Beautiful Outdoor Destination Wedding in Tuscany, Italy

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Tina and Chris celebrated their nuptials with three fun-filled days in Tuscany, Italy at Castello di Meleto, where the finale was their English wedding ceremony and reception.  In case you missed day one and two, be sure not to skip a single shot!  Tina tells us about the design and experience of planning (and celebrating) this wedding:  “After two days of Tuscan and Indian celebrations, it was time for the English wedding day. The color scheme for this day was soft pastels with hydrangeas, peonies and roses as the main flowers.”

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“We wanted a romantic, soft and elegant theme, in contrast with the bright and bold colors of the previous day. We originally planned to use the same florist for all three days of the wedding, but she ended up canceling 5 weeks beforehand, which was extremely stressful for us. Our wedding coordinator managed to find two other florists who stepped in to save the day and who did a fantastic job. I particularly want to thank the girls at Only Art Fiori for doing such a wonderful job on late notice with kindness and passion. They really took my ideas and brought to life what I imagined.” 

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“Our ceremony took place on a hilltop overlooking the castle. There was a gentle breeze and a few clouds in the otherwise gloriously blue sky, and there was silence except for the sounds of Pachelbel’s Canon in D by the string ensemble. My father passed away a few years ago, and so my mother and younger brother walked me down the aisle. My mother is my confidante and best friend and I couldn’t have planned this wedding without her support and love. To have her give me away was a very emotional moment for me. Andrea from Tuscan Pledges officiated the ceremony, and we each wrote a few words about the other that Andrea included in his welcome address as a wonderful surprise to us both. We included traditional English hymns like “ Be Still in the Presence of the Lord” in keeping with Chris’s family traditions. I remember the string ensemble played and I felt the soft gentle breeze while looking around at the castle, my husband, the guests. It felt surreal.”

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“We had cocktail hour and a jazz band in the castle rooms and then dinner outside in the castle garden. When we stepped out into the garden in the midst of applause, I was overwhelmed by the sight. The castle garden had transformed into a magical landscape of fairy lights, soft pastel flower arrangements, lanterns, and candles, with a soft amber glow emanating from the castle. It was amazing to watch the scene transform as the sun set and the party started.”

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“We danced and laughed until sunrise, after which the party carried on by the pool. The weekend ended with a brunch by the pool the next day where had to tearfully but happily say our final goodbyes.” 

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“The weekend was a whirlwind and even four days went by incredibly fast. We couldn’t have pulled this off without the excellent staff at Castello Meleto.”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: David Bastianoni 

Wedding Vendors: Videographer: Screenshot Productions, Stationery: Nooney Art, Wedding Coordinator: Katia Mastrandrea, Lighting: Marco from Audio Visual, Location: Castello di Meleto, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, Bride’s Dress: Pronovias, Floral Design: Only Art Fiori, Catering: Lodovichi Catering, Ceremony Music: Firenze Classica, DJ: DJ Fabio Dex, Celebrant: Andrea from Tuscan Pledges


Indian Destination Wedding Day in Tuscany, Italy

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For day two of Tina and Chris’ destination wedding in Italy, the couple and families celebrated with a Shaadi, or Indian wedding.  It was important that the newlyweds incorporate both of their heritages into the weekend and wedding.  Tina explains: “We wanted the weekend to include Italian, Indian and English touches so we had our work cut out for us.” 

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“The next day was the Shaadi, or the Indian wedding. After breakfast, we held a mehndi and mimosas party for the ladies. We had two professional henna artists come to apply the mehndi and also brought mimosas, Indian snacks, bangles and bindhis for the girls.”

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“In the evening around 5pm was when the baraat started. A dhol player led Chris and all of the men from the top of the hill down to the castle gardens, where my family and friends were waiting. My mother performed a traditional “aarti” or prayer and then they were led to the castle garden and into the mandap. After several rituals including a “milni” where family members from the two sides are introduced to each other by the placing of garlands, the castle doors opened and I stepped out, along with my brother, 2 male cousins, and my uncle.”

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“I heard gasps all around me when everyone saw me. I hardly recognized myself! I was wearing a very heavy traditional burgundy and cream Indian bridal lengha and jewelry purchased from Delhi.”

