Every now and again special people enter your world, circumstances unfold and opportunities manifest in the most extraordinary ways. This was one of those times. Landing in our inbox last year was a wildly inspiring invitation to style a Tuscan destination wedding in one of the most breathtaking historical venues, and creative freedom to dream up styling that evoked the magic we experienced when visiting this ancient city of Lucca.
Enclosed within sacred city walls, blooms whispering over ancient stone, new world opulence with old world regality and solemnity, Beatrice and Luca’s wedding is a marvel of exquisite detail and stunning proportions. With the old town and monastery as backdrop, we drew on emotive themes and hues of romance and elegance, juxtaposing and mimicking the architecture with endless pillar candles and candelabras, cascading fabrics, spilling blooms, and contemporary design details, spliced with that innate style the Italians just seem to ooze.
Lighting was pivotal in carrying the ambient beauty well into the night, with a starry lawn of tea lights mirroring the night sky, and soft lighting illuminating high arches, adding depth, warmth and intrigue through shadowplay. The bride and groom exchanged classic Cartier wedding bands, and that dress from the Valentino Star Studded collection (a LANE favourite!), made a breathtaking entrance at the wedding party. Over several days the couple hosted guests at celebrations within the walls of the city, all walking distance from guest accommodation, and enjoyed a relaxed, yet sophisticated and opulent celebration of their love together.
Behind the lens to capture every detail was the talented Cinzia Bruschini.
Names / Beatrice & Luca
Wedding Date / June 4, 2016
Guest Numbers / 300
How we met…
Luca and I met in Rome many years ago.
Our Engagement Story…
A few months after we met in Rome, Luca moved to New York and during that time we went through some unstable times. After about one and half years I moved to New York, we got back together and we decided to move to Dubai. Dubai was the basis of our decision to get married and we decided to tie the knot in Tuscany, the beautiful region that we are both from.
Luca and I are both from Tuscany and despite the fact that we haven’t lived there for many years, it was a no-brainer for us to have our wedding there. We decided to do it in my town Lucca (yes my husband has almost the same name as the town I was born in). Lucca is very picturesque and surrounded by magnificent city walls. We didn’t want the traditional wedding in the Tuscan countryside so we decided to go for something different and chose to have the old town as the backdrop for our celebrations. We picked my favourite church in the old town, San Frediano. For the reception, we chose an old monastery with three courtyards right next to the church. We did the rehearsal dinner in the botanical garden. All the venues were within the old town and we recommended to our guest’s hotels and B&B within the city walls. The idea was that people could just walk from their hotels to all the different venues and could be totally independent. This way we didn’t have to worry about transportation for the guests and we avoided moving guests on buses which is something I’ve never really liked. The best part was at the end of the wedding party, everybody could just walk back to their hotel!
My inspiration was definitely The LANE website and their Instagram gallery. I am totally addicted to it and I told girls I wished I could dive and float in their feed!
Cinzia Bruschini and Matteo were our photographers. They are friends that we have known for a long time and they are also the best photographers you can possibly find. They’ve photographed other weddings in Italy that we loved so much and they had worked a lot with The LANE and La Rosa Canina, so we were confident that they could capture in the best way possible our weekend of celebrations.
My wedding dress from Monique Lhuillier and I bought it at Rebecca La Sposa in Piacenza. I travel a lot for work and I saw a lot of dresses in Dubai, London and Milan. Initially, I thought I wanted to have a more conceptual dress but then I opted for a more romantic one with soft long leaves that resembled the style of the reception and the decorations. Rececca La Sposa is probably one of the best shops in Italy that has numerous international brands that are otherwise difficult to find. Once I had the wedding dress I looked for something more creative for the rehearsal dinner. I choose a long white cape from Valentino and I also fell in love with the dress from the stars collection so I decided to wear it for the wedding party. I bought both of them in the Valentino boutique. My advice is not to see too many dresses because otherwise you get confused. In my case, I saw numerous and I liked many of them so it was difficult for me to choose!
My shoes were Alessandro dell’Acqua, definitely not typical bridal shoes but I loved them a lot. At the rehearsal dinner I wore sandals from Aquazzura and at the wedding party I wore flat sandals from Valentino. This was the best decision ever as I was super comfortable during the wedding party.
All my 5 bridesmaids wore different dresses from Self Portrait in slightly different shades of lilac.
Many of my girlfriends have been very important for me in different phases of my life and I didn’t want to choose two or three so I decided not to have bridesmaids.
Luca’s sisters gave us our wedding bands as a gift for the wedding. They are from Cartier.
I wore a pair of black & white diamond earrings that were again crafted by J. Kleinhaus & Sons and Elegant Jewelers.
I debated a lot about what to do with my hair, up or down was the question! I have long curly hair and in the end I decided to leave it down because I felt it looked more natural. I had two small braids on the sides to avoid my hair being too much on my face. I was happy with the decision to have my hair down, however after many hours of people hugging and kissing you, your hair becomes really messy. If you want your hair to remain absolutely perfect, I recommend to keep it up!
