Sharleen and Craig became engaged in the romantic city of Florence, and two years later were lucky enough to tie the knot in a classically elegant, intimate ceremony and reception at Villa La Vedetta, overlooking the city of Florence.
Bride’s Name: Sharleen
Groom’s Name: Craig
Venue: Villa La Vedetta overlooking the city of Florence, Italy
Wedding Date: July 30, 2016
Bridal Gown Designer: Steven Khalil
Florist: Stiatti Fiori
Photographer: Facibeni Fotografia
Videographer: Gattotigre – Destination Wedding Videography
Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent
Groom’s Suit: Bespoke
Stationery: Adorn Invitations
Celebrant: Blessings From Italy
Honeymoon: Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, South of France, and the Greek Islands
Craig and I first met studying together in 2004. At only 19 I fell completely in love with his kind heart. Our relationship progressed as we slowly set up our future together, and after eight years he proposed. It was the most incredibly surreal moment I have ever felt. We were on a holiday traveling through Europe, when one beautiful evening in Florence we stood on the Santa Trinita bridge, to the left a view of the Ponte Vecchio and to the right the sun setting over the Arno river.
I have always told Craig sunset is my favourite part of the day, as I love watching the colours of the sky change. It was then he dropped to one knee, told me he loved me, and asked me if I want to return to Florence one day as husband and wife. With tears streaming down my face I said yes, never thinking almost exactly two years later we would return to our favourite city to become husband and wife.
We loved our wedding venue, Villa La Vedetta, because it was simple and elegant with a beautiful view, something classic that wouldn’t date. From the immaculate gardens where we held the ceremony to the reception on the terrace under the Tuscan sun, we watched the city light up as we ate under the stars. Upon first sight of Villa La Vedetta, we knew we had made the right decision—it was the most beautiful property we had ever laid eyes on. It beautifully fit our grand but elegant theme, and the view of the city was breathtaking.
Our decorations were simple white flowers with touches of gold to reflect the history of this beautiful city without detracting from the view.
There could not be a more beautiful day imagined, with 40 of our nearest and dearest traveling from Melbourne, Australia, to share the most magical experience of our lives. It was simplicity meets grandeur combining our decorations with the villa and views. After the 10 years Craig and I shared together, with our love for family, friends, travel, and our engagement in Florence, this day encapsulated everything we ever wanted, needed or dreamed possible.
The original plan was to get married in our hometown Melbourne, Australia, with a guest list of 120 people. With the venue booked and plans unfolding, my grandmother sadly lost her battle to cancer nine months prior to our wedding date. With heavy hearts, we continued with the preparations, never anticipating losing my grandfather three months later. With a giant void in my life, this great loss was enough for us to reassess what we truly believed our wedding should be. The decision was made to cut our losses and stay true to ourselves, to travel to a beautiful destination with our closest friends and family, and what place would be more meaningful than Florence?
On the day of our wedding once I was dressed, my mother handed me a ring my grandfather had given her; it was a pearl and topaz ring. This was my something old, borrowed, and blue, along with a lace and pearl horseshoe she had made for me for my something new.
Our honeymoon was spent on the Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, South of France, and the Greek Islands. This entire experience will always be the most vivid memory of our lives.
What were your favorite or most memorable aspects of your wedding day?
Craig and I were dancing as the sun was setting, and I remember saying to him after looking around, “I cannot believe this is our wedding!” The scenery was so beautiful, and it was everything I ever dreamed of.
Is there anything you would have done differently?
Absolutely nothing! As cliché as that sounds, it was truly the most perfect day from start to finish.
Do you have any advice for future brides?
Don’t stress over the small things—the day will always turn out the way it is meant to, so enjoy every minute, as it goes so fast!
Want to see your wedding featured on Weddingbee? If you had a fun, unique wedding, we’d love to feature you! Check out our Real Weddings submissions page.