Today’s Jewish wedding is 100% pure dreamy-misty-eyed romance. The fact that it took place at a totally stunning venue in Florence doesn’t hurt, obviously. But the couple’s excellent (and elegant!) taste, along with the amazing team assembled by their stellar wedding planner, Rossana from The Knot in Italy, is what really made the day.
We’re totally in love with the moody glam look Andrea, an executive assistant/office manager, and Seymone, an attorney, cultivated. Between the lush florals (peonies and eucalyptus!), twinkly lights, and liberal use of candles – not to mention that subtly dramatic chuppah – every single detail is totally on point. Silvia Galora Photography and videographer Waterfall Visuals both captured the romance and visual splendor of the day absolutely exquisitely.
Oh, and did we mention that there were fireworks? And not just the metaphorical kind.
We’ll let Andrea, who looked stunning in her dreamy princess gown from Crystal Design, fill you in on the details…
How we met
Andrea captured Seymone’s attention in the basement cafe at their old (now demolished) office building in Century City, CA. Seymone’s first words, “How’s the soup?” led him to finding out Andrea worked at the real estate firm on the 2nd floor.
The next day, Andrea would receive an edible arrangement and a card that read, “It was lovely meeting you in the cafe yesterday, hope the next time I see you is over dinner and drinks – SJ.”
After many adventures and years of getting to know each other Seymone popped the question on February 16, 2017.
A Destination Wedding in Italy
We began our search in California, but couldn’t quite settle on a place. To be honest, my dress didn’t quite fit any of the venues I came across here in the states. When we started looking abroad we looked into San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, and then Lake Como. My then-fiancé and I planned a 2 week getaway to Italy to dream a little and scout venues.
My wedding planner, Rossana from The Knot in Italy was so helpful organizing a few venues for us to see in Lake Como. Although dreamy, it’s a little sleepy… everything seems to shut down by 10pm and traveling the lake was difficult/chilly at night. Our trip led us to Florence next, where we were able to check out a couple hotels and later Villa Montefiano where we made our decision.
Since neither of us is Italian and we were planning from the other side of the world with busy work schedules it was really interesting to plan the wedding. I took a very optimistic approach, and any wedding inspiration or ideas I had, Rossana was able to line up talented vendors to meet my expectations.
I created a wedding website for our guests to peruse. Florals, the plates on the tables, the color of chairs, dreamy candles everywhere, twinkle lights wrapped in the trees, choosing a photographer (Silvia Galora) and videographer (Waterfall Visuals) that matched our vision of our special day – these were all important marks of how we made it our own. Oh, we also did a big Shabbat dinner party with all our guests the Friday before the wedding!
We’re definitely very sentimental and I wish I would have had time to mail paper invites, but it just didn’t work. So we settled on a Paperless Post design.
A Crystal Design Dress
The week after Seymone proposed we were browsing Instagram for dress inspiration. I came across this beautiful gown but couldn’t find any information on the designer. I continued on my search through Pinterest and Instagram but nothing compared to that first dress, and Seymone was clearly as obsessed with this dress as I was because he wouldn’t let me settle.
Then a month or two later I found the same photo on Pinterest which linked back to a wedding blog listing all the dress details. The dress is by Crystal Design, and at the time they only sold to 5 boutiques in the US, the closest being in Dallas, Texas, at the Blushing Bride Boutique. I booked flights for my mother and me for that same weekend, tried on my dress, and ordered it immediately! One and done.
Seymone’s beautiful grandmother gifted me with a set of gold bangles at dinner the night before the wedding. My dangling diamond bowtie earrings were a gift from my fabulous mother-in-law. My rings were from Seymone! And true to Jewish tradition Seymone and I gifted each other with simple bands.
My veil was by my dress designer, and the Blushing Bride Boutique added my blusher. Oh, and the florist Jardin Divers brought my adorable little roses for hair accessories as a complete surprise.
Somewhere in between kitten heels and skyscrapers – bejeweled peep toes pumps for the ceremony, but I later switched to a simple sheer white wedge espadrille style, safe for lots of dancing!
Hair + Makeup
Daniela Guanziroli from Lake Como did make up for my engagement shoot. She and her assistant Louise did my hair/makeup for the big day. They also did hair and makeup for my mother, grandmother, mother-in-law, and sister-in-law! My whole look was very much done on the fly, I let Daniela work her MUA magic and Louise did a loose curl style and added all those fantastic flowers that Jardin Divers surprised me with!
The handsome groom
No bridesmaids, but I specifically asked all my female guests not to wear black so it would add even more color to the occasion!
A Floral Chuppah
I had pinned the design and obsessed over it so many times. I loved the nude/blush sheer fabric against the deep red floral accents and greens, nothing over the top but definitely not boring. I brought a large tallit from home to have our florist incorporate into the chuppah.
Listening to all the song choices we had put together for the ceremony play out while I watched from above was really cool. I had them play Ces Bottes by Eilleen (French version of “These Boots”) for Rabbi Whiman to kick off the ceremony as a lively start.
