Real Weddings

An Italian Wedding Inside a Rustic Stable in Siena

Photography by Erik Winter.

A candle-lined tablescape unfolded through a horse stable at Andreas and Laura’s romantic wedding inside a historic farmhouse in Siena. Drenched by the warm glow of flickering light, vaulted ceilings were softened by delicate roses. Punctuated by a poetic entanglement of soft peach and pink tones, an ethereal ambience was created.

The couple’s minimalist ceremony was held in the rustic gardens of the 1667 Tenuta Bichi Borghesi, below the ancient building’s crumbling facade. Simple yet sophisticated floral installations marked the four corners of the grassy aisle below the gray June sky.

The romantic Tuscan wedding was captured by photographer Erik Winter.

siena-italy-wedding

siena-italy-wedding

Our Story

Names / Laura & Andreas

Location / Tuscany, Italy

Wedding Date / June 30th, 2023

Guest Numbers / 57

siena-italy-wedding

How We Met

In 2014, Andreas and I met at work when we were in the same department. Shortly afterwards, I changed departments. At the end of 2018 our paths crossed again and Andreas invited me for coffee – which turned into a long evening with a lot of wine. Shortly after we were a couple.

 

Our Engagement Story

In 2021, we travelled to Tuscany for the first time. Overwhelmed by its beauty, we decided to come back in 2022. Before this vacation we had so many beautiful trips to romantic places like Paris or the Maldives. However, Andreas’ vision had always been to ask the big question in Tuscany as we have made such great memories there. Actually, there were a few opportunities when Andreas already took the ring out of his pocket but put it back a few seconds later without me noticing it, as the moment did not feel right to him. One morning during our holidays, we got up very early as I wanted to see a beautiful sunrise. Ever since we went to the Maldives, I fell in love with watching sunrises. We drove to a breathtaking field overlooking the Val d’Orcia which was recommended by our host. There was no question for Andreas that this would be the magical moment, so he got on his knee to ask for my hand. I didn’t see it coming at all, otherwise I would have definitely painted my nails.

 

What we love most about each other…

Laura: What I love about Andreas is his inner peace and his way of only seeing the good in every person. He is a doer – with him by my side I feel stronger and more motivated. I appreciate his loving and romantic nature. Andreas and I share the same values, but on the other hand we complete each other perfectly, we are like Yin and Yang.

Andreas: I appreciate Lauras mindfulness and empathy. I love her positive outlook and confidence. I always tell her that she makes beautiful moments even more beautiful. Laura is my biggest critic and biggest fan at the same time.

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“Roses in soft peach and blush tones built an interesting contrast to the Mediterranean terracotta tones.”

siena-italy-wedding

siena-italy-wedding

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

As we felt this strong connection to Tuscany and my father also has Italian roots, we definitely wanted to get married in that area. Tenuta Bichi Borghesi was the first location out of ten we looked at. We immediately loved its charm and authenticity. The location hit us right in the heart with its long cypress driveway, the historic villa and beautiful gardens. The 88 year old owner was also incredibly sweet and she still manages the entire process herself. The last unbeatable argument for us was the fact that we could imagine a dream wedding outside during sunny weather as well as inside in the case of rain without making any compromises or renting a tent for an extra cost. For our pre-wedding day we booked a second venue, Tenuta di Papena. The location was nearby and had a different vibe and a panoramic pool area, which was perfect for what we had in mind. A few guests also stayed at the location over the weekend as we rented it exclusively.

 

Aesthetic

We wanted to create an authentic and natural, elegant look. Nothing over-the-top but not too rustic. The mixture of old and timeless elements created a flawless romantic style. Roses in soft peach and blush tones built an interesting contrast to the Mediterranean terracotta tones. As the weather was unpredictable, our dinner location which was supposed to be outside, had to be transferred inside. This former horse stable was even more special to me as I have a history with horses and even had my own horse.

 

Preparation

We got ready at Relais Borgo San Luigi where we and most of our guests stayed. We spent the morning separately with our witnesses – Andreas with his friend from kindergarten and me with my sister and a good friend. As a surprise, Andreas sent a magnum bottle of Prosecco to our room which was a little unfortunate as I was feeling sick with nervousness, my sister was pregnant and my friend was still hungover from the night before. So we stuck to water and kept the Prosecco for later. Before the ceremony we both had our first looks with our closest family separately.

Laura & Andreas Wedding

Photography

Erik was one of the recommended photographers. When seeing his portfolio we chose him right away because he captures emotions and moments authentically and candidly like no other. His personality is a mixture of incredible professionalism, creativity, an eye for detail and last but not least you would simply love to have him as a guest at your party.

