BRB — booking a ticket to Florence. Okay, maybe not, but we are a million percent tempted by today’s dreamiest of Italian destination Jewish weddings. Between the ceremony at the majestic Great Synagogue of Florence to the swoon-worthy reception at Villa di Maiano, Paige and Richard‘s day was as dreamy as it gets (and they also had an adorable wedding hashtag — #paigegetsrich).
Much-loved STG Recommended Vendor Michelle Jacobs of Eleganté by Michelle J helped the couple pull all the fab design elements together from London, where they live. From the magical floral chuppah (who would’ve thought such a fresh, natural design would be the PERFECT fit for such a grand, historic space?) to THE most stunning top table we have ever, ever seen complete with a pergola, crystal chandeliers, hanging glass globes filled with tea lights (seriously, check out David Bastianoni’s photos — it is not to be missed!), we can safely say she hit a home run with this epic day. Oh… and Waterfall Visuals‘s film below is the dreamiest thing ever.
We’re thrilled to have a chance to chat with their awesome planner, Michelle Jacobs, live on the Smashing The Glass Facebook page tomorrow at 7: 30 p.m. GMT/2:30 p.m. EST tomorrow, Thursday, October 4. And if you love today’s wedding as much as we do, do not miss this one as we’ll be covering all the ins and outs of planning a Jewish (or Jew-ish) wedding in Italy. Please do tune in, and bring your questions!
Another wonderful STG Recommended Vendor, Totem (who Paige and Richard loved enough to fly out from London!) provided ultra-emotional chuppah music before transitioning to party mode at the villa, where they kept the dancefloor packed all night. Talk about a smashing party! Oh, and speaking of things that are smashing, did we mention Paige and Richard used one of our very own Smash Glass pouches?!
We are also LOVING their exquisite stationery by Ruth Kaye Design another STG fave and Recommended Vendor… we’re literally dying over how fabulous everything about this wedding is. —don’t you agree?
We’ll let Paige, who looked goooooorgeous in her glam Suzanne Neville gown, take it from here…
A Room with a View
Paige, the bride: Our chuppah took place at the Great Synagogue of Florence and then afterwards we moved over to Villa di Maiano, a beautiful villa in Fiesole, a small town in the hills above Florence. Villa di Maiano is where the movie A Room with a View, was filmed (just celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film).
We went to see several venues, this was the first. We had a special feeling as soon as we walked into the gardens — we both cried — so we just knew this was the place for us. We did consider having our ceremony at Villa di Maiano, but Michelle suggested we visit the synagogue… and again, the minute we walked in we just knew we had to have our chuppah there.
A Fab Planner
We worked very closely with our wedding planner, Michelle Jacobs of Elegante by Michelle J, on all of the design elements for our day.
Hair + Makeup
We had a team of hairdressers, all from the UK. Sophie of The Mane Style did my hair. Laura Louise did my makeup. Other hairdressers were Kym Mullem and Hayley Robinson, who looked after the bridesmaids and our mums. We had one makeup artist from Italy, a MAC makeup artist called Martina Novi.
A Suzanne Neville Dress
My dress was Elegance by Suzanne Neville; this was always the style I was going to go for, and I fell in love with the fabric.
A Beautiful Veil
My veil was also from Suzanne Neville, and I had gypsophilia in my hair.
My shoes were platforms by Prada.
The handsome groom
Richard’s suit was from Thom Sweeney.
Bridesmaids in Antique Gold
We had 5 adult bridesmaids, including a maid of honor, plus a flower girl. The dress color tied in with the antique gold theme we had running through the design scheme — the candelabra, chairs, charger plates etc. The bridesmaid dresses were from Fame and Partners.
A Floral Chuppah
We spent a lot of time discussing the chuppah design with our wedding planner and florist Il Giardino delle Fate Flower Design. I wanted only white and green for the chuppah, whereas later on we introduced blush pink for the tables.
The synagogue is stunning, so we wanted a chuppah that did not distract from the beauty or elegance of this historic building. Sandra of Il Giardino delle Fate totally got what we wanted and produced something beautiful on the day.
A Spiritual Ceremony
The Florence Synagogue is the most beautiful, romantic. and spiritual building. Our band, Totem, created the most fantastic and emotional music for us, both before, during, and after the ceremony. Our favorite part of the ceremony was when we were under the tallit.
We provided hand fans for all of the female guests and kippot for the men.
Our music choice
A Top Table to Remember
The focus of our table centerpieces was an antique gold candelabra around the base of which our florist placed small pots of flowers, gold candelsticks with tapered candles, and antique gold votifs with teal lights. The flowers were white hydrangea, white and green lisianthus, blush garden roses, ivory and light pink avalanche roses.
