Ciao tutti! I am soooo excited to share this wedding with you. As soon as I saw that it was in Italy, and looked though a few of these bellissime photos, taken by CC Rossler, I was well and truly smitten. At the start of our own wedding planning, Darren and I were sold on our very own Italian affair. Unfortunately this plan was thwarted in its early stages; so while I won’t be feasting on fresh antipasti, kissing my new husband under a gnarled olive tree at dusk nor singing till dark in a lantern lit courtyard, this is exactly what Stephanie and Colby did to celebrate their marriage.
This Canadian couple met at art/animation school and dated for about nine years before marrying at a Tuscan villa on 19 September last year.
“I let the countryside inspire us. I wanted to play off the vineyards and olive groves that scattered the area. My grandfather used to have an olive grove when he lived in Italy and that ended up becoming the theme. My colours were loosely based on wine and olives, purples and greens. I really just wanted the beauty of the area to take the stage, so we didn’t really have to do much in the way of decorating to have our intimate, rustic garden wedding.”
Photography Copyright (c) 2014, CC Rossler
While the couple didn’t work with a wedding planner, they fortunately received a lot of support from the villa owner and her daughter. Along with the help of a well organised father and an Italian speaking mother, everything went smoothly.
“We knew that we wanted a destination wedding but we didn’t want to do anything tropical and Colby had never been to Europe before. We chose Italy because that’s where my mother’s side of the family is from and I feel strong ties to my Italian heritage. We decided to marry at Villa Teresa near Cavriglia, Tuscany. It was in a beautiful area and the villa was a good size to accommodate everyone comfortably.”
“I had a hard time finding a dress that I felt like myself in without breaking the bank; I also had to bear in mind that I would be travelling around with it before the wedding so I wanted it to be something short, simple and sweet. I drew up a sketch, picked out the fabric and my mother’s tailor sewed it. I love how light and flowy it was.”
Stephanie not only played a large part in creating her ideal dress but she also made her own adornments and jewellery. She made the pretty hair accessory by buying fabric, materials and a pearly trim and gluing them onto a simple headband. The bits and pieces for her necklace, earrings and bracelet were bought at Country Beads in Vancouver. “The ladies there were super helpful and gave me good advice. They are all made from freshwater pearls and sterling silver.”
This pretty little flowergirl wore a dress from Watters Seahorse collection.
“We chose Stiatti Fiori as our florist as they had worked with the villa before. It’s a family owned business. I had to have my mom and the villa owner’s daughter translate everything. I mentioned the colours and what kind of flowers I liked but most were out of season. I also asked if she could put an artichoke in there! I know nothing about flowers so just told her to surprise me. I LOVE what she came up with!”
“I cannot say enough good things about CC, our photographer. I actually went to high school with her in Canada and would often check her site to look at the photos. I always loved her style of photography and her choice of lighting and composition. I think she captures feelings so well with still images. I didn’t think it would be possible for her to come all the way to Italy to do our wedding photos as she now lives in South Africa. However, we ended up chatting and she often does destination weddings! Originally we had thought that we would just go with an Italian photographer for ease of having a local, but in all honesty it was really great having CC there.
Having an English speaking photographer to help guide us on where to go, how to tilt your head, where to place your hand, made the shoot fun and effortless.”
“The celebrants who performed our ceremony, Diane and Giuseppe from Blessings from Italy, were amazing! They sent us an email with a lengthy questionnaire to get to know us. They also had many options to choose from for readings and vows. I loved it because I’m terrible with this kind of thing. This husband and wife team really held our hand through the process and made it super special.”
“We had traditional bomboniere with two Jordan almonds and three with Nutella and almonds tied up in tulle by me, my mother and mother in-law. We also asked the owner of the villa to make up little bottles of olive oil for everyone. They produce their own olive oil from their grove!”
“We didn’t have to do much to the villa in terms of décor. I just bought little lanterns to string up above the table, which my mother in-law tied up with ribbons and our family decorated our chairs. The owner made little tealight holders with lavender, which she grows herself, and dyed salt to add to the table.”
The favour gift tags, along with the rest of the wedding stationery, were designed by a graphic designer childhood friend, Sami Christianson.
Words of wedded wisdom
“Breathe! The wedding can’t go on without you. If you’re running late no need to stress. Things happen how they have to on your big day. Guests won’t know any better if something gets messed up. I was in a country where everything moves more slowly and on its own time. Things are just done differently. I had to let go of control. Let the professionals do what they think is best/what they are good at and just trust them. I’m so glad I did because it turned out better then I could have dreamed.
Just being around my family and friends in such a tranquil, beautiful place was probably my favourite thing about the day. The weather couldn’t have been better and there was a full moon. I loved my friends’ mini concert followed by my uncle taking over May’s ukulele and singing some Italian songs. It was just a magical night and I know it sounds cheesy but it really was.”
There is so much I love about this wedding that I could harp on and on for weeks. However if I had to pick something it would be that it is beautifully simple. The villa and its courtyard, the food and the views are enough all by themselves. No fuss or frills required. Plus have you seen the way that Stephanie looks at her new husband? That. Is. Love!
P.S. I’ve just remembered that there are 300 year old olive trees in the courtyard of my wedding venue and there’ll be a fair amount of bruschetta eaten, and Prosecco flowing, so perhaps I’ll have my own little touch of Italy on my big day after all!
Photography – CC Rossler
Venue – Villa Teresa, Cavriglia, Tuscany, Italy
Dress: designed by the Stephanie and created by Mani’s Tailor, Suite 295-1233 Lynn Valley Rd. North Vancouver BC Canada V7J 0A1
Hair accessory – made by Stephanie
Jewellery – made by the Stephanie with supplies from Country Beads, Vancouver
Bridesmaid – David’s Bridal
Flower girl – Watters Seahorse in oatmeal
Page boy – Dapper Lads
Groom – Ermenegildo Zegna at Harry Rosen
Flowers – Stiatti Fiori
Cake – Diana “bar-pasticceria Napoletana” in Montevarchi. No website.
Entertainment – Pianist organised through the villa & friends Dimsum Rainbow
Stationery – Sami Christianson
Wedding rings – Minichiello Jewellers, Vancouver
Celebrants – Blessings from Italy
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