 

Videography

Diego was one of the recommended videographers. We loved the romantic and authentic style of his videos including the amazing drone footage. Moreover, he offered great value for our budget including a short trailer, a video and filming additional speeches.

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

As the garden area was naturally beautiful with its view and the surrounding trees, we chose a minimalistic romantic style. We used the chairs that were provided by the venue and decorated the wall with two flower columns. Flowers at the entrance and a welcome sign completed the set-up. We also prepared sun umbrellas and fans for our guests as there was no shade.

 

Reception Décor

We reused the flowers from the ceremony for the dinner entrance as well as the back of our welcome sign for the seating plan. We also used the chairs provided by the location. Floral arrangements and a lot of elegant tapered candles in white candle holders were decorated on the long rectangular table which fitted perfectly inside the horse stable and created the most romantic and intimate atmosphere. Luckily the weather was on our side for our first dance and we built the dance floor outside covered with fairy lights.

Laura & Andreas Wedding

Laura & Andreas Wedding

Wedding Planner & Stylist

Since we are perfectionists wanting to be involved in all aspects of our wedding and at the same time being very busy professionally, we decided to hire a wedding planner for the planning and the coordination. Nicole was recommended by a close friend. She is very friendly, open-minded, extremely professional, structured, and has a great sense for aesthetics. She guided us through the wedding planning process perfectly and even managed to change the wedding ceremony and reception several times at short notice which would have been impossible without her.

 

Flowers

Our florist created these beautiful floral arrangements with different roses in soft peach and blush tones. For the ceremony we added fresh greens to create volume. To have a more elegant style for the dinner we skipped all greens. For my bridal bouquet I chose timeless white peonies only. Andreas wore a matching small white rose with a touch of green. With our schedule, we were able to reuse elements from the ceremony for the dinner and the wedding cake.

Laura & Andreas Wedding

Laura & Andreas Wedding

Stationery

We sent out digital save the dates and invitations that we created with Canva. For the day’s stationery, we chose the Classic Gold collection by Wedding Mark, which is very elegant and timeless and matched our overall style perfectly. We cut the items down to the minimum – menu cards, welcome sign, seating chart, bar cards, gift sign, vows and sign posts.

 

Cake

We chose the famous Italian Millefuile cake. Only one tier, a lot of cream and fresh fruit topped with chocolate sprinkles. We wanted to be included in the making so we finished the cake by applying the cream, the fruits and the sprinklers. This was a lot of fun and we were supported by our band.

 

Food & Beverages

What we also love beside Tuscany’s nature is the Italian food and wine. We wanted to serve authentic Italian cuisine. For the pre-wedding day we had a family style dinner with a pizza oven and freshly made pasta. We started off the wedding reception with a combination of flying service and a buffet with different bites – focaccia, cold cuts, cheese selection, and chianini meatballs. For dinner, we booked a four course sit down menu consisting of one pasta dish, a risotto and a veal fillet as main course. Afterwards, we had our wedding cake as well as a dessert buffet so that the guests were able to walk around and get into the dancing mood.

Laura & Andreas Wedding

Laura & Andreas Wedding

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

At first, I saw myself in a playful princess bridal gown. I went to nine bridal boutiques. Some by myself because I didn’t want to expect anyone else to accompany me to all my appointments. During the process my taste changed completely. I did my research online and fell in love with this elegant and sexy see-through body-hugging mermaid shaped lace dress model Anna from Romanzo by Julie Vino. I drove all the way to Rotterdam to get it at Keep It Finds Bridal. The store has a great selection of designer dresses, is decorated tastefully and the owner Liesbeth is such a kind person.

 

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

We decided to get different styles that match our individual style. I chose a classic memoire ring in white gold covered with diamonds all around by LM Studio. Andreas chose a classic yellow golden ring without any pattern by Leo Mathild.

Of course, I wore my beautiful engagement ring, an oval diamond in a white gold setting with a very narrow yellow gold ring band by LM Studio. For the bridal look I wore a simple veil during the ceremony but took it off after the photos.

 

Hair & Makeup

I wanted to feel like myself, so I went with a glowy natural look with eye shadow in tones of brown, a highlighter in blush and a pink lip colour. Khristina worked her magic and we styled wavy hair that covered my shoulders. I would definitely recommend booking a trial to be sure that the hair and make-up artist can realize your vision.

 

Groom’s Attire

Andreas chose an elegant and classic black suit and cufflinks from Tiger of Sweden, a white shirt, a black bow tie as well as handmade leather shoes from Mannina Calzature di Alta Classe, a small boutique in Florence.

Laura & Andreas Wedding

The Details

 

Transport

The wedding location had no accommodation. Most of our guests stayed together with us at Borgo San Luigi. Others stayed at Tenuta di Papena, where our pre-wedding event took place. We organized shuttles that transported our guests between their hotels and our venues.

