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Daniela and Chris were married in Vicenza, Italy—home to many generations of Daniela’s family. The bride’s family legacy is woven through the quaint cobblestone streets to the most central landmark of Basilica Palladiana; a renaissance structure with a striking copper roof that Daniela’s great great grandfather built. Family and friends travelled thousands of miles to celebrate the couple at their celebration planned by My Italian Wedding Planner. Romantic details were abundant at Villa Valmarana AI Nani like invitations by Cheree Berry Paper and florals by Il profumo dei fiori. Lucky for us, photographer Facibeni was behind the lens capturing it all in these lovely images.

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What made the wedding special and unique? 

Daniela and Chris – What made our wedding so special and unique was truly the location. The picturesque city of Vicenza, Italy was home to many generations of Daniela’s family. Their family legacy is woven through the quaint cobblestone streets to the most central landmark of Basilica Palladiana; a renaissance structure with a striking copper roof that Daniela’s great great grandfather built. Daniela cherished the memories of her childhood summers spent in Vicenza; it became a home away from home. To know our family and friends traveled thousands of miles to witness our marriage in the most special destination was a dream come true. The magic of Daniela’s families traditions and feeling the presence of their spirits that day was beyond special.

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

Daniela – At the time, I was working as a Buyer for Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City. So when I (along with my mother, sister and mother-in-law to be) walked into the Sak’s Bridal Salon for my first dress appointment, I recall feeling a bit overwhelmed. Here I was, having the opportunity to try on these incredible designer gowns with intricate beadwork, dramatic waistlines and what seemed like miles of draped silk. Each and every gown was simply stunning, but simply not meant for me. Before leaving, our bridal specialist Shelbie asked if I had a picture of a gown I loved. I knew it was a long shot but showed her a picture of an Oscar De La Renta gown that I had been dreaming over for years. It was seasoned old, but I truly couldn’t stop thinking about it. Her eyes lit up when she saw the picture, “I think I saw that gown in the back!” she said. Minutes later, Shelbie came running out carrying that very gown. Tears filled the room the moment I slipped into it. I remember swooning over the delicately placed floral appliqué perfectly finished with pearl accents. I fell in love with the gown’s simple yet romantic aesthetic. This was my dress.

 

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal? 

Daniela and Chris – For us (especially Daniela), the most fun part of the wedding planning process was in the details. Our wedding planner, My Italian Planner was incredible in executing our vision and incorporating these special components. Some of our favorite details from our wedding day – Daniela’s grey velvet oval monogrammed ring box (I keep it on my nightstand as a reminder of that day) – Our custom Wedding programs printed in 2 languages for our English or Italian only speaking guests – As an alternative to a traditional guest book we collected different postcards from all over Italy. Our wedding planner found the most perfect antique-inspired mailbox for our guests to “mail” us their notes – The gold script “Sposa” and “Sposo” signs that our florist so beautifully tied to our chairs with lush greens – The candle lit in honor of all those who were not able to join us that evening that shined bright as reminder of their love – The pasta alla Bolognese (Chris’s absolute favorite) that was served on the dance floor at midnight.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Daniela and Chris – The most memorial moment from our wedding was when we were announced as husband and wife for the very first time. We so vividly remember walking out to see 150 of our incredible family and friends standing in the most beautiful setting, and all of them cheering for us. We felt completely and utterly overcome with love, our hearts ready to explode with happiness and appreciation. This moment took our breath away.

Tell us how you met and became engaged. Daniela and Chris – We met over 12 years ago at Fairfield University. Funny enough, Daniela was Chris’s Italian tutor. At the time, Chris was in his Junior Year desperately trying to pass Italian class. Daniela was a Freshman, tutoring her peers in Italian to make a little extra weekend money. What started as tutoring sessions at the library turned into hours talking on the phone. Fast forward 10 years later – Chris proposed on a crisp autumn morning at a Bed and Breakfast in Connecticut. A day filled with a cozy fire, lots of champagne and apple picking. Love was in the air.

Daniela & Chris :: wedding highlights from Origami Videography on Vimeo.

