When Erin and Trevor decided they should combine their love of travel and wine on their wedding day, settling on a destination wedding in Tuscany became a no-brainer for the couple. With a handful of their closest friends and family, the bride and groom took off to Florence for a long weekend of wine tours, cooking classes, and family style dinners before exchanging their vows overlooking the vineyards of the Chianti countryside at the Castello il Palagio.

Thankfully for us, their photographer, Francesco Spighi, was there to capture the gorgeous newlyweds, the stunning setting, and every breathtaking moment of their romantic Tuscan celebration.

Intimate Tuscany Wedding

Erin, 32 & Trevor, 32

Florence, Italy

Wedding Date: September 30, 2014

Number of Guests: 27

Wedding Cost: Well this is a loaded question! The total cost was about $30,000 Cdn. One of the things that made this “event” so special for us was the fact that it was a destination wedding, so we had everyone fly into Italy on the Saturday prior to the wedding (the wedding was on Tuesday) and had a few different activities planned for everyone. On Sunday we had a boys/girls day with the boys going to Chianti’s largest wine festival in a neighbouring town and the girls going to an Italian cooking class. We all met up afterwards at a local restaurant (Via Vai) for a family-style dinner at an incredible restaurant, with everyone eating around a large harvest table. On the Monday, Erin and I chartered a bus for us and all of our guests and we visited 3 wineries in Chianti. We took care of all the costs for the wine tours, lunch and transportation on this day.

Wedding Ceremony Location: Castello il Palagio, in the Fountain Garden

Wedding Reception Location: Castello il Palagio, in the Courtyard

close-up of bride's back

bride portrait getting ready

bride and groom embracing

romantic bride and groom portrait

detail of bottom of bride's dress and groom's shoes

bride and groom walking

bride and groom at sunset

Why did you have an intimate wedding? 

Originally we were looking at having a “typical” Canadian wedding with 100 or so guests, but while searching for a venue we quickly fell in love with the idea of combining our passions for travel and wine with our wedding. When we were looking at a destination wedding, we were able to narrow down the list to our closest friends and family. We really wanted to ensure that our guests were those people that we wanted to spend several days with. It was also very important to us to know everyone at our wedding very well and know that when we look back as we get older that we’ll still be close with everyone that attended.

wedding dress hanging up

wedding shoes on sheetmusic

bride getting her make-up done

bride getting her hair done

bride getting dressed

bridesmaid buttoning bride's dress

black and white portrait of bride from behind

What are some of the challenges that you faced planning an intimate wedding? 

Our biggest challenges were around planning a wedding in a completely different time zone and the challenges that surrounded planning from afar. There were also customary issues that arose during the planning process, but we had excellent help from all the vendors and nothing was more than a hiccup.


black and white portrait of bride and groom in Tuscany



Was it difficult to pare down the guest list? 

It really wasn’t too difficult for us to come up with a small guest list. Both Erin and I have some great friends, but don’t have big families. We also feel that having a wedding so far away allowed us to justify not inviting acquaintances, and focus on having just our closest friends and family with us.



Did you have any ‘issues’ with the small guest list from friends and family? If so, how did you address them?

Neither of us felt any pressure from friends or family to invite more people or certain people. We both spoke to our respective parents about what our vision of the day was and our parents were very on board!

aerial shot of bride and bridesmaid

bride walking to ceremony with her father

bride walking down the aisle with her father

outdoor Tuscan wedding ceremony

What were the highlights of the ceremony? 

For me the highlight was obviously seeing my bride for the first time in her gorgeous dress! It’s very difficult for us to just list one “highlight”; it was a combination of everything, really – the weather was perfect, the string quartet played brilliantly, our friends and family were all there with us and having a phenomenal time, and we had one of our photographers climb a tree to get that perfect shot! It was really quite surreal to have the ceremony overlooking the Tuscan vineyards, with the castle behind us.

outdoor Tuscan wedding ceremony

outdoor Tuscan wedding ceremony

bride and groom holding hands during ceremony

bride and groom first kiss

bride and groom walking up aisle

What were the highlights of the reception? 

Well as you can see by the pictures, it was a perfect location to host the reception. When we were planning the wedding, one of the things that we really wanted was to have dinner with everyone at one table in order to truly capture the intimate feeling that we were going for. The thought we had when planning was to make the night feel like we were hosting a dinner party, but at an amazing location, dressed to impress. We wanted the speeches and toasts to flow with the evening, but were amazed at all the laughs, and what a highlight they ended up being.

outdoor Tuscan wedding reception

string quartet at tuscan wedding reception

Tuscan wedding reception food

Tuscan wedding reception food

Tuscan wedding reception food

bride talking to guest

What was the best thing about having an intimate wedding? 

The best thing about having an intimate wedding, in our opinion, was that we didn’t need to have a receiving line. We got a chance to spend some real time with each of the guests throughout the night without having to even think about it.

outdoor Tuscan wedding reception dinner

outdoor wedding reception table setting

wedding place setting

pink rose wedding centerpiece

outdoor Tuscan wedding reception dinner

bride and groom holding hands during reception dinner

wedding speech

bride hugging guest

bride and groom giving speech

bride and groom cutting cake

bride and groom kissing after cutting cake

bride and groom first dance

What advice do you have for couples who are considering an intimate wedding? 

Absolutely DO IT!!

bride and groom in vintage getaway car


Photography: Francesco Spighi

Venue: Castello il Palagio

Wedding Management and planning: Castello il Palagio

Celebrant: Andrea from Tuscan Pledges

Caterer: Delizia Ricevimenti Firenze

Music: Alma Project

Dress: Moonlight Bridal

Florist: Violamalva