Happy Weekend! So excited to walk into the weekend but before we do, we’ve got photos by Facibeni Fotografia of Sharlene and Craig’s destination wedding in Venice.
An elegant and enchanting destination wedding was brought to life when fate had it that Sharlene and Craig met during their studies in 2004. At the sweet age of 19, she fell head over heels in love with his beautiful kind heart. 8 years later, when travelling through Europe, the couple spent a beautiful evening in Florence taking in the breathtaking view from the Santa Trinita Bridge.
As Sharlene began to tell the man soon to be her fiancé that her favourite part of the day was sunset because she loves watching the colours of the sky change, he dropped to one knee, expressed his love and asked if she wanted to one day return to Florence as husband and wife. 2 years later, they returned to this stunning city for their magical wedding.
The bride was dressed in a silky lace gown by Steven Khalil, knowing it had to be hers as soon as she tried it on. She complimented this with pure white Yves Saint Laurent’s and pearl earrings by Dior. The couple envisioned a wedding that was the epitome of simplicity and elegance – something classic and timeless. As soon as their eyes set on Villa La Vedetta, they knew it was where they were meant to wed as it gifted them a spectacular view of the city.
Craig and I first met studying together in 2004. At only 19 I fell completely in love with his kind heart. Our relationship progressed as we slowly set up our future together, and after 8 years he proposed. It was the most incredibly surreal moment I have ever felt. We were on a holiday traveling through Europe, when one beautiful evening in Florence we stood on the Santa Trinita bridge, to the left a view of the Ponte Vecchio and to the right the sun setting over the Arno river.
I have always told Craig, sunset is my favourite part of the day as I love watching the colours of the sky change. It was then he dropped to one knee, told me he loved me and asked me if I want to return to Florence one day as husband and wife. With tears streaming down my face I said yes, never thinking almost exactly two years later we would return to our favourite city to become husband and wife.
How did you choose your wedding gown?
I’d always loved Steven Khalil’s designs; it was such an easy decision once I tried that beautiful gown on. The fit, the silk and the lace couldn’t compare to anything else I’d seen! As with my husband, it was love at first sight!
What sort of style did you envision for your wedding day?
Simple and elegant with a beautiful view, something classic that wouldn’t date. From the immaculate gardens where we held the ceremony, to the reception on the terrace under the Tuscan sun, we watched the city light up as we ate under the stars.
Our decorations were simple white flowers with touches of gold to reflect the history of this beautiful city, without detracting from the view.
What was your favorite moment from the day?
Craig and I were dancing as the sun was setting, and I remember saying to him after looking around “I cannot believe this is our wedding!” The scenery was so beautiful, and it was everything I ever dreamed of.
How did you choose your venue?
Upon first sight of Villa La Vedetta, we knew we had made the right decision, it was the most beautiful property we had ever laid eyes on. It beautifully fit our grand but elegant theme and the view of the city was breathtaking.
If you could do it all over again, what would you change?
Absolutely nothing! As cliché as that sounds, it was truly the most perfect day from start to finish.
Any tips that you can give to future brides?
Don’t stress over the small things, the day will always turn out the way it is meant to, so enjoy every minute, it goes so fast!
Anything else you’d like to add?
There could not be a more beautiful day imagined, with 40 of our nearest and dearest traveling from Melbourne, Australia to share the most magical experience of our lives. It was simplicity meets grandeur combining our decoration with the villa and views. After 10 years Craig and I have shared together, with our love for family, friends, travel, and our engagement in Florence, this day encapsulated everything we ever wanted, needed or dreamed possible.
The original plan was to get married in our home town Melbourne, Australia with a guest list of 120 people. With the venue booked, and plans unfolding, my Grandmother sadly lost her battle to cancer 9 months prior to our wedding date. With heavy hearts, we continued with the preparations, never anticipating losing my Grandfather 3 months later.
With a giant void in my life, this great loss was enough for us to reassess what we truly believed our wedding should be. The decision was made to cut our losses and stay true to ourselves, to travel to a beautiful destination with our closest friends and family, and what place would be more meaningful than Florence.
On the day of my wedding, once I was dressed my mother handed me a ring my grandfather had given her, it was a pearl and topaz ring. This was my something old, borrowed and blue, along with a lace and pearl horse-shoe she had made for me for my something new.
Our honeymoon was spent on the Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, South of France, and the Greek Islands. This entire experience will always be the most vivid memory of our lives.
Photographer: Facibeni Fotografia
Dress: Steven Khalil
Hair: Bride did it herself
Shoes: Yves Saint Laurent
Accessories: Dior & Love On
Bridesmaids Dresses: Zimmermann
Grooms Suit: Bespoke
Stationery: Adorn Invitations
Cake: Provided by Venue
Food: Provided by Venue
Flowers: Stiatti Fiori
Venue: Villa La Vedetta overlooking the city of Florence, Italy.
Celebrant: Blessings From Italy
Cinematography: Gattotigre – Destination Wedding Videography