TUSCANY DESTINATION WEDDING | SANDRA ACE PHOTOGRAPH
Wow. Where do I begin with this one. I had THE best time at this Wedding – Ever. I’ve always fancied a destination Wedding and here it is…
I was in school with Alex & Toby we were in the same year, Alex has always been one of the most beautiful women I know even in school during that awkward adolescent age. My best friend Katherine and I had terribly frizzy curly hair which we didn’t yet know quite how to manage, but Al was always perfectly primed and loved by everyone. Toby was (and still is) one of the most laid back people I have ever met. In school I still remember him floating about the corridors with one had in his baggy trouser pocket, shirt untucked and the thin end of his school tie sticking out below his jumper and high fiveing the other ‘surfer dudes’ when he entered a room. With his blonde floppy surfer hair he was just cool – they both were. They first got together in 1999 and you could just tell how much in love they were. But as the University years got closer they parted and stayed good friends. Then, 9 years later, they picked up where they left off and the rest as they say…… is history.
Toby proposed to Alex on a little canoeing trip with the most gorgeous blue diamond ring. We were all ecstatic for them (and I must say I was relieved as I did wonder what was taking him so long) and so the planning of this fantastic fun filled, beautiful, romantic Wedding got under way.
Knowing the Wedding was going to be in Tuscany as this is one of their most favourite places in the world, I remember Alex calling me one evening and going “Sand, will you take a few snaps of the day for us? nothing huge just a handful of pics?” I was like “a handful? you are kidding right? And Yes!! I abso-flipping-lutely will”
I arrived in Tuscany 2 days before the wedding and it was boiling. The sun shone both days and the temperature got to about 32 at one point. It was lush. Nervously checking the forecast hourly for Friday since I landed it was meant to be raining, and I remember thinking no way look at this sun!! So it didn’t phase me at all when my iPhone was telling me to expect thunder, lightning and a downpour the day of the wedding – which was all being held outside.
I turned up to Antigo Borgo Poggiarello on the morning of the Wedding and started shooting the breath taking scenery and picturesque setting. Toby’s Stepmum Sue had handmade bunting that decorated the features of the setting perfectly. When I saw Alex she was cool as a cucumber – but that is Alex to a T. Nothing fazes her, which is part of the reason she and Toby are such a perfect match. Alex’s parents had given her the most beautiful gold antique bracelet for her special day and the bridesmaids, who were Sam and Harriett (Alex’s sisters) and Amy and Claire (who Al met at University) also presented her with gifts which included a bottle of Hendricks gin as this is Al’s favourite tipple. They’d also had the bottle engraved too which made a really personal touch. Alex & Toby’s Daughter Teal was a flower girl and thoroughly enjoyed the pampering and getting ready on the morning of the Wedding as Al’s Mum Penny painted her nails, she was so proud at how grown up she’d instantly become!
If I could describe Alex’s style in 3 words I’d say Vintage, Boho, Chic and her dress reflected this flawlessly. Her designer Jenny Peckham gown from White Bride in Narberth made her look sensational and her Rachel Simpson shoes and jewelled head piece finished her look off perfectly.
The bouquet’s were handmade from a mix of supermarket florals and handpicked herbs and foliage.
Toby’s best man was his Brother Sam and as they were in the throws of getting ready Teal couldn’t hide her excitement to show her Dad her freshly painted nails!
The ceremony was scheduled for 3pm and by now the clouds were fast approaching and the sky was looking pretty grey. I remember thinking Oh My God. Please don’t rain! Harry Keyworth entertained the guests with his own music and as Alex and her Dad Richard walked down the pretty floral isle to Harry playing Bright Eyes – This Is The First Day Of My Life, the most amazing fork lightning pierced through the clouds and you could here the thunder rolling in the hills far away, but thankfully the weather held off and the ceremony got under way. As well as being a bridesmaid Alex’s sister Sam was also the celebrant and she did such a good job, it really gave the whole experience a really intimate and personal feel. Toby’s Mum Val gave a reading and then shortly afterwards Teal’s surprise to her newly married Mummy & Daddy was her own reading of The Owl and The Pussycat by Edward Lear! She was fantastic and as everyone looked on adoringly at her it was hard to hold back the tears of pride especially for Alex and Toby!
After drying their eyes Sam pronounced them Married and thankfully the weather was still being kind. Headed down to the Marquee that had been decided on just the day before the bridesmaids brought the confetti they’d made themselves which looked fantastic and everyone cheered them on while showing them with the petals.
I took Alex and Toby away from their guests for 15 minutes to get some shots of them together and thank God we did this when we did because not long after capturing Alex with her Bridesmaids the heavens literally opened!! Despite the rain and thunder though the laughter and smiles made the atmosphere so good that everyone still was having a really lovely time. As the rain began to stop the timing of ‘Elbow – one day like this’ coming from the speakers couldn’t have been more apt everyone broke out into “Throw those curtains wide”
Between courses the speeches began and in typical Wedding style everyone enjoyed hearing the stories of Alex & Toby’s history and their embarrassing stories and Alex even got re-united with her cuddly friend she kept as a child.
After Toby’s speech everyone went outside to take in more of the amazing scenery and watch the sun going down and I just had to get Alex and Toby out in that amazing golden light. It was perfect and as the hills glistened in the distance I took a moment to step back and capture the setting.
During Alex’s speech she joked that she’d not saved any money for the Wedding and that they’d had to use all of Toby’s but to show her new Husband how much she loved him she arranged a little surprise. She’d wrapped some surf wax and written a letter explaining that she’d bought him a new Surf Board and it was at home in her parents garage.
Alex’s littlest sister Harriett gave a really moving speech ‘Love Actually’ style which provoked lots of Aaah’s from the crowd and then Sam drew the speeches to a close as the Limoncello came out which is a classic Italian liqueur made from lemons. At 30%ABV the party really began to get underway so the dancing started and the celebrations continued until early the next morning.
It was such a perfect day. Brilliantly planned, intimate, emotional and everything a Wedding should be. I am so so happy for you both and wish the three of you all the happiness in the world. Congratulations guys!!
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