A bride and groom kissing in a garden decorated with colorful flowers around a statue at their Tuscan wedding ceremony.

The Making of a Tuscan Wedding for Katie and Jimmy

Chianciano Terme, Italy
BY SHIRA SAVADA / 08 31 22
Photo by Bottega 53

Every wedding vendor team is created a little differently. In this series we explore how and why each couple selected the right wedding vendor team for their wedding day.

It was always going to be a destination wedding in Italy for Katie and Jimmy.  Rome was where their families first met, and the following year, they all spent the holidays together in Montepulciano during which Jimmy proposed—so, there was never a question as to where the pair would wed.

A few months after their engagement, the couple began planning their wedding, with a date set for May 2020. As Italy was one of the first countries hit by COVID-19, they made the call to postpone early into the pandemic, shifting their plans into 2021. As the months passed, it was clear that another postponement was in order, and so a new date was set for that August—one that would finally have them and their loved ones gathered once more in their beloved Italy.


Wedding Planner & Designer

Living in San Francisco and planning an international wedding many time zones away, the bride and groom recruited the expertise of seasoned destination wedding planner and designer, Eva Clark of Eva Clark Events. Katie’s mother, Rose, was the one that found Eva, and had the initial call. Upon connecting over similar design preferences and a love of travel, and feeling assured by Eva’s extensive experience working abroad, Rose lined up a call between Katie and Eva the following week, and Eva was hired shortly thereafter.

Eva and her team then set out to create a four-day wedding weekend that maximized the time guests could spend together while simultaneously enjoying all that the Italian countryside has to offer.

Working closely with the couple to create their romantic, timeless, colorful, and organic affair, she designed the big day in a color palette that represented Katie’s favorite colors and those present in Tuscany’s natural surroundings. She selected the best potential vendors to suggest to the couple, opting for as many local and regional partners as possible (and also adding two bilingual residents to her team to help avoid any language barriers). While the majority of the vendor team were new connections for Eva (who notes this is normal practice when she produces weddings around the world), they were all excited for Katie and Jimmy’s wedding—all three iterations of it. Even with the two reschedules, everyone remained on board through the planning process.

A bride and groom clasp hands and raise them in excitement at the conclusion of their Tuscan wedding ceremony, which took place in a garden decorated with colorful flowers around a statue.
A Tuscan wedding reception set in the courtyard of La Foce, a villa in Italy.

Wedding Venue

There was a list of venues to consider, as Tuscany is rich with picture-perfect properties. But La Foce quickly became “the one” thanks to its gardens, sprawling views, cypress-tree lined country road, and the ability for some of their guest list to stay onsite in the villas (with more staying nearby at La Foce’s sister property, Chiarentana, where the welcome party took place).

“La Foce was new to me and I feel blessed to intimately know it now. There’s something really enchanting about walking through the gardens, created by a master gardener. It feels like you’ve been transported to another place and time. The lush wisteria dripping from covered walkways, hundred-year-old statues and trees, meticulous shrubbery, and above all, the breathtaking landscape of the hills of Tuscany behind it. And the sunset is remarkable there. Wedding guests left their dinner to watch it set.” —Eva Clark, planner/designer

A Tuscan wedding ceremony in an Italian garden with chairs set facing a floral-covered statue.
A Tuscan wedding venue with manicured gardens and rolling countryside views.
An outdoor reception for a Tuscan wedding where tables were set in the courtyard with bistro lights strung overhead.

Wedding Stationer & Calligrapher

Invitations would paint a picture of the wedding to come—quite literally, thanks to artist Caitlin Alderfer, who created watercolor renderings of La Foce that graced the save the dates and lined the soft orange envelopes which housed the invitation suite. Additional artwork and calligraphy by Kelsey Malie Calligraphy rounded out the stationery, and the duo also created matching signage for the wedding weekend.

The custom crest on the invite, which also appeared on a card paired with each dinner menu, was the first introduction to the subtle lemon theme. But that wasn’t all:, the citrus fruit that grows abundantly in the area also made its way into the decor and cuisine.

“Incorporating touches of the local flora and fauna of the region we are working in is something that we're known for. As such we couldn't resist using fresh lemons as part of the theme for the rehearsal dinner and wedding. We placed an emphasis on this with the use of limoncello cocktails, limoncello favors, lemon gelato, and calligraphed place cards affixed to actual lemons.” —Eva Clark, planner/designer

An invitation suite for a Tuscan wedding, boasting an illustration of the Italian villa where it took place lining the orange envelope.
An orange, white, and yellow table at a Tuscan wedding reception, with guests' names pinned to fresh lemons.

Wedding Photographer & Videographer

A few wedding photographers were considered, but ultimately Bottega 53 was selected for their vibrant photos. One important element was that they also spoke English, which made for easy communication with the couple during photo ops.