However, the main feature on the day was our top table. Our production company, Alma Project 24/7, built a platform opposite the stage and at the end of the dance floor on which we placed our top table, which was long wooden, rustic type table.
A pergola was placed over the top of the table, with chandeliers supplied by the Alma Project. Our florist, Il Giardino delle Fate, then took over and dressed the top of the pergola with flowers, foliage, and hanging glass globes into which they placed tea lights.
They also dressed the top table itself with a run of flowers in keeping with the design of our round guest tables. The top table was stunningly beautiful, and we absolutely loved it.
Our Fabulous Photographer…
Our photographer was the amazing David Bastianoni. Michelle, our wedding planner, introduced him to us on our very first visit to Florence when we were viewing venues…. I think we booked David even before we had confirmed our venue. We loved his work, but more than that he is such an incredibly lovely guy and we knew that we wanted him around us on our wedding day.
Our videographer was Federico of Waterfall Visuals, also introduced to us by Michelle. Like David, his work is simply amazing and he is just an all-around great guy.
We used a caterer based in Florence, Delizia Ricevimenti. The food was sensational, and we went for a typically Italian menu, but with only fish and vegetarian dishes.
The Italians make a big deal of the cocktail hour, which they call the Aperitivo, and this took place on the lawns and terrace of the villa with fantastic 180 degree views of the city of Florence. There were food “corners” serving traditional Tuscan appetizers.
Our wedding meal included a primo, pasta, and secondo (fish) course, each one more delicious than the last.
A Traditional Italian Cake
Dessert was not served until later as this was the traditional Italian millefoglie wedding cake, which the chefs assembled on a table in the center of the dance floor surrounded by all of the guests. Richard and I were invited to assist, and there are some amazing photos and video footage of this taking place, to an orchestral soundtrack playing in the background.
We chose Totem, rather than a local Italian band, because we wanted a huge party from start to finish and we knew that Totem could provide that for us. We also wanted them to provide the music for our chuppah. They didn’t disappoint – the singing at the chuppah was very emotional, and the intensity of the performance of every single band member meant that the dance floor was packed all night.
Totem are a London-based band, so we had to fly them all out to Florence. Their sound and backline were provided locally by Alma Project 24/7 who also supplied all of the incredible lighting, the stage, and the dance floor.
We also had fans for the ladies from Fantastica UK Ltd, which were engraved with our names and the wedding date.
Essentially, lots of little thoughtful touches.
The flip flops were beautifully displayed as guests arrived at the villa, with chairs placed strategically so that the ladies could change for the walk through the gardens.
We also had a mirrored table plan… essentially the details were calligraphied on to a beautiful mirror by Laura Mazzetti.
And there was an ancient well in the grounds of the villa, which our florist dressed for us with lanterns and candles. It looked beautiful.
Speeches and Songs
The speeches at our wedding were incredible. My mother-in-law, Sharon Winton, is a professional speechwriter and she writes speeches for weddings and bar mitzvahs. Sharon wrote all of the speeches for the wedding. and every one included a song.
Firstly my dad sang a song to the tune of Michael Buble’s The Way You Look Tonight; after the first verse, my father in law, Paul Winton, joined him for the second, then my brother, Matt Warner, then Richard’s brother, Jonny Winton (who also acted as MC for the wedding), and then finally Richard. They sang and danced and had everyone in fits of laughter. And this really set the tone for the rest of the night.
Later on Jonny performed a rap, and then another song with Richard’s friend, Richard Benson, who was best man along with Jonny; and finally The House Came Down at the end of Richard’s speech when he sang a song to me based on That’s Amore.
I can honestly say they were all fantastic speeches, neither my mum nor I knew anything about them and we absolutely loved them.
A Minimoon and a Honeymoon
We went on a “mini-moon” to the Amalfi Coast immediately following the wedding. For our honeymoon, we are going to South Africa in January.
Paige & Richard’s little white book
Photography – David Bastianoni
Wedding planner – Elegante by Michelle J
Band – Totem
Invitations – Ruth Kaye Design
Videography – Waterfall Visuals
Venues – Great Synagogue of Florence and Villa di Maiano
Bride’s dress and veil – Suzanne Neville
Bride’s shoes – Prada
Groom’s attire – Thom Sweeney
Bridesmaids – Fame and Partners
Hair + Makeup – The Mane Style, Kym Mullem, Laura Louise and Martina Novi
Flowers – Il Giardino delle Fate Flower Design
Production – Alma Project 24/7
Favours – Hebrewear, Zohula and Fantastica UK Ltd
Catering and cake – Delizia Ricevimenti
Calligraphy – Laura Mazzetti
Convertible car – Drive in Style