As the world closes its borders, we open our hearts.
As you guys know, Adriana Weddings normally features gorgeous destination weddings from around the Caribbean and Mexico, but over the next few weeks we will be changing things up a bit and will be showcasing some enchanting inspiration from Europe. Italy is one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, and has been recognised as one of the top spots for luxury destination weddings for years. With romantic areas like Tuscany, Florence, Rome and so many more, we are so honoured to be sharing the incredible beauty and love that emanates from this dreamy location.
We love Italy so much, and are praying for all of the families who have been affected by this awful virus. We are here for you, and will continue to support in any way possible.
If you’ve hopped over to our sweet space today for a bit of enchantment, glamour and to escape from the reality of the coronavirus for a few moments, then you’re in luck love, because today’s feature is truly one of a kind.
Catch the full story from the wedding planner, Primavera Dreams now…
“This glamorous destination wedding in Tuscany was the epitome of beauty and style. The couple and their relatives hailed from Canada, while their guests arrived from all across the globe: Australia, Africa, Japan, the UK, the US, and Europe.
Although all guests were close friends of the couple, some were meeting each other for the first time.
The uniqueness of a destination wedding is that people usually come for a few days and spend this time together, getting closer to each other and to the couple.
Danielle & Dan’s guests started celebrating with them in Florence, then had a festive pizza party at the hotel Villa Fiesole (where most of the guests stayed – it was booked entirely for the wedding’s guests). The festivities culminated in the wedding ceremony and celebration at the famous Vincigliata Castle, the only castle near Florence which operates as an event venue. The castle is located on top of a Tuscan hill in Fiesole and offers breathtaking views of Florence and its surroundings.
The big day started with preparations: the ladies getting ready in their suite with some Champagne, whilst the gentlemen treated themselves to beer.
The late June weather was perfect that day: some light clouds helped to hide from the sun, and the light wind was refreshing.
The celebrity stylist Cherie Spisso was taking care of the bride and her crew. Danielle is an impressive woman: an activist for healthy and responsible living, a yoga master, a mother to 2-year old Lily and is incredibly beautiful! She and her friends model for various agencies, and seeing them all together was a real treat for the eyes.
When the time came, Federico, the floral designer for the wedding from Lilla Floral Design, delivered bouquets for the ladies, a floral crown for Lily, and boutonnières for the groomsmen.
Luba, the owner of Primavera Dreams Weddings, and the wedding planner for the couple made sure that everything followed the strict schedule. Her associate Dina took care of the guests’ departure in buses to the Castle, as well as that of Danielle with her bridesmaids, and of Dan with his groomsmen.
Luba was focused on the preparations inside the castle: she supervised the ceremony set-up, the music, the cocktail, the dinner, etc.
On arrival, guests were able to admire the grounds, the castle’s various courts and impressive walls, as well as a picturesque fountain and sculptures. The pianist was playing light jazz music. The flowers were dispersing light fragrances. But soon everyone was invited to take their seats, the officiant shook hands with the groom, the wedding party took their seats, and the musician started playing the melody by Einaudi, selected by the couple for the bride’s entrance. Soon she arrived, together with her parents.
For her wedding, Danielle wore a Pronovias couture dress and a cathedral veil. She looked sublime. Dan couldn’t take his eyes off his beautiful bride.
The celebrant Giuseppe Rossi conducted a touching ceremony, the couple exchanged vows and rings, and 30 minutes later the excited crowd applauded the newlyweds!
A festive cocktail reception followed immediately in the garden, with plenty of Prosecco and Aperol Spritz, typical Tuscan weddings drinks. The amuse-bouches were delicious, the cheese and cold cut displays were a huge success, the guests enjoyed a warm summer evening and each other’s company. The couple greeted everyone, kissed their adorable daughter Lily, who was very well-behaved, and went for a tour of picture-taking.
An hour and a half later, everyone was invited to the internal court where the dinner was waiting on long rectangular banquet tables.
Federico worked on the florals and overall design with Danielle and they came up with a white/off-white/green and gold palette.
