Once upon a time in a castle high up on a hill overlooking Florence…
a clutch of crystal chandeliers swayed in the breeze while shimmering gold sequins adorned the dinner tables. The stage was set for the bride, whose every waking moment is consumed with visions of glamour, to marry her Prince Charming.
Aurelia and I hit it off from “hello”. She is Scottish but working in NYC in the fashion industry in my old stomping grounds. Her pursuit of pure fashion for fashion’s sake reminded me of a younger self when every season held new wonders just waiting to be accessorized. Plus we are both glamour junkies. Pure, unabashed, unapologetic glamour. So working together on her wedding was a treat for me and we fed off of each other’s creativity. The idea started with a sequinned cake table and ended up with sequins on every reception table. And chandeliers! No glam fest is complete without lots of shiny, sparkling, divine chandeliers. On this we agreed wholeheartedly.
I loved that the stone animals at the castle stood guard while the ancient busts of poets and caesars were on hand to observe the festivities. Two of the lions guarding the dinner area were even festooned with floral garlands to join in the festivities. The bride really wanted a big chandelier for the ceremony and it took me months to come up with the idea below. Once the idea came to me it seemed so obvious. Obvious yet so elusive for months on end. And it was just so magical, like a fairy tale for adults.
As mentioned the bride, Aurelia, is Scottish and the groom, Michal, is Polish. So naturally they met in Edinburgh and live in Manhattan. Michal’s cousin was able to celebrate their marriage with great composure and emotion. It meant a lot to the couple that someone so dear to them was able to preside over their wedding, in both English and Polish.
The view over the surrounding hills and downtown Florence from the castle gardens is just spectacular. So green, so lush, you could only be in Tuscany. And the garden is so inviting you could lose hours there without being aware that time has gone by. The jazz quartet provided a lively and festive atmosphere.
For the cocktail hour we wanted to combine indoor upholstered elements with an outdoor garden feel. Since the rental scene in Italy is very limited I usually source fabrics to get my own pillows made, usually with a brush trim. I love brush trim on pillows, it feels so grown up and important. The colors were just right for the wedding and the flowers complemented them perfectly.
The doors to the inside castle remained closed throughout the ceremony and cocktail hour. So you can imagine the surprise when they were opened for the dinner hour and the guests discovered a whole other magical inner courtyard in the castle. The sequinned tablecloth glistened with the setting sun and then by the candle light. To be honest I was concerned that they would be too bling but in the end they had just the right among of shimmer and warmth. So pretty, so epic. The mix of soft and natural kept the bling in check.
Here we are just wallowing in exquisite flowers, a harmonious color palette and spectacular photography. Every flower in itself was a star and the overall compositions were so surprising and exquisite.
The castle has a side room where one wall is all glass. The room was not being used but it was in full view from the dinner area and so we wanted to make it into a decorative show piece. I found a piece of blush colored sequin fabric just large enough for the table. Just look at the results and how it all came together.
HAPPILY EVER AFTER
The sun setting over Florence. If you look carefully you can see the huge dome of the Duomo in the distance. Everything was just wonderful, so much fun and so beautiful it was hard to believe. Now all that is left of our fairy tale is for Aurelia and Michal to live happily ever after.
Click HERE to see their comments on the planning process and on the wedding day. Or click HERE to see their welcome dinner which kicked off the celebrations. Click HERE to see what the bride and groom had to say about the day.