My makeup was super simple. In line with our color palette of blush, pink and beige.
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Our Save the Date was the picture of a card with flowers and a cute white wall in the background. The card had a quote “Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar”. This was designed by The LANE team and produced by our calligrapher. Our website www.luca-beatrice.com was from Bliss and Bone. We did a lot of research and I believe they have the most beautiful templates you can possibly find. The invitations were traditional Italian ones, which are extremely plain and simple. A calligrapher wrote the names on the envelopes and I really liked that because it looked much more polished and beautiful.
We gave our friends a small jar with honey produced in Lucca by our friend Azienda Agricola Silvestrini. The jar was wrapped in sheer silk in blush color from Silk and Willow and had a little paper tag also from Silk and Willow which said “Luca & Beatrice – a sweet memory from the heart of Tuscany”. In addition, we were very worried about the weather being cold so we gave the ladies cashmere and placed it on their chairs where we had dinner. Finally right before the party we gave our guests flats so that they could change their shoes and party until late. More importantly they could walk back to their hotels without wearing painful heels!
Flowers & Bouquet
Wedding Planner/ Wedding Stylist
Karissa from The LANE prepared the creative brief, Tommaso from La Rosa Canina worked on the flowers, the seating plan, the flower wall and Samanta and Claudia from L’Evento did everything else related to the wedding production. I really needed to have a wedding planner in Lucca that could work with me on the production. If you get married in a small town, it can be difficult to find the things you see on Instagram and Pinterest. For me it was very difficult to find the 40+ chandeliers and someone that could install them, 300+ chairs of a slightly unusual shape, all the furniture for the welcome cocktail, the entire set up of lighting and audio system and the girls from L’Evento did an amazing job at pulling everything together and managing all the last second drama.
I got ready at my parents house. The morning of the wedding day was raining like crazy and I was really mad and I didn’t want to see and speak to anybody. Around noon it stopped raining and I had lunch with my parents. After that my hair and make up stylists came and I was very relaxed, I think we started doing my hair and make up almost too late.
We loved the work from Happy Wedding Films, we really liked his very natural style and we trusted his work so we didn’t influence his creation too much. We only asked him to include the song that was played when I entered the church and the song that they played when we arrived at the dinner, the rest he did himself.
Ceremony & Reception Décor
The inspiration was from The LANE. I wanted something beautiful and sophisticated that looked natural and not pretentious. The church was very plain and in stone and I liked the idea of decorating it as if it was a garden.
In the church we had all music from Ennio Morricone. We had many guests travelling from all over the world so we wanted people to have the full Italian experience. Ennio Morricone had won an Oscar earlier in the year so we liked the idea of having his songs. When we arrived at the welcome cocktail and dinner we had “La piu’ bella cosa dopo il big bang” from Jovannotti. In English it means “the most spectacular thing after the big bang is us” and this became the jingle of the wedding.
Food & Beverage
We had small canapés with waiters going around and offering drinks. It was a sit-down dinner with traditional Italian food, the menu included Pappa al Pomodoro with Mozzarella di Bufala, Ravioli with zucchini and pinoli, Tagliata with roasted vegetables and potatoes. For drinks, we had Nobile di Montepulciano DOC, Avignonesi and Vermentino di Bolgheri DOC. The cake was a flat tart with mixed berries. For drinks, we had Franciacorta Brut and Ca del Bosco.
We went to Japan and Bali. We have travelled a lot and we wanted to discover a completely different place so Japan was a great choice for us. We also loved Bali especially because that was the most relaxing part of the trip.
Our celebrant was Don Lucio Salamanca. I have known him for many years and we really liked him. He was very strict with the timing and didn’t want the bride to arrive late so I delayed only 5 minutes.
A memorable moment…
We had just sat down to eat and then had a tap on my shoulder from Giuseppe (with Marco peering over his shoulder). He asked me, would we mind if they stole us away for 10 minutes while the lighting was ‘just so’. We absolutely did not object! After Ash and I sat back down at the table, I looked down to both my left and right realising the most beautiful thing was happening – all of our people…our dearest all from every corner of the globe were sitting at the same table, sharing a meal. The laughter, joy, happiness and love was completely overwhelming.
If I could give Brides-To-Be one piece of advice…
Ask for advice from your mother, friends etc., but make sure you are 100% happy with your final decisions. Sometimes you are influenced by others because you trust their taste or experience, but if your initial feeling was different, follow your instincts and you will not regret it.
Photography / Cinzia Bruschini
Wedding Rings / Cartier
Stationery / Bliss & Bone
Florist / La Rosa Canina
Cake / Il Cuore Ricevimenti
Catering / Il Cuore Ricevimenti
Wedding Stylist / The LANE
Wedding Planner / L’Evento
Wedding Venue / Real Collegio
Honeymoon Destination / Bali & Japan through Oasis Travel Agency
Entertainment / Stefano Busa
Videography / Happy Wedding Films