Take a deep breath lovelies as this wedding is about to knock your socks off! The Italians really do know how to do timeless and romance don't they, so it's no wonder our gorgeous couple have family roots in Italy, and it's no wonder this wedding is one sophisticated affair in a stunning Tuscan villa. Every aspect is utterly divine. From the outdoor ceremony in the gardens of Villa Catureglio, to Mia and Paolo's chic attire, and not forgetting the sumptuous red blooms that adorn the gorgeous venue as well as the beautiful bouquets. I think it's one of those weddings I could literally swoon over and talk about endlessly. But before I let you enjoy the gorgeous styling by Kate and Rose Weddings, and portraits captured by Stefano Santucci Studio. I just need to mention Mia's gorgeous Juliet cap veil and gown by Suzanne Harward. Exquisite!
The DressMia the Bride: After many appointments trying dresses in London and Australia I decided on a couture Suzanne Harward dress and custom designed veil. I loved that the brand has so much history (a pioneer in the Australian bridal industry for 40 years) and the fact that every gown is entirely handmade in Melbourne with the finest construction and the most exquisite fabrics. The dress was tailor made to suit my figure and fit me perfectly. The silhouette was very important to me and also the texture and detailing. I went for a full matt sequin embellished silk gorgette gown with a low drape back. The epitome of old school Hollywood glamour it felt effortless and easy to wear - being able to dance in it was a must.
ShoesMy shoes were from Scanlan Theodore which I fell in love with the moment I tried on. With blush natural Italian leather and a solid wooden heel with long wrap around laces they added the perfect rustic contrast to my feminine gown.
RingsAs a jeweller/ jewellery designer the rings were one of the most important things for me. I hand made my own engagement ring which has an emerald cut diamond in a unique deco style platinum setting. For our wedding bands we went for 18ct yellow gold which I also handmade, Paolo wanted a traditional soft curve style which I engraved on the inside and mine is a refined but organic full circle of individual settings with different cut diamonds in shades of white, champagne and blush. My aesthetic is quite Italian, having studied jewellery in Florence, and I sourced the diamonds in London but made the ring in Sydney, so it is a unique blend of the three special places in my heart.
The Groom’s FashionPaolo wore a midnight blue Tom Ford tuxedo with black lapels, a matching black bow tie and Tom Ford dress shirt, an investment piece he totally deserved and will wear again.
The VenueBoth of us are half Italian and feel a very strong cultural connection to Italy. I studied jewellery in Florence and Paolo’s half-sister also lives there so Tuscany holds a very special place in our hearts. We heard about Villa Catureglio through friends of friends, which is in a little town called Borgo a Mozzano about 25 minutes from Lucca. We booked a weekend trip to go and stay there and instantly fell in love with the estate. Although I had been searching for a while online it was the only property we looked at and the search stopped there. It was everything we were hoping for and more, built in the 12th century up on a hill with the most spectacular views over the Garfagnana Valley. It was private and intimate yet slept 42 people onsite. It’s rustic understated elegance and Tuscan charm meant it needed little decoration or styling.
Colour SchemeDue to the natural beauty of the property we didn’t over complicate styling. Our wedding reflected us as a couple and our personal style. It was elegant and refined but still rustic. We drew inspiration from the property and the landscape around us which we wanted to be the main focus and added a touch of old Italian vintage glamour.
FlowersSabrina, whose family has owned the local florist in Borgo A\a Mozzano for decades, is a true creative and we were completely blown away with the arrangements. I wanted the flowers to be rustic and a little wild but still refined. My bouquet was quite large with a loose organic arrangement using lots of green foliage including olive branches, deep red, apricot and soft mauve roses, hydrangeas, and draping red Amaranthus. I worked very closely with Sabrina in the days leading up to the wedding choosing the flowers she sourced from the local market. The bridesmaids’ bouquets were a smaller version of mine and not as cascading. The arrangements for the tables were placed in gold vessels and had the same aesthetic. Sabrina also made me the most elaborate flower crown to wear for the reception, I almost felt like the statue of liberty but it worked perfectly with the setting.
