Natalie & Oren | Spectacular Jewish wedding at The Great Synagogue + Villa Cora, Florence, Italy

florence-wedding
I kid you not. The moment I laid my eyes on this magnificent wedding captured by David Bastianoni, I was speechless. As in, my mouth was unable to form words and my brain was unable to make sentences. And as a wedding blogger, that can be kind of a problem. But stare for even one minute at the array of images in this post, by the amazing David Bastianoni, and you’ll be doing the exact same thing.

So let’s hand over to our gorgeous bride, Natalie, to provide you with all the delicious detail of the day.
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VENUE
Natalie, the Bride: We had our ceremony at The Great Synagogue of Florence. I lived in Florence for 9 months in 2002 and I always remembered the synagogue being remarkable. Upon re-visiting the synagogue I knew I wanted to get married there. We even decided to keep the ceremony at the synagogue despite it being an open house day where the synagogue was open to visitors throughout the day. Needless to say we had a lot of bystanders and ”extra” guests at our ceremony but we didn’t mind.
Florence Great Synagogue Wedding
The reception was held at Villa Cora. The hotel was redone a few years ago and the main salon is breathtaking. As soon as I saw the main salon at Villa Cora my mind was made up. As you can see in the photos, the room speaks for itself. We ended up having more people than we expected and we used an adjoining room which was equally as gorgeous but with a totally different style (Moroccan).
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AN ELEGANT WEDDING DRESS
I chose a dress by Marisa, New York. I knew I wanted something lace and I wasn’t looking for white. The material underneath the lace was a champagne color. When I saw my dress I knew it was the one as it had the perfect bustle (which we added to a bit) and an elegant lace overlay.


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A HEADPIECE AND VEIL
I saw a nice headpiece that I had the hairdresser put in my hair. I hadn’t planned on wearing it but brought it along as it was simple and pretty. As for the veil, I just wanted something simple and light.
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MAKE UP
My makeup was done by a dear friend and makeup artist from Los Angeles, Lauren Kurland. She did the most amazing job and was able to give me a look that lasted over 14 hours without looking worn.
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CEREMONY
We wanted to keep our ceremony traditional. We had a badeken where Oren and I saw each other for the first time that day and then I was blessed by my grandfather, which took place in a small room to the side of the main shul gallery – it was very special and all of our guests gathered around and watched. I walked into “Boi Kala” which means “come bride”. Florence Villa Cora Wedding 25Florence Villa Cora Wedding 74 Florence Villa Cora Wedding 96 Florence Villa Cora Wedding 46
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CHUPPAH DESIGN
I wanted something traditional and elegant for the chuppah. No bright colours or hanging ornaments or beads, just a few flowers and vines. The shul is so ornate and so detailed in its own design that I wanted to keep it simple.
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OUR OUTSTANDING PHOTOGRAPHER
David Bastianoni was our photographer. It was pretty much love at first sight. As soon as we met David and spent a few minutes with him, I knew I wanted him to be our photographer. His personality as well as his raw talent just shines through. We saw David’s work and knew he was one of a kind and after spending some time chatting with David we knew it would be an absolute pleasure working with him and it was. He really made getting ready, and the other photo opps a lot of fun. His vision for the group shots was EXACTLY what I wanted, yet was never able to put in words to him. David made our wedding!
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ELEGANT FLOWERS
We used Floralia and worked with Simona who was wonderful. Really, it was my mum who was able to express what we wanted and she did hours upon hours of research of what was available and worked very closely making sure SImona was able to source exactly what we wanted. Again, we wanted to keep it chic and didn’t want the flowers to be too overpowering as the room itself was so exquisite.
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DECOR
We kept things chic and elegant. We chose clear glass modern candelabras, small flower arrangements, mostly white and green with a pop of dark pink. I had wanted peonies but it was not the season so we opted for large garden roses (David Austen Rose) that our florist was able to source and bring in as they resembled peonies.Florence Villa Cora Wedding 40
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FOOD
We had a formal 5 course meal with some entertainment in the main salon. The Chef at Villa Cora prepared the most amazing meal and everyone enjoyed a relaxed dinner with amazing entertainment. After dinner, we went downstairs to another room that was a bit like a cave for dancing, drinks and some cigars. We also had more desserts served downstairs.

ENTERTAINMENT
We had live music and a singer at the cocktail hour. Mostly jazz and some upbeat tunes. During dinner we had a tenor surprise our guests. He was phenomenal. He sang a few Andrea Bocelli songs and blew our guests away. It was really spectacular.
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THOUGHTFUL FAVOURS
As we were getting married in Tuscany we had favours that were made up of wine from a local vineyard and some Amaretti from a local bakery along with personal notes for each guest. These were delivered to our guests rooms at the start of the weekend with an itinerary for all of the weekend’s events (Friday night dinner in town, a walking tour of Florence and a tour of the Uffizi Galleries on Saturday, the Ceremony on Sunday morning, Tea and sandwiches at Villa Cora after the Ceremony, the Cocktail Reception and Dinner and Dancing at Villa Cora, and Brunch on Monday morning at Villa Cora).
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NATALIE + OREN’S LITTLE WHITE BOOK
Reception Venue – Villa Cora
Synagogue – The Great Synagogue of Florence
Photography – David Bastianoni
Bride’s dress – Marisa
Florals – Floralia
Hair – Vanessa Amina
Make-up – Lauren Kurland
Groom’s attire – Dolce & Gabbana

A love story told from behind the lens… And what a story it is. WOW. With almost 1 in 4 of us now choosing to marry abroad, scenes like these certainly do show why fleeing for foreign shores has become so popular! Thank you so much to Natalie and Oren for sharing your sensational day with Smashing The Glass, and to David for the magnificent images.

 

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