Are you ready for day four of Around the World with GWS? Quick, grab your passport, because today we’re heading to a beautiful villa just outside of Florence, Italy! Brittany and Jesse hosted an INCREDIBLE destination wedding, just 15 minutes outside of the historical city, with 60 of their closest friends + family. They didn’t want their guests to have to travel too far once they arrived in Florence; fortunately they found Villa Medicea de Lilliano, a beautiful 13th century villa, which was once a hunting lodge used by the Medici family.
Timeworn, drench in history, and brimming with olive trees and vineyards — you’ve probably already guessed that this is a place we’d definitely like to hang out. Their wedding planner, Alise Taggart, shares a bit about the day: Jesse’s daughter’s name is Olive, so the theme throughout the day was olives, olive trees, olive branches, and olive oil as their favors. The wedding aesthetic was natural, elegant, rustic and warm. Brittany wanted it to feel like an intimate Italian garden party among the lemon and olive trees. The color story included neutrals — with shades of green, pops of blues, burgundies, dusty pinks and lilac, with hints of gold and glass throughout.
Doesn’t that sound like a dream? Oh, it certainly was… Prepare to be swept away by all of Paula O’Hara’s captures!
How darling is this olive branch invitation suite from Minted? Gold leaf + watercolor all the WAY!
There were many reasons for choosing Italy… I mean, it’s gorgeous + has good food (what more do you need?). But for B+J, it was because Jesse was born there and Brittany has Italian heritage; it also happens to be one of their favorite places in the world (we know why!).
The ceremony was on the upper terrace of the villa, which had extensive views of Florence and the surrounding countryside (talk about picturesque!). The aisle chairs were marked by a bunches of olive branches by designer Annalisa di Federico of Isa Events.
Processional: Turning Page by Sleeping At Last
Recessional: Signed, Sealed, Delivered (I’m Yours) by Stevie Wonder
First Dance: I See Love by Glen Campbell (Jesse's grandfather)
The Wedding Party
How radiant do all the ladies look? Brittany, in her Mark Zunino gown, and the bridesmaids in their The Reformation dresses!
That golden light… Serious woah, right?
Take one step at a time and do Pinterest pages! I am really OCD and I love lists, so having a visual list for every part of the wedding really helped with my planning process. I’m a photographer so I wanted everything to look just perfect for the photos!
The Dinner Party
The dinner reception was held in the back garden area to the villa. When the guests walked out, they were presented with prosecco and sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside. In the center of the garden path was one long dining table where everyone was seated, strung globe lights glistens overhead. Gold rimmed glassware was mixed with antique blue rose china and mismatched vintage flatware.
Low floral centerpieces by Isa Events added a pop of color and featured spray roses, lisianthus, anemone, hellobores, euphobia, dahlias, garden roses, and olive branches. At each place setting was a bottle of Villa Medicea’s olive oil, as a “thank you” for guests to take home.
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Neither of us saw what our table looked like until it was ready to go out to the back of the Villa and see it for some photos. When we saw how beautiful it all looked with the flowers and Tuscan sunset, it took our breath away.
Brittany shares a few parting words: There’s usually always one thing that doesn’t go your way just expect that and be okay with it. The little things don’t matter and what does is that today you are marrying your forever best friend.
Felicitazioni, Brittany + Jesse! Want to stay in the Italian countryside a bit longer? Dive in to this film by Cinematic Tide!
photography: Paula O'Hara // venue name: Villa Medicea di Lilliano, Florence, Tuscany, Italy // event design: Alise Taggart // planning: Alise Taggart // florals: Isa Events // wedding dress: Mark Zunino // hairpiece: Blossom Veils // bride's shoes: Christian Louboutin // bride's ring: Ultimate Diamond // bridesmaid dresses: The Reformation // getting ready robes: Flora Nikrooz // hair stylist: Sandra Lovisco // makeup artist: Sandra Lovisco // groom attire: Kooples and groomsmen tuxes by The Black Tux // groom's shoes: Ferragamo // groom's ring: Ultimate Diamond // videography: Cinematic Tide // paper goods: Minted // catering: Guidi Lenci // cake: Tuscan Wedding Cakes // desserts: Tuscan Wedding Cakes // tabletop rentals: Guidi Lenci // furniture rentals: Guidi Lenci // linen rentals: Guidi Lenci // music: Slightly Out Jazz Quintet (Ceremony and Cocktail Music) // officiant: Andrea Piana // lighting: The Alma Project // wedding band: The Alma Project