For those of you that aren’t jetting off to Tuscany to say ‘I do’, but still long to incorporate the romance that only the Italians can pull off then Amanda and Michael’s wedding is for you. A dreamy day captured by Vicki Grafton Photography that proves you can absolutely plan an Italian inspired celebration in the states. Graced with elegant details and a super sweet couple, we’ve got every darling detail waiting for you in The Vault!
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From Vicki Grafton Photography…Amanda and Michael had a lovely intimate Tuscan inspired wedding at Bella Collina in Montverde, Florida on April 22, 2016.
I went to college with Amanda and she was even a bridesmaid in my destination wedding back in 2008. I knew Amanda had always dreamed of a destination wedding in Italy which connected her to her family heritage. However, when the time came and she found the man of her dreams, there were a few very important family members that sadly wouldn’t be able to make such a long trip to Italy. So to help her stay true to her original wedding dream, I assisted in finding the most amazing venue and team of vendors to bring her vision to life. I love when my couples ask me for advice to get the wedding and the images they have always dreamed of, and Amanda definitely utilized my experience in the industry to do just that.
My favorite details of their celebration included handmade paper invitation and event calligraphy by Julie Ha Design, including wooden menus with the course names written in Italian. The florals by Fleur & Lumiere had a elegant yet foraged tuscan feel including olive branches and greenery. I also adored how their ceremony was nestled in with Bella Collina as the backdrop to create that intimate villa feel. And although a threatening storm ultimately changed their reception plans from an alfresco dinner around the reflection pool to a cosy dinner inside Bella, Amanda and Micheal were still able to have their first dance at the reflecting pool as their guests looked on from above. About 5 minutes after their first dance the clouds finally let go of the rain which was perfectly timed to usher guests inside for an intimate dinner.
From the Bride… We wanted to have an authentic destination feel of Tuscany close to home. Our venue provided the perfect backdrop for an Italian inspired theme. I wanted to be surrounded by nature while still keeping the formality of an elegant event. We went for a Vintage Italian vibe with the colors of Tuscany including soft neutrals, taupe, cream, touches of pale pink and soft greenery. We included homemade biscotti favors set at each place setting. The biscotti were wrapped with parchment paper, twine and a sprig of rosemary. The music ensemble also included an accordion player to transport guests to a different time and place. And our custom designed invitations had the beautiful ceremony backdrop sketched by hand on handmade paper with a rough edge which set the tone for the a celebration with effortless elegance.
My favorite moment was the first look. It was a peaceful private moment amid the chaos. We both were brought to tears and it was a moment I will never forget. My favorite detail of the day was the venue. Bella Collina is Italian for “beautiful hill” and it definitely lives up to its name. We truly felt transported us to another place and time. The Ceremony was held outdoors on the lawn with the beautiful stone and Tuscan style architecture and stunning cypress trees as the perfect backdrop for our vows. Cocktail hour was initially planned for the courtyard clock tower, but because of the impending storm, it was moved to the atrium with beautiful stone arches and wrought iron chandeliers, overlooking the reflection pool and Lake Siena in the distance. For dinner and dancing we moved into the clubhouse which felt almost like a castle with dinner set in front of a grand fireplace. Off the dining room was an cozy bar/lounge area for dancing and I think having an intimate room for the reception really encouraged our guests to mingle and dance all night!
Our cake was three tiers of delicate ruffled fondant covering Amaretto sponge cake with a bavarian creme filling. The flowers were the perfect tones consisting of white and crème, gently accented with taupe and blush using peonies, english garden roses and other european flowers all accented with olive branch and greenery. The bouquets were all hand tied with luxurious silk ribbons and the boutonnieres were a sweet coupling of greenery, olive and herbs accented with rough cut silk ribbon.
My gown was perfection, but it took some time to find the right one that fit the destination vibe we were were going for. I ended up with a romantic A-Line with a soft sweetheart neckline and off-the shoulder illusion sleeves. It had a delicate floral lace pattern over subtle gold satin and then layers of eternal tule over top. It was light and delicate and looked effortless and etherial when I moved. My bridesmaids dresses were mis-matched long flowy gowns in soft pinks & blush. They each picked their own dress and two of the girls actually switched the morning of!
The one piece of advice I would give to brides-to-be is to wear flats! I was very resistant at first, but it was by far one of the best decisions I made and I am so thankful I listened to that piece of advice. I felt just as glamorous and it saved my feet! No our could tell anyways as my dress was long and the shoes didn’t show. I really enjoyed the night and was able to dance all night long!
Photography: Vicki Grafton Photography | Coordination: Linda Ha Events | Floral Design: Fleur Lumiere | Wedding Dress: Brides by Demetrios | Hair + Makeup: Brie & Brie | Calligraphy + Invitations: Julie Ha | Venue: Bella Collina | Ribbon: The Poetry of Silk | Veil: Emily Riggs