If this doesn’t make you want to book a destination wedding in Tuscany immediately, I don’t know what will. The views are to die for and wedding venue Vignamaggio is the ultimate setting amongst all the beauty. Emma & Jake compliment it beautifully with simple but stunning white and green flowers, and the most stylish wedding stationery and signs. Not to mention an adorable vintage ape bar.
Bride Emma is a vision of beauty in a lace Pronovias gown & veil bought lovingly by her Nan, and Jake looks dapper in a light blue linen suit from Suit Supply. Talk about couple goals.
After you’ve swooned over the images by Samuel Docker, I strongly urge you to sit back relax and watch the heartfelt film by Paul Van too. Warning you may end up crying in your cornflakes (other breakfasts are available!).
Pronovias Wedding Dress
Emma & Jake: Every girl dreams of shopping for her wedding dress but I felt quite overwhelmed. I visited a couple of boutiques and felt a bit deflated after trying on what seemed like hundreds of dresses! I have always admired the designs of Pronovias and booked an appointment with my mum and my bridesmaids. As soon as I stepped into the Bond Street boutique I knew this was where I would find my dress. After being passed a glass of champagne I started to try on the most gorgeous gowns. I always had an idea of what I wanted, but I had fun with it and tried on a variety of styles. It was the final dress of the appointment and as soon as I stepped into it, I knew it was ‘the one’.
My Nan wasn’t due to fly out to Italy due to her health and she wanted to purchase my veil. I took her to Pronovias and gave her a sneak preview of my dress and she helped me choose, what I can only describe as the most perfect veil. As soon as she saw the dress we both cried and from that moment she was determined to make the trip to Italy and she did!
Finding jewellery was one of the hardest parts for me. I am quite minimal with jewellery and the design of my dress meant that I couldn’t wear a necklace. I had always planned to have my hair up so I knew I wanted a pair of earrings that would complement my dress but equally, I could wear again. I already had some pieces from Monica Vinader and I love all of her collections. I opted for some earrings from the Riva collection and I think they worked perfectly.
If there ever is an excuse to purchase a pair of designer shoes, your wedding day is it! I fell in love with a pair of Jimmy Choo’s and I knew they would work well with my dress, but also something I could wear again. They found themselves wrapped under the Christmas Tree from Jake and it was the best present I could have asked for! I plan to wear them for every anniversary.
I always imagined wearing a made to measure suit on my wedding day and explored some different options along Saville Row. Feeling slightly deflated after the lack of suits on display and very little interest shown from the staff, we went to a shop I was familiar with – Suit Supply on Vigo Street. They have an extensive range of off-the-peg suits that are slightly more than most high street stores. I was looking for a suit that would not be confused with business attire but at the same time wasn’t too in your face. After deciding against a green suit, we found what I was looking for in a blue check two-piece which was made in a linen & wool blend – perfect for the Tuscan weather. With the help of the in-house tailor and numerous alterations, we were able to make this look and feel like a made to measure suit. We pieced this together with a navy waistcoat and dark brown double monk strap suede shoes which were also from Suit Supply. My many visits to the store allowed me the opportunity to look for the groomsman suits and after trying on a handful, a mutual decision was made to go with a navy blue linen suit.
Tuscan Wedding Venue
We fell in love with Tuscany after taking a vintage Fiat 500 wine tour from Florence around the Chianti region. We shortlisted venues in Tuscany after researching venues via numerous websites (including Rock My Wedding) and Instagram. However, at this point, Vignamaggio was not on the list. It was only after the venue was featured on ITV’s ‘The Wine Show‘ that it caught our attention. The dusty pink facade, the stunning landscape and breath-taking sunsets all contributed to making this a priority on our trip. As soon as we arrived we could envisage us getting married there, the 14th-century villa, the renaissance- style gardens, the dramatic aisle under the arch and dining under a fairy-light canopy. Not to mention the newly renovated rooms and the two swimming pools overlooking the many vineyards belonging to the estate. We booked a room for the evening, had a delicious meal in the restaurant and by the morning our mind was made up, this is where we were to get married.
Getting married in Tuscany meant we already had the most perfect backdrop. We wanted to keep the styling quite minimalistic with soft tones of brass and gold.
All of the design work was created by my talented brother and he designed everything from the save the dates to our table plan. It was really special to have him involved in this aspect of the wedding and I knew he would exceed our expectations.
The Wedding Boutique Italy provided all of our flowers and I loved our choice to have one long garland at the dinner table. I wanted to incorporate greenery in my bouquet so opted for Olive Greens, and Eucalyptus which really complimented our surroundings.
The Wedding Party Fashion
I wanted something a little different for my bridesmaids and dresses that felt more like an evening gown. After visiting a local boutique, Blush Bridal, I instantly fell in love with the Wtoo by Watters gowns in the shade of eucalyptus. The colour suited all of the girls and really complimented the Tuscan surroundings. Our flower girl wore a beautiful bohemian style dress from Tea Princess. The dress was beautiful and light and the detailing was gorgeous. Our page boys wore sets from Next and we gifted Converse to keep them comfortable and on their feet all day.