For our bridal car, we transported my fathers ‘old timer’, a FIAT Bulli, to Tuscany. My father himself drove me together with my mother and sister to the ceremony. So many memories were made in this Bulli – it was a very special moment for all of us.

 

Honeymoon

We extended our stay in Tuscany and spent a few more days with our families. The last five days we spent by ourselves. Couples should definitely visit the Val dÒrcia – Montepulciano, Montalcino and Pienza either in May/June or in August/September. We can highly recommend Ristorante La Grota in Montepulciano, Follonico Hotel in Torrita di Siena, Borgo Del Cabreo in Greve – Chianti, Locanda in Tuscany in Castiglione Dócia and Trattoria il Leccio Sant’Angelo in Colle.

While you are reading, we are currently spending our honeymoon in South Africa.

Gift Registry

Our biggest joy was the presence of our loved ones. As we wanted to get married abroad we were aware that our guests had to make a huge effort to be part of our celebration. We highly appreciated each guest that took the effort to celebrate with us.

Laura & Andreas Wedding

siena-italy-wedding

Wedding Songs

We had chosen songs with a special meaning for all the different special moments like first dance, cutting of the cake and the ceremony etc. For my entrance, we decided on the song ‘River Flows In You’ by Yiruma. Andreas often plays classical music at home when we have our morning coffee together, when we cook together and eat dinner at home. So we have a meaningful connection to the artist.

 

Entertainment

For the pre-wedding day we booked a DJ and a Saxophone player. We prepared playlists on Spotify for each part of the day, so the musicians knew exactly which vibe we liked. For our wedding day, we booked singer Giorgia by Good Vibes Music. Together with a piano player she created the most romantic atmosphere during the ceremony. For the aperitivo the band was extended with more musicians and played relaxed romantic songs. During dinner we played soft background music to be able to have conversations with our guests. We then kicked off the party with a quintet by Goodvibes Music and ended the party inside with our DJ.

 

Celebrant

Our wedding planner recommended Kathrin of Tuscan Pledges to us. After a virtual meeting we chose Kathrin because of her calm warm hearted personality. She kept in mind all of our individual wishes, the ceremony went smoothly and her speech was moving us to tears.

 

Readings

We both wrote our vows. I finished my writing while I was getting ready. Andreas read his words to me during the ceremony. I decided at the last minute that I was too nervous to say a single word, so we took a moment after the wedding and I read my vows to Andreas privately.

Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

The first unforgettable moment for us was when we realized that all the guests had now arrived in Italy and we could see them all in one place. To see that our dream came true and the planning during the past few months finally paid off was truly unique. The most special moment was when our eyes met at the entrance to the wedding ceremony, creating a feeling like you’ve always dreamt of and which is even better in reality. Shortly before the ceremony, it was raining heavily and we started the ceremony shortly after the rain subsided – the atmosphere was so mystical. You still could hear the thunderstorm near-by and on the other hand the birds were chirping above us again.

 

One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…

We insisted on coordinating a few parts of the wedding by ourselves, like building the dance floor and shuttle organization, but we would highly recommend not doing it and instead hiring a supplier for that, if you truly want to soak up every minute of the day and not stress about anything. If we got married again we would spend the days after the wedding as just the two of us to review this once in a lifetime experience together. We lacked the time and intimacy for that.

 

If I could give other couples one piece of advice…

Plan your destination wedding budget precisely and then just double the price. 😀 When starting the planning process you will get overwhelmed by the costs and you have to be flexible during the process. Don’t care so much about what others think but rather fulfil your wishes. In any case, organize a plan b which is as nice as plan a, because the only thing you can never plan is the weather – regardless of the country and the season. We highly recommend hiring a wedding expert, especially when you want to get married in a foreign country. You are still involved in all the steps, however it saves you so much time and stress.

 

Sources of inspiration…

On Instagram and Pinterest you will find a lot of inspiration. Our wedding planner provided us additional inspiration and visualized all of our different set-ups.

siena-italy-wedding

Our Contacts

 

Photography / Erik Winter.

Wedding Venue / Tenuta Bichi Borghesi & Tenuta di Papena

Wedding Stylist & Planner / Nicole Mahrenholz & Isabel Merfort

Videography / Diego Perrini

Bride’s Dress / Julie Vino via Keep Its Find Bridal

Groom’s Formalwear / Tiger of Sweden

Wedding Rings & Jewelry / LEO MATHILD & LM STUDIO

Hair & Makeup / Khristina Savarin

Stationery / Wedding Mark

Florist / Le Petit Jardin

Celebrant Tuscan Pledges

Entertainment /  Good Vibes Live Music, Giorgia Camurati & Betty DJ Staff Tuscany

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