Real Weddings

How to Plan a Luxurious Italian Wedding Without Visiting the Venue


Modern and luxurious Italian wedding

Could you plan your entire wedding without ever visiting the city or even the venue first? Talk about scary, but this bride did exactly that! Erica Marie Events planned her weekend wedding celebration from afar, and everything turned out completely gorgeous! 

The sweeping views and lush gardens of the historic Belmond Villa San Michele made it the dream location for their luxurious day which featured beautiful florals and a stunning candlelit reception. Check out their luxurious wedding below, and catch every last moment from Katie Harmsworth Photography in the full gallery.

Manolo Blahnik heels for the bride

Modern Michael Costello wedding dressMichael Costello bride

Gorgeous Michael Costello wedding dress

 Historic Italian Villa

Since our guests traveled at great lengths to celebrate with us, it was our primary goal to make sure our wedding was truly memorable, unique, and authentic. Therefore, we knew having a most impressive venue was critical and would serve as the cornerstone for this special weekend. We selected the Belmond Villa San Michele, a historic Italian monastery from the 1600s, now an ultra-luxurious boutique hotel. It was the perfect mixture of Tuscan and contemporary. Since the Belmond is perched high above the City of Florence it provided a most dramatic backdrop for our wedding. Not much décor was needed, the backdrop spoke for itself.

Bridesmaids in blackBridesmaids in black

Modern bride and her maids

Italian countryside wedding with a view

Italian countryside wedding

Rose garden ceremony with a viewJust married in Italy

rose garden ceremony with a view

The following day we exchanged our vows in front of 48 of our dearest friends and family. This intimate ceremony took place in the Villa’s private rose garden, one of the highest locations on the property. A true highlight of the ceremony was the String Trio who played some classic Italian songs and also some acoustic renditions of our favorites, like "Memories" from Cats, and "Beyond Time" by Enya. There wasn’t a dry eye to be had honestly.

Dreamy Italian wedding

Modern bride in Michael CostelloMichael Costello wedding dress

Modern bride and groom in Italy

European elegance

My wedding gown was more on the modern side but still had a very timeless and elegant look. It was designed by Michael Costello so I knew it was a unique piece. It was paired with a cathedral veil designed by Daphne Newman, embellished with sequins and pearls on the bottom edges. It was the perfect piece, pulling together the entire look and giving it a feel of European Elegance. The Groom was top to bottom in Calvin Klein with a classic black tuxedo and patent leather shoes. His wedding band was from Tiffany’s and had “Eternity” in Italian engraved inside, a little wedding day surprise for him.

Italian villa ceremonyOutdoor lounge areaChampagne for guests

Luxurious candle lit reception in Italy

Elegant candle lit receptionSimple and chic wedding tablescape

Candlelit centerpiece


5-course Italian Dinner 

Let the party begin! For the reception, it was a classic Italian dinner that included a 5-course Tuscan cuisine done by San Michele’s Executive Chef, Attilio di Fabrizio. It featured Beef Carpaccio, Fresh Lobster Pasta and Florentine Beef. The apex of the reception was surprising our guests with three famous Italian Tenors. They posed as waiters and during our dinner began to sing famous Italian songs and ended the night with a mini concert. Our guests were completely stunned and all exclaimed it was something they’d never forget. 

After many hours of dancing and toasting, we took our party to the main hotel bar for some final drinks, cigars, and late night Italian pizza. We didn’t want it to end. All in all, it could not have been any more special. Everything from florals to food to music and even the travel and accommodations went off without a hitch.

Romantic candle light reception

Candle light wedding reception

Italian weddingModern chic bride

First dance romance

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