ANA & STUART – who look like a couple of movie stars – were lucky enough to have a beautiful wedding in the heart of Tuscany. Starting off with their ceremony in a quaint chapel in the hills, and followed by a vineyard reception they kept everything simple and let the stunning surroundings speak for themselves. VERONICA LOLA PHOTOGRAPHY was on hand to document the day in all it's elegant dreaminess.
HOW DID YOU MEET? I won't begin to tell you the entire story of how we met as there isn't anything super charming about it - I will say that there are those few moments in time when against all the signs and the odds, you decide to do something, or go somewhere and the result is this serendipitous meeting of chance. A moment with which begins the rest of your life. It is the opposite moment of looking, and in this irony it is when you find the most valuable treasures. My serendipitous moment began on Sunday February 20th 2011, in New York City... it wasn't his looks that first attracted me (though I mean c'mon how good looking is he!) and it certainly wasn't love at first sight, it was his confidence, the immediate sense of comfort and ease, followed by someone who could finally challenge me and keep me on my toes. We left that evening not knowing each other's names, nor knowing exactly if and when we'd see each other again - but after I stood him up once, we quickly reunited and after a week of rather traditional courting - we didn't leave one another's side.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: It was the eve of my 30th birthday and I got a text message from Stuart towards the end of the work day that said leave the office and tell the cab Washington & Little West 12th which put me right outside The Standard Hotel, which is where we first met. I then got a second text message to come up to a Room 1232. When I got up there the room had champagne, flower petals everywhere and Stuart welcomed me with a big 30th birthday welcome. I never thought anything of it because again it was my 30th birthday and I thought this seems appropriate for a birthday surprise. We went out to dinner with his brother in law that night, went back to the hotel and went to bed. The next morning I woke up early and was thinking of going to the gym before we checked out that day and the real celebrations started. I felt Stuart get out of bed so I thought I would get out of bed and when I rolled over he was down on one knee with a ring in his hand. Best. Birthday gift. Ever.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I knew I wanted something that just felt like my personality. One of my pet peeves is when brides end up looking something completely different themselves on their wedding day. I wanted to feel like me, look like me, just be the me, Stuart wanted to marry. I tried on so many beautiful gowns from Monique Lhuiller, to J. Mendel to Jenny Packham but ultimately it was a small Brooklyn Based designer Leanne Marshall dress that I fell in love with and was one of the first dresses I tried on and ultimately ended up going back to.
FAVOURITE DETAILS OF THE DAY: My first major concern and project was Stuart's mother. Unfortunately, she had passed some 10 years ago but I didn't want that to be a reason she wasn't present on one of the biggest days of his life. Stuart's mother was an English teacher and had a great love of books. In fact when she passed away she left a set of her favorite, very old edition, books which to this day are kept safe and cherished. I decided to use this knowledge to make her a part of the day. Instead of naming each table after a number, I named each table after one of her favorite books; I bought copies of them on Etsy and had them sitting on an easel on each table. Then I had the place cards made into the shape of bookmarks to match the theme. Out of all the things that made the day beautiful it was probably my favorite part.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? Am I allowed to have two? I would say both my sister's speech and Stuart's speech. I keep both of those speeches to this day in my nightstand and they make me cry every time I read them. Some of the most beautiful words ever stringed together.
ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY: I would just say the wedding spoke to both mine and Stuart's current selves and backgrounds. We made sure to incorporate both cultures and traditions (his South Africa and mine Russian & Serbian). Even if it was a smaller detail it made the day feel like us and like nobody elses wedding.
Photography VERONICA LOLA PHOTOGRAPHY / Planner CAROLINA CASINI from TUSCAN DREAM / Caterer GALATEO RICEVIMENTI / Florist FIORIDEA BY ELENA BINDI / Musicians RANIERI SESSA / DJ FRANCIS J / Grooms suit SUIT SUPPLY / Ties J PRESS / Groom's shoes MAGNANNI / Brides veil BHLDN / Bride's gown LEANNE MARSHALL / Bride's shoes JIMMY CHOO / Bride's Robe & Nighty EBERJAY / Hair & make-up MARIO DIAB SALON / Bridesmaids' dresses JOANNA AUGUST / Bridesmaids' make-up AZZURRA MAKE UP / Escort cards & programs LILY & LOUISE / Calligraphy MANAYUNK CALLIGRAPHY (ETSY) / Wooden Signs TRUE CONNECTION / Rings VAN BUSCH / Venue VILLA LA SELVA / Film developing RICHARD PHOTO LAB