LIFESTYLE-Emily-Josh-Wedding-Tuscany-2018_37

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

1 month ago by

Photos Yann Audic

So that happened! Yep. I got married.

We all knew it was coming. It’s been coming for almost two years, but on September 15th, it happened. Josh and I finally tied the knot, as they say. I have so much to tell you, I don’t even know where to begin. So just bear with me because this post may be windy and emotional and loooong, but there’s just so much to tell!

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If you’ve been following along on the crazy adventure that has been my engagement, you know that when we decided to get married in Italy it was pretty random. But after going through a few more local options, we decided on a destination wedding in hopes to a) do something beautiful b) give our friends and family the opportunity to travel when they may not have otherwise and c) keep the wedding more intimate. Josh and I have been to so many weddings and we wanted whatever we did to be more than just a party for a few hours. We wanted to spend time with everyone. We wanted our friends and families to meet and get to know each other. We wanted to feel relaxed, and present and be able to enjoy ourselves. And that was exactly how the weekend went.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

We arrived in Florence a few days before the wedding to settle into being in Italy. We started to meet with family and bump into friends. We lounged around our hotel room in bathrobes and wrote our vows. I got a cold (the ONLY thing that went wrong!) and lost my voice, but I was too excited to rest. Before the wedding I had so many fears and anxieties about what we were doing. Did we make the right decision to get married in Italy? Do I even care about getting married? Are we really the right people for each other? As a classic over-thinker, I ran through every scenario 1,000 times and made myself totally crazy. But the second we got on the plane every question melted away and I just felt happy. Simple as that. There was no wedding stress, no life stress, just pure happiness. I felt that throughout our few days in Florence and then when we arrived at Borgo Stomennano on Thursday, I went from happy to a feeling of being totally blissed out.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

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Let me back up and share a few logistics. When we decided to get married in Italy, I called Nicole Cari to ask for her advice (she got married in Tuscany a few years ago). She connected us with our planner, Annie, who was incredible, and also recommended Borgo Stomennano, where we had our wedding. She had been there for a friend’s wedding and said it was wonderful—we booked it after just looking at a few photos online and taking her word for it. As you can see in the photos, it was magical. It’s still run by the same family who has owned the property for hundreds of years, and Luisa, who manages it along with her mother and brother, was so wonderful to work with. We were able to book it for four days and have 34 family members and friends stay on site since it’s set up as a villa and small compound of farmhouses. It was like renting a place for a summer holiday with your nearest and dearest and just throwing a big party. It was perfect.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

We checked into Stomennano on Thursday and our friends and family started to arrive. Everyone was so excited to be there—there was a feeling of joy just radiating through everybody. That night we had a dinner for immediate family in the villa so we could all catch up. By this point, my “wedding diet” really disintegrated. The next day remaining friends and family showed up and we had a pool party to welcome everyone. Almost all of our 68 guests came over for pizza and a swim. Everyone was having a great time when all of a sudden the sky opened up and it started raining and hailing. Josh and I jumped in the pool, a few friends followed and we had a swim in the rain. After a few minutes—after we all ran inside—it stopped and there was a beautiful rainbow right on the property. Talk about a sign! We couldn’t have cared less that it was raining. It was hilarious and fun and made the day more special.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

Then it was wedding day!!! Throughout this whole process, Josh and I have been very relaxed when it came to planning (if anything, Josh went more bridezilla than I did). We spent the morning relaxing, napping, sitting by the pool, hanging out with family before we started to get ready.

So I guess now is the time to talk about the dress!! I got my dress at Carolina Herrera. I had no idea what I wanted and I tried on more terrible dresses than I can count. I had found a dress that I liked but had time before I had to make a decision, so I waited. And then I saw this dress online. I knew the second I saw it that it was perfect. I tried it on in December and that was it. Like they say, I just knew the second I put it on. Choosing accessories was fun, but what was most special was that my friend Caroline Ventura designed a simple bracelet for me using diamonds from a ring that Josh’s dad had given to Josh’s mom, and that she had given to us. It was beautiful and I was so grateful to wear something so personal that had so much thoughtfulness and love put into it on such a special day. I used the emerald and another diamond stone from the ring to work with Caroline to make a stick pin as a gift for Josh that he wore on his tuxedo.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

I spent the afternoon getting ready with my mom. Josh and I didn’t have a wedding party, so for me it meant a lot to be with my mom, my grandmother and my friend Lindsey. Garance came too and helped me with all of the final details. Spending the last moments before seeing Josh with my mom, Lindsey and Garance — 3 of the most important women in my life — was special. It was emotional. I had already started crying at this point.

