As we go through this difficult time amid the spreading of COVID-19, our hearts and prayers are with everyone in Italy and around the world affected by this disease. Today, we’re celebrating the beauty and strength of Italy with this stunning Tuscan wedding at Villa Medicea DI Lilliano planned by Anne Laure Weddings. It’s the perfect recipe for a magical destination wedding in Tuscany – a pizza party rehearsal dinner in the garden, a first look among the olive groves, and cocktails on the terrace overlooking the Duomo. From start to finish, this day is nothing short of a dream. Head on over to the full gallery, captured by L&V Photography, to see all the destination wedding inspiration.
From Anne Laure Weddings… Sophie and Joey tied the knot last August in Tuscany, not far away fro Florence. This sweet couple from Seattle are Italy lovers and wanted a small intimate affair surrounded by their dearest friends and family members. They chose the Villa Medicea di Lilliano as their wedding venue and the rehearsal dinner took place in one of the other villas of the property. For the rehearsal dinner, they chose to have a real garden pizza party with a mix of aromatic plants and lemons as centerpieces, wooden tables and chairs, sage and white striped napkins and string lights crossing the lawn. And the gelato cart as dessert was a must!
Their wedding day was as elegant as the pizza night. The bride wore gold Miu Miu bridal shoes and a romantic V-neckline satin gown, the groom Gucci moccassins and a white tuxedo jacket with black lapels. Black accents were everywhere to see, from the bridesmaids dresses to the flowers and charger plates. After their first look in the olive grove of the villa, the couple couldn’t not go to Florence for their couple shots! They enjoyed the view over the Florence Cathedral on Piazza Michelangelo and strolled on the Santa Trinita bridge with the Ponte Vecchio as a beautiful backdrop before coming back for their wedding ceremony. Sophie and Joey chose to celebrate their union on the terrace overlooking the Duomo and whereas the rain started just when the guests arrived, it stopped the moment the bride set foot on the terrace! The dinner took place in the amazing garden of the villa surrounded by lemon trees. The long table was adorned by the stunning floral arrangements by Chiara Sperti Florals Events and covered by a ceiling of fairy lights.
From the bride & groom… Sophie studied abroad in Florence while she was in college. Ever since then, it was always her dream to be married in Italy. Both our families have Italian heritage, so Italy holds a special place in our hearts. We wanted our wedding to be memorable and special for every guest that attended. Our goal was to plan an intimate, classic, and romantic destination wedding. In order to achieve a classic/modern look, we decided on white, black, and gold as our color palette. We wanted the entire wedding party in black – bridesmaids, groomsmen, and our parents. We just love this look because it’s timeless. It’s a look that never goes out of style. One fun aspect of this style was having Joey wear a white tux jacket so that we would stand out from the rest of the wedding party. Sophie’s grandpa wore a white tux jacket at his wedding as well, so this style choice was a way for us to incorporate deeper connections between our history and our future. Most of our wedding attendees are from the Seattle area, so we were asking a lot of people to have them travel all the way to Florence. Some people had never been to Italy, let alone left North America.
We decided that instead of just having a one day affair, we wanted to make our rehearsal dinner more of a welcome dinner and invite everyone who was attending the wedding. We wanted this to be laid-back and fun, and thought it would be a great way for everyone to socialize ahead of the big day. We decided to do a floral dress theme because Joey loves his crazy floral shirts. The dinner consisted of casual, outdoor dining that included pizza, wine, and a gelato cart! At the welcome dinner we also made bags with our venue illustration on it, and filled it with wine and olive oil from the venue as a thank you gift. Our favorite moment aside from saying “we do” was our wedding dinner. We hosted this in the venue lawn just as the tuscan sun was beginning to set. Our table arrangement was one long table that fit all 44 of our guests, and we had fairy lighting spanning the entire length above us. We also had architectural uplights that lit up the venue throughout the evening. It was magical! Dinner was served over three delicious courses, and in between those courses we slotted in all the speeches nice and evenly. We topped it all off with a live and interactive traditional Italian wedding cake presentation. For flowers we wanted all white to contrast with everyone wearing black and we wanted an array of local flowers. For the dinner table setting we wanted the table lined with flowers and candles to keep it romantic.
For the bridal bouquet I knew that I wanted to have my Grandmother’s rosary intertwined, every woman in my family has used it in their bouquet since her. Joey carried his Aunt’s rosary in his pocket all day, this was special because she had recently passed away. Both of these aspects were extra important to us because it was another way to incorporate our families. Sophie found her gown at Nordstrom and it was by Jenny Yoo. It was not what she had originally envisioned for her wedding dress, but once she decided on it, she could not have been more pleased. She felt the A-line shape and simplicity of the dress would go perfectly with our Italian villa wedding. For favors, since we had already given the guests their welcome bags, we kept it simple and provided everyone with a bottle of limoncello at their wedding dinner seats. For the assigned seats, we had acrylic plaques made with everyone’s name on them and they were able to take these home as mementos from the wedding. For the cocktail hour we wanted to have an assortment of meats, cheeses, and Italian appetizers. Aperol Spritzes were served as the cocktail. We also decided to have a three piece Italian band playing to add to the ambience. For our wedding cake, we decided to do a traditional Italian cake instead of the traditional tiered American cake. We also decided to have our wedding cake made live in front of the guests. We thought this would be fun and entertaining. Little did we know that we would also be helping to make our own wedding cake! The caterer came up to us and asked if we wanted to help, and of course we said yes! They placed a chef cap on both of our heads and gave us each a piping bag with the cake filling in it.
What is one piece of advice that you could give brides-to-be?
I know everyone says this, but the day goes by in an absolute flash. Try your best to enjoy every minute of it. Spend as much time with your spouse as you can and try not to get separated too much. It is the one day that is just about the both of you and you should really cherish that. If you are planning a destination wedding, try not to worry about the little things. Just focus on getting the big things right. For example – we were not able to visit the venue before we got married, so the first time we saw it in-person was 4 days before our wedding. We had to trust our wedding planner, venue, and vendors to help us achieve our vision without us ever stepping foot onsite. Making the right decision in those three categories will save you so much stress later on. So don’t sweat the small stuff and try to focus on the bigger picture. And get a wedding planner! There is no way we could have planned our wedding without the help of Anne-Laure. We were not able to visit the venue beforehand, so the first time we saw it was 4 days before our wedding. Anne-Laure made sure that we knew every detail about the venue and did an onsite visit where she FaceTimed us so that we could see everything. She truly understood our vision down to every detail. She kept us on track and brought amazing vendors and ideas to the table.
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Photography: L&V Photography | Videography: 2Become1 | Event Planning: Anne Laure Weddings | Floral Design: Chiara Sperti | Wedding Dress: Jenny Yoo | Reception Venue: Villa Medicea di Lilliano | Bridal shoes: Miu Miu | Day of Stationery: Crème De Papier | Hair and make-up: My Wedding Mirror | Production: Alma Project | Rentals: Preludio Noleggio