Florence weddings are magical: the city’s romantic atmosphere continues in its countryside and the masterpieces of art and architecture can be found not only in the old town but also among the beautiful Villas located among the surrounding hills. Florence Villas are a treasure to discover for all the couples planning a destination wedding in Italy.
Giorgio and Jessica are an Armenian couple living in Los Angeles, and I was contacted by Giorgio’s mother Marine almost three years ago for the wedding of her daughter, who was planning to say “I do” in Italy, but then she chose to get married in her hometown. In the period of our correspondence Marine established a deep connection with us, and two years later she contacted us for the marriage of her son Giorgio.
Since both Giorgio and Jessica have intensive professional careers, the groom’s parents took care of the wedding planning: they came to Italy to discover the best venues available, meet the providers and do the menu tasting. When they visited Villa di Maiano, a 15th century residence laying on the hills in the Florence countryside, surrounded by a huge park and wonderful gardens, they just fell in love with it.
It was delightful to discuss the details of the wedding with them during the numerous phone calls, even if we had to talk late in the evening or early in the morning to compensate for the time zone difference of 9 hours. Marine in particular had much confidence in our advice, and since she is a travel agent she was also super organized. Planning with her was a true pleasure!
For the day before the wedding we organized for them a sightseeing tour in Siena and an elegant welcome dinner for 100 guests in a traditional winery overlooking the Chianti hills.
The catholic ceremony of Giorgio and Jessica took place at the church of Ognissanti (All Saints), a Renaissance church with elegant marble decorations and frescoes by Botticelli and Ghirlandaio, located in the heart of Florence. This is one of the most refined churches in the old town.
The celebrant was an Armenian bishop who officiated the ceremony according to the traditions of the Armenian heritage. In the Armenian culture marriage is holy, and the Holy Spirit acts in this Sacrament bestowing the divine gifts of love, righteousness, patience and endurance. The Crowning of the Bridal Couple has a very special meaning: precious crowns are placed on the heads of bride and groom and they are crowned as king and queen of a new kingdom, which is the new family they form.
An Armenian wedding is a true expression of the family: Armenian families have a strong sense of union and for them it is crucial to celebrate the important moments of life while also having a good time with friends and relatives.
After the ceremony the bridal couple and their guests moved to the Villa di Maiano for the wedding cocktail and banquet.
The spectacular florals by Vincenzo Dascanio are truly impressive: hundreds of garden roses and hydrangeas in shades of light peach, light pink, ivory, white, soft yellow, punctuated by tall golden candelabras on the tables and in the gardens.
Tall vases filled with flowers embellished the garden area, while the façade of the villa was the focal point of the entire wedding reception, with a stunning decoration of white wisteria and greenery for the whole length of the columns.
Cocktail was served in the gardens with many different appetizers.
Served by waiters circulating amongst guests
- Small corn flour with sweet tomato and mozzarella
- Brioches sweet bread with rosemary paté
- Mini cheesecake with Mediterranean mustard
- Stuffed crepe rolls
- Small vegetables strudels
- Spicy white meats skewers
- Shrimp tails wrapped with Lardo di Colonnata
- Tuscan Panzanella served in small white porcelain pots
Fried food served on rotation
- Cinnamon Parmesan cheese cubes
- Sage leaves
- Small fried breaded chicken cutlet
- Zucchini flowers
The cocktail was followed by the sit-down dinner: three selected dishes and a dessert for a refined wedding menu.
Sit Down Dinner
- Giant Ravioli with Pappa al pomodoro with asparagus tips scallion flavored and Pecorino cheese fondue
- Champagne and lemon sea bass fillet on bed of vegetables dressed with extra virgin olive oil
- Beef fillet with Brunello di Montalcino wine sauce + Sliced potatoes with marjoram + Green beans chives tied
- Tiramisù served in Martini Cups
The guests actually did not sit down the whole time: after the romantic first dance they joined the bridal couple on the dance floor and got crazy with the highly energetic Armenian music. And this happened after each course because Armenian guests cannot sit still on their chairs for long, they want to have lots of fun!
When the sun went down the atmosphere got truly magical with the candles and the lighting in amber color…
The wedding cake was a heavenly millefeuille with chantilly cream and fresh fruit on the top, shaped as a double heart. The cutting on of the cake took place by the dance floor, with the background of the spectacular fireworks.
Giorgio and Jessica’s wedding is truly a dream come true and I am proud to have helped them for their big day. This event was wonderfully captured by photographer David Bastianoni, enjoy this gorgeous photo gallery with many jaw-dropping shots!
Image Credits: David Bastianoni ©.