Real Wedding: Melissa & Brett

Dream of a destination Italian wedding? Then today is your lucky day! Melissa and Brett were wed in an intimate ceremony in the Chianti region of Italy, followed by a celebratory dinner with their nearest and dearest family and friends.

An antique locket with a photo of her grandmother embellished Melissa’s bouquet of white roses and olive leaves. From Melissa: “Because Brett and I no longer have any living grandparents, we wanted to be sure we included them in the ceremony. Brett wore his grandfather’s cufflinks, I wore my great grandmother’s ring (as well as her wedding diamond in a necklace I wear everyday), I carried a locket with my grandmother’s photo in it, my mom read a poem my grandmother wrote, and we had a portion of our ceremony that named all of our grandparents and asked for a moment of silence in their honor.”

The ceremony itself took place in a small family chapel on the property. Says the bride, “I think it’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen and dates back to the 17th century. During the ceremony, my mom read a poem that her mother had written to my aunt the day of my aunt’s wedding (the year both Brett and I were born). Musicians from a local music school played cello and violin.”

Says Melissa:  The whole experience was exactly what we hoped for except the “storm of biblical proportions” that arrived around lunchtime on our wedding day. Rain (so much rain), the loudest thunder I’ve ever heard, lightning, and hail. This went on for an hour and then, lightning actually struck the steps of the inn and the power went out for two hours! I think Brett and I were too stunned to panic, sitting there in the dark trying to think of a backup plan for our outdoor wedding dinner. Thankfully, a couple of hours later, the clouds parted, the rain stopped, and we had a gorgeous rainbow… and what became a perfect evening for our ceremony and dinner.

Melissa answered some questions about the day:

Why did you choose this location for your wedding?  We first traveled to Italy together in 2009 and stayed at Rignana for part of our trip. We fell in love with, well, everything there – the food, the rooms, the olive trees and vineyard, and the history. So, when we decided to go small with the wedding, it was just the perfect choice.

What inspired you when you were planning your wedding?  I found it extremely easy to be inspired by Italy. I started by looking back at our photos from our 2009 trip and was so inspired by the rolling green hills, gorgeous old architecture, and remote location. We knew we wanted much of the celebration to be outside, so it became more about trying to keep things simple and not distract from the natural beauty of the location.

What was your favorite moment or part of the day? When the rain, thunder, lightning and hail stopped. (Kidding.) My favorite moment of the day was when Brett and I saw each other for the first time (which is also one of my favorite photos). We were like two little kids! So excited, so happy. We both just couldn’t wait.

Did you include any traditions in your wedding?  I wore a ring that belonged to my great grandmother, which my mom loaned me, so it was my borrowed and blue. And, even though we lived together for a few months before we married, we spent the night before the ceremony apart.

What was the best advice you received as a bride?  The best advice I received was to remember to slow down and really take time to absorb everything. The wedding day goes by so quickly and it’s so important to really take it all in. I was fortunate enough to have our guests “trapped” out in the countryside with us for a weekend, so we actually had time to sit and talk to each person who was there with us. I can’t tell you how much that meant to me.



Photography: Clare Barboza / Venue: Fattoria de Rignana near Greve, Italy / Bride’s dress: Pronovias / Veil: Marisol Aparicio / Bridesmaid dresses: J.Crew / Flowers: Annalisa at Marie Lou Piante & Fiori / Catering: Arturo Dori


See lots more photos over on Clare’s blog!


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