The number 13 was certainly lucky for our real wedding couple, Brenda and Joe, who hosted a tight-knit gathering at the idyllic Borgo Petrognano villa in beautiful Tuscany. Our lovebirds from the US, were surrounded by 13 of their closest friends and family for an intimate and stylish three-day destination wedding in Italy. Aiming for quality over quantity, Brenda and Joe wanted to create plenty of long lasting memories – and you will find plenty of inspiration from our glowing couple’s elegant ceremony and reception, captured beautifully by photographer Ana Pastoria below.
Before we dive into the details of their luxurious celebration, let’s go down memory lane to reflect on how the happy couple met! Joe met with Brenda at a coffee shop in Portland, Oregon, for a photoshoot, with Brenda as the model. They spent the entire day taking photographs together, and stayed in touch! Over the last decade, the couple have travelled extensively together and moved from city to city, with Joe documenting every moment along the way.
In a seriously heartfelt move, Joe planned a surprise engagement on Brenda’s birthday in New York. He found the perfect pear-shaped ring in Manhattan’s Diamond District and secured entry to the exclusive Gramercy Park, got down on one knee and in her words he then “stumbled through an awkward but heartfelt declaration of love.” The couple headed over to a rooftop bar to celebrate their engagement with plenty of Champagne!
Our beautiful bride Brenda wore a tulle gown with an off-the-shoulder, sweetheart neckline and elegantly cascading beaded veil. Her oversized bouquet included a spray of roses with sprigs of eucalyptus. Perhaps the couple’s ‘something blue’, Joe donned a cobalt blue three-piece suit with a crisp white pocket square.
Brenda and Joe’s tranquil, sunny ceremony was held in the villa’s open courtyard surrounded by the lush natural landscape and exposed, sunbaked stone tiles. Joe’s brother Kit took on the role of the couple’s celebrant and during Brenda’s vows, Joe became emotional. The couples had this to say about their nuptials: “The key to our wedding was honoring the non-traditional trajectory of our relationship, doing things on our timeline in our own way by sharing our idea of a wedding experience with the people we love, in a place we love.”
When the romantic, picturesque ceremony came to a close the couple returned to their suite to have a moment alone together. This element of their day was incredibly important to them as they wanted to spend special time acknowledging the gravity of their commitment before rejoining the festivities. Their stunning photoshoot took place in the scenic villa gardens, with photographer hubby Joe taking a few retro Polaroid snaps of Brenda himself!
Surrounded by their closest friends and family, the night carried on with an outdoor dinner reception, a live band and for their first dance, they played First Day of My Life by Bright Eyes. On the topic of their small wedding size they say, “the entire experience was really a testament to the love of friends and family. A more intimate setting allowed us to spend quality time with everyone that was able to make it, even watching our friends and family forging friendships of their own.” The following day the couple took their wedding party on a tour of a Chianti vineyard and ventured out on a truffle hunting experience, getting the chance to enjoy their freshly foraged truffles on bowls of pasta at a local restaurant!
Check out that incredible Millefoglie wedding cake! As for wedding advice, they say: “This is your day! There’s so much pressure to appease others, but if you do what makes you happy and share that—the celebration of love bridges all conflict. Brenda is an amazing meditation teacher and tried this idea: Imagine celebrating your 20th wedding anniversary, still wildly in love with your partner, thinking back to the most special moments of your wedding day… what really mattered? What was important? What are the details that fade to the background as something not to be too stressed over? Visualising the future memory helps set a wonderful intention for planning and executing your day!” What incredible advice!
When it was time to set off for their honeymoon, Brenda and Joe rented a car and embarked on a road trip through Tuscany, and then made their way along the western coastline of Italy before their final stop in Rome. “We would definitely recommend the drive, however, the narrow, winding cliffside roads of the Amalfi Coast are not for the faint of heart.”
Thank you very much to Brenda, Joe and photographer Ana Pastoria for sharing such a breathtaking Italian destination wedding celebration with One Fab Day! Don’t forget to take a look at even more photos from their beautiful wedding in our gallery below!
Check out more destination weddings here! We also have loads of gorgeous honeymoon inspiration to explore.