On a clear day high in the hills of Tuscany, a setting overlooking all of Florence, this beautiful couple (a blend of Tahitian and Italian heritage) exchanged vows in front amidst an intimate gathering of family and friends. A timeless, romantic celebration suffused with organic details drawn from the surrounding countryside. A tumble of cascading roses and hundreds of cream candles, hand penned maps and sensory favours inspired by Florence itself, a natural colour palette, an outdoor dance floor…each moment of intimacy, revelry and euphoric abandon captured with the inimitable eye and signature candid elegance of Lelia Scarfiotti's lens.
HOW WE MET: We met 13 years ago, his best friend was looking for the female lead for his short film and he chose me. My husband played the male lead. We went our separate ways and reconnected and started dating 5 years later.
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: I was coming back from a week in Paris, he came to pick me up at the airport and when I open the door of our home he had put lanterns and candles everywhere with about 40 pictures of us since we started dating, he went down on one knee and asked me to marry him. It was perfect, intimate, romantic and so us.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: In our 7 years together we spent many years doing a long distance relationship so marriage to us means finally being together, having a partner to share your dreams and hopes with. We committed our life to each other, and chose to face whatever life throws at us together, as a team.
WEDDING LOCATION: I had a dream since I was a child to get married in Italy (my dad being half Italian and extremely attached to this country) when we got engaged I knew it had to be in Italy, my husband loved the idea and we chose Florence (since it was where I finished my college degree and he came to visit me many times). We wanted the location to be close to Florence since people were already traveling from so far away to be with us we didn’t want our guests to have to rent a car on top of it. We went to have our tasting at Villa Il Garofalo 10 minutes from the center of Florence and as soon as we came in, it had a beautiful garden and the most spectacular view of Florence we knew it was where we would get married.
THEME/STYLE: We wanted the style of the wedding to be elegant, romantic and Tuscan inspired.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lelia Scarfiotti photographed our wedding. I really wanted romantic pictures that were in the moment. I did a lot of research online and I immediately fell in love with her pictures. She also shot my boudoir session and our engagement pictures (which I highly recommend doing a few months before the wedding). We could not be happier with the way the pictures turned out. They are so organic; you can really feel the emotions of the day when you look at them. On top of it she is an absolute joy to be around and I now consider her a friend.
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BRIDE’S DRESS: I am not the biggest fan of traditional wedding dresses and I tried on quite a few before finding mine. I initially came across Berta Bridal on Instagram and I saw my dress, it had everything I wanted: lace, cap sleeves and an open back. As soon as I tried it I fell so confortable in it, it was so me.
BRIDE'S SHOES: I tried a lot of different brands I knew I wanted open nude shoes, comfortable enough to dance all night. I found them at Tory Burch; they have a pink, nude color with a strap around the ankle.
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: I did not want my bridesmaids to wear the exact same dress but I still wanted some cohesion in the look so we chose the Annabelle dress from Jenny Yoo (you can tie it in many different ways) in 2 different colors (mink grey and cashmere). They all wore it differently.
WEDDING RINGS: My wedding band is a diamond band that was custom made by the same jeweler who designed my engagement ring, which is a round diamond with a double halo. My husband wedding band is the love ring from Cartier in white gold.
JEWELLERY / ACCESSORIES: I wore a diamond bracelet as my something borrowed from my mom, a blue ring that belonged to my grandmother on my right hand. My parents designed my earrings; they were long with white pearls that matched my dress. Tahizea
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: My husband wore a black three piece-suit that we had made in Florence with a custom shirt (that matched my dress color) custom made in Los Angeles with a black bow tie. All the groomsmen wore black suit of their choosing with white shirts and black ties.
HAIR: & MAKEUP: : Both by Giulia Cresci, I wore my hair wavy and half-up with a hairpiece in the back. I wanted my make-up to be very natural looking with a little more emphasis on the eye. I wore black eyeliner with natural eye shadows.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: For our save the date we did a video of us around town doing what we love to do. It was cute and funny and a big hit with our friends and family. For the stationery I used a calligraphist, Four Things and we worked together many months to produce the invitations, thank you cards, menu, place cards, welcome cards etc.… Our inspiration was gold, olive branch, Tuscany and nature. We also had a monogram.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: Instead of a gift at the reception we decided to put welcome bags inside guests’ hotel rooms. We made tote bags with our monogram on it and inside the bags we put little olive oil, Italian snacks, water, welcome and thank you cards, a map of Florence and a book with what to do in Florence.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: When we got engaged I knew I wanted to use La Rosa Canina as our florist. I am so in awe of his style and absolutely love everything he does. We exchanged Pinterest boards and I told him I wanted neutral color with an elegant/organic feel to it and candles. He went above and beyond my wildest dreams. For the ceremony he put olive branches behind the chairs with ribbons. At the end of the aisle it was a mix of candles and wild flowers of different sizes. The reception was so romantic with candles everywhere and different sizes centerpieces.
