A Sophisticated Celebration in the Tuscan Hills
Photography by Stefano Santucci Studio for Timothy & Matthew
A masculine palette of deep burgundy and cerulean blue set the scene for this sophisticated Tuscan soiree. Surrounded by sweeping hills and rich greenery, Timothy and Matthew celebrated their union with understated decor and refined styling, in a place close to their hearts.
Set on a sprawling estate carved into the Italian countryside, vows were exchanged between two large floral installations on a majestic hill overlooking the castle. The aisle, peppered with delicate rose petals was poetically framed with neat rows of white chiavarina chairs. The styling was kept simple to allow for the natural beauty of the venue to speak for itself.
Illuminated by lights strung from above, a long rustic table adorned with flickering candlelight and cascading foliage created the perfect ambiance for their garden reception that ensued. The finest local delicacies were enjoyed beneath the stars late into the night, enveloped in a warm blanket of darkness.
Timothy and Matthew’s heartfelt celebration was beautifully captured by duo Stefano Santucci and Lucrezia Cosso from Stefano Santucci Studio.
Names / Matthew & Timothy
Wedding Date / 9th September 2019
Guest Numbers / 46
Budget / $75,000 USD
How We Met
We first met on a fall evening at a Mediterranean restaurant in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, MA, USA. That magical Wednesday was one of those warm fall days followed by crisp evenings for which Boston is famous. There was a vibrant sense of excitement in the air as we planned to meet for a drink, having chatted on the phone for several weeks prior to meeting in person. One drink turned into two drinks, two drinks turned into dinner, and the rest is history.
Our Engagement Story
Two years after we first met, we were living in New York City. As is typical for a couple in their thirties, that summer was filled with lots of activities, from friends’ weddings to vacations and weekend getaways. Matt was planning to propose to me, and I had already planned to propose later in the summer, while away in New Hampshire with his extended family.
Neither of those things happened. After a visit to the Whitney Museum followed by dinner and drinks with our friends Alex and Annie at Toro, Matt, with the courage afforded by a few Aperol spritzes, asked me if I was ever going to propose. I indicated that I was but, never one to back down from a challenge, I proposed on the spot at Toro and we spent the rest of the evening calling family and friends to celebrate and share the news.
Marriage to us Means…
Marriage is the embodiment of our love and means that no matter where we are, we will always feel at home if we are together. We have both been blessed that our parents, Donna and Peter LeCam (married 46 years) and Mary and Dr. Paul Cammarata (married 42 years), are role models for healthy marriages built on trust, faith, compassion, and empathy, and we are modeling our own marriage on the examples that they have set.
Our wedding took place over four days at the breathtaking Castello di Meleto located in Gaiole in Chianti, in Tuscany. Although we are Americans, we are devoted Italophiles. While we love all parts of Italy, we have especially loved Florence and Tuscany for many years and dreamed of a Tuscan wedding.
We were introduced to Castello di Meleto by our friend and wedding planner, Alessia Broccolini. Upon confirming that we wanted a destination wedding in Tuscany, we organized a trip in May 2018 that included both sets of parents and our Uncle Frank Cammarata to visit with Alessia and to begin the planning process. On a beautiful spring day, Alessia took the entire family to visit many beautiful borgos and Castelli throughout Tuscany. Although we didn’t share this with everyone at the time, Matt and I fell in love with Castello di Meleto at first sight and excitedly whispered in agreement that we would start our married lives there.
On the day of the wedding, Matt and I enjoyed breakfast at the castle with our family and friends, all of whom were staying on the castle grounds. After some time in the beautiful pools, we got ready with our families; Matt with his parents Paul and Mary, as well as his siblings and their spouses – Kristen and her husband Joe and Mike and his wife Mariessa – and of course, our nephew Bennet, who was the ring bearer. I got ready with my parents Donna and Peter as well as my siblings – Justin and his wife Kerri, and Christy and her husband Jamie, as well as our two nieces, Olivia and Mia, our beautiful flower girls.
Overall Aesthetic / Style
Because we love Tuscany so much, we embraced the natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside as much as possible. Our goal was to have the wedding feel relaxed, natural, romantic, rustic, and masculine. We wanted the guests to appreciate the natural beauty of Tuscany and feel like they had escaped on a wonderful vacation. I knew I wanted to wear a blue suit, and Matt knew he wanted to wear a burgundy suit, so we made those colors a theme throughout the wedding, and thought they would reflect the romantic, rustic vibe that we wanted.
The ceremony took place on a beautiful hill, overlooking the castle. The decor was simple, with two large bouquets of ivory and burgundy flowers framing the ceremony. For guests and witnesses, several rows of white chiavarina chairs lined the aisle, which were covered with flower petals. Since the ceremony had a stunning view of the castle, we wanted beautiful statement flowers to frame us at the end of the aisle, but otherwise, we wanted the natural beauty of the venue to speak for itself.
Immediately after the ceremony, everyone celebrated with cocktails and aperitifs in the garden, complete with an Aperol spritz table, a mozzarella bar, and tables of crudites and Tuscan cheeses and meats. In keeping with the decor of the Tuscan countryside, the wooden tables were supported by wine barrels from the castle, which is now a working winery. The tables were adorned with colorful flowers, vibrant green plants, and fresh fruits.
