Destination Weddings/Elopement

Rustic & Glamorous Tuscan Elopement

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Oh, how we adore elopements here on Bridal Musings. Every intimate wedding has the unique opportunity to exhibit exactly what the couple wants for their celebration. And while couples often go wild and casual for their nuptials (we’re all about it) today’s real Tuscan elopement shows that just because you’re running away together, it doesn’t mean you can’t be totally glamorous.

Set in the rustic Villa le Fontenelle, Jesse and Valerie’s wedding was dripping with romance. Cascading red blooms of dahlias and roses mixed with eucalyptus filled a lush bouquet. Valerie’s lace, off the shoulder gown, paid homage to Hollywood glamour at it’s finest. Soft tendrils framed her face and a cherry red lip (and nails!) finished the exquisite look.

So many brides (and grooms) think eloping means having to forgo all the wedding goods, and that’s simply not true! Having the power to create exactly what you want for your celebration, you get choose how “wedding-y” you want to go.

Furthermore, Jesse and Valerie show you can still benefit from hiring a planner. By leaving all the details in practiced hands, you get to truly enjoy the adventure.

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Our Love Story

We first met at a dinner party hosted by a mutual friend in November 2010. Our friend had been hosting these parties for several months. Jesse was new in town and was trying to meet people. Valerie had been avoiding going to the dinners for a while and had finally decided to go to one. By New Years, we knew that we had found something special.

Several years later after grad school, a new house and one too many pets Jesse took a day off work to, “take care of some errands.” When I got home he had cooked a wonderful meal with all of my favorite foods, flowers, and dessert. He popped the question right there at the table, I was completely shocked. He told me he wanted to propose on an ordinary day because to him every day with me is special.

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Planning The Elopement

We wanted our wedding to be a celebration of our relationship with a private intimate ceremony with just the two of us. We picked Italy because we wanted a beautiful scenic location with history and charm. Jesse had been to Italy once before and we had been discussing taking a trip there for years and it felt like it was the perfect time.

To make the process easier we decided to hire a wedding planner who could arrange all of the little details for us. A stress-free wedding was our number one goal so having someone who could manage all of our requests was a must. We found Daniela at the Tuscan Wedding we knew she was the best person to take care of us on our special day. She was very responsive and assisted us with every detail.

Traveling internationally for the event created some limitations, we could not bring much with us and we couldn’t exactly see everything we were picking, we needed to trust our wedding planner that she would arrange all the details. Daniela was truly wonderful.

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The Photography

When we were searching for a photographer, we wanted someone who captured couples in a realistic but romantic style. Where the photographer focused on the beauty and uniqueness of each individual couple.

We were truly blown away by Elisa and Adriano. As a couple themselves, they intuitively understood how to work with newly married couples on their special day. They captured the romanticism of the Villa and Florence effortlessly and went the extra mile to give us the shots we wanted most.

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The Wedding Day

The wedding day itself was like a dream. We were married in an old fort located on the property surrounded by old stones and ivy creeping up the structure. The weather was absolutely perfect, a warm 78 degrees in Florence in October was quite unusual.

To add to the romantic backdrop we hired a violinist to play our favorite music for the ceremony and wrote our own vows the night before. My brother also wrote a special poem for the occasion which fit perfectly into our ceremony and added a sense of comfort from our loved ones who could not be there. Even a little lizard made an appearance during the ceremony which we joked later was our only witness.

After the ceremony, we had a prosecco toast then took a ride in a vintage convertible to San Miniato and Piazza de Michelangelo to take photos and bask in the beauty of Florence. Then we returned to an amazing dinner on the rooftop of the villa with a decadent five-course meal. Watching the sunset and the city come to light was the perfect ending to our special day.

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The Venue

For our venue, we wanted a scenic villa in Florence with a beautiful view and outdoor ceremony options. We spent time looking for things that would make us happy and tried to just embrace that this was a once in a lifetime event. We kept looking for simple and charming.

While doing research we fell in love with the Villa le Fontanelle. The villa was quaint with beautiful rooms and a stunning view of Florence. The villa’s romantic charm and rich history made us feel like we were living our own little fairytale.

The wedding took place in October so we wanted a color scheme that would reflect the season and suit the elegant surroundings of the villa. Jesse picked bold, classic colors; navy and marsala.

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Advice for Other Couples

Find a planner that is ready to work with you and is easy to communicate with, someone who will help keep the stress of the day down. Find things that will make you happy and take the time to understand what both you and your partner wants.

Settle on a budget that works for you and do not be afraid to splurge on those extra items that will make your wedding day truly special. Remember to plan for unexpected expenses.

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Make sure you find time to take care of yourself on your wedding day. Don’t forget to take it easy, drink plenty of water, wear sunscreen, and have yourself a snack when necessary. For us, it was a bit of a challenge in Italy, because they have strong opinions about meal times. But it’s important not to neglect your needs when you have a long day ahead of you.

Find some time to relax and enjoy a moment with your significant other during all the happenings. Even during an elopement, once you start getting ready for the ceremony you don’t really have much down time until dinner or even later.

It’s easy to get caught up in all the things going on and not really appreciate the day. That’s why we were very excited to have some down time during our drive into Florence. We were able to truly talk to each other alone for the first time all day.

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The Honeymoon

We spent a total of three weeks in Italy. First, we spent a few days in Milan before our wedding so we could sightsee and get over any jetlag before heading to our wedding in Florence. For our honeymoon, we continued our time in Florence and toured the southern part of Italy.

We would definitely recommend eloping. In addition to it just being a lovely way to get married, the day was truly dedicated and catered to us. We had suffered through far too many weddings where the bride and groom spent more time entertaining demanding relatives than truly embracing the moment as a celebration of their bond. We also found an elopement to be much more cost-effective. For the price of just a wedding in the United States, we got a wedding and a honeymoon in Italy.

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