and celebrated with this rustic Italian wedding – and we’re just jealous we weren’t invited. Gianluca and Mary Adovasio snapped away and Angelo La Torre filmed it all live – see more right this way!
From Angelo La Torre… It was Super Bowl XLVI (2012) in Indianapolis that brought this couple together. The Giants defeated the Patriots and neither one of them ever thought we would end up finding the “one” in Indiana. Jonathan (the groom) was there working on the pre-game show for the NFL. Krista Belle (the bride) was there helping with the Bud Light Hotel. Krista Belle, a former wedding planner herself, turned corporate event producer, was living in Los Angeles at the time. Jonathan the co-owner of a lighting, staging, and audio / visual company was residing in Chicago. It was an unlikely setup, but a work colleague / friend introduced them, and a relationship bloomed. Their first weekend away was in Paso Robles, California and there began their love of traveling together and delicious wine. The couple spent two years commuting between LA and Chicago before Krista Belle finally moved to the Midwest.
Krista Belle’s job takes her all over the world. She had just finished up a job in Paris and Venice and Jonathan flew to Italy to join her with friends. There was a property in Pienza, Italy that Krista Belle had been dying to visit. They spent a week between the La Bandita Countryhouse and Townhouse. The area was charming, the food delicious, the people amazing, and both properties were perfect. This place was magical and really stuck with the couple. The everlasting beauty was something that they knew they would one day return to.
After getting engaged – at an Ostrich Farm in Solvang, California, the search was on for a place to get married. They scoured vineyards, private homes, and resorts all over Southern California. Not finding the perfect match, both kept feeling drawn to the possibility of Tuscany. After discussing all the options with John Voigtmann, the owner of La Bandita, the idea of Italy became more of a strong consideration. After a trip to Florence for work, Krista Belle drove out to the Countryhouse to view the property one more time. It was while standing next to the beautiful pool, looking out at the perfect view, that her mind was made up.
The couple began embarking on their greatest event to date. Most of Krista Belle’s family had never been out of the country so this was a huge undertaking! They hired Hope Caldwell to help with the process. Krista Belle and Hope worked hand in hand to manage all the details. The couple decided that they wanted to host several different activities for all those guests traveling so far to get there. The week before the wedding, the Mickelson Clan (Krista Belle’s 16 relatives) headed to Florence to explore its beauty for five days. Jonathan headed to Pienza for a few extra days with this family.
The wedding week started off on a Wednesday, with a lovely welcome cocktail hour at the La Bandita Townhouse. Spritz and cheese are one of the couples most favorite things. People gathered for a true aperitivo experience in the beautiful garden of the townhouse.
Thursday the group was transported to the The Abbey of Sant’Antimo in Montalcino for a tour. The couple handed out euro coins to each guest and asked them to light a candle in the church and make a wish for a loved one. The group was surprised when the Monks began chanting outside of the church. The group then headed to Ciacci Piccolomini Winery for a tour of the vineyard and lunch. That evening the couple hosted a bridal party wine tasting and pizza party at the La Bandita Countryhouse. A chef came in and created amazing pizzas in the wood fire pizza oven and John Voigtmann led the group through a Brunello tasting.
Friday was the rehearsal dinner at the restaurant known for the best view in Pienza, La Terrazza Del Chiostro. The night began with a phenomenal cocktail hour on the terrace with two signature cocktails, one for the groom and one for the bride. The joke in the relationship is that usually Jonathan orders fruity, umbrella drinks, while Krista Belle will drink more manly drinks. The drinks were a perfect representation of this. After sunset, everyone moved inside for a lovely dinner and speeches.
Saturday was the ceremony and wedding at the La Bandita Countryhouse. The bride got ready in the Pig Stye suite on the property. The groom got ready at the La Bandita Townhouse, which is about 20 minutes away. The boys played bocce ball in the garden and relaxed. The bridesmaids had a beautiful lunch overlooking the valley. The ceremony featured a string quartet playing popular music. The groom walked down the aisle with his parents to “The Final Countdown” by Europe. The bridal party walked down to “Just the Way You Are” by Bruno Mars. The bride’s 7-year-old niece was the flower girl and the ring bearer, her 6-month-old nephew, was carried down by her brother. The bride walked down with her father to “Use Somebody” by Kings of Leon. The ceremony was officiated by one of the couple’s best friends, Ben Newmark. The ceremony was beautiful with sentimental moments, funny jokes, a wine pairing, and two readings by friends of family, of the bride’s mother’s poems and prayers. The chair closest to the bride was reserved for her mother, who passed away six years ago. The most memorable moment of the ceremony was during the reading of a prayer loved by the mother of the bride. Halfway through the reading, sheep were released right behind where the bride and groom were standing, all wearing bells, none of which was planned. The sheep are owned by the neighbor and it was a completely random, but beautiful moment. Everyone thought it was the bride’s mom sending a message.
Cocktails were enjoyed by the pool overlooking the valley. Two signature cocktails and funny cocktail napkins were passed with appetizers and drinks. An Italian duo playing an accordion and a traditional Italian horn serenaded the guests. After cocktails commenced the same duo led the guests down the olive tree lined path to the reception. The duo are the cutest little old Italian men that you have ever seen. Straight out of a postcard. This was an absolute must for the bride. She adored them!
The reception was under a beautifully decorated marquee on the property. Guests enjoyed amazing Italian wines, burrata cheese salad, homemade pesto pasta, and filet mignon. After dinner guest were invited to a pergola under the stars for dancing. Next to the dance floor was lounge furniture, a bar, and a fire pit. The couple danced the first dance to “Coming Home” by Leon Bridges. The groom and his mother entertained everyone with their amazing rendition of “Perfidia.” There was not a dry eye in the house when the bride and her father danced to “Landslide” by Fleetwood Mac. The guests danced the night away until 4 am.
The next morning everyone was invited back to the Countryhouse for a pool party and brunch. The bride’s love of pool inflatables was made a reality with several fun items like a swan and pineapple.
The next day everyone went home and the couple continued to Malta with a few other couples – to what they called their “Buddymoon.” The couple later enjoyed their real honeymoon in French Polynesia.
Photography: Gianluca And Mary Adovasio | Cinematography: Angelo La Torre Films | Floral Design: Puscina Flowers | Wedding Dress: Monique Lhuillier | Stationery: Written Word Calligraphy | Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Bridesmaids' Dresses: BHLDN | Lighting: Alma Project | Groom's Suit: Burberry | Bride's Hair + Makeup: Jessica Liparoto | Bridesmaids' Hair + Makeup: Ilaria Borgioli | Event Planning (Italy): Tuscan Wedding Events | Event Planning (USA): KLH Group, Hope Caldwell | Event Rentals: Handled by John Voigtmann | Farewell Brunch: La Bandita | Musicians: String Quartet & Accordion Duo (John Voigtmann hired) | Rehearsal Dinner Venue: La Terrazza del Chiostro, Pienza, Tuscany | Welcome Bags: A Signature Welcome | Welcome Celebration: La Bandita | Wine Tasting Lunch: Ciacci Piccolomini, Montalcino, Tuscany