Siobhán and Joe are an Irish couple that travelled to Florence last April with sixty guests to celebrate their wedding. The couple always wanted a destination wedding and chose Florence because it is a city that has entranced them from their very first visit; “We have lived together in different parts of the world but it is Florence that has become the home in our hearts”. The couple’s ceremony took place in the 11th century church of Santi Apostoli followed by a reception at the magnificent Castello di Vincigliata, a hugely impressive venue which we’ve featured before. Siobhán and Joe’s wedding was captured by Alessandro Giannini and don’t miss Vertigo Videoproduzioni‘s video below, as well as Siobhán’s detailed description of their beautiful celebration.
HOW THEY MET
“Joe and I met more than twelve years ago when I was just finishing up my final exams and was getting ready to go off to college. From the moment we met we were inseparable. Joe proposed with a Tiffany & Co engagement ring in a rowboat in Central Park, New York and it was the most perfect proposal, so private and romantic, and we celebrated in the boathouse afterwards.
As we share a love for travel and inspiring experiences, it was only apt that we built upon our lives together and our engagement by getting married in the place that we loved the most. Joe and I got married in Florence in spring- we chose this time of year to catch the beautiful wisteria blooming throughout the city and its gardens. Florence entranced us from our very first visit. The city’s beauty is evident throughout with the art and history of the renaissance, the way the city blooms in spring with its wisteria adorned walls and arches, and the abundance of lush gardens filled with roses. We have lived together in different parts of the world but it is Florence that has become the home in our hearts. It is where we feel most inspired and alive and we wanted to share the experience of being awed by the art, the palazzos, the century old churches and the Duomo with those who mattered to us most.
DETAILS OF THE DAY
Florence was the theme that ran throughout the entire wedding. The style of the wedding day was classic fairytale with a royal Florentine twist from a different era. Every aspect of the day was completely steeped in the history and art of Florence, from the historical frescoed palazzos we got ready in, the 11th century church we got married in and the 13th century castle in the hills of Fiesole where we celebrated with our guests. The symbol of Florence, the Giglio (or Fleur-di-Lys as its better known) was also the symbol of our wedding and featured in the wedding stationery, the cufflinks, the stained glass of the bridal suite, and Joe’s wedding band. Because my ring represents the city that we got engaged, we wanted Joe’s ring to represent where we got married so his wedding band was made by Fratelli Piccini, the only jeweller left on the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and the Giglio is displayed in the ring’s centre to always remind him of our special day. The palette for the wedding was pink, gold and mint and the theme was Florence. The flowers were shades of pink lisianthus and ranunculus, the bridesmaid dresses were mint floor length gowns, and we chose gold touches for the place settings. My bouquet was a simple but dramatic bunch of coral peonies tied with a gold ribbon.
We started the wedding day in two separate historical residences in the Oltrarno area of Florence. I stayed at Piazza Pitti Palace, a small residence of just five luxury rooms that was once owned by the Pitti family while Pitti Palace was being renovated. My suite was adorned with floor to ceiling frescoes, antique Florentine furniture and the most fantastic unobstructed view of Pitti Palace. Joe and his groomsmen got ready in a nearby palazzo that was built in the 1400s and is still registered as a museum today. Frescoes also adorn the walls and ceilings and made for a stunning backdrop for getting ready photos. The ceremony took place in a quaint church a few steps from the Ponte Vecchio in Santi Apostoli. The church dates back to the 11th century and lies in a hidden piazza you would never know existed. After the ceremony we went to the Florence Rowing Club, which lies on the Arno River bank, to get unobstructed photos of the Ponte Vecchio. Later, we travelled to Bardini Gardens for the fabulous panoramic view of the magnificent Duomo and to capture the tunnel of wisteria. This tunnel is breathtaking and only lasts three to four weeks in spring, which was why we chose the time of year that we did so we could capture this fleeting beauty.
The reception took place in Castello di Vincigliata, Fiesole, just twenty minutes from Florence. The medieval castle was lit with over 200 candles and torches to welcome us and our sixty guests. The castle is perched on the Tuscan hills of Fiesole and boasts the most magnificent panoramic view of the entire city of Florence, including the Duomo. For the place setting, we wanted to bring a touch of old world glamour with vintage gold rimmed glassware, gold wooden placecards, personalised for each guest and Laduree macaron wedding favours of two, pink and white. Instead of the usual paper place cards, we got calligraphy style names carved from wood, personalised for each guest and painted them gold, attaching magnets to the back so guests could bring them home and stick them onto their fridge if they wanted, which many did. It was a nice touch and suited the gold place settings beautifully. After an aperitivo and speeches on the terrace among the lemon trees, we dined with our guests on truffles, chanti beef and the castles award-winning wine in the open-air courtyard under the glimmering stars. We danced the night away in the adjoining loggia.”
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