Classically Italian Belmond Villa San Michele Wedding with a Modern Twist

January 10, 2019 | Junebug Weddings

Erica and George’s Italian destination wedding at Belmond Villa San Michele was an elegant affair with a distinctly personal vibe. Erica Marie Events helped bring the couple’s love of chic, old-world style to life with a black and white color palette and minimal decor that centered around luxurious florals designed by Fluida Design. They also took full advantage of the venue’s sweeping views over Florence with a half-moon ceremony set up on the terrace, as well as the venue’s sophisticated ambiance with an elegant yet understated reception in their ballroom. From the bride’s chic Michael Costello gown to her girls’ long black gowns, the formal style also perfectly matched the feel of this unforgettable destination wedding day. Photographer Katie Harmsworth could not have captured it all more perfectly!

The Couple:

Erica and George

The Wedding:

Belmond Villa San Michele, Florence, Italy

The guest experience was the most important factor when planning our destination wedding. Since our guests traveled so far, we wanted to provide a truly memorable experience for them. Our ceremony was very intimate and full of tears, sharing these moments with them was something we truly valued.

We were seeking a venue that would be truly impressive for our ceremony, celebration, and our stay. One with scenic views, privacy, and needing minimal decor. We also wanted to make sure the venue was classic Italian but somewhat modern. We knew it would be a tough task to find, but we eventually came upon the Belmond Villa San Michele. It was beyond expectations!

In order to achieve our goal of having a truly intimate ceremony, we did a few unique things. We picked the highest location possible at the Villa, as to maximize the gorgeous views of Florence down below. We hired an incredibly talented string trio to play our processional music and several really beautiful songs. Finally, we arranged our chairs in a half moon shape around us so we could be and feel very close to all of our guests.

I say this as someone who herself is a wedding planner and hired one for her own wedding: “Hire someone to be in control and manage your special day!” Don’t ruin it by being stressed out and exhausted. Instead, allow yourself to enjoy every moment.

My wedding gown was more on the modern side but still had a very timeless and elegant look. It was designed by Michael Costello so I knew it was a unique piece. I paired it with a cathedral veil designed by Daphne Newman Design. It was embellished with sequins and pearls on the bottom edges. It was the perfect contrast that pulled the entire look together. I didn’t have my bridesmaids stand at the altar with me. They instead helped me get ready, and also got to do a first look after I put my dress on. I wanted group photos so the girls all wore a black dress of their choice.

We hoped our desired vibe of a classic, black and white, upscale Italian wedding transpired. It just felt right as both of us are of Italian descent and we both appreciate chic events. We grew up listening to classic Italian music like Frank Sinatra and Andrea Bocelli, and both value delicious Italian food and wine. We wanted to pair all of that with an emphasis on keeping it intimate and formal but still fun!

Processional – “Canon in D” by Johann Pachelbel
Recessional – “I’m Yours” by Jason Mraz
First Dance – “Secret Garden” by Bruce Springsteen

The Wedding Team:

Photography – Katie Harmsworth
Event Planning – Erica Marie Events
Day-Of Coordinator – Tuscania Events
Venue – Belmond Villa San Michele
Floral Design – Fluida Design
Cake – Vivoli
Officiant – Brian Griffin
DJ – Kaleydo
Live Music – Lorenzo Borneo
Stationery – EG Letters
Hair and Makeup Artist – Lara Navarrini
Bride’s Skincare – DMH Aesthetics
Bride’s Hair Colorist – Kyle Anthony Hennessy
Wedding Dress – Michael Costello
Veil – Daphne Newman Design
Groom’s Apparel – Calvin Klein
Rings – SG Diamonds
Rentals – La Tavola


Congratulations to Erica and George, and a big thanks to Katie Harmsworth for sharing this wedding at Belmond Villa San Michele with Junebug! Looking for more destination wedding inspiration? This Mission San Luis Rey wedding felt like a Mexican destination wedding right in Oceanside, CA!

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