Photography: Facibeni // Planning and Styling: My Italian Wedding Planner // Flowers: Il profumo dei fiori // Invitations: Cheree Berry Paper // Venue: Villa Valmarana AI Nani // Bride’s Dress: Oscar de la Renta // Videography: Origami // Catering: Cavour Ricevimenti // Rings: Weston Diamonds (designed by the Father of the Bride) // Bride shoes: Aquazurra // Makeup and Hair: Chana Moung and Noeun Moung // Groom attire: Ike Behar // Groom shoes: Gucci
// Bridesmaid Dresses: Amsale

 

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Paige and Ben have the amazing recreational sport of dodgeball to thank for their romance. When they got engaged, the couple, who are both from Northern California originally, immediately knew they wanted to get married in the wine country. The bride’s vision for the wedding was around a theme of “natural elegance with urban edge.” They let Chateau St. Jean “do most of the talking” and personalized their day with modern yet timeless touches like gathered florals by Charlotte &Daughters and a show-stopping four-tiered cake by Michele’s Corner Wedding Cakes. Planning was by Alicia K Designs and all the lovely details are captured in these photos Kreate Photography.

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How did you meet? 

We met in San Francisco in 2011 when we both joined the same dodge ball team while trying to meet new people. I asked him out a few months later and knew almost immediately that he was the one. In the past 6+ years, we’ve moved to New York and back to California again and traveled a ton.

Did you have a specific theme/vision in mind for your wedding day? How did you come to pick your color palette?

I work at Instagram doing Communications/Public Relations so have done a fair amount of event planning in my career and I had a pretty clear picture in my head of what I wanted. Ben works in finance, but has a very strong sense of style so his input made a huge impact on the final aesthetic of the wedding.

My vision for the wedding was around a theme of “natural elegance with urban edge.” We wanted it to feel modern yet timeless at the same time, and we wanted the venue to do a lot of the work for us.

I’m a big fan of cool colors such as gray, blue, and green, which played nicely into the “natural” theme. We were able to keep the colors soft, cool, with pops of warmth and color here and there. I did a lot of research on Pinterest looking at different color combinations, and basically combined a bunch to come up with our own. The final palette combined those blues and greens in the form of silver/olive/sage, with blush and crème and a pop of marsala.

What is your proposal story?

Ben proposed when we were traveling in Iceland. On the 3rd day of our trip, we were exploring some of the natural sites, and while I was standing on top of a crevice in the earth where the Northern and European tectonic plates meet, Ben got down on one knee. It was completely surreal. We immediately found a gas station that would sell us a bottle of champagne to begin celebrating. That night, we stayed at a beautiful hotel in the middle of nowhere and watched the Northern Lights dance and move across the sky. It was magical. The rest of the trip we spent exploring while brainstorming our dream wedding. We ended the trip in Copenhagen where we did more exploring and celebrating. It was perfect.

Photography: Kreate Photography // Wedding Coordinator: Alicia K Designs // Florist: Charlotte &Daughters // Save the Dates & Name Cards: PS Paper // Invitations: Bella Figura // Calligraphy: Southern Calligraphy (via Etsy) // Venue: Chateau St. Jean // Dress + Suit Designer: Dress: Monique Lhuillier // Suit: Beckett & Rob // Shoes + Jewelry: Shoes: Jimmy Choo // Jewelry: rings inherited, earrings Overstock.com // Hair And Makeup Artist: Eliza Dougherty (friend) // Cake/Desserts: Michele’s Corner Wedding Cakes // Guest Gifts: DIY // Catering: Park Avenue Catering / The Tomales Bay Oyster Girls // Wedding Rings: Genevieve Lau Jewelry // Ring box: The Mrs. Box

 

The Eisenhower House stood out as the perfect venue for Alysa and Tim’s Rhode Island wedding—beautiful, but not over the top, with a fun history (formally Dwight Eisenhower’s summer house) for the history buff groom. The couple worked with Infinite Events to plan the day that incorporated a palette of blues and a whole lot of inspiration from their love of shellfish. Whimsical watercolor stationery was by El’s Cards and  The Local Bouquet filled the lovely white tent reception to the brim with white and yellow floral arrangements and greenery chandeliers and table garland. And, of course, we can’t get enough of the blue and white striped tablecloths. Lucky for us, our friend  Erin McGinn was behind the lens capturing these lovely photos of the day.

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from the bride: I grew up in Rhode Island, and Tim and I have always loved going back to visit my home in Little Compton. While we haven’t spent much time as a couple in Newport, I spent most of my childhood on Aquidneck Island, going to school in Portsmouth. When we started looking at reception venues, RI was at the top of our list for location. We ended up looking at just two venues and the Eisenhower House stood out. It’s very much our style – it’s beautiful, but not over the top, and it also has a fun history (formally Dwight Eisenhower’s summer house) and Tim’s a bit of a history buff. We also liked the idea of bringing in our choice of vendors which gave us plenty of opportunities to make it our own. In addition, we knew our out-of-town guests would have plenty to do in Newport and we loved that just about everyone would be in one place for the entire weekend.

