It’s Valentine’s Week!
Okay, so V-day probably doesn’t deserve a whole seven days to itself, but being the hopeless romantics that we are, we couldn’t think of a better wedding to share with you guys at the start of a week that’s all about love.
Francesca and Timothy’s intimate Italian wedding by Cristiano of Facibeni Fotografia is pretty special…
Their destination wedding in Umbria, Italy, was held in perhaps one of the most romantic, intimate and beautiful wedding venues we’ve ever seen.
Hotel La Badia is a 6th century castle-like abbey in Orvieto, which now plays host to achingly gorgeous celebrations under the stars – which is exactly what this couple wanted for their day.
Fabulous style, incredible food, close family and simple decor that let the setting do the talking.
From Francesca’s dreamy Marchesa wedding dress and Timothy’s cool Scotch tipples, to the pretty market flowers and the open mic speeches, every detail of this wedding is thoughtful, elegant, personal, and beautiful.
And just wait until you see this venue…
Wedding Day Snapshot
Our Wedding Day
Our theme was an intimate Italian dinner. The venue really did all the work for us. We knew the moment we saw the location that it was the exact experience we wanted to give our families and friends.
We wanted a place that felt like my dad, who passed away in 2010, was there. He was born and raised in Italy and every time we visit Italy it reminds me of the times I spent with my father.
We also wanted to share our love for Italy by picking a very architecture classic Italian venue, share amazing food, and share stories with our families.
In regards to design, we are both fascinated with the art nouveau era and tried to intergrade slight hints throughout the wedding.
When we got engaged in Paris the year prior, the apartment we rented was above a print gallery shop and the day Tim asked me to marry him we bought three Champagne lithographs that were printed in 1890.
The three labels represented three of the four seasons. During the planning process I emailed the print gallery to see if they ever got the fourth season and luckily they recently acquired one and was able to ship it to us.
We decided to use the lithographs as table markers for our reception dinner.
Our color palette was French blue and gold. Those colors are a common theme within our home interior design as well.
So it was nice to bring a piece of home to our destination wedding.
The mother of the bride and a family friend sourced white roses, lavender buds and wild flowers from a local flower market, these were casually arranged in clear jars and vases.
The bride’s brother, Fabrizio, read our ceremony reading and vows to everyone. We wanted to keep the ceremony simple and short.
We’ve attended many weddings where the ceremony seemed to drag and in a place as beautiful as Orvieto in the summer, we wanted to get people eating, drinking and dancing as soon as possible!
Recessional song: All You Need Is Love (instrumental)
First dance song: Matter Of Speaking by Nouvelle Vogue
Cristiano’s work is very beautiful. He really knows how to use light and make everything feel natural, the way we experienced it.
Our signature drinks: Champagne and St. Germain for Francesca and Macallan Single Malt Scotch Whisky Special Edition “Fruit and Spice” for Tim.
A welcome buffet after the ceremony was served in a courtyard near the ceremony area, with drinks, cured meats and cheese. Followed by a formal sit down meal under the stars.
The wedding cake was a classic Italian Chantilly cake with blueberries.
Every family member volunteered to do a speech, which is so us and our families. No one could settle for our maid of honor and best man speaking only, which is what we’d planned.
It was completely impromptu and unexpected. But we wouldn’t want it any other way.
The running joke is that I plan everything in our family, so it’s comforting to have that unexpected moments.
The Decor & Details
The venue in itself provided an amazing backdrop and we simply used flowers and a few small props to complete it.
A blue pashmina was placed on each chair for guests to wrap around to protect from the evening chill, and to bring home as a favor.
Funny props and polaroids were also available for guests to have fun with. Instead of a guest book, we suggested guests to take Polaroids and write notes in a classic photo album we picked up in Orvieto.
Advice for Other Couples
Take 30 mins alone with just the two of you. After the reception, Tim and I went to watch the fireflies glow over the hills of Orvieto and it was just us and absolutely magical.
It really finished our whole day with the perfect romantic touch that we both needed to officiate our wedding day.
Budgeting Advice: Ask questions and don’t assume things. I am a commercial line producer, so that is basically my job to budget and line out costs. So this was just another “film budget” in my perspective. But I know not all have that field experience.
The main things that are always forgotten in budgeting are:
– Cleaning fees
– After hour fees – Does the venue have restrictive hours, what are the overtime rates?
– Permitting – do you need to permit the event with the local city government?
– Make sure you know overtime rates ahead of time for staff working the wedding (bartender, wait staff, coordinator, photographer)
– Always have a weather contingency for outdoor weddings/ceremonies. Budget how much more that will costs should the weather not play in your favor, so that you aren’t disappointed or thrown off and can actually enjoy your day.
– Double check vendor deliver and pickup fees?
– Does the venue charge for next day pickups?
Our Wedding in Three Words
Magical, intimate, and delicious.
Oh my goodness, we told you the location was stunning, but it still takes our breath away every time. What a special place to get married, I love that it felt so meaningful for the couple too.
How great was Francesca’s advice, her tips on budgeting for extras, and taking some time for yourselves after the wedding is fantastic – watching fireflies in Italy sounds pretty romantic!
Thanks so much to Cristiano of Facibeni Fotografia and of course the gorgeous Francesca and Timothy for sharing their Italian wedding with us.
Check out more gorgeous real life destination weddings.