At only 19 years old, Sharlene + Craig met while studying and completely fell in love.
After 8 years of dating and planning their future together, they were wandering through Europe. One evening in Florence, Italy they were standing on the Santa Trinita bridge, admiring the country’s beauty. The sun was setting over the Arno River with Ponte Vecchio to their left. Craig knows Sharlene especially loves watching the sky change colors during sunset. Its romance, beauty, and charm makes it her favorite time of the day. It was then he dropped to one knee, told her he loved her, and asked her if she wanted to return to Florence one day to become husband and wife.
Sharlene never would have guessed they would actually get married in Florence, though. So much so, that she started planning their wedding with a different location in mind.
Sharlene + Craig’s original plan was to get married in their hometown of Melbourne, Australia with a guest list of 120 people. The venue had been booked and other plans were being set. But unfortunately, Sharlene’s grandmother lost her battle to cancer only three months before her grandfather unexpectedly passed away. These great losses were enough for them to reassess what they truly believed their wedding should be. They decided to honor her grandparents by staying true to themselves, and changing their plans to get married in Florence with their closest friends and family.
When the wedding day arrived, her mother handed Sharlene a ring her grandfather had given her––a pearl and topaz ring. It was something old, borrowed, and blue––along with a lace and pearl horse-shoe her mom had made for for the something new. This special moment set the meaningful tone for the day as they wed at Villa La Vedette, overlooking the city of Florence, Italy.
From the immaculate gardens where the ceremony was held, to the reception on the terrace under the Tuscan sun, they watched the city light up as they ate, danced, and celebrated under the stars.
A fairytale straight from a bedtime story,Facibeni Fotografia beautifully captured all the magic of this prince and princess’ happily ever after.
Love this simple, chic stationary suite from Adorn Invitations!
The fit, silk, and lace won Sharlene over when she was trying on Steven Khalil‘s designs. She writes, “It was such an easy decision once I tried that beautiful gown on… as with my husband, it was love at first sight!”
Upon first sight of La Vedetta, the couple knew they had made the right decision. They explain that it was the most beautiful property they had ever laid eyes on. It perfectly fit their grand but elegant theme. Plus, you can’t beat the view of the city, it’s breathtaking (keep scrolling…just wait till you see more photos of the view!!)!
Sharlene envisioned a simple and elegant style, something classic that wouldn’t date. She chose simple white florals with touches of gold to reflect the history of Florence, without detracting from the gorgeous setting.
Officially in love with destination weddings? US TOO! That’s why we have a “Destination Weddings” section, check it out + save money!
Oooooh la la! We have Stiatti Fiori to thank for these stunning florals.
Her favorite moment of the day was when she and Craig were dancing as the sun was setting, illuminating the world in golden hues. She remembers admiring their surroundings and telling him, “I cannot believe this is our wedding!”
We are heart-eyed over the mismatched bridesmaid dresses.
Her advice to brides: Don’t stress over the small things, the day will always turn out the way it is meant to, so enjoy every minute, it goes so fast!
Sharlene gushes, “There could not be a more beautiful day imagined, with 40 of our nearest and dearest traveling from Melbourne, Australia to share the most magical experience of our lives. It was simplicity meets grandeur combining our decoration with the villa and views. After 10 years Craig and I have shared together, with our love for family, friends, travel, and our engagement in Florence, this day encapsulated everything we ever wanted, needed or dreamed possible.”
And top it all off, their honeymoon was spent on the Amalfi Coast, Isle of Capri, South of France, and the Greek Islands. Talk about a fairytale after a fairytale!!!!
P.S. We LOVE offbeat honeymoons and have great planning tips for you here!
photography // Facibeni Fotografia
wedding gown // Steven Khalil
bridal shoes // Yves Saint Laurent
accessories // Dior & Love On
bridesmaid dresses // Zimmermann
groom’s suit // House of Bespoke
stationery // Adorn Invitations
floral design // Stiatti Fiori
ceremony + reception // Villa La Vedetta
celebrant // Blessings From Italy
cinematography // Gattotigre