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A Romantic, Week-Long Celebration in the Italian Countryside
January 2, 2018
Destination
RomanticVillaSummer Weddings
From breathtaking rehearsal dinner to the most stunning grand finale, this wedding week is one for the books. But that’s to be expected of a destination affair in the wilds of Italy. Filled with panoramic views and feting under the stars at the hands of Weddings in Tuscany by Chiara Sernesi, live vicariously through and Ether & Smith's gorgeous photographs.
From the Bride... I met Nico 8 years ago, in our last year of university in London. For some reason we had never crossed paths, but in one chance encounter everything changed, and we've been inseparable ever since.

Nico and I grew up in 6 different countries between us, so when it came to deciding on the venue location, with people travelling in from over the globe, we wanted to pick somewhere that was a destination for all of us. Tuscany, Italy had a special place in our hearts. We had travelled here together before, and loved everything from its rolling hills, cypress-lined country roads, medieval hilltop villages, comfort cuisine and of course the vino!

After two trips around the region with Chiara and her amazing team, we chose Castello la Leccia as our main wedding venue. This was definitely the best decision we made. Francesco, the owner, was lovely, accommodating and very professional.

Some of our family members had never met so we made sure to plan many outings and dinners during the week of the wedding. By the time of our rehearsal dinner, friendships had formed and everybody was ready to party. This was not say that the week was stress free. With the threat of rain on our wedding day we had to consider a change of location for the reception. Nevertheless we pushed ahead with the original plan. Stay tune to find out how things unfolded...

Our rehearsal dinner was held at Villa Cerna, a Chianti winery belonging to the Cecchi family where we organized a wine tasting accompanied by traditional Tuscan meal. We had a smaller group of around 40 guests (mainly family and a few close friends), which made it a more relaxed and intimate setting, ahead of our big day.
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More from the Bride... I woke up on our wedding day and ran to the window, and to my great delight the sky was blue and the sun was shining - I chuckled confidently, as I told Nico it will not rain today... After a lovely breakfast in bed, it was time to say goodbye to my soon-to-be husband, as I was whisked off for hair and make-up.

I resurfaced a few hours later, for our 'first look' photos, where Nico and I were able to make the most of the hour which preceded the ceremony for some couply pictures in and around the wedding venue. Our photographers Emma and Allen, had found some amazing backdrops, and helped make us feel really comfortable by talking us through her vision for the shots, the photo shoot turned out to be so much fun!

Now onto the ceremony! This was held on a hill, overlooking a scenic Tuscan panoramic view. The ceremony was followed by a cocktail reception in the garden, where we had similar views, and followed by an al fresco dinner under the stars. The night seemed to be going perfectly until shortly after our mains were served, and we could see a thunderstorm in the distance, which we felt was coming our way. An executive decision ensued, as Nico decided to skip desserts, as he delivered his speech, and asked our guests to head on over to the cake station. As we cut the cake, fireworks went off, and with strong winds this made the fireworks look even closer! As soon as the fireworks finished, the storm broke, and all our guests raced inside!

Our wedding planners, and staff at the venue and our chefs all helped rearrange things live. Dessert plates were passed along, as our guest filled the lobby, dining area and corridors! When the rain stopped for a few minutes, we jumped at the chance to get our first dance on, and our guests were quick to join us. The rain started pouring again, but at this point everyone wanted to keep dancing, so we partied in the rain, and just kept going!

All good things come to an end, and so the next day we had to say our farewells. On Sunday we hosted a farewell brunch, with all our guests dressed in white, which made the photos looks really fantastic!

Even though a lot of time went into planning (with help from many wonderful people!), the week was more than what we had imagined. It was truly an extraordinary experience, the best weekend ever as Nico put it. We are so thankful for all our guests who travelled from so far, and really came to party. We wish we could do it all over again, but instead we'll keep reliving in our minds every memory, some of which are captured forever in the most amazing photographs.