Case Sparse Le Contesse, 209, Cortona, Province of Arezzo, Italy
If you’ve ever wondered what happens when you don’t quit your venue search till you find the very best spot around, you should be friends with this couple. The pair wed at Villa Laura in Tuscany – the same spot where Under the Tuscan Sun was filmed – after scouring more than 150 villas. The end result of all that research was a stunning wedding at one of Italy’s most beautiful, old villas.
We recently caught up with the bride to get all the details of her wedding planning and venue search saga, which you can read about below. The thing we love most? Guests stuck around for a full week of celebrations at Villa Laura. Bellissima!
Photography by Hickenlooper Photography
What did you envision your wedding being prior to planning?
When Jon and I really got down to the business of planning we wanted to create an experience not only for us on our wedding day but for our guests. The crucial parts of this experience we wanted to provide for our guests was the elements of closeness, calmness and adventure. And that is what we did, but on a Wednesday!
We booked Villa Laura for a full 7 days. But it wasn’t as easy as googling a Villa to fit all 22 of your guests. I planned and designed our wedding for a full year before it actually took place. I emailed over 150 villas to find the perfect one - and I did. Fun Fact: Villa Laura is the Villa in the movie “Under the Tuscan Sun.”
What was your color palette and your style vision?
Even before we booked our venue Villa Laura I knew I wanted a very romantic and elegant look to our wedding. I didn’t want a one color theme. I wanted it to all fit seamlessly together. The dinner table was going to be the showstopper. I flew 120 yards of one seamless piece of gray soft linen to Italy so it would flow across three seven foot tables with no interruption.
My friends and family were a huge part of my style and vision. I wanted everyone to feel loved. Jon and I had been together for so long and I felt strongly that a wedding while yes, it was centered around our love, our wedding was a party to celebrate the life we all share together. Our stories are interweaved on a daily basis, we all support and celebrate each other. It was an honor to have them by our side and we are forever in debt to their love. We made sure our amazing photographers sat at our wedding table too!! I didn’t want anyone to feel as if they were there to cater to us, I wanted them to sit with us, eat dinner with us, laugh with us and truly feel the love that we were all their to share.
What unique elements or DIY details did you include?
Upon arrival I had a wine crate full of local Italian goodies for our guests to enjoy in their rooms. I included post cards and stamps for them to send off during the week as well as lovely letter pressed welcome note. Each of the women received a market bag to use during their stay included in the room!
What was your favorite moment?
The first moment was when I saw my table for the first time in person. I had worked for a whole year in front of my email and designing everything without touching it. As I approached my table with candles flickering, lights sparkling and everything was perfectly set exactly how I curated, I cried my eyes out!!
The second moment, when we walked up to see our guests for the first time after the ceremony everyone naturally came in and we did a big group hug! It was the sweetest moment! It happened so naturally and without any hesitation.
Third moment: It was around 3am in the morning and all of our guests had found their way back to their rooms. The candles were still burning and my husband and I sat at our spot at our dinner table. He had unplugged the string lights and it was only the candles burning. All of the chairs were sitting to and fro, wine bottles empty and the moon was so full and so bright. We sat there for at least 20 minutes. We sat there and share our grateful feelings and the darkness of the night surrounded us. It was the loveliest way to end our evening.
Tell us about your flowers, your gown and your cake :)
My gown was designed by Rita Vinieris, it was called the Alyne. It was the 5th dress I put on. And to tell you the truth I tried on 20-25 dresses! I didn’t have the cry my eyes out experience that so many talk about, in fact it was a very perfect and calming moment for me.
My florist was amazing and I am pretty sure my flowers were still blooming while they were at my wedding. Peonies, garden roses, hydrangeas, delphinium, sweet pea, lisianthus, olive, mixed eucalyptus. I had the baker bake a three tier naked carrot cake with matching flowers from my bouquet.
Venue: Villa Laura, Cortona Italy | Photography: Hickenlooper Photography | Wedding Designer & Planner: Eryn Albaugh (Bride) Company: Eryn Design | Day of Coordinator & Planner: Tuscan Wedding Events | Videography: Happy Wedding Films | Wedding Dress/Designer/Shop Purchased: Rita Vinieris - Dress Alyne | Grooms Suite: Ted Baker | Bride Engagement Ring: Brilliant Earth San Francisco Location | Bride Wedding band: Trabert & Goldsmiths | Groom Wedding band: Christy Natsumi | Makeup Artist: Adrienne Aereboe | Cake & Desserts: Sara Cake Design | Rentals: Preludio Noleggi | Linen’s, Décor & Details: Eryn Albaugh | Florist: La Gardina | DJ: Marco Morri | Music: Wedding Music & Lights | Invitation Suite, Menus: Eryn & Jonathan Albaugh - handmade custom by the bride and groom | Aisle Music: Simone Butini