The tables were decorated with crystal and bronze candelabras, greenery, and a multitude of small candles and vases.
In addition, multiple strings of bistro lights were installed across the court, and torches were lit along the castle’s walls for the dinner.
The resulting ambience, reflected in the photos, was surreal.
A typical Tuscan 4-course dinner was freshly made and beautifully served by Roland’s catering.
The dinner was joyful, with several humorous toasts and an entertaining shoe game.
It was topped off with the cake-making show, during which Roland’s pastry chef assembled a big migliefoglie cake – a traditional Italian wedding cake, with some help from the bride. Champagne and sparkles added an extra touch to this stunning scene.
After the dinner, the festive crowd moved to the loggia where DJ Ramta had everyone dancing surrounded by party lights, which was taken care of by Kaleydo Entertainment.
The night was warm, the castle was enchanting, and it felt invigorating to take the occasional break from the dance floor and enjoy the grounds around.
The celebration continued until 2 a.m. and long after, in everyone’s heart…”
FROM THE COUPLE:
Dan and Danielle are both from Toronto, and had known each other for 6 years before Danielle decided to pack up her life and start fresh in London (where Dan had been living for a few years already!). There was always a special attraction between them, but the timing was never right! Dan supported Danielle’s move over to London, but shortly after she arrived, Dan didn’t hear from her for over a year. One day, Dan received a text from Danielle, anxiously looking for him to set her up with a tall, funny, athletic, successful man that loves to travel, he responded with himself! They went on one date, and it just kicked off from there! Dan whisked Danielle away on a 2-month holiday during his gardening leave. On the mountaintops of Peru, Dan asked Danielle to move in (after only two months!). They both knew this was it. After 1.5 years of dating, they discovered they were pregnant with their beautiful daughter Lily! On a trip to the Amalfi coast, Dan decided to make it official, and proposed to the woman of his dreams on a cliffside in Sorento, Italy. Of course, Danielle said yes! They did their first civil wedding ceremony at the Chelsea Town Hall in London, and celebrated at the Bluebird in Chelsea.
We wanted a beautiful destination for everyone to enjoy. We chose Italy not only because it is a beautiful country but also because Dan has Italian origins, as his grandparents immigrated to Toronto from Italy. We wanted to highlight Dan’s Italian heritage so we thought about having the wedding in Tuscany. We visited for a few days and looked at many venues with our planner Luba from Primavera Dreams. Vincigliata Castle won us over! The ceremony was conducted by an officiant who is Italian and fluent in English. He incorporated some beautiful verses by Dante into the ceremony: in Italian first, and then in English. Dan started his speech with a few phrases in an impressively good Italian! We chose our style to be glamour with some laid-back attitude. The color palette was white/off-white colors, with a lot of green, gold and crystal. It blended well with the castle’s old stone walls.
THE WEDDING DECOR
Ours was a destination wedding and we arrived to Italy just a few days before the big day, Dan from Toronto and me from the UK. The logistics were already complicated. The only piece we did do ourselves was a seating chart, which was very beautiful – but unfortunately it got lost in transit, so we had to rely on Luba to give our guests seating instructions. We’d worked with our floral designer, Federico di Prima, from Lila Bespoke Floral Design and Alessandro Costabile from Kaleydo Entertainment to create and realize our vision for the ceremony and the reception. The ceremony took place in the castle’s beautiful external court, full of flowers, with breathtaking views of the surrounding Tuscan hills. We had white chairs with flowers hanging off them and white sun umbrellas for guests to hide from the heat. Two big Tuscan vases on pedestals book-ended the ceremony space for us and our officiant. The food display for the cocktail hour was deliciously picturesque and exhibited typical Tuscan delicacies. During the reception, our guests sat at long banquet-style tables in the internal court. The tables were covered in greenery, small vases with flowers, candles, and big crystal candelabras with tall candles. In addition, we had bistro-style lights and torches which were lit in the evening around the castle’s walls. The loggia where the dance party took place had multi-colored uplightings and other lights.