During a trip to Italy, we met Luca, our celebrant, to discuss our options for the ceremony. We instantly felt at ease around him and knew he was the one we wanted standing there with us on the day. We spent the following few hours getting to know each other and agreed the next time we would see each other would be at the end of the aisle on the big day. We chose two readings for the ceremony ‘Blessing of the Hands’ and ‘Love is a temporary madness’ which were read by Emma’s brother and one of her bridesmaids. During the signing of the register, we arranged for the string quartet to play ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’ in memory of Emma’s late Nan & Grandad as she has fond memories watching the film with them as a child.
We wanted to keep the ceremony classical so we opted for a string quartet which we had throughout the ceremony and for the aperitif that followed. We provided a list of songs that we wanted to be played during the ceremony and also some songs that would provide background music for the aperitif. The majority of the music used in the ceremony was a classical string such as ‘Canon in D’ for Emma’s aisle walk, however, the music during the aperitif was string versions of more modern songs. For the evening we had Brind Apino serving our guests with prosecco and beer from their vintage Ape whilst our DJ played tunes in the canopied garden before continuing the party in the old wine cellar until the early morning.
Being foodies, this was an extremely important part of the day for us, we both know that a good meal will stay in your memory forever and can transport you back to the time and place you ate it. Although we didn’t have the choice of using outside vendors, it worked in our favour as the food at the venue was delicious. It was important to us that our guests ate dishes that were not only typically Italian but also traditional to the local area. To begin we had a small portion of lasagne unlike any we’ve ever tasted before and for the main, we had a fillet steak accompanied by potatoes and vegetables picked from the gardens. The dessert was a traditional Italian cake which was prepared and made in front of the wedding guests, not only was this something we’d never seen before but we’d also never tasted anything like it. We paired each course with a selection of wines produced from grapes picked in the hills surrounding our table and bottled on site.
Finding a photographer was one of the easiest decisions we had to make, even before we got engaged Emma followed the amazing work of Sam Docker. We always knew a photographer would be one of the biggest investments but we can honestly say it was money well spent. During our time planning the wedding, we looked at hundreds of pictures of the venue and its surroundings and not one of them do it justice which made us wonder whether our wedding photos could. We’re very pleased to say that they do and we now have over 1,000 beautiful photos that we’ve begun to hang around the house which will forever remind us of our perfect day and its setting. We’ve never seen someone work so hard, his passion for photography is evident and he was an absolute joy to have around which put all our guests at ease. Our guests couldn’t speak highly enough of both Sam & Paul, it almost seemed as though they were the topic of everyone’s conversation over the weekend.
Perhaps the easiest decision we made was our videographer Paul Van. When we watched his previous work of a complete strangers wedding and shed a tear, we couldn’t have anyone else capturing our wedding. It turns out that it isn’t just us who get emotional watching a strangers wedding video, during the summer we were approached by a young woman neither of us knew and she started the conversation with “I know this is going to sound strange but my whole family cried while watching your wedding video”.
For good measure, we did explore other options but we couldn’t find anyone else whose work was as captivating, emotional and well put together. As we were getting married in such beautiful surroundings, we felt it might be beneficial for our video to contain drone footage. Although this was not a deal breaker for us, it was an added bonus when Paul confirmed it was a service he offered. Our decision to have a videographer there on the day was to help capture the emotion that perhaps a photo couldn’t, to forever take us back to those moments that we may not remember in years to come and to relive the moments of loved ones that may not be with us anymore.
Wedding Eve Pool Party
To show our appreciation for the guests who made the trip out to Tuscany, we organised a pool party for the eve of the wedding. The venue served pizza fresh from their brick oven, we drank beer and spritz straight from a vintage ape which had been converted into a mobile bar and we ate ice cream served from a vintage Fiat 500. We asked the DJ to create a beach club vibe while our guests were busy getting to know each other before the big day. Despite the amount of alcohol consumed and some of our pictures suggesting otherwise, it was a very civilised evening. We also arranged a farewell dinner on the day after the wedding to enjoy one last Tuscan meal before everyone departed. We arranged for two coaches to pick us up from the venue to begin the ascent to Ristoro Di Lamole. The staff were kind enough to reserve the outside terrace for our group overlooking miles of stunning countryside and created a menu typical of the local area. It was the perfect ending to an unforgettable weekend but for those that wished to continue, we arranged cocktails and wine tasting at Enoteca Falorni in Greve.
Readings: ‘Blessing of the Hands’ and ‘Love is a temporary madness’ Aisle Music: ‘Canon in D’ Signing of the Register Music: ‘Somewhere Over the Rainbow’