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“After the Indian ceremony officiated by the Hindu Priest, we were led to the herb garden for cocktail hour and an Indian buffet dinner. I wanted the Indian day to be full of bright colors as Indian culture is colorful and loud by nature. I was sincerely touched by how much effort all of the guests made to buy and wear Indian outfits for the event. They bought, rented and borrowed to embrace the Indian wedding.”

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“On the dinner table, we had green table clothes and peach and fuschia napkins along with giant gold lanterns and fuschia and peach rose petals as well as typical Indian jeweled boxes as wedding favours that my aunts brought from Delhi.”

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“After the dinner, the dhol player led everyone to the Stable for the Indian reception. The normally rustic stable was now covered with colorful drapes and silk flowers and bathed in fuschia and purple light. My mother and aunts had spent all morning decorating the stable in true “desi” style. A series of choreographed dances are usually involved in Indian receptions, and we had a surprise in store for everyone. Back in London, we had organized Bollywood dance lessons for our bridal party by a professional choreographer. The 8 of us had actually practiced relentlessly in parks and studios around London to perfect a 6 minute medley of popular Bollywood hits. We had practiced so much, and we were so excited to perform it although I admit it was not as easy in my heavy bridal lengha!”

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“After our dance, my brother and friend also performed a surprise dance for me and ended up bringing Chris on stage to perform with them! He had learned the sequence that afternoon and I have to say I was really impressed. My aunt and uncle also performed a dance along with my bridesmaid from New York. It was so much fun – I’m not sure if I ever laughed or cheered so much in my life. After the dances by our family and friends, we had professional Bollywood dancers perform. We danced the night away for a second time, this time Bollywood style!”

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And last but not least, tomorrow we celebrate with Chris and Tina during their English wedding.  Stay tuned for more from this amazing Italian destination I do!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: David Bastianoni 

Wedding Vendors: Videographer: Screenshot Productions, Stationery: Nooney Art, Wedding Coordinator: Katia Mastrandrea, Lighting: Marco from Audio Visual, Location: Castello di Meleto, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, Indian Entertainment: Apsara Bollywood, Indian Dinner: Lodovichi Catering, Floral Design: Il Bouquet, DJ: DJ Fabio Dex


Pre-Wedding Welcome Dinner in Tuscany, Italy

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Chris and Tina kicked off their three days of Italian destination wedding events with a wonderful Tuscan dinner with loved ones who had traveled from across the globe to celebrate.  We’re going to be sharing with you all three special events and how they came to be all this week.  Tina starts by telling us about this special spot they selected for all of the weekend events.

“When the excitement of the engagement had settled, we were faced with the decision of where our American/Indian/English love story would be celebrated. My mother was visiting venues in New York and New Jersey, we were scouting out London and the countryside, and we had contacted destination wedding planners for information on destination weddings – everywhere from Cape Cod to the Caribbean to Italy. I knew that we would have family and friends traveling from all over the world to attend our wedding, so I wanted a celebration that would last several days and one where we could celebrate both our Indian and English heritages.”

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“We had visited Tuscany before and fell in love with the gorgeous landscape, delicious food and wonderful wine. So we went on a trip to tour several venues – we saw castles, villas and hotels, both near cities and deep in the country, large and small.  

I remember what it felt like when we first visited Castello di Meleto.  There were so many beautiful spaces where we could hold a multi day event, and I was struck by how incredibly peaceful it was. We were nestled in between Radda and Gaoile, deep in the countryside. Rolling green hills, vineyards, and starry night skies. There were also two pools, a villa, and an enoteca – it felt like a dream.”

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“When we arrived in Tuscany a few days before the wedding events were to begin, it was raining. In fact it rained all week, hailed even, up until the day the guests were supposed to arrive. That day, finally, the rain clouds cleared and it was beautiful blue skies. We had spent so much time thinking about the wedding and planning for it, every day for over a year. We couldn’t believe that this special place that we loved, our special place in the middle of the Tuscan countryside, would soon be filled with the laughter and faces of our family and friends. We couldn’t wait to share the magic with them.” 

