I arrived in Castiglion del Bosco in 2001, it was a beautiful sunny day. Every place within the estate spoke to my heart and awakened my soul. I got excited in front of those boundless views and those glimpses…I would never have imagined that such a magical Tuscany could still exist. It was love at first sight.
– Massimo Ferragamo
Those are the words used by the Rosewood Castiglion del Bosco, one of the oldest and best-preserved estates in Tuscany, to describe itself. Set on a 5,000-acre estate, this exceptional venue is a celebration of both Italian heritage and natural beauty.
There could be no more appropriate, no more perfect setting for the destination wedding of one of our favorite New York couples, Sara and Sam. For both are beautiful. Absolutely, and in the truest sense of that word — inside and out – and both are completely natural, generous, loving and kind.
We were delighted to be the photographers for this three-day destination wedding, working with the American events and wedding planner Stefanie Cove ((https://www.stefaniecove.com) and the flower designer La Rosa Canina (https://illaboratoriolarosacanina.tumblr.com), a wonderful Florentine floral designers. With this team, we immediately came to understand the esthetic for Sara and Sam: elegant, yes, but also natural and welcoming and, above all, romantically sophisticated. Just like Sara and Sam. And just like the perfect venue they selected for their magical celebration. And what a celebration it was! The three-day event included a Friday night family rehearsal dinner and a guest cocktail and dinner, the early evening Saturday wedding itself with dinner and dancing, and, on the Sunday, a casual Tuscan barbecue.
On the morning of the actual wedding (Saturday), we set out from Florence to Castiglion del Bosco. We marveled as we worked our way through the hill villages and small Tuscan towns at the unforgettable tableau, the breathtaking landscapes – so verdant, so lush – and the old-world charm. We are Italians – Tuscans by birth, in fact! – and we never ever fail to be amazed by the magnificence of this part of Italy, this part of the world. There is a spirituality in the landscape, a reminder of the peacefulness and beauty of life in nature.
Looking at the photos of the estate, we wonder if you, too, can smell the green and the grass? Can you feel the warmth of the Tuscan sun? It remains such a powerful, sensual memory.
That morning, we photographed Sara and Sam as they prepared for their day. So easy-going, so contented, so sure. With both Sara and Sam, there was no nervousness, no worry. Just a beautiful, all-enveloping calm and a quiet beauty. Everything was falling into place – that was the feeling we got from the moment we arrived.
One of the most touching moments came when Sara sat to read a card written to her by Sam. Dressed in her silk robe, Sara sat quietly, savoring the specialness of the moment. “You are my one and only soul mate,” wrote Sam. “You’re the most wonderful, kind, strong woman I’ve ever met.” The words were beautiful, and Sara was visibly moved.
Those are the moments that make a true marriage. Yes, the setting, the gowns, the magnificent flowers, the beautifully attired guests – all important, all vital. But it is the love and the expression of the desire to be together forever in this lifetime, the quiet, the confidence that comes from truly being seen by another and most especially by your beloved, that create the love that blends so perfectly, so naturally, so romantically with the beauty of the surroundings. In other words, love is the magic. And that is why we love our work and the stories we get to capture with our photos.
Some details that stay with us as we contemplate the joy of Sara and Sam and their love story:
The magnificent pink, white, red flowers, set wildly, naturally, perfectly against the greens
The delicate flow of the bridesmaids’ dresses, stitched in the bodice with fine silver and palest pink thread
The pale pink Valentino shoes worn by Sara
Sam’s suede loafers…worn without socks!
The guests in ties and jackets, and in elegant afternoon dresses, a summer bouquet in the Tuscan dusk
The white tent, billowing and beckoning the guests, welcoming them with a walkway of glass lanterns and lit votives
The gold flatware on the linen tabletop
The white plates, the dark wood of the baskets holding flowers in such profusion and such gorgeousness
The bride. Oh, the bride.
The embossed white-on-white flowers of Sara’s gown, so light, so precious, so perfect.
The menu, with its Florentine touches
The cake of layers of lady fingers, crema and a sea of plump, luscious strawberries
The dancing! We laughed to discover that we had at least 50 photos of guests dancing. So much laughter and joy.
Romantic sophistication. It is a love that carries an elegance and an esthetic of refinement. But it is also a love with the naturalness of Mother Nature’s bounty, Tuscany’s fragrance and two beautiful hearts’ desire.