Sharlene & Craig's Florence Fairytale Wedding
Sometimes it takes nothing more than witnessing a stunning destination wedding to make you want to pack up your bags and plan your big day abroad. Sharlene and Craig's wedding does just that.
By taking advantage of the stunning scenery and architecture of Florence, this glamorous wedding truly is a dream and there's no doubt that the photo opportunities were limitless, with the views literally providing all the decoration they needed.
Better yet, the couple have a really lovely story with them initially meeting back in 2004 at the age of 19, whilst they were studying together. The spark was instant, with Sharlene falling in love with Craig's lovely, kind heart. From there they slowly built their future together and after eight great years Craig proposed. Sharlene explained the big moment to us:
"It was the most incredibly surreal moment I have ever felt. We were on a holiday traveling through Europe, when one beautiful evening in Florence we stood on the Santa Trinita bridge, to the left a view of the Ponte Vecchio and to the right the sun setting over the Arno river. I have always told Craig, sunset is my favourite part of the day as I love watching the colours of the sky change. It was then he dropped to one knee, told me he loved me and asked me if I want to return to Florence one day as husband and wife. With tears streaming down my face I said yes, never thinking almost exactly two years later we would return to our favourite city to become husband and wife."
So when it came to the next step of choosing the perfect wedding gown, the answer was easy - Sharlene had always loved Steven Khalil's designs and as soon as she tried on one of his gowns she knew it was the one - and we can totally see why. The fit, the silk and the lace didn't compare to anything else she'd tried on, it was literally love at first sight! After slipping into her dress on the big day, Sharlene's mother handed her a ring her grandfather has given her - a pearl and topaz ring that served as Sharlene's something old, borrowed and blue and a reminder on the day of her grandmother who had very sadly passed away prior to the wedding. We can imagine it was a truly sentimental moment and a wonderful homage to loved ones who couldn't be there on the day.
As with all weddings, the venue can often be a bit of a dealbreaker, but upon the very first viewing of Villa La Vedetta where the couple chose to get married, they knew they'd made the right decision. The stunningly grand building was just such a wonderful fit for their elegant theme and the view of the city was beyond anything they could have imagined. So when the decisions needed to be made on how they wished to deck out the place, the importance of the view took centre stage and they knew they wanted something simple, elegant and classic that wouldn't date. The setting stole the show, from the immaculate gardens where the ceremony was held, to the reception on the terrace under the beaming sun where they enjoyed watching it set, dining by the lights of the city under a sky full of stars. The couple opted for simple decorations of gorgeous pure white flowers dotted along the table with touches of gold to reflect the history of the breathtaking city without detracting from the view.
We asked the bride Sharlene what her favourite moment of the day, of which I'm sure there was many and she told us:
"Craig and I were dancing as the sun was setting, and I remember saying to him after looking around "I cannot believe this is our wedding!" The scenery was so beautiful, and it was everything I ever dreamed of."
Her tip for any brides to be?:
"Don’t stress over the small things, the day will always turn out the way it is meant to, so enjoy every minute, it goes so fast!"
So I don't know about you, but we have totally fallen in love with this idea of using amazing scenery and the wonders of Mother Nature to truly make a wedding magical. So how do you make such a breathtakingly memorable wedding even better? Sharlene and Craig proceeded to set off after their wedding on a honeymoon adventure around the Almalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, South of France and the Greek Islands - I mean does it get any better than that?!
Photographer: Facibeni Fotografia
Dress: Steven Khalil
Hair: Bride did it herself
Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent
Accessories: Dior & Love On
Bridesmaids Dresses: Zimmermann
Grooms Suit: Bespoke
Stationery: Adorn Invitations
Cake: Provided by Venue
Food: Provided by Venue
Flowers: Stiatti Fiori
Ceremony Venue: Villa La Vedetta overlooking the city of Florence, Italy.
Reception Venue: Villa La Vedetta
Celebrant: Blessings From Italy
Cinematography: Gattotigre - Destination Wedding Videography