This castle in Tuscany is open for business starting May 30th and we’d like to celebrate by bringing you one of the best weddings from last season.
Alessandra from Canada whose family is Italian origin.
Kieran from Scotland with family and friends all in the homeland.
Why they chose Italy
We wanted a destination for both sides, the thought of having separate parties just didn’t seem right. We wanted a chance to have our two families meet and be together, so we ended up in Italy. Europe seemed like a good fit to ensure that Kieran’s grandparents didn’t have too far to fly from Scotland (Alessandra’s grandmother was too ill to attend the wedding). Alessandra’s family didn’t seem to mind the long flight that much. And our friends – well they will take any excuse to travel so no issues there, lol!
Also, for about the same cost as a wedding in Canada, we got a gorgeous backdrop, great weather and a totally unique 3-day experience with our closest family and friends.
The Wedding Day
The morning of our wedding was really exciting and nerve-wracking. Kieran and I woke up and put some finishing touches on our thank you speech before heading to breakfast together. We had been with all our guests at a Welcome Dinner the night before (a nice extra touch to help your guests get acquainted with each other the night before the wedding) and so the morning of everyone was slightly tired after a really fun first night. Then I said goodbye to Kieran and ran off to find my girls.
We had a special room set up for hair and makeup, it was really rustic looking. It was really a special moment. I had an uncle check in on us and do an emergency shoe strap repair for one of my bridesmaids. Even now the image of this big burly guy with a needle and thread going to town on a strappy heel makes me smile and giggle.
I had my cousin do my hair and one of my best friends do my makeup, it made my day feel even more special knowing that they had been able to contribute to it. I felt just such a princess when the look was complete!
My mom was definitely the energy in the room. Once we were all dressed she started popping the champagne and getting us riled up. She complimented all my friends and made everyone feel special.
My dad and I had a first look, it was really sweet and he looked really cute in his blue suit. I remember my brother also popping out to take a peek and he just had the biggest smile on his face.
Kieran and I decided to do a first look before the wedding as well. We knew it would be too overwhelming for both of us to have that moment be in the church and we wanted to capture everything on film. He looked so handsome in his tartan kilt. We just held hands and smiled impishly at each other.
We had a Roman Catholic religious ceremony as we did the legal side back in Canada just to make things easier (no translations necessary and we made it a nice little trip together – like an elopement – it was really fun!). My parents were friends with a Priest at the Vatican who took time off from his busy schedule to visit us in Canada to get to know us a bit better.
The ceremony was held at 4pm at the chapel within the Castello di Gargonza. We managed to convince the resident priest there to let us add more chairs to the chapel as it was tiny and we had many guests! Thankfully – it just made our day that much more intimate and special.
We all walked into church with music from a Scottish piper who now lives in Pisa. I didn’t realize how moving the pipes would be and everyone was instantly brought to tears, myself included. Kieran walked up with his parents first, then all our bridesmaids and groomsmen arm and arm, then our junior bridesmaid (who was going to walk our young ringbearer inside, but poor tired thing, he fell asleep!) and finally myself and my parents. We had a violinist play during the ceremony, had readings from friends and family and had a wonderful speech from our priest about how Kieran and I seem just perfect for each other. He then surprised us with a parchment blessing from the Pope!
To exit the ceremony we had the piper play the song from Outlander!!! I couldn’t resist, such a gorgeous song. We also had lavender in cones for guests to throw as confetti! It made for great pictures!
So many great parts of the reception, first the cocktail hour was at this gorgeous little hidden garden in the castle, then after taking a group photo (with lots of us yelling “HURRY UP” to guests lol) our Piper stayed a bit longer to pipe us down to the reception (bottom of the hill that the Castello was on). It was so fun, all our guests marched along behind the piper, laughing and enjoying the music. The reception was set up just as I had dreamed, wooden tables, table runners, simple white flowers and greenery, with a pop of color from the bridesmaids lavender bouquets.
Our wedding menu was representative of the Tuscan region and the cake was a traditional Italian “Mille foglie” cake which roughly translates to “a million layers” of pastry with a gorgeous, delicious light cream and lots of fruit on top.
We loved our live guitarists! Akira Manera were really talented singers. They also were great to look at (my bridesmaids told me lol). Honestly, I could have listened and danced to them all night. My dad and I did a mash-up dance, starting with Zucchero and Pino Daniele – some Italian singers my dad likes, and then some disco music! It was such a laugh and the guests loved it. The next song with Kieran and his mom really to me feels like the theme song of the trip. REM – Shiny Happy People. I listened to that song on repeat for weeks after our wedding! Finally, Kieran and I first dance song was “Honeymoon” by Johnny Stimson – it was an indie beachy vibe that really felt like it fit with Kieran and me.
We also got a DJ for the hits and we danced until we were kicked out essentially! My favorite part of the dancing was at the very end when the music stopped and the Scottish family and friends starting singing Aulde Lang Syne. They lifted Kieran and me up for it and then everyone held hands and came in and out.
My Canadian family and friends were blown away by this emotional Scottish wedding tradition and everyone was left on a high!