The two words that immediately come to mind when we think about the Los Angeles couple Ari and Kate – and their beautiful countryside destination wedding in Italy – is natural. And we mean that word in the broadest and fullest possible sense: a natural, easy-going bride and groom, natural warmth, natural smiles, natural setting, and, of course, the natural exquisite beauty of the Umbrian hills. Natural. The word applies to everything about this small, personal and loving weekend wedding.
When Kate and Ari met, through the wonders of a dating app, Ari said he was attracted to Kate’s sense of humor and her intelligence. And, of course, her beauty. Perfect combination. Kate said, Ari is tall, dark and handsome! And she instantly found him confident and funny. Right from the start, the couple said, they were happy. That they came to know and appreciate one another easily. That nothing felt forced, and everything felt natural. “It was very organic,” said Kate. “We knew pretty quickly we were right for each other!”
Both Kate and Ari are keen about the natural world: hiking, walking, being near the ocean, being surrounded by flowers. It’s one of those stories — the kind that starts without drama and continues on, beautifully, at a pace that feels so right and so pleasing. And being with Kate and Ari was exactly like that, even during what for many can be the hectic time of planning a wedding.
The couple knew they wanted to be married in Umbria, Italy. At their wedding planner’s suggestion, they visited Casale La Caprara, a beautiful villa facing the turquoise waters of Lake Trasimeno in northern Umbria. Bordering Tuscany and within easy reach of Medieval outposts of the region but also major cities like Florence and Rome (very important for a destination wedding, when guests and family will be traveling), the villa offered a stunning setting. And a pizza oven! Kate and Ari visited the Casale in September – harvest time – and they dined at the villa: a simple and natural dinner prepared with the natural and typical produce and foods of the region.
Everything about the weekend spoke to Kate’s and Ari’s natural styles and their love of nature. The rolling hills, so green and so lush, provided the perfect background, and the open, carefree atmosphere felt welcoming and organic. For the rehearsal dinner, the guests dined casually and al fresco, and were serenaded by a local accordionist. Kate and Ari were radiant: she in her bright orange linen dress, and he in his simple cotton blue shirt. Checkered tablecloths, carafes of wine, guests clapping to music, laughing, welcoming in the evening light.
On the day of the wedding itself, the weather decided to turn up the drama! Mother Nature clearly wanted to put on a bit of a fete for our lovely couple, so she brought heavy clouds to infuse the outdoor ceremony with a thrilling sense of the possible and the unexpected. The skies were dramatic. (A photographer’s dream, of course…)
Preceded across the villa’s grounds by young flower girls in white tulle and pink satin ballet slippers – little sprites in the magical stormy day – Kate’s full-length veil floated atop the building breeze. She wore a spaghetti-strapped satin gown exuding sophistication in its simplicity. The tiny buttons nesting down the back of the gown were the sole ornamental detail. The effect was simultaneously natural and ethereal. Ari wore a dark suit and a simple white boutonniere. As they stood together, ready to take their vows, Kate and Ari were relaxed and, yes, natural together. Family and friends were radiant. As wedding photographers, we know when guests are “into it”. And this wedding made everyone feel, well, happy!
The reception moved indoors and, finally, the skies opened to a steady and warm rain. In the glass-enclosed area, everyone was safe from the rain but also aware of its natural rhythm. Nothing could dim this day. In fact, although this is often not the case, the rain enhanced the beauty of this day for Kate and Ari. Everything flowed: raindrops, yes, and also Aperol cocktails, wine, tears of joy, blessings and, of course, love. Naturally.