When planning our wedding, we wanted the day to be true to ourselves, to who we are, and to what is most important to us. We never wanted a production of a wedding, we just wanted to bring the most important people in our lives along with us on the trip of a lifetime, eat the best food along the way, and have an intimate and relaxed wedding where we celebrated our love and the people who had supported us (and continue to do so), and make the biggest, most important, and most exciting promise to each other we could ever imagine. We wanted our wedding to be beautiful in its simplicity, and nothing short of authentic. We can honestly say we never felt stressed throughout the planning process, and that is in large part due to the help that everyone with Emma Villas provided us. As soon as we found the villa where we would stay, along with our closest family and dearest friends (a group totaling 17, including the two of us), everything fell into place with their help.
The villa could not have been more perfect in every way for both our week-long stay and our wedding day. The house was split into two main houses, giving both sides of the family plenty of space and just enough privacy, and the two of us stayed in the guest house on the property, all surrounded by the most beautiful views we could have ever imagined – grape vineyards, wheat fields, olive groves, and mountains – making it the most perfect backdrop for our wedding.
Throughout the week leading up to our wedding, we spent quality time with our guests, playing paddleball and swimming on the villa’s property, eating at the two magnificent restaurants in the small town of Cetona where we stayed, taking a day trip to nearby Orvieto, and going on an unforgettable wine tour through Montalcino, which was planned through Emma Villas.
When it came to our wedding day, we truly could not have asked for more. The hand-crafted details and decor, the wedding favors of local limoncello and olives, the homemade bouquets composed by both our sweet mothers and Braaden’s aunt (who also officiated our wedding) with flowers purchased on a whim from the local florist (who was so gracious and patient while I struggled with my Italian ‘floral shop’ vocabulary) the day before, our incredible photographers who quickly became our friends, and, of course, the impeccable appetizers, dinner, and various desserts prepared in the kitchen of the villa by the wonderful chefs and their staff – it all surpassed our wildest dreams. It was flawless.
My bridesmaids (which included my sister (Maid of Honor), Braaden’s sister, and my closest friend who I’ve known since 3rd grade) as well as our mothers and my grandmother all spent the day sipping prosecco while getting our hair and make-up done by the great Adrienne Aerobe Tuscany Bridal Styling Team. Braaden and his groomsmen (my brother-in-law (Best Man) and his cousin) spent the day also sipping prosecco and wine while getting ready, and Braaden and I did our “first look” outside by the wall of the villa – a moment that I’ll never forget. It felt surreal, and yet at the same time, it all sank in and started feeling so real for us both. We then went into town (Cetona) for some photos, joined an impromptu soccer game with the kids of the town in the main piazza, and returned to the villas for more photos with the whole wedding party.
When the ceremony came, and we said our vows, I couldn’t wipe the ridiculous, overjoyed smile off my face, and Braaden couldn’t hide his tears. It was perfect. We then enjoyed a delectable appetizer spread with fresh shaved prosciutto, a three-course dinner, and dessert of sponge cake, pineapple, and tiramisu, after improvising and moving from the perfectly set outdoor tables under the awning inside to the main living and dining room seeking warmth (the temperatures cooled off more than expected after the sun went down!), and lighting a fire in the fireplace. The rest of the night included far too many laughs, dancing circles, and serenading to Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra.
Everyone has their “dream” wedding, and for us, ours was small, intimate, genuine, and a blast… And our actual wedding surpassed it. We truly can’t thank Emma Villas enough for helping us coordinate some of the most important aspects of making our dream wedding a reality.
Braaden & Laura