Lauren and Michael’s gorgeous destination wedding took place at the magnificent Villa Petrolo in Tuscany, Italy. The couple decided to let the natural beauty of the Tuscan countryside shine on their special day by celebrating the location’s soft golden landscape. Exemplifying the pure romance of Italy, the celebration was beautifully captured by Italian wedding photographer Jules Bower.
The Couple: Lauren and Mike
The Wedding: 9.6.2013 – Villa Petrolo, Tuscany, Italy
The Goals: While traveling in Europe years earlier, I found Italy to be one of the most beautiful, romantic places on earth, and I knew that I would someday return. When we decided to consider a destination wedding, my first thought was, “how about Italy?” Mike was thrilled with the idea of a Tuscan destination…so that started the search, and everything fell into place perfectly from there. Villa Petrolo was one of the first villas we came across, and its understated elegance sealed the deal. It only took a week or two before we knew that Italy was THE place, and we never looked back!
The Design: We wanted to create an intimate and romantic atmosphere, allowing the gorgeous Tuscan backdrop to speak for itself. Relaxed, authentic Tuscan countryside – no grandiose decor that would take away from the natural setting. We chose to incorporate olive branches and various white florals as centerpieces and ceremony decor. My aunt, an artist, hand-painted our menus with olive leaves and they were absolutely stunning and so special. We had olive oil double as seating cards and favors, to go with the menus at each place setting.
The Look: Working in the fashion industry, I always thought I would choose a more avant garde bridal look. However, after a few fun dress outings with friends, my sister and mother, I fell in love with the look of vintage lace and pleating for my Tuscan countryside wedding. I had the drape off the shoulders added, to soften the look. My favorite accessories were white Valentino studded heels for my “something new” and for my “something old”, the engraved locket with my grandparents’ photo that was draped on my bouquet. It belonged to my grandmother and was a gift to her from her parents on her 16th birthday.
The Moments: I had so many favorite moments of the day, it is hard to pick one! I teared up with joy and appreciation so many times as I looked around at my friends and family. I remember after our ceremony, walking out on the veranda and wanting to pinch myself. I thought, “This could not possibly be real!”
Later, holding hands with my new husband and running around the vineyards and olive groves with our photographer Jules Bower was magical. There was a kind of romantic frenzy about those moments, and it was so much fun! Our photographer was very talented, capturing the day exactly as it was – a dream!
The Advice: I would advise any couple to do what is right for them. There are so many opinions and expectations for weddings. Choosing something that makes the most sense for you, as a couple, is very liberating and you will never regret. I have been in a lot of weddings, and the most special ones, big or small, are the weddings that the most genuinely happy people on that day are the bride and groom!
The Wedding Team:
Photographer: Italian Wedding Photography By Jules
Ceremony & Reception Venue: Villa Petrolo
Officiant: Reverend Ronald Carnighan
Invitation Designer: Betsy White Stationer
Catering: La Fornace
Cake: Dolce Momento
Wedding Dress: Rivini
Bridal Shoes: Valentino
Groom’s Apparel: Michael Andrews Bespoke
Live Music: Mary and the BitBand
Favors: Petrolo Olive Oil
Thank you Lauren and Michael for sharing your big day!
Thinking of a romantic Italy wedding? Check out this gorgeous Tuscany elopement!