As the sun was starting to set, dinner was served on the lawn just outside the main castle. We wanted to start our lives with our family and friends together at one table – a long wooden table filled with beautiful burgundy, blue and ivory flowers complimented by eucalyptus. Everyone sat on typical Tuscan wooden chairs under string lights with Edison bulbs that washed the wedding party in a warm glow as they broke bread together with us for the first time as a married couple. Beautiful lanterns lit each end of the table and were spread throughout the castle lawn, adding a soft glow to the ambience.
The table was set in typical Tuscan style, with Vecchio Ginori filo oro chargers and plates, crystal glasses and serbelloni style silver. Blue candles were mixed in with the flowers and eucalyptus for ambience and lighting, setting the stage for a romantic, outdoor Tuscan feast. Apart from the garland of eucalyptus and flowers, we wanted the table to be bare (i.e., no table cloth) to mix the rich wood tones of the tables and chairs with the beautiful flowers. The blue candles were different heights to create warmth and depth.
None of this would have been possible without our dear friend and intrepid wedding stylist and planner, Alessia Broccolini!
Our beautiful wedding was captured by Stefano and Lucrezia from Stefano Santucci Studio! We love how creative and avant-garde they are, eschewing the typical wedding photos for a more creative flair that captures the essence of the couple. Working with them was a dream. They captured our wedding in exactly the way that we had imagined it in our minds.
Both Matt and Tim wore custom suits from Black Lapel. Tim wore an Egyptian Blue wool/silk/linen suit and Matt wore a burgundy all-season wool suit.
Both Matt and I bought our shoes from Antica Cuoieria in Florence, with the shoes made by Canto de Ricci.
My wedding ring is a classic, mid-weight platinum band. Matt’s is a hammered Black Tungsten band in a matte finish.
Stationery & Invitations
In a nod to the modern era and the fact that our guests were arriving from America, Italy, Peru, and Hong Kong, Matt and I created a wedding website on Riley & Grey and used electronic invitations.
Favors / Bonbonniere
We gave our guests a bottle of chianti from the Castello di Meleto winery, which has proven to be very popular.
Flowers & Bouquets
Our choice in flowers was inspired by our colors, burgundy, blue, and ivory. We also expressed a preference for in-season, Tuscan flowers where possible.
Our sisters carried bouquets of burgundy calla lilies. Because the bridesmaids wore white, we wanted the bridesmaids’ bouquets to be composed of a single bold flower to create a beautiful contrast.
In keeping with our Tuscan themed wedding, we had a traditional millefoglie with fresh berries inside and served with raspberry culis.
Food & Beverages
All food was provided by Guidi Lenci, a caterer based in Florence. Our families and friends went out of their way in exclaiming that this was one of the best meals they had eaten in their lives.
The wedding took place over four days. All of our friends gathered in Florence and we took a motorcoach to the castle. Prior to departing Florence, we held a welcome dinner in the courtyard of Obica Firenze. After the wedding was over, we took a motorcoach back to Florence.
We haven’t taken our honeymoon yet, but we did travel to Capri and Ischia for 10 days after the wedding with both of our families to continue the celebration. We are planning a honeymoon for 2021.
First dance – ‘Your Song’ by Elton John
My mom and I – ‘In My Life’ by the Beatles
Matt and his mom – ‘My Wish’ by Rascal Flats
During the ceremony and the cocktail hour, a string trio from Chiara Trallori and Biefe Musica played beautiful music:
As the guests and family arrived – Pachabel Canon in D
Walking down the aisle – Bach Cantata 147
Exit song – ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by the Beatles
During the cocktail hour, the trio played modern hits mixed with typical Italian and Tuscan music.
At the reception, Matthewdj kept everyone dancing to hits ranging from Tina Turner singing ‘Proud Mary’ to ‘Uptown Funk’, by Mark Ronson featuring Bruno Mars.
Luca Badino, an Episcopalian minister, celebrated our wedding with us. Matt and I felt that a spiritual component was important and Luca graciously worked with us to craft a celebration.
Song of Solomon 2:10-13;8:6-7 (Many waters cannot quench love) from the Beatitudes.
1 Corinthians 13:1-13 (Love is patient and kind).
We created our own vows.
Sources of Inspiration
The main source of inspiration was our friend and wedding stylist, Alessia Broccolini. We also used Pinterest to find inspiration from other Tuscan weddings
A Memorable Moment
One particularly memorable moment was when all our family and friends arrived at Castello di Meleto to start the wedding festivities. We gathered that night for a traditional Tuscan BBQ under the stars, with a local trio of musicians from Gaiole serenading us. At one point, all of our family and friends joined in and sang together.
One Thing I Wish I Knew Before Starting My Wedding Plans
Even with the best wedding planner – and we had the best with Alessia – making decisions takes more time and thought than we expected! Don’t underestimate the number of decisions to be made and the time that it takes to make each one.
If I Could Give One Piece of Advice…
Think about what truly matters to you for your wedding. For us, celebrating with our family and closest friends in a place that we love, Tuscany, was of utmost importance.
Photography / Stefano Santucci Studio
Groom’s Formal Wear / Black Lapel
Groom’s Shoes / Canto Dericci
Stationery & Invitations / Riley & Grey
Florist / Stiatti Fiori
Cake / Guidi Lenci
Catering / Guidi Lenci
Wedding Stylist / Alessia Broccolini
Wedding Planner / Alessia Brocollini
Venue / Castello di Meleto
Entertainment / Matthewdj
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