Real Weddings

Marry or Honeymoon in Florence at The Belmond Villa San Michele

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Destination weddings seem to be getting more + more popular, and for obvious reason! What could be better than jetting off to the most romantic setting with a handful of your most favorite people in tow? Today we’re excited to share an incredible location for your destination wedding, The Belmond Villa San Michele, a stunning former monastery nestled in the verdant hills above Florence.

The Belmond hotel group has many amazing properties, trains and cruises throughout the world, including several stunning properties in Italy. To give you a peek at each of these gorgeous + unique properties, we thought it would be fun to partner with Belmond to introduce one of their amazing hotels each month for the next several months.

To get an exclusive, insider view of what it would really be like to tie the knot or honeymoon in Italy, we chatted with Vittorio, Villa San Michele’s events manager and Maurizio, the hotel’s head concierge:

GWS: Do you have a favorite wedding that was held at your property? If so, what made the wedding so special and memorable?

Each wedding is unique. Last year we celebrated the wedding of a very young couple: the bride from California, the groom came from the Hawaii and in their blessing they wanted to mix the sands from their states as a symbol of the strength of their union.

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GWS: Where is your favorite location on property for a wedding ceremony and why?

The Garden of the Lemon Trees has been recently reappointed as a special location for blessings, because of its tranquillity. From there you can enjoy the most beautiful sunset over the city of Florence.

GWS: Is there one area of the hotel that guests cannot stop raving about when they visit and experience it for the first time?

Guests are in awe of the stunning view of Florence and they cannot avoid taking at least one picture.

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GWS: What is your must have dish at a restaurant on property?

At our property, the must have dish is certainly Fillet of beef with Brunello wine sauce.

GWS: What is your favorite drink on property and where is your favorite place to enjoy it?

Besides our excellent Bellini cocktails made with fresh peach, our Barman prepares a special refreshing cocktail made with the lemons from our garden named Limonaia.

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GWS: What activities offered by your property or locally do you recommend to your guests?

• Vespa in Florence and in the Chianti wine area
• Hot-air balloon ride over the Chianti hills and vineyards
• Rafting in the Arno river
• Wine tasting in the Chianti or Montalcino (Brunello is a must try wine)

GWS: How do you make a visit special for a couple on their honeymoon?

As a special visit we suggest a private guided tour of the Vasari Corridor, an elevated enclosed passageway in Florence, which connects the Palazzo Vecchio with the Palazzo Pitti. Beginning on the south side of the Palazzo Vecchio, it then joins the Uffizi Gallery and leaves on its south side, crossing the Lungarno dei Archibusieri and then following the north bank of the River Arno until it crosses the Ponte Vecchio.

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If an intimate + private setting is what you have in mind for your special day, The Belmond Villa San Michele is available for exclusive rental. And with tons of great areas of the property to choose from, you can exchange your vows with an unparalleled backdrop of the city of Florence and the rolling hills of the Tuscan countryside + opt for a garden, pool-side, terrace, or romantically-decorated restaurant or room for your reception! To learn more about planning a wedding or honeymoon at the beautiful Belmond Villa San Michele - and to see how stress-free the experience would be for you + your guests – visit their website today!

This post is part of our series, Find Your Italian Honeymoon + Wedding Destination with Belmond. Be sure to check out all the other amazing properties!

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Bohemian Black Tie Wedding: Heather + Tibaut – Part 2

bride and groom

If you’re just now stopping by for the first time today, don’t do any scrolling just yet! Instead, bee-line it over to Part 1 of Heather + Tibaut’s beautiful bohemian black tie wedding. You’ll be glad that you did! If you’re all caught up, welcome to Part 2 – the stunning reception – complete with a fun + perfectly styled cocktail hour, followed by a quintessential barn bash.

With the Texas wildflowers as a starting point of their inspiration, a palette of muted pinks, lavenders, and ambers, dialed up with pops of richer berry tones, set the stage for a beautifully designed reception environment. Loot Vintage Rentals provided pieces with a perfect mix of boho + posh and ultra lush blooms The Nouveau Romantics seemed to don every flat surface in sight. But we’ll stop right there. You’ll see all this, and more, for yourself in a sec; The Nichols couldn’t have captured this one better!

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cocktail lounge

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From The Nouveau RomanticsCocktail hour was kicked off in a nearby grove of trees by three specialty cocktails — a Michelada for the groom, Pear-Lavender Lemonade for the bride, and a Kickin’ Mule (as a play off the Moscow Mule), as well as the couple’s favorite Brooklyn and Texas beers. As the sun set into twilight, guests mingled and enjoyed the view, while munching on upscale takes on Southern and Tex-Mex inspired appetizers and listening to a Texan bluegrass band. 