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“The wedding weekend began with a series of castle tours and wine tastings for the guests. Afterwards we held a welcome Tuscan dinner party in the Picnic area of the castle grounds. It was a secluded space that overlooked the vineyards.”

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“I wanted a very rustic feel for this night, so we rented long wooden tables with lace table runners and had potted plants filled with aromatic herbs, lavender and lemons.”

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“We also had bowls of pasta and pizza served family style and of course local wine made from the Meleto vineyards. We hired a guitar player and piano player to play classic favorites and a traditional gelato cart for desert.”

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“I remember when Chris and I stood at the top of the stairs that led down to the picnic area – the fairy lights and herbs mixed with the softness of lace and lemons to create the perfect rustic atmosphere. The musician was singing “Over the Rainbow” and our family and friends were mingling and laughing below. It was a magical moment. That night went beyond our expectations – everyone was so excited to start the weekend that we danced until 3:30am!” 

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Stay tuned for day two of this magical Italian destination wedding up next!

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: David Bastianoni 

Wedding Vendors: Videographer: Screenshot Productions, Stationery: Nooney Art, Wedding Coordinator: Katia Mastrandrea, Lighting: Marco from Audio Visual, Tuscan Dinner Catering: Castello di Meleto, Location: Castello di Meleto, Chianti, Tuscany, Italy, Tuscan Dinner Entertainment: Fabry Music, Floral Design: Il Bouquet


Cliffside Santorini, Greece Destination Wedding

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Neena and Iain celebrated their destination wedding in Greece! The couple traveled to Santorini to wed on the Cliffside overlooking the beautiful Aegean Sea. The bride shared their beautiful day and story with us. “We picked santorini because it’s so beautiful and many of our friends and family had never visited it, so it was a good way for guests to also have a holiday too. Also it’s well connected by air connections to London directly.”

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“My favourite part of the day was my first dance with Iain, it’s so emotional and all the hard work you’ve put into the day… Well, when you’re dancing to your special song, it just sort of cemented for me that we’d reached this milestone together….”

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“My advice would be take your own beautician with you, as you really need to practice hair and make up many times and I wish I’d had more time with her, I would recommend using a wedding planner like Ionian weddings as they organize everything perfectly and be ware of the heat in July!!!!!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: LoveStruck Photography

Wedding Vendors: Wedding Ceremony Location: Dana Villas cliffside overlooking the caldera, Wedding Reception Location: Theros Wave Bar, Wedding Planner, Caterer, Makeup Artist: Ionian Weddings, Wedding Dress: Jesus Peiro


1920’s Themed Wedding in Madrid, Spain

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Pia and Abel held their destination wedding in Madrid, Spain, a place close to their hearts. The couple traveled from Munich, Germany to say their “I do’s” (the bride is German and the groom, Spanish). But this destination wedding had more than just a sense of place in an exotic location, it also had a theme that you just might recognize – that of the 1920’s! We chatted with the bride about their plans for this beautiful big day. “First I fell in love with Spain, its culture, its food, the joy of living, its people, and then I fell in love with Abel. I adore my Spanish friends and Spanish people. I knew I had to get married where my heart was and where I felt at home.”

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“We love the 20s and were inspired by The Great Gatsby film. The love story, the crazy parties, the style and class of people of that time. Those were the roaring twenties :-)”

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“There were many favorite moments. We enjoyed the whole celebration. When I arrived to the church it was great. When we arrived to the celebration’s wedding and saw the guests disguised, it was like being in a film. It’s a pity it only lasted one day!”

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Congratulations to the newlyweds!

Destination Wedding Photographer: Sara Lobla

Wedding Vendors: Makeup & Hair: Bajo BéPía’s shoes: Jimmy ChooDress: Rosa ClaráJewelry: Tiffany’sSuit and accessories: Personal tailoring Maximo DuttiAbel’s shoes: LottusseHotel: Only You Hotel & LoungeChurch:  Iglesia Alemana de Madrid (Madrid German Church), Venue: Molino del Manto (Chinchón, Madrid), Catering: Catering ChinchónJazz Band: Mad 4 Dixie Club BandDj: Sowy – S