Destination I Do
Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Destination Wedding Tuscany

Words by Courtney Kellar
Photos courtesy of Gary & Courtney Photography

Shawna and Adam thought a rustic barn was the venue for them – until they saw the price tag! “We did find a venue in Vermont that did weddings and had barns and other buildings that we liked the look of,” says the couple. “When they quoted us over $30,000 for 100 people, we were shocked. That’s when we decided that if we were going to be spending even half of that on [our] wedding that we were going to make it an adventure and get out our passports.”

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Unfortunately, deciding to have a destination wedding was the easy part for Shawna and Adam – the real question was where. “Before I knew exactly where we were going to have the wedding I made the mistake of asking everyone what they thought of my location ideas. I would get mixed responses that only stressed me out. We were at a standstill, not knowing what to do.”

Casually, one friend mentioned Italy and the couple immediately knew that was the right decision. Shawna got online to search for villas which would accommodate their immediate family and found Villa Sant’Angelo. “It was above our expectations and below our budget. So, just like that we booked it over the Internet.”

While the couple was thrilled with their decision to have their wedding in Italy, unfortunately some of their friends were less than thrilled. Most assumed they wouldn’t be able to afford the trip and were angry the couple would choose a destination which they couldn’t get to. In the end, their guests were able to make the trip and the bride cautions other couples to remember that weddings can bring out strong emotions – just stay focused.

When it came to their chosen venue, the couple can’t say enough good things about the villa’s owners. While there was a pretty severe language barrier, the Shawna and Adam describe the owners as “some of the nicest people we’ve ever known.” The couple flew to Poppi, Italy five months before the wedding to see the villa and explore the village.

The owners of Villa Sant’Angelo not only showed the couple around the villa, but around town. They are the ones which introduced the couple to Poppi Castle – the eventual site of their wedding ceremony. “They acted as coordinators getting together the caterers, the hair stylist and answered all our questions for months. On top of this, they never charged us anything extra. We were charged the same price as if we were only renting the villa and not having an event there. That’s Italians for you.”

Despite some of the guests having a difficult time finding the villa in such a small Italian town, Shawna and Adam’s wedding went off without a hitch. Thus, the couple has some advice for other couples planning their own destination wedding: “Don’t over think it. Remind yourself what’s really important to you. If you let yourself get hung up on some detail that didn’t turn out how you planned, then you might miss the magic of marrying your best friend. At the end of the day, if you end up married – it was a success!”

Vendors: Photographer: Gary and Courtney Photography, Ceremony/Reception Site: Poppi Castle/Podere Sant’Angelo, Gown Designer: Sposabella Bridal, Groom’s Clothing Designer: Zara

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