My mom’s advice to me before we left to go see my dad, “Always be happy.”

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR
AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

I get my emotion from my dad, who is a big ball of laughter and tears. Seeing him before he walked me down the aisle started the water works again. When we turned the corner and I saw Josh standing there, I totally lost it (thank you waterproof mascara!). I don’t remember seeing anyone else, but when I look at our photos, I love seeing the faces of our friends who are looking at Josh as I’m walking down the aisle. One thing that a few people told me is they couldn’t get over what a puddle of love Josh was all weekend and it’s true. He’s always shown me so much love but to see the unbridled joy on his face when he saw me for the first time in my wedding dress is a memory that’s sunken into my bones and warms me every time I think of it.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR
AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

We had a quick ceremony performed by Josh’s cousin, Francesca, who I’ve also become very close to over the years. She shared so many wonderful stories, read a beautiful poem by Dante in Italian, and shared advice for our new life together. We read our vows to each other, both so honest and emotional. So full of love. We exchanged rings, which were made by Francesca as our wedding gift, and broke a glass (the one Jewish tradition we kept). Our friends tossed olive leaves and flower petals as we walked back down the aisle to our string duo playing “Island in the Sun” by Weezer. It was magical. Throughout the whole planning process we kept tabling the ceremony conversations until the end, both feeling conflicted about its importance and place in the weekend being that we’re not very religious and it was more symbolic than anything. But now I look back on it as my favorite part of the evening because it was so honest, and we were able to share that with so many people that we love.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

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The night went on for hours with food, six courses of delicious dinner, speeches by our parents, and our dear friends (Garance only roasted me a little!). We went from dinner into hours of dancing the night away. We had the BEST vinyl DJ! Josh and I danced to “I Only Have Eyes for You” by The Flamingos and the disco balls lit up the night and from there it was a messy party of funk and soul and wine and laughter and gelato. I even put on pajamas so I could keep up with everyone. We didn’t stop dancing until 3:30 in the morning and party went on until the sun went up…

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

I always knew I wanted to have a wedding, but I don’t think I really understood why until after it happened. To be able to celebrate the person you love with all of the people that you love and who have grown up with you through all of your life stages—the funny times and the messy times and the terrible ex-boyfriends and the discovery of new love and the evolution from being a kid into being an adult—it’s taking a moment in time to do that that makes a wedding important. Sharing all of that love so purely and openly, having fun and not worrying about anything at all. No work. No money. No complicated relationships. No health problems. Just forgetting all of the things that make life hard and celebrating one of the things that makes life good, we don’t get to do that enough.

AN ITALIAN AFFAIR
AN ITALIAN AFFAIR

And as they say…the credits:
Photography: Yann Audic, Lifestories Wedding ; Invitations: Venamour; Venue: Borgo Stomennao; Planner: Annie Adair for Tuscan Tour; Catering:Dolceria del Corso; Gelato: Gelatofrullalà; Strings: Perigozzo String Duo; DJs: Collettivo Distillerie; Transport: FrancoBus; Dress: Carolina Herrera; Shoes: Tabitha Simmons; Earrings: Aurelie Bidermann; Bracelet: Caroline Ventura; Make Up: Jennifer Bradburn; Hair: Lisa del Colombo; PJs: Oliva von Halle; Earrings: Rebecca de Ravenel; Slides:Miu Miu; Tuxedo: Thom Sweeney; Shirt, Bowtie and Slippers: Brooks Brothers; Barber: Mildred New York

