Our international couple today, Chantal and Aaron, are from the Lebanon and the US- they met in Beirut, live in Dubai, and got married in Italy! Their beautiful destination wedding was planned by Varese Wedding and captured by Curly Tree Photography, and we are totally in love with their outdoor reception table with views of the Italian countryside that you won’t believe. More from Chantal below on how they met and planned their destination wedding.

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HOW THEY MET

We met each other in 2009 in Beirut when mutual friends introduced us on a night out. About three years later Aaron called me one day and said “Let’s get married!” A few weeks later, we bought the ring. Since we’re from different countries, we wanted a destination between both countries so that neither of our families had to travel all the way. We chose Italy for its charm, romance, vineyards… and for its history. Artimino Estate embodies all that: it is just magnificent. In addition, the estate encompasses a hotel, the Villa Medicea “La Ferdinanda,” a Borgo (a village made up of beautiful apartments) only a few steps away the Church.

PLANNING

Honestly, with out planners Varese Wedding, the whole thing couldn’t have been easier. The only two challenges we faced were firstly choosing from all the options they presented us with. Everything was just beautiful and within the country chic theme we have chosen. The second challenge was the documents we needed to proceed with the wedding ceremony. But, again, Varese Wedding resolved it for us with the least amount of stress. Their friendly and professional attitude reassured us from the start. Our invitations were designed by my sister with a vineyard theme. We also wanted the cards to be guidelines, for our guests, on how to reach the venue and what they could do while in Tuscany.

STYLE AND THEME

I wore an ivory strapless gown in satin organza and lace, designed by Melissa Sweet. I felt the style of the dress matched the wedding- country, vineyard and very simple, and I opted not to wear a headpiece since I had large earrings. I wanted simple yet defined make-up with a hairdo that inspired the theme of vineyards- Lara nailed it. No traditions were followed… The only plan we wanted to follow was to be ourselves: we enjoyed every second of it and didn’t get annoyed if something didn’t go exactly as planned. Our aim was to have a cozy, chic and simple reception. We were surrounded by our friends & families and, although we came from two different cultures, everybody felt comfortable and was having fun. The venue, Villa Medicea “La Ferdinanda,” was so beautiful & historical that we didn’t need to have extravagant arrangements; it would’ve ruined its magic. We decided on a country chic theme: that’s what the Italian vineyard setting inspired in us.

The wedding ceremony was just amazing: it was a religious ceremony held indoors at the Santa Maria e Leonardo church which was recorded as built in 998 and had a Romanesque architecture. It was a small church, and since we had an intimate wedding, was filled with our guests. As per the law of the church, we were only allowed to decorate the altar with a small arrangement and 1 big arrangement on each side of the bride and groom. We weren’t happy with that at first; but when we saw the church, its warmth and charm, we were so glad we weren’t allowed to decorate more. We didn’t exchanged any vows: Aaron and I believe that our actions during our married life are stronger than words.

The color scheme was pink, peach and coral with a pinch of blue. The flowers were arranged by Stiatti who perfectly embraced the country chic theme we were going for. The bouquets were pink and coral flowers with some exotic ones simply gathered. For the reception we put all our guests on one long table in the garden in front of the villa facing the beautiful olive trees, with the village on the horizon. There were jars with small flower arrangements, white & red bottle of wines and some of our photos nicely placed in the middle all through the table.

BEST PARTS

The food was just amazing. The venue offered not only catering but also a very distinctive setting- aperitifs in the cellar where the guests could enjoy an extravagant buffet of pastries and cold cuts while we were having our photos taken. And then during dinner, we opted for a two course menu of meat and fish. The wine was a house wine from the Fattoria (farm) of Artimino… Tasty! My favorite was the white wine “Artumes”. We also had an open bar during the party.

Caitlin from Curly Tree photography was very impressive. She made us feel very at ease in front of the camera and did an excellent job in capturing the charm and spirit of our wedding day. Andrea, the videographer, was very fun to work with. He was exceptional in capturing not only every moment of our day but also the beauty of the estate so we could remember how amazing it was.

ADVICE

My advice to couples having a destination wedding would be to choose a planner who knows how to arrange a wedding in your specific country. It was very important for me, as well, to have a planner who is nice and passionate to make our dream come true; and that’s what we found in Varese Wedding. The couple should also know what they wants and work in order to have it realized. There are a lot of beautiful things that can be done during a wedding, but all the options can be confusing. So, my advice is to focus on a theme and, as the French say, simplicity is beauty.

Photography: Curly Tree Photography | Videography: Feelmore Videos | Planning: Varese Wedding | Ceremony: La Pieve di Artimino | Reception Venue & Catering: Villa la Ferdinanda | Bride’s Gown: Melissa Sweet at David’s Bridal | Shoes: Jimmy Choo | Jewelry: Razzouk Mouzannar | Groom’s Suit: Aigner | Tie: Balmain | Shoes: Hugo Boss | Flowers: Stiatti Fiori | Cake: Local Patisserie | Invitations: Varese Wedding | Hair & Makeup: Lara Navarrini | Music: DJ Lorenzo by Andrew

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