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cocktail hour

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whimsical pink centerpieces

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whimsical pink centerpieces

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Dinner was served family-style, at rows of 100-foot long exposed wood tables. An abundance of candlelight created a warm ambiance that spilled out of the barn and into the night beyond…

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Heather + Tibaut shared their first dance as husband + wife under a canopy of twinkling lights to Nick Drake’s “Pink Moon”, performed by local talent, The Motts.

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We hope you all loved H + T’s wedding as much as we enjoyed sharing it! To see even more of this beautiful celebration, be sure to pick up a copy of the current issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, which features a peek at Heather + Tibaut’s day!

Bravo to the talented team of wedding creatives below and congrats, again, to Heather + Tibaut!

photographer: The Nichols // planning + event design: The Nouveau Romantics // venue: family ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas // videography: Shark Pig // catering + sunday brunch: Kurant Events // bride + groom’s cakes: Coco Paloma // sunday tent city breakfast: Pueblo Viejo Taco Truck // stationery + florals: The Nouveau Romantics // calligraphy: Magpie Paperworks // vintage rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals // rentals: Marquee RentsPremiere Party CentralWhim Event Rentals // ceremony + dinner band: Bluegrass band // reception band: The Motts // sound: Big House Sound // hair: Shannon Briggs-Hack & Ashley Van Dusen from Janet St. Paul Salon // lighting: Illios Lighting // rentals delivery + set up: Event Rescue Services // tents: Sperry Tents // photo booth: Smilebooth // wedding party glamping tents: Shelter Co. // fireworks: Illumination Fireworks // transportation: Transportation Consultants // washrooms: Texas Loo

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryShark Pig is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery
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Bohemian Black Tie Wedding: Heather + Tibaut – Part 1

bride and groom

We’re guessing the title of today’s post caught your eye. Bohemian black tie?! Yep, you read that right. And we promise it’s just as amazing as it sounds. In fact, this beautiful celebration also graces the pages of the Spring issue of Martha Stewart Weddings, so you may recognize it from there! And we couldn’t squeeze all of the goodness into one post, so be sure to come back in a little while to see the 2nd half of this epicly beautiful celebration!

Heather + Tibaut are creative, music-loving Brooklynites who tied the knot at Heather’s family ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas – just outside of Austin. Together, with the help of The Nouveau Romantics, they created a day that was steeped in Texas tradition + perfectly reflected their personal love story. And while the term ‘black tie’ was more theoretical than literal, there was definitely a sense of timeless romance to Heather + Tibaut’s wedding that proves you can, in fact, host the most elegant of celebrations, even in a rustic setting.

Big thanks to The Nichols for sharing their stunning captures of H + T’s beautiful day with us and, of course, best wishes to the happy newlyweds!

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Can you believe Heather made this gorge dress herself?! We almost can’t! If you’re not quite as crafty (we hear ya!) but are loving this look, check out BHLDN’s Dakota Gown, which would look beautiful paired with their Chantilly Capelet.

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bride and groom

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Such sweet florals! The Nouveau Romantics crafted those beauties – and all of the stationery – too!

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Heather walked down an aisle lined with wildflowers, arriving to a free-form, handmade ceremony arch created by 1500 stems of blooming cherry + pear branches. We’re not sure it gets prettier than this!

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cream bridesmaids

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This is a bridal party of epic proportions! Sometimes it’s just more fun to invite everyone – especially when you’re hosting a big wedding at home!

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bridesmaids

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The prettiest, right?! You definitely won’t want to miss Part 2, so check back in just a bit to see Heather + Tibaut’s gorgeous reception!

photographer: The Nichols // planning + event design: The Nouveau Romantics // venue: family ranch in Dripping Springs, Texas // videography: Shark Pig // catering + sunday brunch: Kurant Events // bride + groom’s cakes: Coco Paloma // sunday tent city breakfast: Pueblo Viejo Taco Truck // stationery + florals: The Nouveau Romantics // calligraphy: Magpie Paperworks // vintage rentals: Loot Vintage Rentals // rentals: Marquee RentsPremiere Party CentralWhim Event Rentals // ceremony + dinner band: Bluegrass band // reception band: The Motts // sound: Big House Sound // hair: Shannon Briggs-Hack & Ashley Van Dusen from Janet St. Paul Salon // lighting: Illios Lighting // rentals delivery + set up: Event Rescue Services // tents: Sperry Tents // photo booth: Smilebooth // wedding party glamping tents: Shelter Co. // fireworks: Illumination Fireworks // transportation: Transportation Consultants // washrooms: Texas Loo

This wedding features rad artists fromThe GWS Wedding Artist GalleryShark Pig is a Featured Artist in the GWS Artist Guide! Find more rad artists for your day in our Gallery
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