Sensual inclusions of softly draped silk paired with glittering hand-sewn embellishments on Erin’s vintage gown harmonised the Tuscan garden ceremony perfectly in evening light.
Moving effortlessly from ceremony to reception, opulent scarlet tints spilled over tablescapes with a dramatic abundance of tropic blooms, unfurling succulents juxtaposed by lustrous candlelight illuminating the suitably dark palette.
Beautifully told by LANE hand-picked photographer, Lelia Scarfiotti..
NAMES: Erin Cooper & Yura Vinitsky
WEDDING DATE: 05/06/16
GUEST NUMBERS: 16
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: He played this really elaborate practical joke on me where he (with the help of my family and friends) convinced me that he was going to surprise me with a puppy. One day, he picks me up from work and tells me that he has a surprise waiting on me at home, which I’m 100% sure is a puppy. When I get home, there’s a dog crate, puppy pads, toys, food….but a stuffed puppy. However, he grabs this stuffed puppy (while I’m trying not to cry because there’s no actual puppy), leads me into our kitchen which he has decorated in flowers and candles, pulls a ring from around the fake puppy’s neck, and proposes on the spot. It was perfect, hilarious (especially once we made plans to get a real puppy), and unique. Just the first of many magic moments together.
MARRIAGE TO US MEANS: Having someone who is always on your team. Someone to support you and/or lead you when the time is right.
WEDDING LOCATION: Villa Piaggia in Montaine, Italy. I wanted a wedding that celebrated the natural beauty of its surroundings, while also being very bright and unique. So while I wanted a wedding in Tuscany, I didn’t necessarily want a Tuscan themed wedding. The villa had so many areas that you could just look out over the rolling hills and see Cyprus trees, olive groves, and vineyards for miles. It was the perfect backdrop for something romantic and magical.
THEME/STYLE: Intimate garden glam under a Tuscan sky. The overall mood was formal and romantic without being stuffy. We achieved this by using different shades of passion tones (dark burgundy, plums, reds, cranberry, indigo, blush, and lavender).
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PHOTOGRAPHY: Lelia Scarfiotti was our photographer. I wanted someone who could uniquely capture this special day. I was a little bored with the “same ol’” wedding photography that I had been seeing across hundreds of different weddings on social media. I saw Lelia’s portfolio and it was immediately a match made in Heaven. She wasn’t using overly posed pictures with a ton of sunlight filters, every one of her photos was just so natural and effortless. The day of the wedding, the groom and I had so much fun shooting with her. With our engagement photos (which were done separately), it took a month to get a preview and 12 weeks to get our actual photos. With Lelia, I had all of our wedding photography in 10 days. And they were absolutely amazing. By using candids and non-posed photography, she was able to capture each persons’ spirit and personality. The pictures all seem so natural and effortless and just show how incredibly amazing we felt that day. I have two pieces of advice for other brides: 1. Hire an organizer so that you can enjoy your special day 2. Research and invest in a great photographer. Those pictures will last a lot longer than anything else from that day; and, if you’re lucky to find someone like Lelia, looking at those photos will have the ability to take you back to that exact moment in time when you got to marry the love of your life.
BRIDE’S DRESS: I wanted to look like a modern, glam bride. Jenny Packham created that in the Lilya gown. It was the perfect amount of sparkle, sexy, and comfort. Purchased at Kelly’s Closet in Atlanta, GA, with details and fittings done by White Orchid Bridal in Atlanta, GA. For accessories, I chose a Jenny Packham veil; BHLDN jewelry; A bridal coverup from Lulu’s
BRIDE’S SHOES: Manolo Blahnik (Menia Swarovski Crystal Chain)
BRIDESMAIDS DRESSES: I wanted every girl to choose her own dress, based on her own style, only ensuring that it was floor length and comprised of neutral colors. I helped my maid of honor choose a black, bold lace dress with nude inlay by For Love & Lemons. One bridesmaid purchased a white chiffon skirt from Wildfox and used polyester dye to actual self- dye it to the beige color that was achieved. Her top was a purchase from Bloomingdales that she already owned (it was lace with a white inlay). My final bridesmaid purchased a slate gray satin skirt from Nastygal which she paired with a Forever21 embellished nude top. By allowing the girls to choose their own look, it was ensured that they were comfortable in what they were wearing, but also able to create their own budget for their look.
BRIDESMAID’S SHOES: Own choices
WEDDING RINGS: Bride’s ring: Oval Solitaire with no halo, in a cathedral white-gold setting over an 18K gold pave, knife edge band. Groom’s band: Vintage find featuring a brushed finish, white gold band with 18K gold edging.
GROOMSMEN ATTIRE: Groomsmen were also encouraged to wear neutrals (navy, grey, khaki, black). The groom wore a Ralph Lauren, black tuxedo with Ralph Lauren shoes. He wanted to look “classic and dapper”.
HAIR: Hair was worn in a romantic, wispy chignon. Giulia Cresci did both hair and makeup for bride, bridal party, and guests.
