This castle in Tuscany is open for business and we’d like to celebrate by bringing you one of the best weddings of the season.
Alessandra from Canada whose family is Italian.
Kieran from Scotland with family and friends all from the homeland.
Why they chose Italy
We wanted a compromise destination for both sides because the thought of having separate wedding parties just didn’t seem right. We wanted a chance to have our two families meet and spend time together. Consequently, we chose to have our wedding in Italy. Europe seemed like a good fit because Kieran’s grandparents didn’t have too far to fly from Scotland. Unfortunately, Alessandra’s grandmother was too ill to attend the wedding while the rest of her family didn’t seem to mind the long flight. As for our friends – well, any excuse is good to travel, so no issues there, lol!
Additionally, for about the same cost as a wedding in Canada we got a gorgeous backdrop, great weather and a totally unique 3-day experience.
The Wedding Day in Tuscany
The morning of our wedding was really exciting. When Kieran and I woke up we put some finishing touches on our thank you speeches and headed to breakfast together. We had hosted a Welcome Dinner the night before which above all, turned out to be a great moment for them to get acquainted with each other before the wedding. Consequently, the morning of the wedding everyone was slightly tired after a really fun first night. Finally, I said goodbye to Kieran and ran off to find my girls and start getting ready.
A special room set up for hair and makeup created a really special moment for us all. My uncle checked in on us and did an emergency shoe strap repair for one of my bridesmaids and even now, the image of this big burly guy with a needle and thread going to town on a strappy heel makes me smile.
My cousin did my hair and one of my best friends did my makeup, making my day feel even more special. I looked like such a princess!
My mom definitely brought energy to the bridal prep tribe. Once we were all dressed, she started popping champagne and getting us all riled up. She made everyone feel so special.
My dad and I had a first look moment that was really sweet, he looked so cute in his sharp blue Italian suit. I remember my brother also popping out to take a peek and he had the biggest smile on his face.
Similarly, Kieran and I did our first look photoshoot before the wedding ceremony. We knew it would be too overwhelming for both of us to have that moment in church and we wanted to get everything on film. Kieran looked so handsome in his tartan kilt. We just held hands and smiled impishly at each other.
The Catholic Wedding Ceremony
We had a Roman Catholic religious ceremony having done the legal side back in Canada to make things easier. No translations necessary and we took a nice little trip together – like an elopement and a mini-moon.
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 and complete our catholic paperwork. The requirements for a catholic wedding in Italy include proof of baptism and confirmation, a prenuptial inquiry performed by a priest, and a legal marriage certificate.
Our catholic wedding ceremony was held at 4pm in the chapel on the Castello di Gargonza grounds.
We all walked into church with music from a Scottish piper who now lives in Pisa. I didn’t realize how moving the pipe music would be and everyone was tearful, myself included. Kieran and his parents walked up the aisle first. After that, all our bridesmaids and groomsmen walked up arm in arm, followed by our junior bridesmaid. Lastly, myself and my parents came down the aisle and they handed me off to Kieran.
Our violinist played sacred music during the ceremony, we had readings from friends and family and a wonderful speech from our priest. He then surprised us with a parchment blessing from the Pope!
We incorporated handfasting in the ceremony and Kieran’s father led the ritual.
The piper played the song from Outlander on our exit from the church!!! I couldn’t resist picking that piece, such a gorgeous song. We gave out lavender in cones for guests to throw as confetti, what a great moment for pictures!
The Wedding Reception
So many great parts of the reception. First, the cocktail hour was at this gorgeous little hidden garden in the hamlet. Second, after taking a group photo (with lots of us yelling “HURRY UP” to guests lol), our Piper piped us in a processional around the castle walls and down to the reception venue at the bottom of the hill. It was so fun! Everyone marched behind the piper, laughing and enjoying the music.
The reception area was set up just as I had dreamed, rustic wood tables, table runners, simple white flowers and greenery, with a pop of color from the bridesmaids’ lavender bouquets.
Our wedding meal represented the best of the Tuscan region. For instance, the cake was a traditional Italian “Mille foglie” which roughly translates to “a million layers” of pastry and gorgeous chantilly cream topped lots of seasonal fruit.
We loved our live guitar duo Akira Manera – such talented singers! They also were great to look at according to my bridesmaids, lol. Honestly, I could have listened and danced to them all night.
My dad and I had prepared a mash-up dance starting with Zucchero and Pino Daniele who are Italian singers my dad loves, and after that we danced to some disco music! It was such a blast and the guests loved it. Similarly, Kieran and his mom danced to what feels to me like the theme song of the whole trip: REM’s Shiny Happy People. I listened to that song on repeat for weeks after our wedding in Tuscany! Finally, Kieran and I danced to “Honeymoon” by Johnny Stimson – it was an indie beachy vibe that really fit our mood for a first dance as newlyweds.
The DJ played our playlist of hits and we danced until we were literally kicked out! My favorite part was at the very end when the music stopped and the Scottish family and friends starting singing Auld Lang Syne. They lifted Kieran and I up for and everyone held hands.
My Canadian family and friends were blown away by this emotional Scottish wedding tradition and everyone was left on a Scottish high!
We are so grateful for our families and friends who made it to our wedding in Tuscany. The memories will be in our hearts forever.