There’s no doubt wedding details and decor require intense planning, ample creativity and almost always some last minute flexibility. Especially weddings in the Italian countryside where the locals are stubborn and the only way to communicate your vision is through Pinterest photos.
With the church and reception booked, the real detail planning began back in January. I ordered some of the items I knew I’d want but wouldn’t be able to get in Italy – like personalized cocktail napkins, reception dinner menus, mini olive oil bottles, burlap welcome bags and limoncello scented soaps. When the time came to pack, I filled an entire suitcase with wedding things. Arriving in Italy one week before the big day gave us time to pull together the final details, meet with the florist and pick up last minute items -like candles and vases- at the Rome Ikea.
The wedding reception was held at a small estate owned and operated by an adorably stubborn Italian who reminded me a lot of Papa Smurf. Ricardo was a 72-year old Italian Renaissance man – a chef, gardener, photographer and retired newspaper journalist who single-handedly orchestrated our reception dinner.
Our big day went off almost without a hitch. Unfortunately, the unseasonably cool weather forced us to move the reception dinner inside but with a bit of brainstorming and table rearranging, we were still able to seat all of our 50 guests around one long table in the estate’s rustic and cozy dining room. After an early morning wedding day run, the girls and I put finishing touches on the dinner table. A few DIY floral arrangements, twentyish candles, wired burlap ribbon napkin rings and mini olive oil bottles gave the table a natural but still elegant feel.
I have Martha to thank for the rosemary-infused olive oil idea, which doubled as both place cards and wedding favors. I hand carried the bottles from San Francisco to Italy, purchased the olive oil in large tins at an Italian grocery store and snipped fresh rosemary from the massive rosemary hedges surrounding the villa where Rob’s family was staying. And I only spilled about one-third of the oil while attempting to fill them. Apparently I’m a little too impatient for funnels.
Despite the wind, intermittent rain and hail shower on our wedding day, the details and decor made our space warm and inviting – though I’m sure the red wine helped a bit too. But what I remember most, and what truly made the day so special, was the tremendous amount of love we felt, not just between one another but from our friends, family and even the local townspeople we met along the way.
To wrap up wedding week, tomorrow I’ll be sharing my five favorite moments captured on film.
Looks like the perfect wedding! Simple and gorgeous.
when the venue is so pretty, you don’t need much!
Love the napkins! Where did you find them?
Congratulations on your absolutely gorgeous wedding! I just discovered your blog and I, too, live in SF, graduated from UNC’s SPH (HBHE), and got married this May! Funny similarities :-D
Too funny – such a small world! Congrats to you too, Mrs!
love the back of the chair signs!
Me too – best $12 I spent on decor!
I’m actually obsessed with your wedding. Oh my gosh. Can I please hire you when it’s time to plan mine?! Oh and once I find the man.
Finding the man is the easy part… and I bet you think I’m kidding. ;) I’d love to be your wedding consultant – just let me know when the date is set!
I love the infused olive oil idea! The details look simple, rustic and elegant. You guys did a great job making the room look stunning.
finally I know you real name and your wedding looks so beautiful – bridal magazineish
How did the Olive Oils fair for people travelling home in suitcases? Or did most people enjoy it on their trip? I would be nervous about them breaking or being taken by security
I think they were fine! I figured most of our guests would have checked luggage so the amount wasn’t an issue. If I were to do it again though, I’d put out a basket of small plastic baggies so guests could grab one on their way out.
Your wedding was absolutely beautiful!!!
Wait, wait, wait…your name is Laura?? lol I had no idea.
Your wedding looked absolutely lovely. :)
me either!! where did elle come from!?
It really caught on in college. There were two Laura’s in our group of friends so I chose to go by “L” – and it evolved from there!
The truth is out! Haha, Elle’s been my nickname for nearly 15 years but you know how it goes when your parents are helping pay for the wedding! ;)