We had beautiful bouquets for me and my bridesmaids, boutonnieres for the groom and his groomsmen, and a floral crown for our daughter Lily. We used white roses, peonies and hydrangeas among other flowers for the decor. Other details are described in my answers to the other questions. The florals were conveying the message of happiness and freshness, the greenery was local: olive branches, eucalyptus, rosemary, all of which had beautiful aromas.
A destination wedding is an event which lasts a few days, and we offered our guests multiple activities before the big day. For our wedding, we wanted everyone to relax and enjoy themselves. We flew in our DJ from Toronto to make sure we would be getting the right vibe. We also decided to go with a traditional Italian wedding cake, the migliefoglie – and it was done by the pastry chef in front of all our guests in the reception area, with some participation from us! The cake was absolutely amazing and fresh, and it was a great entertaining experience. Our friends also prepared a surprise for us: halfway through the reception we were called to play a shoe game about our relationship. It was so hilarious!
As a model, I am aware of so many exciting and stunning wedding dress designers, which actually complicated my choosing the dress. I ended up with a gorgeous Pronovias mermaid dress, with delicate embroidery and other fine details. I wanted something fitted, classy and a little bit sexy, Pronovias checks all of those boxes! For the ceremony I wore a classic veil that had beautiful lace embroidery along the sides…it was stunning. Both my dress and veil were from my girlfriends shop, Ferre Sposa, in Toronto. I accessorized with a pair of long diamond earrings, which were a gift from Dan. For my wedding shoes I decided to focus on comfort and stuck with a thick-heeled Steve Madden, they were actually the best shoe for grass/gravel/stone! The celebrity stylist Cherie Spisso created my hair and make-up, we kept the look simple with fresh and dewy skin being the main focus and a pop of brown/bronze to highlight my blue eyes. Dan wanted a classic tuxedo with a modern twist. He went for a two-tone navy tuxedo, which was custom built by Empire Customs, in Toronto as well. To finalize the look he went with a high-gloss tuxedo shoe that was made to order through Undandy.com in Portugal.
THE MOST ANTICIPATED MOMENT
The ceremony, by far. As Daniel put it: “I felt myself extremely lucky. How many guys would get to marry the woman of their dreams, twice? “(the couple got officially married a year before). It was such a nerve wrecking experience for both, even though they were already married! Everything finally came together, at this very moment, with all of our family and close friends! It was so special. Also, Dan finally wore his wedding band!
ANY ADVICE FOR NEWLY-ENGAGED COUPLES?
Get a wedding planner! We don’t know how we would have done it, without the help of Luba at Primavera Dreams. Especially with an overseas wedding, it would have been next to impossible. We didn’t have to worry about a single thing on the day (she even paid our makeup artist for us when we realized we didn’t grab enough cash!) It really made everything run smoothly for our guests and us. Start preparing early, much earlier than you think! We didn’t the band we wanted because we waited to long. Make sure to book the venue, catering, music, photographer and makeup artist early as they usually book a year in advance. Expect to argue, or disagree and be stressed! Its all part of the plan, you will get through it and the day will be soo special (especially if you use a planner!). Just remember to make time to be together on your day, with so many people there, its easy to get pulled apart. This day is for you both, enjoy it together! My marriage advice is always remember love, empathy, trust, respect and compromise will get you through most things—if not, a therapist always helps !
Thank you to Danielle and Dan for sharing their stunning destination wedding from Tuscany with us!
Photography: Anna Fowler Photography | Event Planning & Design: Primavera Dreams | Wedding Dress Designer: Pronovias | Wedding Dress Store: Ferre Sposa Bridal Boutique | Floral Design: Lilla Bespoke Florals | Event Venue: Castello di Vincigliata | Tuxedo & Men’s Attire: Empire Customs | Invitation Design: The Cardlab Letterpress Company | Beauty: Cherie Spisso | DJ: MLSE | Lighting: Kaleydo Entertainment | Catering: Roland’s | Accommodation: Hotel Villa Fiesole | Submitted via Two Bright Lights |