S H A R L E N E + C R A I G
This destination wedding in Florence, Italy is styled with simple elegance and drenched in Tuscan sun. Sharlene and Craig's wedding photos feature breathtaking views of the city of Florence, a white floral arbour and golden accents.
A marriage proposal in Florence...
Craig and Sharlene first met studying together in 2004. "At only 19 I fell completely in love with his kind heart," says bride, Sharlene.
The couple's relationship progressed as they slowly set up a future together, and after 8 years Craig proposed. "It was the most incredibly surreal moment I have ever felt. We were on a holiday travelling through Europe when one beautiful evening in Florence we stood on the Santa Trinita bridge, to the left a view of the Ponte Vecchio and to the right the sun setting over the Arno river," says Sharlene.
Knowing exactly how special sunsets are to Sharlene, Craig popped the question just as the sun was going down. "I have always told Craig, sunset is my favourite part of the day as I love watching the colours of the sky change. It was then he dropped to one knee, told me he loved me and asked me if I want to return to Florence one day as husband and wife. With tears streaming down my face I said yes, never thinking almost exactly two years later we would return to our favourite city to become husband and wife," Sharlene remembers.
The destination wedding dream...
Sharlene and Craig's destination wedding in Florence was shared with 40 of their nearest and dearest who had travelled from Melbourne, Australia. Sharlene described the wedding as, "the most magical experience of our lives. It was simplicity meets grandeur combining our decoration with the villa and views."
"After 10 years Craig and I have shared together, with our love for family, friends, travel, and our engagement in Florence, this day encapsulated everything we ever wanted, needed or dreamed possible," says Sharlene.
The couple decided on a destination wedding in Florence after grief caused them to reassess their priorities.
"The original plan was to get married in our home town Melbourne, Australia with a guest list of 120 people. With the venue booked, and plans unfolding, my Grandmother sadly lost her battle to cancer 9 months prior to our wedding date. With heavy hearts, we continued with the preparations, never anticipating losing my Grandfather 3 months later. With a giant void in my life, this great loss was enough for us to reassess what we truly believed our wedding should be. The decision was made to cut our losses and stay true to ourselves, to travel to a beautiful destination with our closest friends and family, and what place would be more meaningful than Florence"
Something old, borrowed and blue...
"On the day of my wedding, once I was dressed my mother handed me a ring my grandfather had given her, it was a pearl and topaz ring," remembers Sharlene. The ring accounted for her something old, borrowed and blue. Her mother had also made a lace and pearl horseshoe that Sharlene carried as her something new.
The designer wedding gown...
Sharlene had always loved Steven Khalil's designs and knew she had found "the dress" as soon as she tried it on. "The fit, the silk and the lace couldn’t compare to anything else I'd seen! As with my husband, it was love at first sight!" says Sharlene.
A venue with Italian charm...
The destination wedding in Florence was held at a quintessentially Italian venue: Villa La Vedetta. "It was the most beautiful property we had ever laid eyes on," says Sharlene, "it beautifully fit our grand but elegant theme and the view of the city was breathtaking."
Wedding styling under the Tuscan sun...
The couple's vision for their destination wedding in Florence was "simple and elegant with a beautiful view, something classic that wouldn’t date".
The ceremony was held outdoors in the immaculate gardens of Villa La Vedetta. The reception was held on the terrace under the Tuscan sun and guests watched the city light up as they ate under the stars.
Sharlene and Craig wanted to reflect the history of the city of Florence, without detracting from the view. Their decorations were simple white flowers with touches of gold.
The moment they realised "this is really happening!"
The most memorable moment for Sharlene and Craig was when they were dancing together and had a chance to take it all in.
"Craig and I were dancing as the sun was setting, and I remember saying to him after looking around "I cannot believe this is our wedding!" The scenery was so beautiful, and it was everything I ever dreamed of," says Sharlene.
An unforgettable European honeymoon...
Their honeymoon was spent on the Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, South of France, and the Greek Islands. "This entire experience will always be the most vivid memory of our lives," says Sharlene.
Wedding wisdom and advice...
Sharlene says that if she could do it all over again, she wouldn't change a single thing. Her one piece of advice for brides considering a destination wedding in Florence, or any brides for that matter, is: don’t stress over the small things. "The day will always turn out the way it is meant to, so enjoy every minute, it goes so fast!" Sharlene explains.
Photographer: Facibeni Fotografia / Dress: Steven Khalil / Hair: Bride did it herself / Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent / Accessories: Dior / Bridesmaids Dresses: Zimmermann / Grooms Suit: Bespoke / Stationery: Adorn Invitations / Cake: Villa La Vedetta / Food: Villa La Vedetta / Flowers: Stiatti Fiori / Ceremony and Reception Venue: Villa La Vedetta / Celebrant: Blessings From Italy / Cinematography: Gattotigre - Destination Wedding Videography