‘Old Hollywood’ destination Jewish wedding at The Great Synagogue of Florence and Villa Di Maiano, Florence, Italy

Olivia and Jacob are one seriously hot couple – I mean just look at David Bastianoni‘s gorgeous images of them both… And it gets even better. They chose a wedding theme of 50’s / Old Hollywood glamour meets The Godfather. Off the scale, right?!

Both Londoners, (they met 7 years ago at Nottingham University) the bride and groom opted to marry in Florence, as that’s where Jacob proposed to Olivia. They chose the breathtaking Great Synagogue of Florence followed by a magnificent party at Villa Di Maiano, and their big day is every bit as glamorous and romantic as you’d expect. There’s an immense chuppah made from gypsophila, pretty blush pink roses and candles, beautifully ornate calligraphic decor, a classic convertible wedding car, a mille-feuille wedding cake constructed in front of the guests, a phenomenal firework display… I could go on and on and on!

As you’d expect, our bride and groom look impeccable stylish too – Olivia in a beautifully cut bespoke Suzanne Neville gown (based on a design that her and her mother created), and Jacob in a bespoke suit by Cad and the Dandy. It’s a super chic wedding, full of panache, and lots and lots of heart.

Not only do we have the insane images by STG fave, David Bastianoni, but we also have the 8mm film by Marriage à la Mode. Jewish wedding Florence

Choosing to get married in Florence, Italy

Olivia and Jacob had been together for 7 years when he proposed to her after a very special dinner in the gardens on the edge of Villa San Michele in Fiesole, overlooking Florence.

They chose to have their wedding reception at Villa di Maiano, as it was nearby and was actually featured in the film A Room with a View.

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Old Hollywood glamour meets The Godfather

Olivia and Jacob’s theme was  50’s /old Hollywood glamour with a splash of the Godfather – genius! In terms of colours and styles they worked with vintage shades, beautiful rose gold calligraphy, pale grey candle sticks, delicate cracked antique vases and fragrant garden roses.

For their wedding décor they used a wonderful Florentine based calligrapher called Betty Soldi.

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Exquisite stationery

Olivia is a self-declared calligraphy and stationary obsessive so this was an extremely important component of the wedding. They used one of my favourite stationers, the fabulous Ruth Kaye Design, for their invitations, and selected a textured white linen envelope with a white wax seal, and created a bespoke stamp using a vintage photograph of the synagogue. Inside the envelope was a delicate white muslin pouch which held a collection of white invitations with pale rose gold calligraphy.

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A bespoke Suzanne Neville gown

Olivia’s pale ivory wedding dress was by Suzanne Neville. It was a bespoke gown based on a design that Olivia and her mother conceived. The inspiration was 50’s fashion, in keeping with the theme of the wedding.

Suzanne also made a delicate French lace bolero for the ceremony to cover Olivia’s shoulders and a dramatic train which she removed later on in the evening.

Olivia’s veil was cathedral length and trimmed in French lace, and also designed by Suzanne Neville.

Jewish wedding Florence
A classic wedding car

They chose an absolutely classic wedding car – a silver 1954 Mercedes-Benz 300 Adenauer Cabriolet with a tan interior. It was actually the same car that was used in the new Audrey Hepburn Galaxy chocolate commercial!

Jewish wedding Florence
A bespoke suit for the groom

Jacob wore a Cad and the Dandy bespoke suit, a bow tie from Turnball & Asser, and shoes from Church’s.

Jewish wedding Florence
The Great Synagogue of Florence

Being so historical, and beautifully ornate, the Great Synagogue of Florence was the perfect place to host their wedding ceremony. Olivia and Jacob brought along Rabbi Shlomo Levin and Chazzan Avromi Freilich from London, both of whom made the ceremony extremely special and personal to them.

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Chuppah design

Their magnificent chuppah was made entirely of gypsophila which I can imagine emanated the most wonderful aroma! The chuppah and all the wedding flowers were created by Tuscany Flowers.

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Fantastic photography and videography…

David Bastianoni captured each natural moment impeccably and Marriage à la Mode (a  husband and wife duo from London that use 8mm film) made a wonderful film of their special day (See the wedding film at the end of the post).

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A mille-feuille wedding cake that was constructed in front of the guests!

Their wedding cake was mille-feuille and was made in front of the guests on the terrace of Villa Di Maiano overlooking Florence. Whilst the cake was being constructed, a tenor sing Funiculi Funicular and O Sole Mio amongst other wonderful songs!

Olivia and Jacob had shared a a mille-feuille  at dinner the night he proposed to her so it was a lovely detail to tie it into their wedding.

Jewish wedding Florence

After the cake was constructed there was a magnificent Soldi fireworks show which everyone watched from the terrace of the villa.

Jewish wedding Florence
First Dance

Following the fireworks, Olivia and Jacob had their first dance. Spotlights were positioned from the villa’s balcony, onto the terrace, whilst the band sung their first dance tune of Marvin Gaye’s classic You’re All I Need to Get By.

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Photography – David Bastianoni
8mm Film – Marriage à la Mode
Wedding Planners – By Cassini and SposiamoVi
Reception Venue – Villa di Maiano
Ceremony venue – Great Synagogue of Florence
Bride’s Dress – Suzanne Neville bespoke
Stationery – Ruth Kaye Design
Flowers – Tuscany Flowers
Decor – Betty Soldi


  1. says

    Hi Karen,
    thank you for the feature.
    David’s photos are really smashing!

    We loved working at Olivia and Jacob’s wedding.
    It was a truly spectacular and amazing event from start to finish!

    Congratulations to the beautiful couple!

    SposiamoVi Team

    • Karen says

      Thrilled to feature your work! The wedding is truly spectacular and I’m honoured to have featured it. All the very best! Karen x

  2. edessa says


    Everything about this wedding was amazing!!

    Could you please tell me who the hair and makeup artists were?

    Thanks 🙂

  3. Sharna Jackson says

    Hi Karen,

    This wedding is so beautiful.

    I wondered whether you managed to find out who did Olivia’s bridal hair and make up, I know someone asked the question in an earlier post.

    I am getting married in Florence September 2017 and it would be really helpful to know.

    Thank you,


  4. Camila says

    Hi Karen,

    Just as Sharna, I am getting married next year (July 2017) in Tuscany and I would love to know who were the hair and make up artists. I would really appreciate your help!

    Thank you very much!