As stylists, we are allured to spontaneity, to the magic of the unknown and the beauty of the unexpected. While we hope for perfect weather and circumstances that adhere to our meticulous plans, there is always part of us that knows the real magic unfolds when you let go. And there is no better example of this than rain on a wedding day – moody skies that swirl with anticipation, light that dances off camera frames, and water that cascades over receptions and ceremonies, creating private islands amidst cities and wild landscapes.
Threatened with rain and stormy skies, Carly and Matt’s wedding was a celebration of elemental intervention, a plan B that embraced the poetry of their surrounds and the alchemy of chance.
Set on a sweeping estate in the Tuscan Hills, the couple moved their wedding indoors, exchanging vows in rooms scattered with candles and drenched in moonlight, where vines crept from ancient walls and foraged blooms spilled from every surface.
Captured by LANE handpicked photographer Lelia Scarfiotti, each frame speaks to poetic drama and neoclassical romance, to a wedding defined by place, history, and the story unfolding within.
Names / Carly & Matt
Wedding Date / April 27, 2017
Guests / 11
How we met…
We met while attending college at The University of Arizona in Tucson. We had 3 classes together during Matt’s senior year and my sophomore year. We ended up falling in love and Matt moved to California after graduation. We dated until I graduated and moved to Los Angeles to attend design school. We’ve since moved into our first home together, got engaged at our house and then planned our amazing wedding together!
Our Engagement story…
Two years ago, Matt proposed in our backyard:
I was really sick and went to a brunch with two of my old co-workers, while Matt stayed at our house to ‘clean up’ our backyard for a going away BBQ for one of our friends moving to Sweden the next day.
I came back to him waiting for me at the front door and leading me through the house to into our backyard thinking he was trying to butter me up so he could go play golf in the afternoon. My birthday was coming up and he said he had got me a surprise! To my astonishment, there were 4 alpacas waiting in my backyard and I immediately asked ‘Do I get to keep them?’, he quickly said no (lots of laughs), but said I got them for the rest of the afternoon. We went over to pet them, and I started reading off their name tags which he disguised as ‘Will, Yu’, Mary, and Mei’.
Next thing you know, he was down on one knee, I began crying, he proposed with my grandmother’s ring. It was all captured on camera and our lovely parents were watching from our guest bedroom window. We all celebrated with a toast of champagne and lots of laughs with the alpacas! It was quite the surprise!
Marriage to us means…
While our wedding day was small and intimate we have had so much support and love from our friends and family along the way, both near and far.
Matt said something to me after we got back from the wedding – “You’ve always been my wife.” I guess that adequately sums up our feelings and emotions towards one another over the course of our relationship (we’ve been dating for over 11 years). We are in love and committed to one another.
We’re still getting adjusted to calling each other husband and wife, like we got adjusted to the word fiancé as well. The most lovely thing is knowing we will always be husband and wife and have a lifetime to live as one.
We won a trip to Italy through a local charitable organization benefitting CHOC – a Children’s Hospital in Orange County. I did some design work for their annual Gala and while attending we bid on a dream stay at Villa Cristina which was graciously donated as part of the Live Auction portion.
We knew we wanted to get married abroad and make an adventure to bring our two families living in Arizona and California together so this ended up being a perfect way to make that happen.
We fell in love with a venue in nearby Siena called Borgo Stomennano. We discovered Borgo Stomennano while investigating online and immediately began planning our dream week with our families and wedding day.
Theme & Style
I remember trying to dream up places to get married with Matt. It really could have been anywhere – we just wanted it to be an adventure and we are so lucky it ended up being Tuscany!
When you think of Italy, you just can’t help but get a rush of romance and classic timelessness. Our location at Borgo Stomennano had no shortage of historical beauty and a balance of pristine elegance paired with a touch of rustic charm.
We wanted our intimate affair to be formal with soft hues that accented the Villa, candlelit lighting and florals with slightly whimsical sophistication and warmth. It was so romantic and incredibly intimate.
Working with Allessandra of Fluida Design was a dream! She understood our look and helped us achieve such elegance and vision even with our Plan B for both our ceremony and dinner locations. Special thanks to Luisa of Borgo Stomennano who helped us rework everything to accommodate for the afternoon showers.
We fell in love with Lelia Scarfiotti’s work on Instagram. We loved her artistic and creative approach to her photography and were really excited to work with her.
When we arrived in Tuscany, Lelia arranged a meeting for us before our day and snapped a few pictures of us in the Tuscan countryside. We felt so at ease with her and knew we had made a great decision given her candid approach.