One inspiration for much of the day came from our mutual love of oysters (well, really all shellfish/seafood). We included oyster details throughout our invitation suite and day-of papers, and a raw bar was a must-have from the very beginning. We worked with our caterer (Blackstone) to bring a few other personal touches to the menu. Tim grew up in Western Mass, home of the best corn in the world (according to his family). To pay homage, we had a sweet corn salad as a passed hors d’oeuvre. For a late night snack, we were inspired by the (now closed) late-night Boston restaurant, Pompeii. When we first started dating, we used to wait in line (often down the block) at all hours of the night for pizza slices and & arancini after a night out. When we first spoke with the caterer, pizza and rice balls were the only things on the menu that I was sure of aside from the raw bar.

Oh, and I guess also kind of fun, I made our wedding cake! Since before I can remember, I’ve been baking with my Aunt for holidays and family events. She inspired my love for baking, and I was super excited to bring that love to our wedding day.

Photography: Erin McGinn // Event Planning: Infinite Events // Floral Design: The Local Bouquet // Paper: El’s Cards // Ceremony Venue: Our Lady Of Mercy Chapel // Wedding Venue: Eisenhower House // Wedding Dress Boutique: Madeline’s Daughter // Wedding Dress Designer: Hayley Paige // Bridesmaids’ Dresses Designer: Amsale and Joanna August // Bridesmaids’ Dresses Boutique: Bella Bridesmaid // Makeup: Charlotte Phinney // Hair: Divine Tranquility // Groom’s Attire: Indochino // Rehearsal dinner: Midtown Oyster Bar // Lighting: Ryan Designs, LLC // Tent: Newport Tent Company // Catering: Blackstone Catering // Music: Stardust Band

 

Sarah and Ramez were accustomed to the large weddings of their culture—they even met at one! When it came to their own nuptials, however, they preferred an intimate affair where their guests felt like they were on vacation. And what better vacation than the breathtaking scenes and stunning views of Florence?! Planned by Exclusive Italy Weddings, vows were said in a traditional Coptic Orthodox ceremony at Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti followed by an incredibly romantic celebration at Villa di Maiano. Garden party vibes were accentuated by florals EVERYWHERE by Tuscany Flowers and guests enjoyed the outdoor dinner seated to view the sunset over the city. The couple enlisted the genius of Katie Mitchell Photography to capture all the details of Sarah and Ramez’s stunning destination affair and we’re thrilled to be sharing the photos with you today.

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How did you meet, how did you become engaged and for how long had you been engaged before your wedding day?:

Ironically enough, we met at a wedding! It was about 5 years before we got married, and we were actually both unsure if we were going to be able to make it (it was in Canada!). At the time, we both were focusing on catching up with old friends and family and weren’t in the “single and ready to mingle” mind set but another guest: “Mike from Toronto” introduced us and we will forever be indebted to him. We talked a while and Ramez tried to drag me out to the dance floor a few times but we missed each other at the end of the night and didn’t say goodbye. I came home to a Facebook message from him and while it was a little cheesy, much to my surprise I had no inhibitions talking to him. We would have long chats about our closest family and friends, our life aspirations, and eventually what we expected from the friendship. At the time, he lived in California and I in Virginia so long distance was difficult at times but we knew it was worth trying. One of my favorite things about him is he was bold enough to express his feelings for me yet allowed a natural progression of our relationship. A few months went by and he came to visit me in Virginia. My family fell in love with him just as much as I did and I knew it was right.

Ramez proposed about 1 year before the wedding, he had an elaborate plan for us to go skydiving and on the way down he had his friends hold up life- sized signs asking if I would marry him!! We were all set to go but before we got on the plane to jump, the winds changed and it was considered too dangerous. He was able to come up with an alternative, and took me to a winery where his friends emerged from the background with the signs! It was one of our favorite days but we’re still due for our skydiving date!

What was most important to you when planning your wedding?

In our culture, we tend to have extremely large weddings (think +300), but we wanted our wedding to be more intimate and make our guests feel like they were on vacation with us which is why we decided on having a destination wedding, so location was very important to us. We came up with Italy because it was the perfect location that gave us the romantic vibe we were looking for but also had ancient roots and and a rich culture.

We wanted our wedding venue to have amazing views and what’s a better backdrop than the city of Florence?! Villa di Maiano is perfectly positioned on a hillside that overlooks Florence so for dinner, we had everyone seated so they could view the sunset over the city.

