As a wedding photographer and editor, my best friends often ask me for my best advice as they approach their wedding week. My answer? “Delegate all the remaining tasks, turn off your phone and stop checking the weather forecast, for God’s sake.”
When Jack and I got married in Mexico, you would think that it never occurred to me to worry about the weather, but in fact we were just at the end of the hurricane season on the Pacific coast. The rain literally stopped the day we arrived in the Baja, but that didn’t stop me from constantly refreshing my weather app and checking for threatening clouds.
But the truth is that our day would have been wonderful even in the rain – take this wedding, for example, to Tuscany! The rain adds a level of romance and intimacy with everyone celebrating nearby Simone and Etai. Not to mention that the cloud cover as a photographer means perfect and even lighting for creamy skin tones throughout the day, score!
I found my dress at Mr. Elizabeth’s in Minneapolis, MN. It’s a Berta dress. He had a deep lace neckline and went to the bottom of the dress. The back of the dress had the same lace. The helmet I was wearing was beautiful! I wanted something with a little bling because I knew I wanted my hair lowered and relaxed with loose curls. I didn’t want to look like I just put on a dress and didn’t do anything with my hair, so I found the helmet at Mr. Elizabeth’s (in Minneapolis) to dress my hairstyle. I was wearing a veil, it was beautiful and there was lace on the borders. It fits perfectly with my lace on my Berta dress.
The groom’s outfit
My beautiful husband got his Indochina costume. It was tailor-made. He really enjoyed being able to choose every little detail of his costume. He waited until spring came before choosing his suit because he wanted a light sapphire suit. He has beautiful eyes, and that’s what made his eyes so beautiful on the day! He was wearing a clear blush tie and a white handkerchief. In simple words, it looked so beautiful!
The destination and the place
We got married in Tuscany. In a beautiful little Tuscan town called Poppi. Our place, Borgo Corsignano, is the place where we got married.
My father is from South Africa and my mother is from England. My fiance is from Israel. We have so many families and friends living in these three countries, as well as many from Canada and Australia, as well as from the United States. I’m from Minnesota, but I lived in North Carolina, North Dakota, New York and Philadelphia, and he went to university in California. By and large-our friends were scattered all over the United States and we had just made a big move from Minnesota to Philadelphia, so we thought. Everyone will have to travel somewhere, let’s meet in the middle and get married in a fantastic place! ITALY!
We chose Borgo Corsignano for several reasons. 1. It was a small corner of the house. Lots of trees, birds and space for hiking – it was like Minnesota for me. 2. Why we chose Tuscany on Amalfi, we wanted all our guests to be in one place for 3 days. That was not an option in Amalfi. Besides, it was so chaotic with tourists. I wanted our marriage to be devoted. 3. We wanted a nice plan B in matter it rains. Thank God we did it because it rained every three days!
Tips for Rainy Weather
We were told that it will certainly be beautiful in Italy at the end of May, and even if it rains, it rains only a little, then the sun will shine. Well, it rained continuously for two days. Welcome dinner and wedding anniversary. In the end, we had to use our “plan B” options for the three days. As the wedding week approached, my husband and I were visibly excited. I cried the first night we ate in Italy. All my visions of our marriage Seemed to me torn off. My husband tried to remind me that we had chosen a place that had nice rainy options. We did it, and I knew it, but it didn’t take away the pain of having to use our “plan B” options every three days.
In short, tip for future brides: if it’s raining, it’s raining, that’s it. You can’t change the weather, but you can change the way you react to the weather. On the morning of the wedding, I was happy. It’s nice that my whole family surrounds me and is enthusiastic about marriage. The day was perfect. Would I have wished it wasn’t raining? Pardi! Do I think it could have been even better if it hadn’t rained? Sure. But this does not change the fact that the wedding day has always been perfect and the most beautiful day of my life! The photos are awesome because we don’t have bad lighting, so it’s a big bonus. No one was uncomfortable and hot at the ceremony. It even stopped raining for the ceremony and cocktail time and the sun came out for a few minutes, and we had beautiful photos before it started raining again! The famous motto that I have always lived (and sometimes I have to remember to live) “you just have to follow the stream.”
Because none of us are really religiously and culturally Jewish, we have given the ceremony our own twist. We created our own vows, we also created our vows for the exchange of rings. We had the 7 family members say the 7 blessings, but we not only had the original 7 blessings in Hebrew, but also found 7 beautiful English blessings related to love, laughter, building a house, etc. So our 7 family members said both a Hebrew and an English blessing. We signed our ketubah and our two witnesses (our two best friends).
The wedding celebration (or your absence)
To be honest, I’m so glad we didn’t have a wedding party. The amount of money that bridesmaids and groomsmen have to spend is foolish! Our guests have already travelled to Italy for our wedding. Now you need to spend money on a dress and a suit? We didn’t want to have those typical wedding photos-they seem forced.
We wanted our guests to be able to relax and have fun on our wedding day. Wear everything that makes you feel beautiful and have a good time. When you start planning your wedding, you realize that many of your decisions are not based on what you, the bride and groom, want. This will make your guests the happiest. So we really wanted our ceremony to be about Etai and me.
However, we let our two families walk down the aisle as if it were the wedding party – we wanted our family to stand out from the rest of the guests. Give them a part to make them feel special and loved.
Photography and Videography
Our photographer Roberta Facchini found her on Instagram. I loved his work, it was light and airy. It is based in London. When I contacted her about her work, she sent me a couple of weddings she had shot, one of which was at the Borgo Corsignano (the place where we got married). I couldn’t believe it when I opened the album. Not only was it the same place I’m going to get married, but the bride was wearing THE same DRESS I CHOSE! We were so grateful that we chose Roberta! Your candid photos of us and our guests are awesome! She really captured the real feeling of the day from everyone-happiness!
Roberta recommended our beautiful HD moments from videographers to us and we loved them too. You can watch our great video here.
There were areas where we ended up showing off about our marriage. Videographer and photographer were the two most important parts of our wedding. We also exceeded the budget, because we were not ready to settle for every photographer or videographer.
We never really understand the choice of a wedding theme or style. I took a quiz about ” what kind of bride are you?””what kind of marriage should you have” in the end, I chose only things that I liked, and everything seemed to fit well together. Colors that we have chosen, blush and sapphire with accents of green and gold.
I never met my grandfather (my father’s father), he had a heart strike when my father was 17 years old. My father’s last favorite memory of my grandfather is playing football in her garden and her King Protea (South African flower) was in full bloom. I wanted to honor my father, my grandfather and my South African roots by having King Protea in my bouquet and chuppah.
Since we were already in Italy for our wedding, we decided to make our honeymoon easy and we went to the Amalfi coast and stayed in Positano. We stayed in the magnificent Palazzo Murat Hotel! When things got serious between us, we talked about getting married, having children and where we want to go for our honeymoon. Originally, we both wanted to go to the Maldives! It was too many trips. In addition, Positano is incredibly beautiful!
I never use a travel agency! I am my own travel agency! We travel around the world and I am the one who is looking for where to go, where to stay, what to do, where to eat, etc. so, my advice to couples looking for the perfect honeymoon. Find out what kind of vacation you both want. Relaxing by the pool? Hiking? Water against the mountains? Exotic? Do you like animals? Do you like art and museums? Do you want to be with a lot of people OR be isolated and feel the only two of you in the world? Once you have figured out what type of honeymoon you want, do some research on the places that have them. Lock a place and proceed step by step.