54 comments

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  • I did it on instagram already but I wanted to congratulate you again! What a gorgeous wedding and what a stunning dress (with pockets!!!!) !!!! We also did a destination wedding because we wanted our wedding to be more than just a party and it was so special. This year we celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary and we can’t be happier. I wish you both all the happiness (and Italian food, which is basically the same thing) of the world!
    xx,
    Emma

  • Hi Emma!
    Thank you so so much! There have been copious amounts of pasta since we’ve returned ;)
    xx Emily

  • Tanti auguri! <3
    Wish you all the best

  • Thank you Montse! x

  • Sunny Side October, 18 2018, 10:28 / Reply

    Emily que votre route soit longue et belle, surprenante et pleine de confiance. La table est incroyable ! Cet endroit me rappelle une propriété à Pignano près de Volterra où j’ai passé un mois.

  • Thank you Sunny Side! Stomennano isn’t terribly far from Volterra, and it’s where most of our vendors (and wedding planner) are from! It’s such a beautiful city. Thank you again for your kind words!
    x Emily

  • Oh wow, all of these shots are SO dreamy!

  • What can I say, I’m one proud momma! This just had in me in tears just like that amazing day! There was only joy and love that whole weekend, I wish only that for you and Josh! The post is beautiful just like you!

    Mom

  • Thanks Mama! Love you! <3

  • Beautiful wedding ! Wish you both a very happy and wornderful life together!

    We organised exactly the same way our wedding, a whole weekend with friends and family and it was such as you wrote, a magical moment to celebrate love, love for your family, flove or our friends and love for each other!
    When I went through your pictures and I saw the name of the venue… I told to myself, wait a minute but I know this place… I spent one wonderful week there with my family 14 years ago… so beautiful and romantic without being cheesy. I loved this place!
    Thanks for sharing these pictures because I could travel back in time to our wedding “weekend” and to that magical week when I was still a child and not yet a wife!
    Thank you!

  • Emese!

    So happy to hear you’ve been to Stomennano! What a small world, and what a magical place!
    Thank you for your beautiful words!
    x Emily

  • Hello Em,
    Wow! I love Love LOVED reading your post!!!!!!!!!! I can imagine the joy and happiness and it is so lovely to see!!!!!!! I can’t wait to see you in person soon!!!!! I need to give you a big hug!
    Lots of love!!
    Tina

  • Tina!!

    Can’t wait to see you in just a few short weeks! Your pep talk when we saw each other this summer was a huge help in getting me here :)
    Sending you a squeeze and lots of love!
    x Emily

  • Jorge Alexandre Teixeira October, 18 2018, 12:32 / Reply

    You All look Amazing !!!
    Muitas Felicidades !!! *_*

  • Thank you so much Jorge! xEmily

  • Christiane Grindel October, 18 2018, 12:45 / Reply

    Amazing photos…. what a dream wedding… all the best… may your future be as wonderful as your wedding!!!

  • Thank you so much Christiane! xEmily

  • Beautiful wedding !amazing dress! Gorgeous couple !
    Follow your mum’s advice and always be happy

  • Thank you Jenn! The best advice :)
    x Emily

  • Well. I hate weddings and those pix made me want to be at yours. That is one hell of a wedding photographer. He really caught motion and Emotion. Your huge smile made me so happy and I don’t even know you.

    Congratulations! May your marriage be long and contain many moments of happiness like this.

  • Thank you Mouse! Yann did an incredible job with our photos–we were so blown away!
    Thank you again for your kind words! xEmily

  • Mariateresa October, 18 2018, 2:10 / Reply

    W GLI SPOSI!!!!!

  • mazel tov!

  • Thank you Saglara! I hope you’ve been well since I last saw you at our community event! x

  • Mathilde October, 18 2018, 3:10 / Reply

    Félicitations Emily !! Everything looks tremendously gorgeous, a dream wedding filled with refinement, beauty, warmth, happiness and LOVE. Your words are also so moving… It makes me so so happy for you both. I wish you two the very best ! May your future together be as bright and happy as your sumptuous Italian affair ;) :) <3

    Thank you for sharing !!

