Though Victoria and Jonathan's love story began in New York City (they met at the Boat Basin, and had their first date at a Knicks game), the magic really happened in Italy when, in August of 2013, Jonathan proposed in the Piazza San Marco in Venice as an orchestra played in the background.
After falling in love with Italy, the couple knew they'd have to return for their wedding, settling on Florence as the location for their "I dos." "The city is full of art, history, and beauty. What more could you ask for?" says Victoria, owner of Made In Heaven Cakes. Their 52 guests rented apartments and came to celebrate with Jonathan and Victoria — in a venue they'd never seen before! "Our wedding planners, Nadia and Maria Claudia of Whitethings, took care of all the details," says the bride of the long-distance arrangement.
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Victoria looked stunning in a lace wrap dress by Anna Campbell. It was only the third dress she tried on, but she knew it was everything she wanted. "Anna was at the salon when I tried the dress on, and having her help me tie the dress just so was what convinced me," the bride says.
She chose low sandals by Stuart Weitzman, the perfect height for dancing the night away. Her accessories meshed with her vintage vision for her wedding: a 100-year-old ring from her grandmother mixed with rented diamond and sapphire drop earrings. Something old, something borrowed, and something blue! To complement the lace on her gown, Victoria carried a soft bouquet of rose buds and olive leaves.
The ceremony took place in a beautiful old church, Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano. The altar and aisle were decorated with bows and flowers. Victoria's grandmother acted as their flower girl and little Luka, the couple's 10 month old nephew, was with ring bearer — with Mom and Dad's help, of course!
Friends and family cheered as the ceremony came to an end. The priest concluded the service by saying "thank you," and, when Jonathan asked if he could kiss the bride, the priest responded with, "I don't speak English." So Victoria grabbed Jonathan and they shared a passionate kiss while their guests laughed and cheered them on.
Jonathan and his groomsmen sported black tuxedos and Victoria's bridesmaids wore mismatched pastel dresses.
The bride and groom took a vintage Rolls Royce from the church to the reception at Castello di Vincigliata.
For the reception, everyone headed to the castle's torch-lit courtyard. Long tables were topped with clustered arrangements of pink and peach roses, glass candlesticks, and antique vessels.
Guests sipped on three signature cocktails: The Brooklyn Beauty (gin, St. Germaine, lemon juice, cucumber, and dill), Por Que No? (tequila, pineapple, Serrano chili, and cilantro), and A Fresh Start (vodka, aloe vera juice, lime, and mint).
The menu was the easiest part of the planning process for Jonathan and Victoria. Dishes ranged from grilled octopus and fried zucchini flowers to meatballs and a raw bar.
Favors were individual watercolor paintings of the Duomo in Florence. The paintings were displayed on a table decorated with tall vases of white and cream dahlias.
Victoria is in the wedding-cake business, so clearly dessert was a priority. "We had the tasting in the apartment we rented in Florence the week before the wedding," she says. She and Jonathan chose a mille feuille cake layered with Chantilly cream, chopped chocolate, and fresh berries. Chefs assembled the cakes in front of the guests, and the bride was on-hand to pipe the final layer of cream and sift powdered sugar on top.
The DJ was flown in from Trinidad, and for good reason! He kept everyone dancing all night to his Italian, American, and Caribbean beats. Victoria's grandmother even learned how to "wine" (a popular Dancehall move). "The entire dancing experience is something we will never forget," Victoria says. "I still get the chills thinking about singing 'Happiest Man Alive' by Machel Montano with the crowd. That was the happiest moment in my life."
The couple spent a week in Greece to celebrate and had a few words of encouragement for others. Says Victoria, "It will all come together in the end. Focus on each other as a couple and the commitment of love."
Ceremony Venue: Chiesa dei Santi Michele e Gaetano || Reception Venue: Castello di Vincigliata || Wedding Planner: Nadia and Maria Claudia || Bride's Wedding Dress and Veil: Anna Campbell || Jewelry: Adorn || Shoes: Stuart Weitzman || Groom's Attire: Theory || Florist: La Rosa Canina Firenze || Music: DJ Kern Crosby || Catering and Cake: Rolands Catering || Favors: Hand painted water colors of Florence || Accommodations: Florence With A View || Videographer: Dani Croitor || Photographer: Emm and Clau Photography