Amy and Dan, both teachers, were drawn to the idea of having a week-long wedding celebration in Italy. "Despite neither of us being Italian, we had heard great things about this villa, Castellare de Sernigi, and thought that a week in Tuscany with our nearest and dearest friends and family sounded like a very memorable and special idea. Plus, it would give our parents a good excuse for a well-overdue overseas holiday."
On June 6, 2012 the Australian couple exchanged "I do's" surrounded by 25 of the people they hold dear.
"The day began with a causal picnic in the olive grove," recalls the bride, "followed by an intimate wedding ceremony, a wedding feast under a candle-lit elm tree, and dancing by the pool, all night long!"
The couple met while working at a hotel in Adelaide, South Australia. Amy worked as a bartender and Dan was a doorman. "As a result," explains Amy, "we never really got to know one another beyond saying, 'Hello' and 'Goodbye' at the start or end of our shifts. It wasn't until we ran into each other at a bar one night in January 2005 that we got talking and have been best friends ever since.
The bride wore a wedding dress by the Australian designer Fiorenza. "I chose the dress because its classic and romantic style really suited the Tuscan setting," says Amy.
The bride chose to pair her wedding gown with teal Badgley Mischka open-toed shoes embellished with a crystal brooch.
The bride's long-stemmed bouquet was designed with pink and white peonies. "Since I speak very little Italian, and the local florist only spoke Italian, we enjoyed a linguistically-comprised but warmly-conducted conversation, which resulted in a beautiful array of flowers," says Amy.
The bride was accompanied down the aisle by her father and her three-year old niece, Niamh.
"A priceless moment from the day," says Amy, "was just after Niamh had completed her petal sprinkling duties and she was standing with her mum watching the ceremony. Suddenly her mouth dropped open and she gasped, 'Mummy! Are they getting married?'
"My very talented best friend sang Make You Feel My Love as I walked down the aisle" recalls the bride.
The couple's wedding ceremony was conducted in both Italian and English and included traditions from both cultures. "We wrote our own vows," says the bride, "and promised each other Si, lo voglio in place of I do."
"The whole day seemed to seamlessly run from one thing into the next," says the bride.
Guests of the bride and groom traveled from Australia to join the couple in Italy. "Everyone was together the whole time," Amy says, "enjoying food and drink, stories and laughter."
A highlight for the couple was the wedding "feast" which included hand-made spinach, nutmeg and ricotta ravioli in butter, sage and Parmesan sauce. Guests were seated at a long table which rested underneath a towering elm tree. The sun set into the rolling Tuscan hills as dinner was served. "Delicious food just kept on coming, course after course after course," recalls the bride, "and the Chianti was truly flowing."
Low centerpieces, comprised of pink peonies and roses in shades of white and pink, allowed guests to take in the sweeping view.
The bride opted to not have bridesmaids, although there was certainly no shortage of volunteers when it came time to catch the bouquet.
A traditional wedding cake with layers of sponge cake, cream and berries was served. "We turned it into a magnificent and boozy trifle the next day," recalls the bride.
"Our wedding was to mark the end of a year-long adventure together through Europe in a 1980's Mercedes van" says the bride. "We were constantly on the move, thereby making wedding arrangements somewhat challenging!"
Although the couple's year-long trip through Europe was a pre-honeymoon of sorts, Amy and Dan enjoyed a two-week stay in New York City following their wedding. "Now approaching our first anniversary as husband and wife," says the bride, "we look back on our adventurous year and wonderful wedding day with many happy memories."
Ceremony Venue: Castellare de Sernigi || Reception Venue: Castellare de Sernigi || Bride's Wedding Dress: Fiorenza || Bride's Shoes: Badgley Mischka || Bride's Wedding Ring: Wishart Jewellers || Groom's Tux: Armani || Groom's Wedding Ring: Wishart Jewellers || Florist: Name || Photography: Julian Kanz