Did you see the adorable Florence engagement shoot we featured over the weekend? Well today we're featuring Jenna & Chris's beautiful wedding also captured by Auckland wedding photographers BUBBLEROCK. This American couple absolutely love Italy, and the way it makes them feel when they visit. After a proposal in Montalcino, they knew they wanted to experience this special place with their closest friends and family.
Working with planner Martina from ITALY WEDDINGS, it was the destination itself that helped define the style of their wedding. The most challenging part was settling on a venue but once they'd figured that out everything fell into place. "Chris found CASTELLO DI VINCIGLIATA when researching locations in Tuscany - and we immediately fell in love! It's an incredible 13th-century castle that sits on a hill overlooking Florence." When it came to the decor, they incorporated olive leaves, lemons and grapes - typical of this area of Italy - and the end result was elegant and fun!
HOW DID YOU MEET? Chris and I met 10 years ago at a bar in New York City called McFaddens, two days after he decided to take a leap of faith and move to the Big Apple from Savannah, Georgia. I was dancing on the bar that evening (you'll never find me there now!) and after telling his friends he thought I was pretty - they pushed him to come up and say hello. He gave me his business card (he didn't have a job at the time) and all of his friends pretended to be his brothers and sisters. I left the bar that evening feeling different, like I knew I just met a man with a wonderful heart and my life will never be the same. It wasn't.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: Chris proposed two years ago (November 2016) in Montalcino, Italy. We decided to take a winter trip to Florence and eat all of the pasta, drink all of the wine and walk around and enjoy it's beauty. One day we decided to rent a car and drive through Val d'Orcia. We visited a local winery in Montalcino called Podere Le Ripi. Chris found the beautiful Abbey of Sant'Antimo and he very sweetly proposed there after our tasting. We laughed and we cried - and I knew from that moment I wanted to marry Chris in Tuscany. The second best part of our day was meeting a local elder in Pienza, Ida. She could not speak any English, but spoke to us and gave us kisses for over 20 minutes. We went into a local shop she frequented (there aren't many) and bought her meats and cheeses and asked the shopkeeper to surprise her the next day.
TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I easily tried on over 100 dresses when looking for my wedding dress. I wanted something sweet, timeless, with a little bit of fun. My stylist Ayana Sanchez at MARK INGRAM BRIDAL truly listened to what I wanted and although the dress was over budget (she told me upfront) - I knew from the moment I saw it, that it was the one. I then brought my mother and best friends to the next appointment and putting it on for them made me cry before Ayana could even zip the dress up! MIRA ZWILLINGER is an incredible custom bridal gown designer and if you are on the petite side (I am 4'10), I highly recommend her.
DESCRIBE YOUR WEDDING FLOWERS: Lemons and olive leaves took the centre stage. When thinking about our arch, we chose it to be rectangular to match the castle's walls. The florals for the table we wanted to sit low with candles. The groomsmen boutonnières even had olive leaves in them! Working with Lucrezia from Le Petit Jardin was incredible. Before everyone went into the courtyard for dinner, she took us there and surprised us with the most gorgeous olive leaf garland going down the staircase. It was so special!
FAVOURITE DETAIL OF THE DAY: Being in Italy with those I love most. I am also so thankful that I had more time than just one day with everyone - we were able to have a family dinner Tuesday evening, our bachelor/bachelorette Wednesday, welcome reception on Thursday and wedding on Friday! That was our favourite detail.
WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE OUT TO A COUPLE PLANNING THEIR WEDDING? Do what encapsulates you both. There are going to be ups, downs, and everything in between leading up to the big day. When you look back, it's important that it "feels like you" and you will never have any regrets.
MOST MEMORABLE MOMENTS? I had dreamed of the doors opening at Castello di Vincigliata and walking down the aisle from the moment we booked the venue. It was incredible! Chris's vows were my #1 most memorable moment, they were sweet and funny. He knows I love the Bachelor franchise and asked me to have his final rose (as a joke)! Dancing with my father was also a highlight. Overall, being in Florence with all of my friends and family was better than I could have imagined. I know it's a lot to ask guests to travel for a destination wedding, but it was such a special week and something I will always remember. I'm lucky to have such wonderful friends and family!
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR HONEYMOON: We went to Cape Town, South Africa and Botswana on a safari. We went cage diving with Great White Sharks and saw The Big Five minus a rhinoceros. We camped for part of our safari and the last evening - two lion prides decided to fight on either side of our tent. Talk about adventure!
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU WOULD CHANGE OR DO DIFFERENTLY? Not stress as much as I did. You hire talented people for a reason, let them do what they do best!
Thank you to Auckland wedding photographers BUBBLEROCK for sharing this beautiful Florence engagement shoot with us. With a passion for life, for people and for capturing beautiful moments, BUBBLEROCK operate both out of New Zealand and France, and bonus - can not only photograph your day but film it as well. You'll also want to check out this Relaxed beach wedding on the Greek Isle of Serifos.