Destination Wedding in Tuscany
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Destination Wedding in Tuscany

We are firmly back in all-things Italy with our featured wedding today.

Yes, it’s the Italian wedding affair… the much-anticipated wedding of Marco + Giulia.

A blog excerpt from 2012

“Ho scritto una storia d’amore senza inizio e senza fine…per scriverla con te.” (I have written a love story without a beginning or ending…so that we may write it together.) ~ Anon

We left them in their topless fiat on the golden back-roads of Umbria for their engagement photos. And will forevermore be dreaming of the perfect sparkling light, quaint cobblestoned lanes, love-crossed windows, that magic faraway castle and all the moments in between. If their wedding were to be anything like the prelude… it was going to be one favoloso celebration. And it was a dream come true on so many levels.

For them, naturally, and also for us. It was an honor to photograph the day as it unfolded alongside mentors Bob & Dawn Davis and a most colorful cast of thousands. It was a union steeped in tradition, culture, romance and truly so much joy (with the good food and wine an absolute given…). The meeting of soul-mates with proud families in attendance, some very curious onlookers with binoculars (of course…) and some of the most robust rice throwing we have ever witnessed.

So yes, we were a world away from Kimono’s, precision timing and the virginroad. We were in Italy. And it was true amore from the very start… Avanti con lo show…(google translate…don’t let us down now…)

And we begin with separate visits to each of their homes. First Marco. Then Giulia. For the getting ready. One of our favorite chapters. The excitement. The nerves. The excitement again. The laughter. The stories. The build-up. The transformation. A very Italian-voguish Marco and a simply breathtaking Giulia. We were so beautifully welcomed by both families. With such warm hospitality which extended to some pretty spectacular nourishment whenever we needed it…

Here’s Marco… Too many highlights…believe us when we say this is the edited version…

And of course eventually Marco’s lovely mum comes in to check on proceedings…and what ensues is probably some of our most favorite Mother/Son reactions and moments ever…

While we give Marco just a few minutes to himself we talk with his beaming parents and the conversation naturally turns to their wedding. Then their album comes out (it wasn’t too far out of reach on this day…) And it was a nostalgic and moving trip down memory lane, as they reminisced on their own special day and how much today would mean to them. Then Marco joins the party and we learn that he and Giulia would be getting married in the very same church as his parents. Probably without the same styling though. Would we like to see?

Then the page was turned. And there was absolutely NO question that if we could, if there were a chance, a moment, an opportunity we would just HAVE TO replicate this classic photo…

Then it’s back to the details, the family love, a quick chat in the kitchen, the flurry of activity and the final touches…

Marco…we’ll see you at the church…

Meanwhile at Giulia’s house…We arrive during Hair & Make-up. She’s a goddess already…in slippers and a shift. Seriously. So we take in the details, the moments, that hair, a mother’s love and family waiting anxiously downstairs. Simultaneously we have a nibble from the the brides table (the sugar-covered almonds, known as confetti, are delish…) and love that the neighbors are jostling for a peek outside. It’s a whirlwind. And that stunning mermaid wedding gown leaves us all waiting for an entrance.

Just before the bridal procession makes it way to the church high in a little hill town, some 30 minutes away, we take off to get there a little earlier. For the grand entrance. The day is as dazzling as the location and the couple. And, yes that church and those steps are exactly the same. The groom is waiting. Family and friends arrive. The cars are decorated. And soon the tiny street is so jam-packed and couldn’t look more iconic if it tired. Oh, yes it could. Just check out the onlookers…from every louver with a view…Love.

And she’s not too far away…so it’s time to take the show inside. And what waited for us through the doors was a delight. Simply the prettiest church. Cool and welcome with sunbeams of light and the rice at the ready for once it was all said and done. And the florals and the florals and the florals. And perhaps the kindest priest of all time, who simply just gave us all free-reign.

And Giulia arrives. There’s just so much to love about this, especially that first arrival photo…Up those well-trodden, history-laden steps, with her parents on either side. And through the doors to meet the rest of her life. And of course he is waiting…as is the ceremony.

And Marco and Giulia’s family weren’t the only ones tearing up. With the beautiful tones of Ave Maria echoing through the pews, Trace turned to me and said – How amazing… we are photographing a wedding…in Italy…listening to Ave Maria… could it get any more beautiful than this? And certainly – at this moment… it absolutely couldn’t.

And with the papers signed, the rings, the kisses, the I do’s exchanged it’s ufficiale…and time for a few quick quintessential family photos. Because there is so much more to come…

But first they need to make it through the front doors, which they eventually do. But alas Trace doesn’t quite meet the same fate. I was out the front, with my spot firmly staked for the rice shower. Trace was waiting behind in the church to take a classic silhouette shot of the couple leaving. She was in position. They glide past. She’s giving them a little space…then wait for it…wait for it…composing…and…Boom – the church doors are closed unceremoniously and she was locked in. Fully. And we are still giggling about it as we write this if not completely shell-shocked. First time to be locked in a church anywhere. And another reason why it pays to have at least two photographers… you know, just in case one gets lockedinachurchorsomething…

Meanwhile…beyond the doors…the most fantastic rice shower pours/pelts/hails down. So love this tradition… And the street is alive again with spectators from every vantage point, with the binoculars this time. It is festive and party-like in the little lane. Horns honking, hugs and congratulations all round. And once Trace frees herself from all places holier-than-thou she gets the replica shot from up high, while I catch the couple in homage mid air with their modern take on the big step down. Kind of over-the-threshold, Italian style. A nod to Marco’s parents.

The Castello Di Montignano is yet another stunning castle high in the Umbrian hills. With rolling fields as far as the eye can see it was just the idyllic location for the reception. We loved all the beautiful details, from the picture frames – petite to life-size, to the dreamiest bouquets and arrangements. The table settings were divine and yes, there was a swimming pool that would be used before the night was through.

And what a night it was. Which is what this celebration was ultimately all about, especially for them. Being with family and friends. Sharing this milestone. Celebrating through incredible food and wine, laughter, love and joy and then more seemingly endless helpings of them all. And what was even more special for us is that we were able to partake as well and leave the reception coverage in full for once. We were simply just so spoiled and as the sunset and the stars came out, as the live band hit the stage and Marco donned the Italian flag – we all knew this was something special. That towering cake, heart balloons on fire soaring high into the night sky, group dancing where everyone knows all the moves and of course guests in the pool by the end. Now, that’s a wedding. And most importantly the starting point for all of life’s possibilities. Just like the quote that kicked us off…”a love story without a beginning or ending…to write…together.”

After Marco & Giulia arrived we had just a few moments for some couple portraits. Romance in the air under archways and on those steps. That cascading gown, a vision in the twilight. A couple meant to be. And not for the first time they are lucky they even made it to their table. Because truly, if we’d had our way we’d still be photographing them in every nook and cranny. But off to the party they went.

Grazie, grazie, grazie mille Giulia & Marco. Always. We so loved getting to know you and share this incredible Italian experience together. It was life-changing for us on many levels and we can never thank you enough for allowing us all to be part of this most special and perfect of days. Thank you so very much for opening your homes and hearts to us. You both simply mean the world to us… And of course just one more time…Bob & Dawn and Max & Cris, thank you thank you for making this actually, really all happen. There are no more words. So we’re just sending you huge Italian hugs…We will see you all again for sure. Soon. For now it is in our Italian dreams filled with amore, that amazing champagne and the laughter & friendship that echoes across oceans.

Baci baci…Trace & Dee xxx

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