After shooting our first Italian wedding last year in Tuscany, Jonny and I have been lucky enough to travel back to Italy on numerous occasions, but for so many reasons, Eliza & Rob’s wedding really stands out as one of our favorites!
We’d never visited Umbria before, so were excited when Eliza first got in touch, even more so when the pretty invitation arrived in the post. We could see from the attention to detail and simple but luxurious quality of the printed invite that this was going to be a wedding full of beautiful natural colours and understated elegance.
Wedding planner, Helga Marcks from ‘Wedding Italy’ tells us that when Eliza & Rob first contacted her in January 2013, that they were hoping for an “elegant but cozy, fresh and crisp venue” and were “dreaming of a wedding with lots of flowers, candles & exceptional food”. I think Helga made the perfect decision when she offered them Tenuta di Canonica as the hill-top venue and most definitely made her clients dream come true with her excellent planning decorations.
Discounting the bride herself of course, it was very much the beautiful Umbrian scenery and the stunning venue that were the stars of the show throughout. Johnny and I arrived the evening before the big day to take a look at where the wedding would be held and were immediately blown away by the converted ancient watchtower overlooking the vast valley of olive groves to Todi. Owner Maria & her husband have done an incredible job developing a boutique style hotel with lots of stylish modern aspects without losing the charm and authenticity of the original building.
The individually styled bedrooms served as luxurious lodgings for the majority of Rob & Eliza’s family who had traveled all the way from the UK and Lithuania respectively. I’m sure having the majority of the guests staying at the venue made for a great few days. With the swimming pool with a view, a cocktail bar and an in house chef I’m guessing it was a no-brainer.
The morning of the wedding, Rob & Eliza stuck with tradition and didn’t set eyes on each other up until the ceremony at the city hall. So confined to her own room, the bride had help from her sister for her hair styling but did her make-up herself. The long sleeve lace dress by Katya Katya Shehurina was a bold choice but, as I’m sure you’ll agree, Eliza had absolutely no trouble pulling it off.
The style also really suited the surroundings and worked perfectly in her favour when it came to the photos at sunset amongst the olive trees. Eliza’s sister was on hand again at the final moment to sew-in the intricate belt to accessorize and add even more bridal flavour.
‘Drive in Style’ provided a British classic in the shape of a 1947 Alvis TA14. This certainly turned a few heads as it entered the main square in Todi for the legal ceremony in the town hall on market day. Fittingly, a local mandolin player performed Pachelbel’s Canon in D as Eliza entered arm in arm with her father, and continued with other pieces during the exchanging of the rings, signing of the registrar and the finale.
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The music really added to the emotion of the ceremony as well as reinforcing the traditional Italian vibe to the occasion. Guests then gathered either side of the huge stairway to throw confetti as the newlyweds descended. Two more musicians joined in in the town square after the ceremony to begin the celebrations.
While guests returned by bus to the venue, we took our chance to sneak away with the bride and groom, who braved the steep and narrow stone streets of Todi for a 15minute photo tour of the old town.
Back at the venue, beautifully fresh local dishes were served on the garden terrace along with the Prosecco and there were more opportunities for photos of the guests amongst the olive trees and beautiful scenery beyond. The brilliant Italian trio continued to entertain throughout.
We couldn’t resist borrowing Eliza & Rob for a few more pics before dinner as the sun went down. The light was just too incredible! The Katya Katya Shehurina dress lent itself perfectly to the situation, the intricate detail in the lace perfectly visible in the soft evening rays.
Rob’s navy 3-piece suit by Norton & Townsend added great contrast to the scene and the embroidered initials and wedding date under the colour were a touch of class.
At the rear of the building, 5 circular tables were simply dressed with white linen and olive branches. The menu and name cards were hand written in ink by Eliza on soft white paper. So simple, but beautifully effective and thoroughly in keeping with everything else that day. Event lighting specialist, Leonard Cires made sure the atmosphere didn’t disappear with the sun by filling every tree and in the garden and covering the lawn with all types of lanterns and candles.
This was particularly effective in creating an intimate and romantic setting for the cutting of the cake (a huge Tiramisu) and the first dace. The party then continued late into the night with a DJ on the terrace and cocktails in the bar.