Relaxed photography at a Tuscan Wedding…
(This is a rambly one! Have a prosecco or Peroni in hand and get comfy before you start reading..!)
Where on earth do I start with this one. Emily and Sam contacted me back in June last year, just seeing if I would be interested in shooting their day in Italy…OMG…YES YES YES (obviously playing it cool on email but my excitementometer was through the roof!). I’d photographed Emily before as a bridesmaid at her best friend, Rachel and Chris’ wedding, at the stunning Elmore Court in the Cotswolds the year prior. Not being a couple massively keen on the limelight, they just wanted someone who could blend in with their day and their guests and although it’s nice to reassure a couple that you will be like that, it’s great when they’ve seen it first hand and book you because they like what you do 🙂
They’d set to marry at the jaw droppingly beautiful, San Galgano Abbey with the reception being held (and morning prep) at the gorgeous Tuscan Villa, Villa Podernovo in Monticiano. I can’t even begin to explain to you how incredibly excited I was to be booked for this one. Italy has played a big part of my upbringing and my family life. My wonderful pops, dropped everything, left his business (and two small children!) in 1980 after the awful Irpinia Earthquake to just go down to South Italy and help. He aided in the relief work there and came back on Christmas Eve that year. We’ve been back to the village ever since and Italy, well it just feels like a second home. I’d hadn’t thought much about shooting weddings in Italy until I did an amazing workshop called the Secret Retreat (any female photographers, this is one of the best workshops I’ve been on) down in Castellebate last year and it just felt like I’d stuck gold in life goals!! Shooting weddings, which I love so so much, in a country so close to my heart. Wowzers, it doesn’t get better for me. Ha, sorry! I seem to have digressed to talking about me (me, me, me) but it’s lovely to share a bit of what makes me…well, me! (hmm, google may not like my overuse of that word).
Back to the wonderful two. With them living in York, we didn’t get chance to meet up before hand so when we skyped, I was really interested to find out which one of the bridesmaids it was! (they were all gorgeous, so I always knew I was in for a treat). They talked about their plans and how much they couldn’t wait to just spend their time with their wedding party and ultimately I felt a lot of love from them towards the people that were going to be there. I think sometimes it’s a difficult choice to marry abroad. You know how it is, everyone’s busy with work and life, are people going to be able to make it? can they take time off work, kids, etc etc, but when it works, like this one did, the benefits are just insurmountable. We’ve all found it when you go to a beautiful wedding, especially when you’ve got lots of friends there but the day just zips by and wanting to cram everything in to such a short window, you leave without really having caught up with anyone! But to take a trip and just get to hang out together, in such amazing surroundings, well they’re memories banked, experiences lived and it’s those little pockets of opportunity that, for me, just can’t be beaten in life.
OK, I’ve wandered off again. Emily got ready at Villa Podernovo and Sam, a villa down the road with his Dad and Nan. They’d hired THE coolest, vintage Alfa Romeo, that Emily’s Dad would drive to the Abbey and Sam would drive back. (It did come with a burly and slick Italian, who watched every gear change. He clearly LOVED that car!). Emily’s dress, a Justin Alexander, was a gorgeous off the shoulder, with a lovely bit of subtle bling that was incredible in the Italian sun, that she got from Belles and Beaus in York, and Sam wore a very cool Italian style suit from Gresham Blake in Brighton.
They’d hired the Abbey for an hour, so it was closed to the public, which meant they had full use of it for the wedding and a little after. Although you can get married in the main heart of the Abbey, because they wanted a more intimate feel, they married in one of the cloisters to one side. I guess it helped keep them cool too, with the Abbey having no roof, there would have been no hiding in that hot sun. Luckily though, we’d manage to squeeze in 10 minutes after the ceremony to take some shots in the main bit. As a photographer, it was like Christmas! So many possible shots, so many pockets of light. OMG, which to choose first! We met the rest of the party outside the Abbey for a quick Moretti before heading back to the Villa to really get celebrations started.
Being an Italian wedding, there was a big emphasis on food and there was lots of it! Starting with a food station that I could have face planted in, to a 4 course meal after. Villa Podernovo, has great space for all elements of the day without being shuffled around to set up from bit to bit and when the festoon lights come on at night, it looks fabulous.
I have to say one of my highlights was working with the incredibly talented videographers Mrs Mashup, Aymie and Ben. Bizarrely, we were working together at a Cripps Barn Wedding a month prior and chatting over our dins discovered we were both heading out to the same Tuscan wedding! I totally recommend them if you’re looking for a videographer, they’re super cool and so lovely to be around.
I feel I may have rambled on quite a lot here, so let’s get to the bleeding images hey! Thank you so much for your time in reading this blog and stopping by, please do leave any comments below, I’d love to know what you think.
An enormous Baci goes to Emily, Sam and their fabulous friends and family for having me with you and for making me feel so incredibly welcome. It’s a wedding that I’ll hold dear for the rest of my life for a million reasons and to be given the opportunity to shoot their day, well, it blows my mind. Naomi xxx
(Oooh, and the beautiful bambina is Rachel and Chris’s, Immy. to a star)
‘You were amazing – we are so lucky that you agreed to come to Italy to capture our day for us!’
Sam & Emily from Lush Imaging on Vimeo.