Upscale rustic charm and chic style made Kara and Andrew’s destination wedding at Villa Gamberaia one to remember. The couple returned to Florence for a multiple-day celebration with their guests that included walks around the romantic streets of Florence and concluded with their elegant wedding at the villa. VB Events set up the Kara and Andrew’s ceremony in the long, stone-enclosed courtyard and brought nature indoors for their ballroom reception that featured simple greenery, pillar candles, and wood accents, all of which created that quintessential rustic Italian feel. As if the stunning sunset photos and intimate moments on their wedding day weren’t enough, the couple and their photographer Stefano Santucci went into the heart of Florence for post-wedding photos near the Duomo and on the bridges that showed off Kara’s stunning Berta gown and the groom’s classic Yves Saint Laurent suit against the iconic backdrop of Italian architecture.
Kara and Andrew
Villa Gamberaia, Florence, Italy
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The decision to have a destination wedding was an easy one. Kara had studied abroad in Florence, Italy and we have traveled to the area several times as a couple and couldn’t think of a better place to get married! It was important to us to find a venue that would be romantic, yet not too inconvenient for our guests since they were already traveling halfway around the world for the event, so proximity to an airport was key. When we first saw photographs of our venue, Villa Gamberaia, we were sold. We booked the venue sight unseen, but then took a trip to meet our planners, vendors, and see the venue for ourselves. Because the venue was full of such rich history, world famous gardens, and sweeping views of Florence and the Tuscan hillside, we knew we’d made the right choice.
Since we didn’t do a “first look,” our favorite moment was, without a doubt, the door opening for Kara to walk out of the villa with her dad and Andrew smiling and beaming at the altar surrounded by our closest family and friends. We will never forget the overwhelming amount of love we felt in the air around us!
Our best advice is, before you start your planning, figure out what are the top most important things to you both. For us, it was the venue, food, photos, and video. It is easy to get caught up in the millions of things you have to do, so make these most important things are your priority. Don’t forget your personal touches, as well! Get all your big vendors locked down early and then have fun being creative with details in the months leading up to your big day. And as cliche as it sounds, be present on your wedding day. Yes, things will go wrong, but do your best to let them go and enjoy your day with your loved ones. It truly was the most special day of our lives!
Since our guests were traveling a great distance for the wedding, we organized several events in the days leading up to the wedding. We did a historic walking tour around Florence, a boat tour down the famous Arno River, and a welcome aperitif for all wedding guests the evening before the wedding day as a token of our appreciation.
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Italian food is by far our favorite cuisine and, since we got married in the heart of Tuscany, we made sure our wedding guests did not go hungry! Our appetizers included truffle arancini, fried sage, bruschetta, and bacon wrapped dates. Our dinner consisted of two pasta courses and a third course of either Florentine steak, lemon seabass, or eggplant parmesan. The cake was an ivory tiered chocolate cake with almond brittle filling. The dessert highlight was the popular gelato cart where guests could select pistachio, chocolate chip, or raspberry gelato to enjoy on the dance floor!
The Wedding Team:
Photography – Stefano Santucci
Event Planning – VB Events
Venue – Villa Gamberaia
Floral Design – Jardin Divers
Catering and Cake – Galateo
Live Music – Firenze Classica
Videography – EmotionalMovie Wedding Films
Stationery – Written Word Calligraphy
Makeup Artist and Hair Styling – Armilla Beauty
Wedding Dress – Berta via L’Fay Bridal
Bridal Shoes – Badgley Mischka
Bridesmaids’ Apparel – Calvin Klein
Groom’s Apparel – Yves Saint Laurent
Rings – Claydon Jewelers and Ultimate Diamond NYC
Congratulations to Kara and Andrew, and a big thanks to Stefano Santucci for sharing this stunning Villa Gamberaia wedding with Junebug! Thinking of planning a destination wedding? Make sure to read up on what nobody tells you about planning a destination wedding before you get started!