VIDEOGRAPHY: For us photography and videography were extremely important because at the end of it all, you are left with memories and even though videography are not as popular as photography it is the only way you can relive the moment. I fell in love with Elysium Production’s style of video. They are so romantic and authentic. Julie is such an amazing person and you could never tell she was there.
PREPARATION: The morning of the wedding I had breakfast at the hotel and I spent some time relaxing in my room with some friends and I wrote my parents, husband and bridesmaids cards. Then I got ready in a room at the hotel where we were staying. We drank champagne and I gave my bridesmaids their gifts (a silk and lace robe with a card that matched our invitation).
CEREMONY DÉCOR/ RECEPTION DÉCOR: For the ceremony we wanted the décor to compliment the beauty of the location. The reception had a very romantic feel to it with a lot of candles. We were in this beautiful villa with these gorgeous Italian paintings on the wall but it felt so intimate and it was exactly what we wanted. After dinner we went outside for speeches and cake cutting and during that time the catering company removed everything and turned the reception room into a lounge with sofas, mini deserts and party lightings.
WEDDING PLANNER/ WEDDING STYLIST: Raffaella Alflatt from Wed In Italy and her team planned the wedding. I could have never done it without them. We spent countless hours on Skype and exchanged hundreds of emails. It was so reassuring to have them, especially when planning a destination wedding. During our 3 days celebration, they made sure everything was running smoothly and I did not worry about a thing. They were truly exceptional.
WEDDING SONGS: At the ceremony we had a violinist playing. One of my friends is a singer and she sang and played one of her song on the guitar as I walked down the aisle. Our first dance was “A thousand year” by Christina Perri and our father/daughter dance was “Imagine” by John Lennon.
ENTERTAINMENT: We had a violinist, saxophonist and singer that played during the cocktail hour and the dinner. They were really incredible and made quite the impression. We were not supposed to dance during dinner and everyone was on standing up dancing. After dinner we had a DJ. The saxophonist and violinist did play at the beginning of the party as well.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: During cocktail hour we had a champagne bar and finger foods. During dinner we had antipasto, 3-courses along with white wine, red wine and prosecco served. After dinner we had coffee and an open bar.
TRANSPORT: We had shuttles organized for all the guests. My bridesmaids and I got to the villa in a mini van.
HONEYMOON: We will do our honeymoon in a few months in Vietnam.
GIFT REGISTRY: Having been together for 7 years we did not need anything so instead of a traditional wedding registry we had a gift box at the reception acting as a honeymoon fund.
READINGS: We wrote our own vows. During the ceremony we had 2 readings: my sister and my husband’s sister read a poem that a very close family friend who is a writer wrote for us and our 2 nieces and nephew read an extract from “The little Prince”.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: We had a photo booth during the party and it was a big hit among the guests. People had so much fun using it with the props. All the pictures were then put in a book with notes from everyone. We are both from Tahiti and we wanted to have Tahiti incorporated in some ways so during the ceremony we had both our moms say a few words and wrap us in a handmade Tahitian bed cover. It is a sign of benediction used during traditional Polynesian’s weddings. Our friends and family planned a few surprises. They wrote a song for us that they sang after we cut the cake. They did a flash mob during the party and they did a video of our story. It was so emotional to see that they put so much love and thoughts into it.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: We did a three days celebration and the whole thing was just a dream. Having so many people we love together to celebrate our love in this stunning city that means so much to us was surreal. But if I had to pick a moment I would say the whole ceremony. It is a bit of blur but the both of us never experienced anything quite like it. It was so beautiful to
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS: The only small regret I have about the whole day was that we did not have enough time to take pictures with guests and family. I wish I got ready a bit earlier and allowed longer time for pictures at the end of the ceremony.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE: Honestly I would say don’t sweat the small things. It is so easy to get caught up in little details but at the end of the day remember why you are doing it.Stay calm and remember you are celebrating YOUR love, don’t let anyone else tell you what you should do; it is all about you and your fiancé and what you want. And the most important thing: enjoy every single moment of the planning, it really goes by so fast! Oh yes also if your budget allows it hire a planner, it will change your planning process.
CANNELLE & YVONNICK’S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Lelia Scarfiotti
BRIDE'S DRESS: Berta Bridal
BRIDE’S SHOES: Tory Burch
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: Jenny Yoo
WEDDING RINGS: Cartier
JEWELLERY & ACCESSORIES: Tahizea
HAIR & MAKEUP: Giulia Cresci
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: Four Things
FLORIST: La Rosa Canina
CAKE & CATERING: Guidi Lenci
WEDDING PLANNER: Raffaella Alflatt from Wed In Italy
CELEBRANT: Jo Bertolino from Tuscan Pledges
WEDDING VENUE: Villa Il Garofalo
HONEYMOON DESTINATION: Vietnam
ENTERTAINMENT: Virginia Galliani and Alma Project
VIDEOGRAPHER: Elysium Productions