Kate Upton and Justin Verlander forgot to consider the World Series when they started planning their November 2017 wedding in Italy. So on November 1, instead of jetting off to Europe for their wedding weekend, they were at L.A.’s Dodger Stadium—she in the stands, he in the Houston bullpen—as the Astros won Game 7 of the World Series. The next day, they finally boarded their long flight to Tuscany and ended up missing the welcome dinner.
At the event, their friends did their best to keep the guests of honor up to date—texting them, giving them FaceTime tours, telling them how pretty their venue was. Italy was one of the first places they ever vacationed as a couple (they’ve been together since 2014, after meeting on the set of an ad for MLB), so when he proposed in 2016 on a trip to Turks and Caicos, it was the first place they thought to get married.
Event planner Lisa Vorce turned them on to the Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco, and they immediately fell for its incredible scenery. Plus, the spot had enough rooms for everyone to stay on the property, which only added to the appeal. “We wanted to feel like we were on vacation with our closest friends and family,” Kate says.
And once Kate and Justin were actually able to join them on Friday, the real fun started: “We set up an entire Uplander Olympics,” she says—complete with relays, Ping-Pong, cornhole, and “an epic water-balloon fight.”
Guest were, of course, outfitted in custom attire (featuring Kate and Justin’s initials entwined in Astros colors!) for the day’s games.
For the rehearsal dinner that night, everyone traded their Under Armour team jerseys for something red—with Justin in a crimson tuxedo jacket and Kate in a scarlet Valentino gown. That dress was the first of two Valentinos she wore. “I had such a great time creating the fashion story for my wedding!” she says.
The couple’s invitation suite, designed by Wiley Valentine, set the tone for their romantic, formal wedding—and even featured an illustration of the Tuscan countryside on the envelope liner.
Kate’s bridesmaids (including her sisters Laura and Christie, the co–MOHs) hung out in Equipment pj’s while they prepped for the big day.
For the lace and tulle ceremony dress, the bride worked with the team at Valentino: “The design process was extremely collaborative, so I could create my dream dress,” she says. “And their Italian heritage kept the fashion authentic to our venue.” She rounded out her Anita Ko engagement and wedding rings with a sapphire ring—on loan from her grandmother, who was unable to make the long trip. “I was honored she let me borrow it,” Kate says. “It was my something old, borrowed, and blue.”
Kate’s sisters wore silk gowns by Christy Rilling Studio while her other ‘maids looked pretty in pink beaded dresses by Needle & Thread. Her flower girl also sported a pink dress—along with a cardigan and flower crown.
Justin relaxed with his dad before changing into a custom three-piece suit by Cicchini Custom Clothier for the ceremony. The suit’s lining was personalized with text that read “Just Married”—the groom’s fun, unexpected idea!
The bride’s sisters walked hand-in-hand with the adorable flower girl.
Kate made her grand entrance through a flower-covered gate before walking down an aisle covered in even more flowers.
The couple exchanged vows overlooking the property’s gardens—in fact, they were the first couple to say “I do” in this location!
Following the ceremony, the new Mr. and Mrs. Verlander followed candle-lined stairs that led to the reception space.
Tuscany Flowers created a statement display for the escort card table, incorporating pink dahlias, roses, olive branches, and berry accents.
The couple loved the property’s grounds so much that they didn’t want to take away from the already beautiful setting. With the help of Lisa Vorce, they enlisted Michelangelo Greenhouse to construct a window-filled space for the reception that would do just that.
The day’s romantic theme continued with the reception décor, which featured statement chandeliers and long wooden tables set with taper candles and low floral arrangements.
For their first dance, the newlyweds chose Michael Bublé’s “Everything.”
Then, for the after-party, Kate switched into a slinky Christy Rilling Studio gown. “I wanted a dress that I could have fun in but that still brought the glamour,” she says.
While Justin missed out on the Astros victory parade through Houston, Kate arranged for a grand gesture of celebration: a fireworks display that lit up the Tuscan sky as they cut their cake. It was just the way to mark such a momentous win—and the sweet beginning of a life together.
Fore more on Kate and Justin's big day, check out the April/May issue of BRIDES—out February 27, 2018!
Wedding Venue: Rosewood Castiglion Del Bosco || Wedding Planner: Lisa Vorce || Bride’s Rehearsal Dinner Dress: Valentino || Bride’s Wedding Dress: Valentino || Bride’s After-Party Dress: Christy Rilling Studio || Bride’s Shoes: Manolo Blahnik || Engagement Ring & Wedding Band: Anito Ko || Hair: John Ruggiero || Makeup: Tracy Murphy || Groom’s Attire: Cicchini Custom Clothier || Bridesmaids’ PJs: Equipment || Bridesmaids’ Dresses: Christy Rilling Studio; Needle & Thread || Invitations: Wiley Valentine || Floral Design: Tuscany Flowers || Greenhouse: Michelangelo Greenhouse || Photography: KT Merry