We liked Bottega 53's photo style and how they captured color in their photos. Their portfolio showed a great range of candid photos which captured the feeling of the wedding day. They also had photographed at La Foce before, so it was nice to know that they were familiar with our venue.” —Katie, bride

A bride puts on her earrings inside the villa at her Tuscan wedding before taking pre-ceremony photos.
A couple smiles as they recess up the aisle under a shower of flower petals at their Tuscan wedding ceremony in a Cypress tree-lined garden.

Shortly after, the other half of the team to document the wedding was secured when the couple booked destination wedding videographer Alex Rud, whom Eva first discovered on Instagram while looking at photos of other events at La Foce and similar Tuscan wedding venues.

“We felt Alex's work captured the couples and their wedding days in a very authentic way. We could get a sense of who the couples were through his videos and that's what we wanted with ours. He captures the little and big moments that make the day special perfectly!” —Katie, bride


Wedding Florist

Wanting statement-making installations for the ceremony and reception that incorporated the vibrant color story Katie loved, the bride and groom entrusted La Rosa Canina to make it all happen. Infusing color into the very green backdrop of the formal garden, where the ceremony would take place, happened by enhancing the statue with tumbling arrangements. The large-scale decor made the al fresco setup one-of-a-kind. Bouquets, boutonnieres, and all of the florals at the reception carried the design through from start to finish.

A bridal bouquet honoring the sunset colors of the Tuscan wedding.
A Tuscan wedding ceremony setup with a statue as the background and colorful flowers surrounding it.
A Tuscan wedding reception decorated with centerpieces in shades of pink, orange, and yellow, with wooden candlestick holders.

Wedding Caterer & Cake Maker

La Foce recommended Guidi Lenci to handle all things catering (including all of the necessary rentals). They put together a dinner menu of delicious Italian fare, including tortelli topped with sizzling butter and sage and caramelized pear (the bride and groom’s favorite item served that night), a mushroom and truffle risotto, and a choice of sirloin or salmon for the main course.

Not big fans of cake for dessert, the newlyweds still wanted that “moment” of cutting into something. So they turned to the location and a family tradition to make it their own. Jimmy and his family saber Champagne bottles, and doing so at the wedding—plus pouring the bubbly over a tower of coupe glasses —was a fitting way for the couple to get that “moment.” To round it all out, a chef assembled a traditional Italian millefoglie cake as the guests enjoyed their dinner.

Two additional Italian staples were incorporated thanks to a gelato cart by the dance floor and an espresso machine on hand for a boost of energy or the ultimate night cap: a late-night espresso martini.

A groom and bride pour champagne over a tower of coupes at their Tuscan wedding reception.
Guests enjoy an outdoor reception at a Tuscan wedding.
At this Tuscan wedding, a chef prepared a traditional Italian millefoglie during the reception for the newlyweds to cut into.

Wedding Hair & Makeup

Beauty Asylum came on board to do hair and makeup for the bride and her bridal party, focusing on their natural beauty. (They also did Katie’s hair and makeup for the stateside ceremony in Atlanta prior to the Tuscan wedding). Katie, who wears her hair down every day, stayed true to herself with soft waves, and had her eyes sparkling and skin glowing thanks to soft bronze shadow and her go-to skin care routine creating a great base for the light makeup that was applied.

A bride and her bridesmaids hold flutes of champagne and wear robes inside the villa of a Tuscan wedding before getting dressed for the celebration.
A bride surrounded by her bridesmaids (wearing satin peach dresses) hold vibrant bouquets and pose for a portrait in the garden where the Tuscan wedding ceremony took place.

Wedding Music & Favors

Kiral Artists’ string quartet played songs by Taylor Swift, The Flaming Lips, Leon Bridges, and even Led Zeppelin during the processional and recessional of the ceremony, which was officiated by a family friend. The ensemble continued to perform throughout the cocktail hour in a lemon garden, as guests sipped the day’s signature cocktail, an Aperol spritz.

Katie and Jimmy had seen and heard The Sultans play at a friend’s wedding and loved the eight-person band’s energy. Everyone danced the night away in the limonaia, the winter home of the venue’s lemon trees.

Guests not only left with great memories, but they also took home bottles of limoncello from Sapori & Colori Sorrento, which were waiting for them with their escort cards in the La Foce lemon garden.

A violinist plays music during a Tuscan wedding ceremony.
A pair of newlyweds take a spin on the dance floor inside the reception space of their Tuscan wedding.
A bride changed into a mini dress so she could easily dance all night at her Tuscan wedding.
Limoncello bottles doubled as flavorful escort cards and favors at a Tuscan wedding.
A picturesque Tuscan wedding ceremony in the garden of La Foce.
A Rustic Wedding for Katie and Jimmy
Bottega 53