    Mathilde xx

  • Merci Mathilde! Your kind words mean so much!
    xx Emily

  • Dear Emily, it is so kind of you to share these stunning photos of what obviously was a dream wedding. The venue is just so gorgeous and the whole look is one of classy refinement.
    All the love that is in evidence will no doubt be the blanket surrounding you both, keeping you happy.
    Congratulations and warmest regards, Xxxx

  • Thank you so much Ruby! x Emily

  • Congratulations Emily – what a beautiful wedding! Thank you so much for sharing all these amazing photos and your story with us. I’m currently planning my wedding abroad as well, similar idea to yours (complete with sometimes thinking “urgh, do we even need to be married?) – this has been just the timely story I need! What a stunning bride and you ALL look so happy, just as it should be . Wishing you both a wonderful life together!

  • Thank you so much Sarah! And congrats on your upcoming nuptials! Always here if you need someone to chat to about the whole process! xx Emily

  • What a beautiful wedding and week! Have loved following along in the process, and am so happy to hear it all went well and looked so stunning!

    http://www.areweadultsyet.com

  • Thank you so much Laura! xEmily

  • Barbara Sylvester October, 18 2018, 10:21 / Reply

    Dearest Emily, Thank you for having me live in a Fairy Tale for the days of your wedding. You and Josh are gorgeous, the venue was gorgeous, the dress was gorgeous, Italy was gorgeous! I wish for you everything you wish for yourselves and more. The love was just pouring out of everyone- so special Love you Gram

  • Gram!
    It meant the world to us to have you there to celebrate–there’s a photo of you and Josh together that makes me teary eyed every time I look at it! We love you so much!
    x Emily

  • Beautiful! You seem like a genuinely happy couple! I wish you lots of love that will last forever!

  • Thank you Maija! x

  • Thanks for sharing Emily, I have been looking forward to your pics. You are both so lucky to have found each other, your wedding was a great celebration of that xx

  • Thank you Maureen! I certainly feel like one lucky lady!
    x Emily

  • This is soooo beautiful!! The pictures are overwhelming.
    Greetz, Steffi

  • I know what you mean! I keep looking at them and pinching myself!!
    xx Emily

  • Good lord you’ve met ALL of my personal goals!! ;-) Seriously I could not be more happy for you as a long time reader who feels as if we have all grown, and continue to grow, together. Toutes mes felicitations! Wishing you both the very very best. You looked absolutely SPLENDID!!

  • Rina!!! Thank you so much for your kind note–I feel like I’ve grown with all of you too, and I’m so grateful to have been able to share this special moment with you! Thank you so much for your well wishes! xx Emily

  • I’m so glad you had a blast Emily! Your gorgeous big smile says it all and I couldn’t help but smile back when I saw these photos. What a wonderful start to married life for you and Josh. Congratulations to you both.

  • Thank you Jenny! xEmily

  • You know when people say a dream wedding does not exist – I have never seen a more perfect wedding so breathtaking / beautiful!! Thank you for sharing, I have been following your sweet journey – worth it! You did it!

  • Gah! Thank you so much Joanna! It was so magical, and I’m so glad that’s translated in the photos and to all of you!
    Thank you again for your well wishes! xx Emily

  • Beautiful beautiful beautiful emily!!! The heartiest of congratulations to you two!!! This was the perfect way to start my morning!!

  • Thank you so much Aydan! xEmily

  • Thank you so much Emily to have share with us this beautiful journey. The best is yet to come xoxo

  • Emily E. October, 22 2018, 4:00 / Reply

    Congratulations, Emily! This was beautiful.

  • Jessica McCann October, 22 2018, 4:37 / Reply

    Gorgeous! I went to a wedding at Borgo Stomennano last summer and it was, hands down, one of the most magical nights of my life. Everything was perfection – the twinkle lights, the long tables, the beautiful house, everything. This brought back beautiful memories. And as I’m planning my own wedding now, your words about the importance of a wedding seem especially meaningful. Congratulations!

  • These photos exude joy and love. Congratulations!!!

  • Congratulations, I loved this place

    This is soooo beautiful ! The pictures are amazing

    Fred

  • Congratulations! Everything was SO beautiful. Amazing dress, romantic and modern at the same time! Impressive!
    I wish you all the best in your life together!
    Eve

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