The Wedding Party FashionI wanted my bridesmaid dresses to be unique and individual but to complement each other. It was all about the drape, texture, luxe fabrics and soft blush/gold and natural tones that worked back in with the with the colours of the villa and Tuscan surrounds. My Maid of Honour wore a Bespoke Bridesmaids dress (her own label), second bridesmaid wore Amsale from BHLDN, and third wore Zimmermann. Paolo’s groomsmen wore navy Calibre suits with navy knitted ties and white pocket squares from Herringbone.
The CeremonyThe estate has the most beautiful little chapel with original fresco ceilings in the front garden which we really wanted to have the ceremony in however we couldn’t fit all our guests. Instead we decided to have the ceremony on the front stairs of the chapel using the height and architecture as a feature. Don Luigi from the local parish in the village of Cune presided over our ceremony. While traditional in many ways, we also ensured that it had a touch of modern about it. We had three readings throughout the ceremony including poems by Frederick Buechner and Pablo Neruda. We decided to write our own vows which were meaningful and important to us and our commitment as a couple. We included the ancient Sanskirt Namaste greeting which we felt was a special symbolism of our respect and love for one another.
EntertainmentBefore, during and after the ceremony we organised for a beautiful string quartet to play (Alma Project). The music perfectly matched the occasion and was serene while still keeping an air of enegry about it. During dinner we had a Jazz quartet play (Max Soggio) with a repertoire that included all the great jazz classics, from Miles Davis to Duke Ellington. After dinner, we moved to “the barn” which became the dancefloor.
FoodImmediately after the ceremony, our guests enjoyed Aperitivo in the gardens between the main villa and the chapel. Aperol Spritzes were the drink of choice to wash down the fresh antipasti. Dinner was a sit down affair, in the back garden amongst the fairy lit olive trees. We organised four courses with matching local wines (prosecco, white, red and dessert). - Figs served with fresh buffallo mozzarella - Porcini risotto with pancetta and a parmesan sable - Tagliata (beef) cooked on the grill, served with vegetables - Degustation dessert table One of the finest Pasticceria’s in Lucca created the most delicious naked cake for us. It was three tiers of lemon cake with raspberries and cream icing, and chocolate cake with cherries and vanilla icing. The smeared icing also had a soft gold colour.
PhotographerWe chose Stefano Santucci Studio to capture our special day. Stefano and Lucrezia’s philosophy aligns perfectly with everything that we believe in, authentic, natural and beautiful moments. We really wanted someone who would capture the true ‘us’, not staged and posed but the real emotions and moments of the day. We cannot recommend them highly enough.
Other EventsGiven that we had so many guests travelling from all over the world, we wanted to ensure that everyone had a magical time in Tuscany. We organised and hosted a number of events over the course of four days; - Welcome Dinner on the first evening at a quaint local trattoria in the village - Wine tasting and lunch at a vineyard near Lucca - The night before the wedding, we hosted a dinner on the estate, with long tables set up in the courtyard overlooking the valley. The estate has a wood-fired pizza oven on-site with delicious pizzas, salads and local wines being served all night. The gelato cart was a hit amongst our guests! - On the final day we hosted a recovery BBQ in the back gardens where our guests could reminisce about the night before and relax by the pools in the late afternoon sun.
StationeryAgain we kept this simple and rustic with kraft and cream paper with accents of gold and navy. The invitations and menu's featured a seal with our initials in an olive branch wreath, and were made by Upon A Time Designs who I found on Etsy.
Wedding PlannerWe used the services of Kate and Rose Hobbs who were absolutely fantastic. They have wonderful relationships with all of the suppliers and helped make our special day so incredibly memorable.
AdviceBe organised! I was still writing place setting cards on the morning whilst getting ready and wrote my speech ten minutes before walking out to the reception, I really should have been enjoying every moment with our bridal party. Also don’t stress over the little things that go wrong, no-one else will notice except for you. The day passes so quickly so be sure to step back and have a few minutes of alone time with your loved one to really appreciate the day and take it all in.
Dress Designer: Suzanne Harward | Bridal Shoes: Scanlan Theodore | Grooms Suit: Tom Ford | Bridesmaid Dresses: Bespoke Bridesmaids | BHLDN | Zimmermann | Groomsmen: Calibre | Herringbone | Venue: Villa Catureglio | Wedding Planner: Kate Rose Weddings | Catering: II Fattore | Cake: Sandra Bianchi Pasticceria, Lucca | Entertainment: Alma Project | Stationery: Upon A Time Designs - Etsy | Jewellery: Mia Chicco