MAKEUP: I wanted my makeup to be formal and have a “wow-factor” without being overdone or trendy. Giulia Cresci took that vision and made it a perfect reality. I have truly never felt so beautiful.
STATIONERY/INVITATIONS: I wanted to mix and match all the paper goods used for the wedding (place cards, photo table, menus, invitations, etc.). I used a general theme of metallics, but tried to add a few splashes of color in the place cards and menus so that they didn’t get lost in the table.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: Because we were traveling halfway across the world for the wedding, I didn’t want to give them a favor that they needed to pack in their suitcase. Instead, I gathered all the photos that everyone took from the trip, in addition to a few of the professional wedding shots, and mailed each guest a USB with memories from the trip and the wedding.
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: Dario Benvenuti Florals and Weddings was the genius behind our floral design. I told him that my favorite flowers were hydrangeas and peonies (they’re just so fluffy!!), and that I wanted to use passion tones. He took my very basic ideas and just soared forward He created this almost Shakespearean atmosphere around the reception table by ensuring that each time you looked at the people around you, you were doing so through a window of leafy florals. By finding and cutting down a support branch, which was hung above the dinner table, he created a flower canopy wrapped in complementary florals. Each individual at the wedding, the groom and I included, remarked that we had never in our lives seen something so beautiful. Dario and his team completely exceeded our expectations in every way.
PREPARATION: We got ready at the venue (Villa Piaggia), and it was all of the guests and bridal party. We started the day with a catered brunch, which gave us plenty of leftovers to continue snacking on throughout the morning and afternoon. We kept the mood fun during the day by listening to cheesy (but effective) rap music and sipping on espressos and prosecco.
CEREMONY DÉCOR: The wedding planner ensured that the ceremony would take place at the highest point of the villa, overlooking the Tuscan countryside. We used clear chairs and simple, but overflowing flower arrangements to frame the entire scene.
WEDDING PLANNER: Cindy Salgado. I cannot say enough great things about having a wedding planner who is as organized and innovative and Cindy. She graciously shared her vendor recommendations, which allowed me to have the most fluid, stree free day because she was used to working with those individuals. She provided me with multiple options for each category, with a variety of different budget options. We talked at least once a week in order to make sure that we were both on the same page. Because of our frequent communication and Cindy’s skills as a visionary, I didn’t have to worry about a single thing. Hiring a wedding planner was without a doubt, the best decision that I made (besides picking my groom) in the entire engagement process.
WEDDING SONGS: Bridal Party Entrance: “Over the Hills and Far Away” Led Zeppelin (played by Alma Project); Bridal Processional: “Sweet Thing” Van Morrison (played by Alma Project); After Ceremony: “Fly Me To The Moon” Frank Sinatra (Played by Alma Project); First Dance: “I Walk the Line” Johnny Cash.
ENTERTAINMENT: Alma Project played as a guitar duo for the ceremony and the dinner. I requested special songs that meant something to me and my groom. They were kind enough to learn them and play them for us.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: We had a formal 4 course sit down dinner; however, there was a cocktail hour immediately after the ceremony which featured a seafood bar (fresh oysters, oversize shrimp, etc.) and also a bruschetta bar (fresh cut prosciutto, a honeycomb for drizzling, and of course, different varieties of bruschetta). Dinner was a Tuscan style menu. 1st course: Seafood Risotto; Pasta Course: Pici with Chiani beef ragout; Main Course: Grilled Swordfish and Grilled Chiani Beef
HONEYMOON: We honeymooned in Florence & Venice. We highly recommend the Portrait Firenze, a hotel in Florence. Both areas were simple to navigate and super easy to find delicious food and snacks at every corner and turn.
CELEBRANT: Jo Bertolino from Tuscan Pledges was our officiant. She had lots of great ideas for the ceremony and how to make it unique and special. During the ceremony, she was articulate and artistic with her words. She was really well thought out and was able to share some special stories about Yura and I, voiced in our own words through a questionnaire that she provided us.
ANY OTHER SPECIAL DETAILS: Because I put my total trust in the team that made my dream wedding happen, I felt like they were more free to actually create art and as a result, everything was more beautiful. I feel like if I had given them too much direction and/or limitations, it would’ve had an effect on the outcome.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: As my dad is giving me away to my groom and everyone is silent, looking at me, that I had forgotten the rings inside the villa. Luckily, everyone laughed and the wedding planner (once again, I can’t recommend her highly enough) ran inside to get it. At the end of the day, it’ll serve as a great story for our kids.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS... Planning a destination wedding often means that you’re making travel plans for your entire guest list…keep this in mind when deciding how many people should be invited.
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE... Hire a wedding planner/organizer and remember that your photographer is your biggest and best investment in a wedding.
ERIN & YURA'S CONTACTS:
BRIDE'S DRESS: Jenny Packham
GROOMS FORMAL WEAR: Ralph Lauren
MAKEUP: Giulia Cresci
CATERING: Lodovichi Ristorazione
WEDDING PLANNER: Cindy Salgado
WEDDING VENUE: Villa Piaggia