We loved how she captured the light and the mood in all of her photos and ours were no exception. We had a morning with cloudy skies and an afternoon with some showers and when we got our pictures back we cried tears of joy.
No words can express the day, but somehow the pictures do. As a visual person myself, this was something I truly couldn’t have imagined possible, and somehow Lelia made every snapshot feel authentically deep, moving and truly unforgettable.
I set out wanting a long sleeve dress. Matt actually helped me pick it after trying on countless options with my sister and mom. I was so happy this was the one, because it was unfussy but sophisticated, and really represented what I gravitate towards from an everyday style perspective. I loved the open back, the high neck and how my veil brought everything to life!
My experience at LOHO was incredible. When I was trying on my Houghton dress, Daphne Newman was having a trunk show and I fell head over heels for Daphne and her veils – she is nothing short of amazing! Her designs are timeless and so beautifully made.
For the reception I wore a Luna Bea Floral Porcelain Halo that will be a wonderful keepsake and a little bohemian which perfectly fits of beach lifestyle.
Matt knew he wanted to wear a tuxedo and we loved picking out his suit together at Hugo Boss. He wore a black bow-tie, black patent leather shoes by Louboutin, black and silver cuffs with his initials, and a hand chain-stitched pocket square I custom made as a little gift with the words ‘il mio amore’ in a soft grey thread. Matt asked the men to wear dark navy suits so we all looked great together.
We wanted to find something with long sleeves for our niece Monroe to wear as a flower girl. We knew it was the one when she left her arms in the bell sleeve number and started to dance. She loves to dance!
Matt proposed with my grandmother’s ring. In a nod to its art deco appearance it has a slightly nautical look, like it could be an open oyster. I love that it is original and something old that means a lot to our family. Nothing beats sentimental statement pieces.
Hair & Makeup
All the ladies got their hair and makeup done by Giulia Cresci and her team! She was so professional and warm to be around!
I opted to wear my hair down and curled. I wanted to look like how I do everyday so I opted for soft curls and natural makeup. She made me feel beautiful.
Stationery & Invitations
As a designer and calligrapher and owner of Cinamon Girl, I knew I wanted to create something uniquely special for our day. As an ode to the leather of Italy, I hand crafted white leather envelopes and did a beautiful gold calligraphy finish. For a soft and romantic touch, I used a raw edge vellum with a soft grey ink as the invites and details of the week’s activities.
I used the same vellum approach for our menus, and carried the leather theme throughout for our name cards and two keepsake quotes ‘You are my love’ and ‘You are my life’ that we displayed at the wedding and will hang in our home.
In addition, I made olive leaf bags out of muslin with leather tags reading Amore as small treasure from our day at Borgo Stomennano.
I hand chain-stitched custom white robes for all the ladies to get ready in with all of our names. It’s a simple but fun keepsake that represents the creative person in me.
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Flowers & Bouquets
My bouquet perfectly fit my style and paired beautiful with Matt’s boutonniere. It was somewhat undone and whimsical and used romantic white roses and lush accent flowers along with soft green eucalyptus greens tied beautiful with hand-dyed silk ribbon from Ginny of Frou Frou Chic in a soft romantic grey.
We all got ready at Borgo Stomennano. It was enjoyable to hang with the girls the day of and get ready and roam around the property and watch our niece, Monroe play around!
When it was time to get dressed, my mom and I carried my dress through the rain with our umbrellas in tow and got dressed upstairs in the most stunning room above our ceremony. I loved sharing that intimate moment with the woman who raised me. Some of my favorite pictures are during those special moments together having her help me put my veil on and come down the stairs in my dress.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
Since we were having an intimate family affair in Tuscany, and as an event designer myself, I worked closely with our vendors to bring our wedding vision to life by sharing our Pinterest board with our vendors and through Face Time calls and emails. I worked closely with Alessandra to brainstorm ideas based on the venue and accessibility to different rentals.
We visited the venue days before our wedding to formalize our Plan B, in the event of rain, and easily switched gears when we knew we’d have rain in the afternoon forecast.
Ceremony & Reception Décor
Originally we were going to have both the ceremony and reception outdoors, however when we first arrived in Italy we knew weather was probably going to be an issue after looking at the weather reports. We were fortunate to work closely with Luisa at Borgo Stomennano and Alessandra of Fluida Design to find our dreamy Plan B locations for both our ceremony and reception. We were even more lucky to steal moments outdoors for some photos but when the rain came, we were blessed to have such exquisite backdrops for both our dinner and ceremony.
