Matthew: I knew Nicole has wanted to see Jennifer Lopez in concert and I knew she was playing in Las Vegas. I started thinking of an adventurous way to propose using the concert idea not only as an ally to go to Vegas, but also as a decoy from Nicole thinking I would propose during this trip.
I planned an amazing dinner with a very romantic window side table in the Eiffel Tower restaurant overlooking the Bellagio fountain. When going to dinner, I knew the ring box would stick out of my pants pocket, so I put it in my sock instead for better concealment. After an amazing meal, we started talking about “us” and where we wanted to be with each other in our lives. But since I am not the type of person to propose at the dinner table, I took her to the top of the Eiffel Tower and got down on one knee … she excitedly said YES!
We thoroughly enjoyed the rest of our visit and the Jennifer Lopez concert topped it all off as the last night of our trip.
Our Wedding Day!
Our stunning venue
Villa La Vedetta was absolutely gorgeous overlooking the city of Florence and the Duomo. The view was stunning, like a post-card. The flowers and décor were absolutely perfect, and the candelabras added so much ambiance and romance to the occasion. We were thrilled that the weather cooperated at this point and we could have our reception dinner outside.
Nicole: I just wanted my mom, sister, cousin, and future mother and sister-in-laws with me getting ready, as well as my future niece. Since we ended up having a smaller wedding, there were just those few with me getting their hair and make-up done. It was fun just being us girls. It rained that morning/afternoon and we kept watching the thunderstorm from my suite window! It sort of forced us to stay in the room longer, but we had a great time.
We had a religious blessing planned in the garden outside with Nicole’s minister whom she grew up with. Our families are very close, so it felt like an uncle was marrying us. It meant so much to us that they were able to travel and share in our special day. Once the rain cleared (just in time!) we had a beautiful wedding ceremony.
The musicians who played during our cocktail hour were extremely talented. Our DJ was fun too, and played a variety of classics along with contemporary music our guests loved dancing to.
Our playlist included a mixed acoustic version of Latch with an upbeat mashup, by Sam Smith; Father and Daughter danced to Nat King Cole’s ‘Unforgettable‘; Mother and Son danced to Neil Diamond’s ‘You are the best part of me’.
Advice to other couples
Plan the wedding YOU want to have, not what everyone tells you to do. Don’t feel obligated to something because those around you have an opinion. We took time to think about what we really wanted and what would make us both the happiest. We weighed the pros and cons of multiple scenarios, and came up with the most amazing wedding we could have ever dreamed of.
As much as we missed extended relatives and friends who could not make it, we cherished the memories that we spent with our immediate families. Both of our parents and siblings were all able to attend, and that meant more to us than anything.
We couldn’t have done it without our Alfresco wedding planner. Especially when trying to achieve a destination wedding. Beatrice took a lot of the stress out and made us feel at ease about everything. She and her team also stayed throughout our entire wedding! She handled everything perfectly from start to finish.
From the wedding planner
Nicole and Matthew had the right attitude from day one, maybe because a friend whose wedding I had planned referred them to me , so they knew the outcome would be perfect. Whatever the reason, there was never any tension between us. We had so much fun putting together a fabulous weekend in Florence for their immediate family.
We brought guests out into the Chianti wine producing area for a unique rehearsal dinner with wine tour and I think this really helped everyone relax after travelling so far to get to Italy.
Thunder rumbled all morning on the wedding day! A first look shooting was scheduled in downtown Florence but I really didn’t want to risk getting caught in a downpour. I decided to bring the couple to another location closer to their villa and, well, the images speak for themselves 🙂