Choosing a Big Day locale isn’t always easy, but for this darling duo with a love of Italian food and a dream of touring Italy, the choice was simple: Florence. They whisked off to the land of romance and fine wine with their closest friends and family, all with the help of a talented team of vendors like Devoted To You, Tuscany Flowers and Chris+Lynn Photographers. The results? Absolute magic with some of the most beautiful details you will ever lay your eyes upon. Soak them all in in THE VAULT.
From Chris + Lynn Photographers… Robin & Gary knew that they wanted a small wedding with their closest family and friends. Robin had always wanted to go to Italy, and Gary had never been to Europe. After deciding to do something different, they planned to have a gorgeous wedding surrounded by gorgeous views of Florence. 40 guests traveled from various places to witness their beautiful wedding and celebrate with them. Robin wore a stunning Vera Wang wedding dress, and their decor was absolutely breathtaking with vibrant colors such as persimmon, strawberry, and papaya.
From the Bride… Gary and I started looking for a wedding venue in our hometown of Toronto but couldn’t find anything that was right for us. We decided we wanted to do something different and also small and intimate with our friends and family. We knew we wanted to have a romantic honeymoon in Europe afterwards… having a destination wedding there first seemed like the perfect solution.
We decided on Europe because Gary had never been there and we envisioned traveling together by train after the wedding. Our next decision was which country…our love of Italian food made Italy the winner! After reviewing many locations, we decided on Villa Vedetta for the amazing view of Florence – it is incredible! We wanted an outdoor wedding and it had a wonderful setting for a garden ceremony, cocktails by the pool, and dinner on a terrace facing a spectacular view of the city. The staff there also had a high level of service, was fluent in English and showed great attention to detail. It was the perfect choice!
Our wedding planner Carmen helped us through the entire process of planning our destination wedding by coordinating vendors and working with local counterparts to coordinate additional tour-related activities for our guests.
We wanted all our guests to really experience Florence so we planned a lot of activities. One day we brought everyone to a vineyard in Tuscany for a tour, wine tasting, and lunch. Another day we went to Sienna to explore the town and cathedral and to San Gimignano for local shopping. Yet another day we organized a guided walking tour of Florence. Throughout all these activities all our guests took photographs. We surprised each guest with polaroid cameras as a welcome gift when they first arrived at our hotel. We invited them to use these cameras for the duration of our trip and share the photos with us. And we made a contest as well with different categories. This was one of my favorites ideas because photography is so important to us and this activity brought us all together throughout the wedding week events. At the wedding, all the polaroids were displayed on ribbons in the reception hall; it was nice for everyone to see the trip through all the guests’ photos.
Some of my favorite memories from our destination wedding were the anticipation of getting ready and spending time with my maid of honor; taking photos on the streets of Florence, exploring the countryside of Tuscany in a vintage convertible, and our post-wedding portrait session with our photographers at the Abbey of San Galgano. It was a great adventure!
From Devoted To You… Planning this wedding for Robin and Gary has been a personal labor of love for me. From the moment we met, we clicked right away. It is always a bonus working with a bride who has so much in common with you and share the same interests. The countless hours we spent working together did not feel like work at all. We explored many cities and venue options in Europe and finally landed on Villa Le Vedetta, which has the best view of Florence and such a beautiful garden for ceremony. It was only 1.5 km away from the wedding venue of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, and we were there just a week before their wedding, so being able to avoid the paparazzi crowd was a fortunate bonus. It was a lot of fun and adventure traveling with Robin and Gary since they haven’t been to Florence. In addition to planning the group activities for the guests and making sure they had a great time, I had planned the week full of activities. I made sure everyone had time to experience Florence the way it was meant to be experienced. But equally importantly, I wanted the photographers and videographers who were with them to be able to maximize all the photo and video opportunities. I think one of the essential aspects of destination weddings is to be able to take advantage of the beautiful and unique sceneries as backdrops and take as many photos as you can.
We coordinated all the airport and train station pick-ups for the guests and kicked off the wedding weekend with a warm welcome dinner. The following day, we arranged a tour to the country side of Tuscany where we had wine tasting and lunch at a castle, followed by walking tour in the medieval town in Sienna and San Gimignano while Robin and Gary snuck away from the tour and rented a vintage car to drive around the countryside with Chris + Lynn and StillMotion following them. On the wedding day, guests were invited to a walking tour in Florence while Robin and Gary prepared for their big day. The dinner view at the terrace of Villa Le Vedetta was so surreal with Duomo in the background. Everyone had a great time and wished that the night would not end.
On the last day, we planned a farewell breakfast for all the guests to say goodbye to the bride and groom before they departed to the next stop in their trip.
Photography: CHRIS + LYNN PHOTOGRAPHERS | Cinematography: StillMotion | Event Design: Cynthia Martyn Fine Events | Event Planning: Devoted to You Inc. | Floral Design: Tuscany Flowers | Wedding Dress: Vera Wang | Cake: Sugar And Spice Firenze | Calligraphy: The Lettering Studio | DJ: Fabiodex | Groom's Attire: Garrison Bespoke | Venue: Villa La Vedetta | Getting Ready Venue: Hotel Home Florence