As if weddings aren’t special enough, imagine surprising your guests with the amazing venue for your nuptials. That is what Erin Phillips and Winston Bennett did when they hosted 70 guests in Italy, shocking their family and friends with a beautiful 11th-century castle overlooking Florence and Tuscany.
Right before the ceremony was supposed to start, huge raindrops started falling from the sky, almost one at a time. It was beautiful, but it also put our entirely-outdoor wedding in jeopardy. After a few minutes of waiting it out, we decided to roll the dice and stick to the game plan. We are so glad we did because the one raincloud floated away and the rest of the evening was perfect!
Our reception took place in the interior courtyard of the castle. We all sat at a continuous, u-shaped table under the stars. It was also Winston’s father’s 80th birthday, so in lieu of a wedding cake, we had a huge birthday cake for him and all sang “Happy Birthday”!
A great planner is crucial. Develop your own sense of style and a theme for your wedding, and stay involved throughout the whole process, but an organized and knowledgeable planner is paramount. Especially if you’re getting married somewhere with a language barrier, a planner who is fully bilingual will ensure your vision isn’t lost in translation. “Soft pink” and “peach” are two very different things, and your planner can avoid any miscommunications. Our planner, Sonia Gallina (Wedding Italy), truly went above and beyond!
It was magical. From the flowers by Florum, to the candles, to the incredible food catered by Guidi Lenci, we had a blast and we know our guests did too. It was an unforgettable day surrounded by our most cherished friends and family.
Photography: Mango Studios
Originally published in Destination Wedding magazine, Spring/Summer 2017.