I think walking out was a very special moment, something I had dreamed of during the planning process. It was really the only time I had crazy butterflies and wanted to tear up. Then seeing my parents hold hands and lovingly look at each other with tears in their eyes as they lined up to walk out before me made everything suddenly feel so peaceful and euphoric. A great way to begin this journey with Seymone.
A Joyful Ceremony
Walking around Seymone 7 times, standing under the chuppah, saying our vows in Hebrew, exchanging rings, and smashing the glass, all in this intimate setting with our closest friends and family, made us feel so overjoyed. It was everything and more than I could have ever dreamed.
Both of our grandmothers are widowed, and it was so special to have both of them there with us to celebrate and share the love. Having them walk down the aisle together melted my heart, and the fact that they decided to hold hands made me feel so grateful to have such amazing families.
Muted Colors for the Ketubah
Our ketubah signing was inside a quiet room within the villa. We brought the ketubah from home, purchased from The Mitzvah Store in Los Angeles. It perfectly matched our day with moody colors and greenery along the boarder.
Our music choice
These are some of the other tracks we chose:
Could It Be I’m Falling In Love – The Spinners
The Girl Is Mine – Michael Jackson ft Paul McCartney
Three Legs Torso – B & G
Beautiful Girl – Kyle Pearce
If You Go Away – Rebeat ft Shirley Bassey
Two Arms Around You – Fakear
This Must Be The Place – Talking Heads
Melina – Camilo Sesto
Knocked Up – Kings of Leon
Blood – The Middle East
Little Bit – Lykke Li
Jardin Divers did all the florals incredibly! I LOVE peonies and eucalyptus, and I gave them all my moody floral inspiration and they brought it to life with florals and incredible candles. Rossana from the Knot in Italy dialed all my inspiration down to what was seen at the wedding, she and her talented team and Jardin Divers did an incredible job translating that dream to reality.
Silvia Galora is a complete genius with her camera. The way she captures romance in lighting is astonishing. Rossana again worked her magic and we were fortunate enough to meet Silvia in Lake Como for our engagement shoot. We had looked at a couple other photography companies, but none as interesting or artistic as Silvia.
When we got our photos back Seymone and I literally stared at them every day for months. I printed them on our save the date cards and mailed them to our guests who all called/texted/emailed to inquire A.) Are you really getting married in Italy? and B.) Who on earth took this incredible photo? Did you fly them out from the States and can we use her here in the US?
We by sheer luck were able to land Waterfall Visuals. Our wedding planner had paired us up with a videographer who I was happy with but I also had some second thoughts on. When I explained this to Rossana she immediately said she had someone else in mind, someone who would really complement Silvia’s photography style. Waterfall visuals had happened to have that weekend open up, and it was an absolute gift that that happened. They took our wedding and made it a completely romantic cinematic event.
I originally wanted an American tiered naked cake, but during our 1st taste test with Galateo Ricevimenti they showed me photos of this elaborate cake decorating event their pastry chef puts on. After I saw those photos and taste-tested the layered millefeuille chantilly cream cake they intended to serve, I knew that was the way to go. Our guests were blown away by the decorating display and the delicious cake.
My favorite part!!! As the cake decorating began, we arranged for a tenor from Alma Project to sing a few songs to our guests. The singing lasted through all the decorating and our cake cutting toast, then Pirotecnica Soldi lit up the sky with a magnificent firework display. We were floored, as were the guests, and it was really the cherry on top of everything. Our guests had traveled from so far for our special day that Seymone and I really wanted them to go home with someone to talk about. It’s amazing to catch up with friends and family who were there and hear how amazing they thought the day was, it’s a fun way to keep reliving our wedding day memory.
We chose bottles of wine from Montelpulciano, Tuscany, as wedding favors. Major points to Galateo for scoring two crates of wine for us on super short notice! I created little name tags for each guest or group w/ their dinner seating table to be put on the bottles. We figured what better gift to take home than a nice bottle of Italian wine? Mmmm… I love wine.
We left Florence the day after our wedding, headed to Capri with some of Seymone’s friends, then once they all headed back home we jumped on a flight to Venice, and lastly, finished it all off in Paris. We love romantic cities, hence our infatuation with Italy… I think next honeymoon we’re headed on a more adventurous Bali and Japan journey.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
“People don’t plan to fail, the fail to plan!” That said, plan it all, make notes of your fleeting thoughts or dreams so you remember and organize BEFORE the big day. On the day of your wedding don’t sweat the small stuff because it’s all out of your hands. For stress relief, I strongly encourage using a wedding planner. Rossana made the day an absolute breeze.
Andrea & Seymone’s little white book
Photography – Silvia Galora Photography
Videography – Waterfall Visuals
Wedding planner – The Knot in Italy
Venue – Villa Montefiano
Bride’s dress – Crystal Design found and fitted at Blushing Bride Boutique
Bride’s shoes – Badgley Mischka
Groom’s attire – Tom Ford, Ferragamo, Rolex
Hair + Makeup – Daniela Guanziroli
Flowers – Jardin Divers
Catering – Galateo Ricevimenti
Tenor – Alma Project
Fireworks – Pirotecnica Soldi
Ketubah – The Mitzvah Store
Invitation – Paperless Post