Your outfits and accessories – what made you choose them and what did you love about them?

I always had a vision about my dress, I wanted something dramatic but romantic and tasteful. I imagined a lace dress with a low- cut back, I must have visited 10 different bridal stores before finding the perfect dress but when I tried it on, I knew it was the one! I love the dress because to me, it’s elegance is timeless yet it still had a “wow factor” to it that made it unique.

RAMEZ: We wanted a break from the norm of grooms in black tuxes so I wore an royal/electric blue, and thought it would make me stand out that much more from my groomsmen who did wear the traditional black tux. We also love how sharp the groomsmen looked wearing their ivory pocket squares which matched the bridesmaid dresses. The list goes on and on for accessories! I wore Pantherella merino wool socks, Calvin Klein loafers, a T.M. Lewin Marcella wing collar tuxedo shirt, a Tissot watch given to me by my father. Perhaps my favorite accessory though were the Italian flag cuff links I purchased for me and my groomsmen. They were elegant, but also very fitting for a wedding in the Tuscan Hills!

What made you choose your flowers/general decorative arrangements?

We wanted lots and lots of flowers at our reception, so the idea of a pergola with hanging flowers over the guests tables captured the garden feeling we were looking for, we hung lanterns from the pergola for warm lighting at night. We wanted to match that with floral table arrangements that were full and lower to the table to balance out the look. From there, with the help of our planner and florist we came up with the gazebo floral arrangement for the sweetheart table and around the chandelier on the dance floor. We were blown away by the results!

I initially wanted a bouquet of peonies but our florist told us they were out of season in July but then I saw this amazing round bouquet of garden roses on Pinterest that my florist was able to replicate. I fell in love with it and wish I could have brought it home to the states with me. The bouquet was simple, pale peach garden roses with no greenery, but since my dress was intricate, I thought it was the perfect balance.

Tell us more about your ceremony including any readings, any special moments and your vows:

We are Coptic Orthodox which is one of the most ancient denominations of Christianity so our wedding ceremonies are very traditional. We are robed and crowned as a symbol of becoming king and queen of our new home together as we take the responsibility of making our home in a sense, a Church, where God will be the center of our marriage. We embrace our traditions and couldn’t imagine doing it any other way.

 

Where there any DIY elements?

Though it was difficult to transport items from the US to Italy, we wanted to give our guests a favor that would be memorable to our location so we asked Villa di Maiano for bottles of olive oil that they make and we tied “Grazie” notes to each one for our guests. Since the wedding, many of our guests have told us they use the olive oil when they cook. We love that our favors were a little taste of Italy and something our guests could use when they came home.

My sister, Marina Salama, was pivotal in our wedding planning. We were both first years in residency and dental school so our hours were long and we were exhausted by the time we came home. She was so helpful in keeping us encouraged and worked to make our vision into a reality. A lot of the time, she was the point person that would be speaking to our planner and vendors and did a lot of research with our vision in mind, this wedding truly couldn’t have happened without her help! She understood what we were looking and worked tirelessly to make sure we were happy and we are forever thankful for her. By the way, she did this when she was 7 months pregnant! Talk about superwoman.

What was the vibe of your day? What colors/styles/themes did you use?

We wanted the vibe of the day to be whimsical and romantic which is why we wanted our reception to be outdoors with an emphasis on the flowers to make it an elegant but airy garden party. We kept the color scheme simple, mostly shades of ivory, white, and peach with gold accents seen in the flowers, the tableware, and the decorative pieces on the tables. Our tables were full of vases and delicate candle holders and votives. While it was a formal event, we still wanted everyone to feel relaxed so we decided to have long tables to make it feel more family style.

 

 

 

 

What was the most memorable part of the day?

This is an almost impossible question to answer, but if we had to pick we would say we loved the moments we had alone after the ceremony. Driving through Florence in an old school Bentley and taking pictures at some of the cities most famous landmarks had to be the highlight for us. It was the first time in the day when the nerves seemed to settle and we were able to just catch our breath, and process the fact that we just got married. Those private moments we spent together, and the undying smiles on both of our faces in the car on the way to the reception were moments we will never forget for the rest of our lives!

If you could impart any words of wisdom to a couple planning their marriage and their wedding day, what would they be and is there anything you would do differently?

We would tell anyone planning their wedding to try not to stress too much. That’s certainly easier said than done because ultimately everyone has different opinions and there are just so many options out there it’s hard to pin it down! Pick the most important 3 elements for the wedding day to your (ex: the food, the entertainment, the decor) and focus on those initially then tackle the rest. Be prepared for a few set backs and always be open to other options. Ultimately, your wedding will always be the most memorable to you, no matter what!

