Molly and Martin flew from Minneapolis in the US to marry in Italy’s beautiful Tuscany region. They found their perfect wedding venue in Villa Vignamaggio, with sweeping views of the Tuscan countryside from almost every angle. Villa Vignamaggio is actually said to be the birthplace of the famous Mona Lisa model, and the view in the background of the painting the same as that from the villa. More below from Molly on choosing the villa and the details of their wedding, but first these lovely images by Cadence & Eli Photography.

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“Martin and I love to travel and it was during an incredible trip to Barcelona that he proposed. We had taken the train to a beautiful park near the Arc de Triomf.  He asked me to stop at a park bench so he could pull out our map- much to my surprise he actually took out a ring box! After saying yes and walking through the park in a dreamy haze, we ended up in a charming square in the El Born district. A musician started singing ‘Stand by Me’ and we danced our first dance as an engaged couple.  It all felt very serendipitous- I know Martin will always stand by me, and I will always keep us dancing.


Martin and I got married at Villa Vignamaggio located in the Greve in Chianti region of Tuscany. I travelled to Tuscany with my mother and our wedding planner, Amy Rubins of Fete Perfection, seven months ahead of the wedding to choose our venue.  We visited castles, villas, old horse stables, and small hamlet towns to find the best location.  I was so taken by the beautiful property of Villa Vignamaggio, it had a very rustic and charming feel with the most incredible views of the rolling Tuscan hills.  There is also a very romantic history to the property: it was where the Mona Lisa was painted- the background of the painting is actually the view from Villa Vignamaggio! I think it was really important to visit the potential venues before choosing a location, there can be a feeling you get from visiting a venue that is difficult to describe in writing or through a photo. In the end, Martin and I couldn’t have been happier with the location we chose! For planning, we worked with Amy Rubins of Fete Perfection, based in Minneapolis where we live.  We really liked working with a local wedding planner, and Amy did a wonderful job.


I had a very clear vision for the style of the wedding: I’m not sure I can describe in a few words, but here goes:  rustic elegance with a modern heartbeat. The ceremony and reception were held in the villa’s courtyard with amazing views of the valley. Rustic chairs and antique farm tables were used, and lavender was a theme throughout- I carried a bouquet of lavender and we used lavender bunches to adorn the ceremony and reception chairs.  After the ceremony, guests enjoyed Italian wine on a patio overlooking the sweeping Tuscan countryside.  Antique farm tables were sourced for the reception and decorated with bouquets of roses and peonies, candles, and plants our wedding planner sourced from IKEA in Florence a few days before the big day.  Watercolour menus were displayed at each setting outlining the four course wedding meal Martin and I had chosen during our planning trips to Tuscany. Since I love dancing, we finished off the evening with a wine cellar dance party which went on into the small hours.  The day after the wedding we arranged for all of the guests to go on a vineyard tour, and provided sunglasses to hide the previous night’s indulgences!


I would be lying if I said the planning process was a breeze.  There are a lot of challenges that come with planning a destination wedding- having a set vision that WILL be executed no matter what it takes, and especially with the language and cultural differences.  The planning process was intense, involving many late nights and numerous glasses of wine, though it was all worth it in the end.

The best decision we made was to marry each other in a location that will always be special to us. We hope to go back to Tuscany, and stay at Villa Vignamaggio, time and time again.  Another of our best decisions was to hire Cadence Cornelius as our photographer.  We were so impressed with her style, skills and expertise!”

Photography: Cadence & Eli Photography | Planning: Fete Perfection | Venue, Catering & Cake: Villa Vignamaggio | Invitations: Spilling Beans | Additional Stationery: Texas Farmer’s Daughter & MaeMae Paperie | Bride’s Dress: Robert Bullock from Che Bella | DJ:  Daniele from Pink Panther DJ Service | Officiant: Giuseppe from Blessings From Italy | Florist: Fiorile di Sandra Ceni

9 Responses

  1. Giuseppe Rossi

    How lovely to see we are credited here on this fabulous blog article. It was such a pleasure to have composed a personalized script for such a special couple.
    Villa Vignamaggio is steeped in history and famous as the location for the film ‘Much Ado About Nothing.’ We look forward to welcoming other couples to Tuscany.. and we promise there will be much to do about about ‘something’ very special!


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