Our wedding was a blend of so many images and ideas I had over the course of our year-and-a-half-long engagement. I am not the most decisive person and it took 5 months for us just to decide to have our wedding in Italy! Once that was set, we were able to really concentrate on what was important to us. We knew we wanted a destination wedding and when we pulled up to Podere Ciona in the heart of Chianti, Tuscany in 2010 we knew it was the place. The view over the rolling Tuscan fields, the scent of lavender & rosemary in the air, and the golden light cast by the setting sun on the ancient stones of the family home enchanted us. How could we get our best friends and family to see it? Plan a wedding there! We wanted to create a magical world for our guests. A complete escape in a world of whimsy and imagination. My inspiration? In a teacup! I have a collection of teacups and love their swirls of color and mixture of florals. The teacup became our inspiration for a vintagey garden party set in this gorgeous backdrop.
One of the most important aspects to us was marrying our cultures. From my side, my family is British and Scottish. I absolutely love that my family always shows up to weddings wearing a hat or fascinator so I encouraged guests to follow suit. My bridesmaids and flower girls had the most amazing and whimsical fascinators – it added such a fun touch and made them all look like flowers on a teacup. I was also able to find a bagpiper in Siena to complete my Scottish side. As my husband is Chinese, we payed homage to his culture with a short tea ceremony. It was so important for my family to participate in this tradition because it really felt as if our two families were uniting. My husband and I couldn’t thank our guests enough for traveling so far to Italy. When it came to making our program fans (a hopeful way to beat the heat!), we wrote a fairytale that incorporated how much all our guests, family and wedding party meant to us.
Our amazing decorator collaborated with our florist in Italy – and together they were able to truly transform our meal into a magical fairytale with ribbons, lanterns, and every possible flower in an Italian garden. And, of course, each table was laden with teacup candles and vintage milk jugs brimming with bright florals. Each table had a unique theme from ‘Ancient Roman Garden’ to ‘Flights of Fancy’ to “Tuscan Night’ – guests took turns sitting at each others tables! The best part for us was being in the breathtaking countryside and dancing well into the night with our best friends and family who we still can’t believe made the trek across the Atlantic. We drank champagne, ate gelato and snacked on Italian confetti (candied almonds) as fireflies lit up the trees and the lights of Sienna sparkled in the distance.
Photography: Aubrey Joy Photography / Text: Style Me Pretty/ Venue: Podere Ciona / Decorator: Jeanette Kornealson fromDeLovely Creative / Planner: Samuele Gallorini of Il Cerimoniere Italian Weddings / Bridesmaid Dresses: Frocks Modern Bridesmaids in Vancouver, Jenny Yoo, Thread / Bride’s Jewellery: Elsa Corsi / Bride’s Veil: Tessa Kim / Bride’s Pink Flower Fascinator: Starz Selection / Flower Girl Dresses: Dream Spun Kids / Groomsmen’s Ties:Apple and Ivy / Fascinators: Miss Ruby Sue / Tissue Poufs: Party Poms / Pinwheels:Rule 42 / Bunting: Little Kitten Homemade / Vintage Handkerchiefs: Nathaniel23