The magic of Tuscany is casting its infamous spell over us with this incredible destination wedding! With every masterful touch, from the gorgeous palette to the rustic, elegant tablescape and arrangements, it came as no surprise to learn that the bride is a planner herself. The elegant, intimate affair was documented with breathtaking images by Kir & Ira Photography which will stay with us forever!
From the Bride: I’ve been organizing events around the world for the past 15 years that’s why we decide to plan our wedding celebration ourselves. The expectations from our friends and family were high towards this one, which did not make planning any easier. We started looking on the Internet for ideas and places we liked. With guests coming from 21 countries, we wanted to rent a whole villa or house for a week, so all of our friends and family could stay near by to us. We also were looking for flexibility from the venue we were going to use, so we could decide our own suppliers, with not so many restrictions. Most important factors for us were great food and drink, good weather, nature and a peaceful unique place as we live in London, we wanted to get away from the crowd. We chose Italy, as it was easy to get to for us and our guests, offered great places to visit and it is a paradise for foodies.
We enjoyed doing site visits to Italy. We visited Tuscany twice to organize and see things, as we have organized our wedding ourselves. We chose the idea of travel and globe as a seating plan. We had an old map and we allocated guests per countries. We also really wanted to have two long banquet tables and it worked really well for our wedding. At our wedding we had many kids who were given kids packs full of games, stickers and toys to keep them entertained.
I liked the idea of braces and tie bows for page boys, and they were the stars of the day. We saw San Galgano Abbey and straight away decided that this is the place for us. On the evening of our first visit there, they had a opera concert, which we stayed and decided on that same evening that opera during our ceremony would be a real wow factor as we enjoy it and our guests would have a different experience.
We had local honey as small presents to our guests. We found these little pots of honey in local shop and a supplier made special stickers for us (Tatyana and Lee, meant to bee) and we got lavender honey (bees been collecting piling from lavender flowers only). Peach and coral color scheme started from peonies, flowers which I have fallen for and which were used in wedding flowers as well.
Wedding took place end of April, and we decided it would be the best time as it was not to hot, not too busy with tourists and prices were lower compared to peak time. Only thing we had to consider was changing weather, therefore we have booked a big marquee and placed it just outside of the villa as we wanted most of the wedding to be outdoors, and we didn’t want to take a risk on the rain. We had booked two musicians, who stayed with us for from Friday until Monday playing piano, and guitars for us. On our wedding day we have put lots of effort to our entertainment program, which included traditional Russian games as well as some less traditional dance offs. We had also prepared a song list for our Italian DJ who successfully catered for each taste of music and got us all dancing to great hits like to Kalinka, Macarena and many Italian classics.
Best parts of the whole wedding planning experience was driving our classic car in the most beautiful areas of Tuscany, visiting places and trying food during our site visits and meeting with the Mayer of the town, two days before the wedding to sign pre marriage documents. We have met and made friends with great people including Jacopo, who is the owner of Villa di Corsano, so was there to give us great suggestions and local knowledge.
If you want to organize a wedding in Italy we would recommend to choose a place which is near places for sight seeing. We had Sienna only 15 minutes away, Florence 1 hour away plus many other great places. Make sure you use only recommended suppliers and it is not easy to book services in Italy, as people are very relaxed. We had very personal experience as our dear friend Carmen who is from Italy, was translating our ceremony into English. For Russian guests who did not speak English, we translated menus and order of service for them. We also had best mans and grooms speeches translated beforehand, to make it more personal on the wedding day.
As we had such a international wedding, we did our own website, where our guests could find travel info, tips and photos. It was the easiest way to communicate info and updates. In total we had just over 90 people and 60 of them stayed for the whole week. We made a holiday out of this and every evening we had BBQ and meals together, so we have an outstanding wedding party.
Photography: Kir & Ira Photography | Planner: Weddings by Taty | Floral design: Fiori da Elena | Hair and Makeup: Irina Kondratenko | Calligraphy: Kate Pshenichnaya | Legal papers: Italian Wedding Papers | Bridal Shoes: Atelier Fatima Alves | Rings: KultaNalle | Catering: Royal Catering | Reception Venue: Villa di Corsano | Ceremony Venue: Abbey of San Galgano | Film Processing: Impression Film Lab