September 11, 2019
It’s been a week since I was over in Italy which means the jet lag has finally worn off, I’ve stopped living out of my suitcase, and now it’s time to share some images from Shumita & Michael’s wedding day at Villa Medicea di Lilliano in Florence, Italy.
The day began at the Grand Hotel Baglioni (a stone’s throw away from the Firenze Santa Maria Novella train station) where’s Shumita’s sweet mother did her makeup. For the record, she did her makeup at the hotel, not the train station. Wanted to make sure that was clear.
Shumita’s dress was made in India earlier this year when she and Michael went to visit some of her relatives who were unable to make the trip to Florence. Now, in India, color is everything, especially for weddings. To avoid getting roped into wearing a scarlet red dress, Shumita told the creator of her beautiful two-piece that she was attending a party for her Grandmother, and the dress had to be white. Voila.
On the other side of the camera for once!
Michael got ready with his brother Cosmo, and believe it or not, he was not the only Cosmo at the wedding. Incredible.
I don’t think this moment was even posed. The direction was simply “take a seat, Shumi,” and then: model.
This rooftop view, am I right?
Next, we headed over to the breathtaking Piazzale Michelangelo, which overlooks the entire city.
Don’t you just want to live up there?
With that quick little photoshoot behind us, we were off to the wedding venue, Villa Medicea di Lilliano Wine Estate.
Shumita’s dress had some great twirl-ability. Good choice, Shumi.
To avoid getting her dress caught on the spiky little weeds, this cuteness happened.
Proud parents. :’)
We “traveled” to three different countries throughout the ceremony; first was India, where the bride & groom, parents & siblings all adorned each other with floral garlands to welcome each other into the family. Michael also wanted to come in on a horse. That didn’t end up happening, sadly.
Next, Michael’s family read a beautiful Italian poem, which was about where I began to tear up (spoiler: I didn’t stop until the ceremony ended).
Next was Iran, and traditionally, the couple is sat under a canopy and the female family members grind sugar canes over their heads, making “sweet memories” for their marriage. Sweet indeed!
Do you know what happens when a journalist & an artist write their own vows? You get the most intentional, heartfelt & personal ceremony. Please consider writing your own outside of the usual “do you take this man/woman” etc. The images will truly convey just how emotional these moments can be, and your guests get to see AND hear just how head over heels you really are.
The officiant, aka Michael’s longtime friend and my college professor (aka how all of our paths crossed in the first place), ended the ceremony with “Kiss and run, kids!” They did just that.
More beautiful views from the terrace of the Villa, where cocktail hour was held.
….do these even need an explanation?
A quick (& yes, emotional) thank you to some family & friends pre-dance party.
When Michael told me he was trying to practice his “moves” for their first dance, he wasn’t kidding. Their first dance was in true Shumichael fashion, an almost totally choreographed swing-esque dance to Chuck Berry’s “You Never Can Tell.” Oh, and it was on vinyl.
More speeches from family members, more crying, you know the drill.
The wedding cake was a millefoglie, meaning “thousand leaves,” aka layers of custard, cake, berries & general deliciousness.
Michael’s preferred cake cutting method was a karate chop. He was 0 for 2 so far (the first loss being his horseback entrance).
Post cake-cutting, my duties as a photographer were done for the night. I put on my dancing shoes, pounded a prosecco and joined everyone in the Limonaia for a proper, city-of-Florence-approved dance party (no live music outside after 11pm).
I’m so, so thrilled for Michael & Shumita, and I can’t wait until the next time I’m able to return to this beautiful city.
Thank you to the vendors:
Venue(s): Grand Hotel Baglioni / Villa Medicea di Lilliano
Main photographer: Francesco Bognin
Flowers: Il Giardino Delle Fate
Catering: Delizia Ricevimenti Firenze
Lighting: Alma Project 24/7
Music: Musica Evento