Do you guys remember Sati + Paul? Last fall we shared their stunning engagement photos (by Nordica Photography) which were captured in the breathtaking fjords of Norway. Dare we say their gorgeous winter Tuscan elopement, photographed this time by Lelia Scarfiotti Photography, was truly just as incredible! Simple in tone, with no real design elements to speak of, when you see their stunning surroundings + smiling faces, it kind of makes you realize that sometimes those are really all the components you need for a great wedding! Especially one that takes place in the beautiful Tuscan countryside! Let’s hear a bit more about why these two decided to elope in Italy:
Because we were separated for months at a time living in two different countries (Paul in Norway and me in Nepal) and restrictive visa laws, we were both eager to marry as soon as possible. To prevent being separated any longer we chose to elope and researched which countries in Europe would not require long waiting periods. Italy made the cut. As fate would have it, the earliest month we could marry in was January. So we made a rather off-the-beaten choice and decided to marry in a civil ceremony in the depth of January in the little renaissance village of Pienza.
Our photographer found a beautiful olive grove near our villa where we could share our vows to each other in the morning mist. It was pouring rain and overcast for several days leading up to our wedding, but we awoke the morning of January 15th to the sound of bird songs and rays of sun streaming through the villa windows. We were so grateful to be blessed with incredible weather on our wedding day.
We both privately wrote down our favorite moments and then read them only to find out we each had chosen the same ones in the same order!! Shannon (Sati): Paul:
-When I first walked out of the villa towards Paul for our first look. I almost lost it and started crying.
-When the judge in Pienza said we were married! I was so surprised and felt a sense of awe that we had finally reached that point after so much work, bouts of separation, and international travel.
-Listening to Paul's vows to me in the olive grove. It was pure magic.
-Seeing my bride in a beautiful flowing dress for the first time in the gardens of the villa. I was stunned and awestruck. It was touch and go for a while whether my legs would hold me up.
-Listening to judge of Pienza pronounce us Man and Wife through the translation. There was so much excitement in the moment of finally becoming a married couple.
-Standing in the olive grove at the villa on a magical misty morning and exchanging our vows to each other through tears, laughter, and love.
We both privately wrote down our favorite moments and then read them only to find out we each had chosen the same ones in the same order!!
Love these shots of Sati + Paul in that vintage Fiat 500! :)
Stunning, right?! And if you’re considering an Italian elopement or wedding, be sure to read the helpful tips Sati shares about their experience below:
The best part of marrying in Tuscany off-season in the winter was the lack of crowds and tourists. We were told the village of Pienza has so many tourists visiting in the summer, that tourists outnumber locals 50 to 1! But in January it was practically empty. We were the only ones walking down its lovely narrow lanes at various points. It felt intimate and charming which created a beautiful energy. The quiet allowed us to absorb the beauty of Pienza and our special day.
The hardest part of choosing to marry in January was that so many hotels and restaurants were closed! Our choices were slim when it came to finding an upscale hotel or villa to stay in. We were happy to find the Villa Armena, a 25-minute drive away from Pienza.
Even though we were eloping, the extensive legal paperwork really required having a wedding planner and we were glad we chose to work with Wedding Italy.
The single biggest challenge was getting all the correct paperwork with all the needed stamps and signatures within specific time restrictions. Our wedding planner checked and double checked all our documents via email before we arrived as well as organized and escorted us to a few signing appointments in Florence and Pienza. Even though they helped organize other creative details for our elopement and private ceremony, we felt our wedding planner was the most help to us regarding legal documentation.
Congratulations Sati + Paul! It was so fun to follow your journey from engagement to wedding!
photography: Lelia Scarfiotti Photography // venue name: Pienza Town Hall // planning: Wedding Italy // florals: Dillo con un fiore of Stefania Bracalente // wedding dress: Vera Wang // bride's shoes: Audrey Brooke // villa: Villa Armena // ring nest: Kue King // belt: Anthropologie // veil: Bride's mother // coat: Faux fur thrift shop find // cardigan: Calvin Klein // groom's jacket: Ralph Lauren // groom's boots: Natha