Once a 13th-century castle for a Milanese nobleman, later the home of the Medici Tornaquinici of Florence and now owned by Salvatore Ferragamo and his family, this vast Tuscan estate has certainly been the backdrop for a story or two. Il Borro in its current iteration is a luxury Relais & Chateaux property with suites tucked into the medieval village center, farmhouses and cottages on the hillside, country villas and various gardens, pools, restaurants and courtyards. Today’s wedding inspiration comes straight from the grounds of this gorgeous setting.
Anne-Claire Allen, who headed up the planning and design of this styled shoot at Il Borro, recently gave us the story behind this place and its many beautiful backdrops. She offers tips below on how to make the most of a meandering Tuscan venue and shares her inspiration behind this beautiful shoot and its locally inspired colors and textures.
Photography by Erin Wilson
Tell us a little about this shoot and magical weekend in Italy.
When partnering with the Ferragamo family-estate, Il Borro, for this exquisite shoot, we wanted to truly highlight the beauty of the property and the unique spaces that can be utilized when hosting an event on-site. Our design goal was to provided a chic, Tuscan feeling with a breath of fresh-air and new life. We aimed for the color palette to perfectly blend with the estate and highlight some of the picture-perfect spots for incredible photos.
How was working at Il Borro? Any favorite aspects of the venue?
Il Borro is an incredible property with a 5-star staff. The long, dramatic entrance is the ideal first impression upon entering the property. From the golf-cart services around property to the excellent dining options, it truly is a top-notch destination for the perfect, Tuscan wedding weekend. What we loved is that there are multiple areas for multiple events. Guests can truly transport to an oasis and be pampered at the point of arrival with unique, planned events throughout their stay. Think... Welcome Pizza Party on the lawn followed by a day of pool-side pampering and spa appointments leading up to the big weekend! Then, a family-style, Italian Rehearsal Dinner only overshadowed by the next day’s perfect Wedding Ceremony and Dinner. Each aspect of Il Borro’s dreamy venue offers a beautiful backdrop for whatever size and style event you are hoping to host.
Can you share about the design inspiration?
Our inspiration for the design of the editorial was truly built off of the property. We had hand-painted post-cards created to highlight some of the beautiful “views” of the property and that was easily one of our favorite elements. The colors used were true to the building and the table-decor was designed to be as detailed as possible. Partnering with a rental company from Florence allowed the editorial to also be a true representation of what future weddings could truly treat their guests to with a wedding at Il Borro versus something that was unobtainable.
How was coordinating and styling a shoot abroad different from the US?
As a planning + design team that has worked many destination weddings (including our own wedding in Normandy, France), we are familiar with having to source new vendors in each city/region we are working. Aside from the differences in language and currency, most aspects of planning are very much the same to our domestic weddings and events. We typically begin with our main vendors (i.e. venue, etc.) and further research any vendors they highly recommend or have worked with prior to our event. For those brides looking to plan a wedding abroad, our main tips would be to research the legality of marriage in that destination and to make note of any surcharges with local vendors (i.e. rentals, venues, etc.) to protect yourself from any hidden costs. There are also vendors across the board that provide destination services, so honing in on your ideal vendors is a perfect place to start!
Any tips for hosting a destination styled shoot?
Whenever we are working in a new destination (domestic or abroad), we try to really research the local area and incorporate that into the overall design and/or “vibe” of the wedding weekend. Whether it’s revolving your cuisine around local products and cooking techniques OR building a color palette off of the unique colors to that area, this gives your guests a more tried and true feel of the area you are all visiting. If the destination is somewhere special to the couple (i.e. groom’s hometown, a place they have regularly visited, bride’s hometown vacation spot, etc.), we always like incorporating aspects of that into the planning of the day. Planning a styled shoot or editorial shoot is no different. For this particular shoot with Erin Wilson and Il Borro, we highlighted everything from the venue’s multitude of possible event locations, as well as wines and color palettes. We incorporated greenery that was local to the area and partnered with Allison Webb New York to have an ethereal gown to really soak up the whimsical vibe of the Tuscan-region. Creating a magical starting point to plan is easy when you have a beautiful destination like Il Borro as the first step!
Explore more venues in Tuscany →
Planning and Design: Anne-Claire Allen | Dress: Allison Webb | Paper: Paper Supply Co | Venue: Il Borro | Photography: Erin Wilson Photography | MUAH: Ele Makeup Artist - Florence Italy | Rentals: Preludio Divisione Noleggio