The Most Perfect Destination Wedding in a Dreamy Italian Castle
For those of you wonderful souls who follow my social media, firstly, thank you (it really means the world to me!) but secondly, you'll know that I've been doing a lot of traveling over the last 6-8 months. Most recently, I've fallen in love with Croatia and there will be a blogpost coming on that very soon, don't worry! In starting my own marketing and consultancy business creating content for clients, I have of course fallen terribly behind in sharing my own content; ironically, what got me to this point! Before we get to Croatia, I have to share the stunning story of a Cayman-meets-Italy fairytale wedding that we were lucky enough to attend last September.
Wow, I'm behind. Please stick with me - there's lots of exciting content to come!
Wedding season...it's certainly in full swing now for a lot of my friendship group and it's pretty darn exciting to be a wedding guest with the joys of planning a wedding firmly behind us!
Following a happy engagement, the thought of planning a wedding can often bring you back down to earth pretty swiftly. There's the venue, catering, table decor, seat covers, save the dates, invitations, wedding websites, guest lists and more guest lists - just to name a few off your checklist! And with all this decision making and budgeting, it's often necessary to compromise on certain aspects to make sure it all goes ahead!
With international guests who'd never been to Cayman, we didn't even consider doing a destination wedding - frankly Cayman IS the destination! And we loved our Cayman wedding. But having the honour of experiencing our first destination wedding - in an Italian Castle in the outskirts of Florence, no less - I'm now pretty sold on the idea! Is it too early to plan our renewals?!
Stefan and I, and a Cayman contingent of about 60 other guests ventured on the trip of a lifetime to see the wonderful Bianca Leacock and Niko Whittaker get hitched in sunny Italy last September. And boy, did it deliver in taking "dream wedding" to another level! But don't take my word for it, here's the scoop:
Staying @ Fattoria di Maiano
Stefan and I and some of the other wedding party stayed together (including, unbeknownst to us, our Cayman neighbours in the next door room - you can't make this stuff up!) at Fattoria di Maiano, the most magical farmhouse just outside of Florence and just beyond Fiesole (the hilltop town overlooking Florence).
This olive farm was actually considered option 'B' as the main hotel in Fiesole, Hotel Villa Fiesole, was fully booked but seriously, I think we really lucked out! Reasonably priced and full of rustic charm, this semi-converted farm hotel is set against some truly stylish upgrades like this infinity pool overlooking the rolling Tuscan hills. It even had a menagerie of wonderful animals (geese, donkeys and ostriches!). Simply put, it was mega and a definite strong contender if you'd like a break from central Florence.
The Night Before @ La Opera del Duomo
Pre-wedding welcome drinks were held on the roof of this incredible museum opposite the Duomo in central Florence. We walked through the famous museum to be escorted to the private rooftop to take in the sunset and celebrate the beautiful couple. With a delicious Italian buffet and gorgeous wine and prosecco free-flowing, the wedding celebrations were off to an incredible start!
The Wedding Day @ Castello di Vincigliata
The Wedding Day itself was nothing short of spectacular.
For serious style awards, the bride and groom had requested that we all wear black tie and black gowns - something I had never actually seen before. Being a colour fan myself, I found this a little challenging as I realised I don't own much back and envisaged a bold red or green outfit in such a vibrant Italian city. But playing by the rules, I sourced my black gown from my faithful and favourite local consignment store (you know it, Carey's Karma Closet) with some nifty alterations to make it fit like a glove. With all guests in black, against the fairytale castle backdrop of Castello di Vincigliata, the photos were stunning. I'm now a convert to the power of the all black effect!
The entire event was fit for royalty, from the food down to the surprise fireworks organised by the bride. It was magical and a memory we'll cherish forever.
Less words and more photos needed for this one!
Congrats again to the most wonderful couple! What a wedding and what a pair!
Thank you for letting us share in your happiness.
All my love,