Alessandra and I had talked tirelessly about how we wanted an organic display of florals paired with candlelit lighting. The key to everything was elegance with blooming soft greens with a delicate touch of moody florals. We used soft off-white linens paired with a loose white table runner, ghost chairs for a sophisticated a modern touch, lots of candles in varying heights in moody greys, hints of gold and silver, and glass domes for a touch of whimsy.
We quickly walked through both areas and discussed how to activate the florals in the new locations. Climbing greenery along the stone walls for our dinner and spilling out of the alcoves. For the ceremony, candles in the fireplace with a flower display along the top and on the piano. Everything was moved out of the room to create a dreamy setup.
It was even more magical when everything moved indoors! Rain on your wedding is good luck after all!
Food & Beverages
Our incredible catering company, Oste Gentiluomo had the most amazing arrangement of appetizers served during our cocktail hour inside the Villa. Everything from cold cuts and cheese, grilled zucchini, fried vegetables, warm pastries ruffs with cream filling, stuffed bread pasta, and countless other incredible dishes. There was absolutely no shortage of tastings and things to try! In true Italian style, the food was absolutely incredible. For dinner we ate burrata cheese ravioli with tomatoes and pine nuts, beef medallions in truffle cream and asparagus risotto. It was served beautifully and was equally delicious.
We enjoyed a traditional Italian Mille Foglie cake with layers of cream, chocolate shards topped with a beautiful floral bouquet. It was so much fun having the cake prepared before all of our guests and enjoyed with champagne!
We worked with the incredibly talented Ruthie Wysor of Smart Flyer to help us with our travel and bookings for our honeymoon.
We first flew to Venice, Italy and then went to Rome for a few days before arriving for our week in Tuscany with our two families. Afterwards, Matt and I traveled to Positano and stayed at the magical Ville Treville. A few days later we jetted to Mykonos and stayed at Mykonos Blu and took a ferry to Oia in Santorini and stayed in the ‘River Suite’ at Canaves Oia.
We worked with Jo Bertolino from Tuscan Pledges to officiate our wedding. She was so thoughtful in her approach. We love how she captured the essence of our relationship and years together based on our conversations and what Matt and I each wrote about our relationship and the other person. We chose to include our families in the warming of the rings ritual and also wrote personal letters to one another and sealed in a box of wines from one our wine tastings in Tuscany that we can open on our anniversary as a special reminder of our wedding day.
Both Matt and I have sisters and had them read passages during our ceremony. It was easy to select the bible verse Matt’s sister, Samantha, would read as we cherish a similar passage based on our time in college and the same sorority as one another. 1 Corinthians 13:4-12. My sister. Kristen, also read a special versus that resonated with us both as a reminder on how to treat each other and others. Romans 12:9-16.
Sources of Inspiration
I’m constantly storing ideas for all sorts of events, styles, and occasions. We were so inspired by Italy and wanted everything to be romantic. I follow various wedding blogs, travel, and style blogs so it’s easy to fall in love with everything, but editing is the hardest part.
We were blessed to get married in a place that allowed me to be hands off in certain respects since the wedding was so far from home. Ultimately I attribute so much to the people we worked with, our families, and the venue itself for helping dictate the look and feel of our special day.
Other Special Details
There were so many! I loved our huge bottle of wine from Ruffino Wines. It was fun having a tasting and tour there the day before and made a lovely ode to our time spent together as a family.
In addition, Matt helped me make a photo book the day before departing to Italy to store little polaroids from our special day. I often take pictures at other friends’ weddings and give it to them as a small gift afterwards, and having the same for ours was a special treat!
A memorable moment…
The whole thing!
I think it goes without saying, the first time I got to see Matt waiting for me was the best feeling in the world.
I also loved watching my twin brother give my niece flowers to throw as she walked down the isle and then to hear everyone’s laughs outside the doorway as she made her way to the altar.
Last, but not least, walking into our magical reception brought tears to my eyes – literally. I may have been somewhat soaked by raindrops, but I love a dreamy setup and the fact that it was all for us was such a moving feeling. We did it!
If I could give other Bride’s to be one piece of advice…
Enjoy the process… include your other half in the process.
Photography / Lelia Scarfiotti
Bride’s Shoes / Jimmy Choo
Hair & Makeup / Giulia Cresci
Flowergirl / Joyfolie
Stationery & Invitations / Cinamon Girl
Florist / Fluida Design
Catering /: Oste Gentiluomo
Celebrant / Jo Bertolino
Venue / Borgo Stomennano
Transport / I Grandi di Toscana