 

Wedding Video at Villa di Maiano Florence from Marcoabba on Vimeo.

Photography: Katie Mitchell Photography // Wedding Planner: Laura Frappa of Exclusive Italy Weddings // Second Photographer: Fontaine // Floral Design: Tuscany Flowers // Stationery: Minted // Preparation Venue: Florence with a View // Ceremony Venue: Chiesa di San Salvatore in Ognissanti // Reception Venue: Villa di Maiano // Videography: Marco Abba // Dress: Pnina Tornai, Dress 4372 from Kleinfeld Bridal // Veil: Kleinfeld // Jewelry: Swarovski // Bride’s Shoes: Kate Spade // Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Jenny Yoo // Groom’s Shoes: Calvin Klein // Groom’s Watch: Tissot // Groom’s Attire: 3 Day Suit Broker // Hair and Make Up: Laura Navarinni // Décor, Styling & DJ: The Alma Project // Transport: Alterini // Caterer: Galaeto // Cake: Sugar & Spice

 

San Francisco couple Emily and Matt brought all the people they love together in wine country to share in the joy of their wedding day. Their goal to “enjoy the scenery, food and wine of beautiful California wine country” was achieved with the help of Rue 29 Napa Valley and a simple aesthetic highlighting the stunning backdrop at Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch. Florals are by EV Floral, the groom designed the invitations and event paper and Catie Coyle Photography was on hand to capture all the love.

 

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What made the wedding special and unique?

When asked what we wanted our wedding to be, we really wanted people we loved to join us in wine country to celebrate a wedding weekend in one of our favorite locations. Wine country is where we go to relax and we wanted to share that with all of our guests. The goal was to enjoy the scenery, food and wine of beautiful California wine country. We got married in late October on a warm Friday evening, following the Napa Valley fires. Until the week before our wedding date, we weren’t sure if we would be able to stay in Calistoga or get married in St. Helena. We were so lucky and thankful that our venue and accommodations (for the most part) were still standing. We were blessed to be able to have our guests come to wine country following such devastation, hopefully bringing life back to the area.

 

Tell us about the gown and where/how you found it!

Every girl dreams of the day they find their wedding dress, I was no different. Though I had a harder time making a decision. I knew I wanted something “me.” My three words I used to describe the dress I wanted were romantic, classic and structured. I found my grown at Amy Kuschel in San Francisco. I was hoping to find a dress by a San Francisco designer and was glad when I fell in love with the simple elegance of “Sugar.” I was with my mom and two bridesmaids when I first tried it on, but later came back by myself to make the final decision. Being shorter (5 feet 1 inch) it is hard to visualize yourself in dresses that you try on and are way too long and sometimes the wrong size. Once I made the decision on the dress I added buttons down the back.

What were some touches added to make the wedding personal?

We wanted our wedding to be intimate and personal, with things that represented us as a couple. Matt designed our wedding invitations and the menus that were on each person’s plate as they sat down. The most personal part of our wedding was that we wrote our own ceremony, and Matt’s father married us, which was very special.

What was the most memorable part of the day?

Don’t know if I could pick just one. Having everyone you love in one place is very humbling. After 7 years together being able to say our vows in front of our family and friends was the best gift anyone could ever ask for. The backdrop and stage for our first dance is an image we both remember. Getting time together dancing and laughing was pretty memorable.

Tell us how you met and became engaged.

Matt and I met in college. He transferred to University of Colorado his sophomore year and was high school friends with two of my sorority sisters’ boyfriends. We hung out in the same circles and saw each other often. After graduation Matt moved to Chicago and I moved to San Francisco, it wasn’t until years later when he moved to San Francisco that we reconnected. We started dating and 7 years later we got engaged. We went up to wine country for a weekend away and had a relaxing time. While sitting by the pool waiting for our massages we were sipping champagne and he pulled out a jewelry box. Matt has a great sense of humor and he asked if I wanted to see what was inside. I was so excited to finally get to marry my best friend. Within 8 months we were married; why wait any longer?

Photographer: Catie Coyle Photography // Wedding Planner: Rue 29 Napa Valley // Floral Design: EV Floral // Stationery: Designed by the groom // Getting Ready Venue: Indian Springs Resort & Spa, Calistoga // Wedding Reception Venue: Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, St. Helena // Music/Entertainment: Ivy Hill Entertainment // Hair & Make Up: Sherrie Long // Transportation: Pure Luxury Transportation