Jo and Joe, although based in Hong Kong, decided to marry in Florence, Italy- not only because of Joe’s Italian roots but because bride Jo had dreamt of marrying in Italy since she was a little girl. She felt very lucky indeed when she fell in love with a Canadian Italian! Their dream wedding in Florence took place at St James Church- a Gothic Revival church designed by an English architect dating from the 19th Century. Jo and Joe exchanged their wedding vows and rings in the company of seventy eight guests who had traveled from England, Australia, New Zealand, America, Hong Kong, Canada, Fiji, Finland, Sweden, Ireland, Norway, Croatia, Thailand, Antigua, Amsterdam, Malaysia and Turkey! Liam Collard was there to capture all the beauty. 

Jo and Joe first met thanks to Joe’s eldest daughter Marina who introduced them when they were out one evening socialising with friend’s at bar called Le Jardin in Hong Kong. Of their proposal, Jo tells us: “On my birthday, Joe took me to my favourite restaurant in Hong Kong called Otto E Mezzo. He was eager to get me home before the clock struck midnight, as had set up the sound system to go off at that time for the proposal! As I had no idea this was coming, I was reluctant to go home as was having such a great time. I kept whining ‘but it’s my biiiirtday’, finally however he convinced me with a ‘let’s go home and open up a bottle of champagne to see your birthday in’ so I agreed. As soon as we walked in the door he proceeded to open a bottle of bubbly and put the music on. He figured he had 45 seconds to get down on one knee and get his speech out before the chorus came on in the music, which was Train’s ‘Marry Me’. I just sat there, mouth wide open, in silence. He said, ‘Oh I didn’t plan for this! Answer me!’ To which I replied: ‘Absolutely!'”

To continue their wedding day celebrations, Jo and Joe lead their five bridesmaids, four groomsmen plus seventy eight guests who literally travelled from across the globe, to their dreamy Tuscan wedding reception at Villa Le Fontanelle. Back in the 15th century Villa Le Fontanelle in Florence was home to the famed Italian Medici family before it became this beautiful wedding venue, gorgeously decorated with flowers by local florists Giardino Delle Fate. The couple’s favourite moment was “When they were building the cake playing Dean Martin’s ‘That’s Amore’- everyone was singing and waving their sparklers, it was a spectacular moment!”

From Liam the photographer: “Already knowing Jo and Joe meant they were really relaxed about us being around them from the moment we arrived, allowing us to capture some very special moments throughout the day. The perfect late summer sun shining all day long, and a venue with so much history, character and atmosphere. We especially loved taking the creative bride and groom portraits, that were shot later on in the evening around the villas with its dramatic backdrops. It was a perfect wedding to finish our European season before heading back to Thailand for the winter. And was one of the most magical weddings we covered in 2016.”

Photography: Liam Collard Photography | Wedding Venue: Villa Le Fontanelle | Wedding Planners: Blanc Ricevimenti /Valentina Moneglia | Ceremony Venue: St James Church | Bridal Gown: Monique L’Hullier  | Groom’s Suit: Ralph Lauren | Engagement Ring: Foo Hang Jewellery, HK | Wedding Rings: Ken & Dana Design, NYC (him) Foo Hang Jewellery, HK (her) | Bridesmaid Dresses: BHLDN | Catering: Galateo | Hair & Makeup: Laura Vasile, Florence | Musical Entertainment: Alma Project inc live performance by Cara Cortese

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