A Carolina Herrera bride for a destination Jewish Wedding in a castle at Castello di Vincigliata, Florence, Italy.

Today’s gorgeous bride first made contact with me back in 2014, when she was looking for supplier recommendations for her destination wedding in Florence. I immediately noticed that her email signature read ‘Head Scientist at playdohlab.tumblr.com‘ and I thought, WOW, I really do have the coolest readers in the universe!

And her wedding does not disappoint. Whilst it isn’t play doh-themed (which I was secretly hoping for!) it’s a delicious destination set in an astonishing castle in Florence, and the crazy thing is, I attended a wedding in the very same venue last summer!

Anna and Chaim enlisted the help of SposiamoVi (one of my much-loved Smashing Suppliers) to plan their big day, and what a great choice they made. Their fabulous wedding included two bridal gowns (a Carolina Herrera andMaxMara Bridal), lace-adorned Jimmy Choo’s, exquisite Louis Purple tailoring (with some wonderful embroidered personalisation), Chaim’s father officiating the wedding, a brilliant band that included the bride’s uncle, as well as some glorious Tuscan candle favours (Anna says she wanted to create a memory of the wedding through smell), and an unplugged chuppah ceremony – something that I’m a really big fan of. Anna said:

We requested no cameras, smartphones, or iPad use by any of the guest during the chuppah – we wanted everyone to be in the moment. The only people taking pictures and videos were our photographer and videographer.

And what a fabulous pair they were: Edoardo Agresti captured all the stills, and Marco Caputo‘s film is simply a must-see at the end of the post.

A gorgeous couple in fabulous attire having their day their way. Perfect.

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An orthodox Jewish wedding in Florence

Anna, the Bride: My parents actually met in Florence and live there part of the year. I also have a large extended family that lives in Europe, so Florence was convenient destination for many guests. For those that would have to travel, I knew that a long weekend in Florence would be the most irresistible magical getaway.

Originally, I wanted to get married in the Great Synagogue of Florence, as it just takes your breath away, but then we saw Castello di Vincigliata, a castle in the Tuscan hills- how could we not pick it? We contemplated having the chuppah in the synagogue and then transporting guests to the castle, but ultimately we thought the schlep to and from would disrupt the atmosphere. Chaim had his Shabbat Chatan at the synagogue so guests that attended were able to experience the beautiful Sephardi service and architecture.

Jewish Wedding Florence

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

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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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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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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