Last August I had the great pleasure to travel to Italy for a unique destination wedding, the wedding of Marina and Axel. Although my base is in Greece and I’m sure that there are many Tuscany wedding photographers in the greater area, I was fortunate enough to be contacted by Marina, the bride, whom I had met when she attended a wedding on Mykonos that I shot some years ago. As soon as I was informed that the wedding will take place in the extraordinarily beautiful city of Florence, I felt the creative urge rising in me. Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance, a city so important for the development of architecture and monumental Arts… I couldn’t ask for a better backdrop for artistic inspiration!
The wedding ceremony took place in Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall of Florence, at noon. The location of Palazzo Vecchio in the heart of the historic center of the city – a UNESCO World Heritage Centre – and Piazza della Signoria in particular was ideal. Lots of beautiful buildings and sculptures around, including a copy of Michelangelo’s David, while the famous Ponte Vecchio bridge crossing over river Arno was only 5 minutes away on foot. After the ceremony we grabbed a cocktail at Revoire and set off for a photo session around the city.
The reception took place at a spectacular villa in the Tuscan countryside, Villa Corsini a Mezzomonte. I arrived at the villa in the evening with the couple and the videography crew of Daniele di Francesco, with whom I had an excellent cooperation and I call friends from then on. Stunning vineyard scenery around, delicious finger food from Ciabatti catering, lots of champagne and the soft sounds of a Jazz band filling the air. A real feast for the senses! After the wonderful soirée, the guests moved to the interior of the villa, where the dinner would take place. The room, filled with exquisite murals, indicated the grandeur of the past, while the flower decoration by Simone Bertini added an elegant touch. The whole wedding planning and coordination was done by the bride herself Marina Nechaeva, who is a new wedding planner, and I must say that she did en excellent job! At this point I’d like to mention the really interesting historic background of the villa as it was written on the back side of the dinner menu card:
“Known as one of the last Medici Villas in private hands, the villa was founded in the late Middle Ages and was decorated and painted between 1630 and 1634 at the behest of then-owner Prince Gian Carlo de Medici, brother of Grand Duke Ferdinand II and one of the most famous mecenat of the historic Florentine family. Villa Corsini was meant to be a wedding gift to the future wife of the prince. The living rooms, in honor of the princess, sing hymns to the gods of nature and to the heroism of the female figure. The frescoes were painted by some of the most important artists, such as Fransisco Albani and Giovanni da San Giovanni.
Unfortunately the marriage never took place and the prince, who then became Cardinal, used the Villa as a place to develop his three passions: flowers, fine arts and the collection of paintings, making the Villa a well-known place around Florence for receptions. In fact, Villa Corsini is the only Medici Villa expressly thought to be a reception venue and not a place for living. Later in 1644 the Cardinal sold the Villa to the Marquis Andrea Corsini, whose descendants built an Italian-style hanging garden, an English garden and a chapel on the ground floor. After 369 years the Villa still belongs to the Corsini family, who at the beginning of 2000 started a great work of restoration with the aim of reviving the splendor of the past.”
The next day I travelled with the couple to the charming city of Sienna, a medieval jewel. The afternoon light in the narrow cobbled streets of Sienna was soft and ideal for a creative play with light and shadow; a real treat for a wedding photographer shooting a wedding in Tuscany! On our way there we stopped at a vineyard and did some beautiful photos in the Tuscan countryside. Overall a great destination wedding experience!
Wedding Planning/Coordination: Marina Nechaeva
Videography: Daniele di Francesco
Bride’s dress: Le Spose di Gio
Bride’s shoes: Jimmy Choo
Groom’s shoes: Gucci
Wedding rings: Damiani
Hairdresser: Massimiliano Dimaiuta
Make-up artist: Azzurra make up
Place of preparation of the bride: Platinhome Apartments
Place of preparation of the groom: Hotel degli Orafi
Ceremony venue: Palazzo Vecchio
Reception venue: Villa Corsini a Mezzomonte
Flower decoration: Simone Bertini
Catering/wedding cake: Ciabatti
Fire artists: Lumen Invoco