Isabella always dreamed of an Italian wedding, but once the planning started, they quickly realized how unlikely it would be to gather all their friends and family for a destination wedding. Since they are a London couple, the cost and logistics just seemed impossible.
Once they settled for a local and traditional wedding, things just felt off for both. That is when Isabella recalled how one of her childhood friends eloped to Bali a couple of years back. They had never
thought about an elopement before. Still, there was nothing to discuss
when they looked into Italy and all the possibilities.
They did not consider themselves an adventurous couple. They had the idea about elopements being always in the middle of nowhere, with hiking or swimming involved. But as they researched more about couples that eloped, they quickly understood that an elopement is whatever you want it to be:
there are no written rules.
When eloping became a reality, Luke and Isabella had a tough decision to make, chose a specific location within Italy's many beautiful cities. The finalists were Rome and Florence, both cities with plenty of historic buildings and similar architecture. The tie-breaker was crowding. Being a London couple, they did not want to go from a busy city to another. It was all settled, a Florence elopement was on the making.
And here is where I jumped on the boat or plane? Isabella and Luke contacted me before making any more plans which I highly appreciated because I love to be part of the whole process. The only thing they were certain of was the location for their elopement. Now it was time to get into the details.
When we first talk about their expectations, they told me they wanted to enjoy a sunny day outdoors. She pictured her photos wearing a modern but romantic wedding dress, walking around Florence with a delicate floral bouquet. The look in both eyes as they described a perfect day was so sweet and full of hope,
I could see true love between them.
So, we settled the date for May, when the weather is warm, and right before the busy hot summer months. It was now time to talk about the plans they had for their big day. They chose to elope solo and celebrate later with their nearest and dearest back home, so their big day did not involve anyone else.
We started the elopement plans by looking for the ideal ceremony location. They chose a symbolic ceremony to avoid all the foreign language paperwork. They then talked to me about the vision they had of a rooftop location with magnificent views of Florence. While elopements often happen in the middle of nowhere, this couple wanted to be in the heart of the city, and I was thrilled.
Once the ceremony location was settled, the rest fell into place like magic. Soon Isabella found a dreamy wedding dress, and Luke figured he wanted to look casual but stylish. They decided to spend the afternoon in an intimate setting near the Piazza Della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio.
I knew we had many spots nearby to take awesome pictures.
As the day came closer, I noticed how the excitement was building up. I was scouting for the perfect scenarios to portrait their love, which honestly is not that hard when you have Florence as a backdrop. This couple made me realize how beautiful elopements are. When you take off the pressure of traditions and expectations, you do what you really want. And the trust and freedom they gave me meant the world.
Now to the fun part, the day of the ceremony. It started as a dream, a calm morning in Florence. They got ready in separate rooms to keep the magic of the first look unspoiled. I shared and captured precious moments with each one, getting ready to say I do and start a life with
your loved one does not happen every morning.
It was time for the first look; Isabella had a gorgeous white wedding dress, with a modern top that mimicked a mesh and a low back that provided the wow factor. The vaporous skirt of her dress fitted perfectly into the romantic setting, and her hair and make-up were natural but flawless; she was a bride. Luke went for a casual but stylish approach. He had a khaki suit, with a white shirt, no tie, and accessorized
with a fedora hat that perfectly suited his personality.
After capturing the first look, we started to walk around. We began early to avoid crowds; Florence mornings are charming. You can feel a light breeze, hear the many churches' bells,
and enjoy the beauty of the surroundings.
On our way to the River Arno, we stopped by the Piazza Della Repubblica. This beautiful spot has a classic merry-go-round, a perfect background for one of my favorite pictures. We kept walking through Florence's tiny streets, with its bricked streets, until we reached the famous and symbolic Ponte Vecchio.
We took a couple of shoots around and headed back to the hotel where the ceremony was taking place. On the rooftop of their hotel, a floral arch was ready, framing the astonishing Florence landscape. They were calmed and ready to read their vows. The ceremony was memorable. As they expressed their love, you could see right thru them. The realness of every emotion was incomparable.
The ceremony ended, and they had a unique moment of connection. It was like there was no one watching; they were staring at each other eyes, just lost in the moment, as if nothing else mattered. Those are the moments I live to capture. They danced and enjoyed a catered dinner at the beautifully decorated table the hotel staff set for them right there on the rooftop. I left knowing that this love story
was only starting and that my job was done.