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Morgan & Robert’s 4 Day House Party Wedding in Tuscany Italy. It was an incredible few days and like no other wedding I’ve photographed before.

It’s hard to put into words how excited I was when I received Morgan’s email asking if I’d be interested in photographing their 4 day house party wedding in the Tuscany. There was the relaxed nature of the plans (just 40 of their friends and family chilling in a Villa in the Italian countryside) that really appealed to me. The location and how cool Morgan and Robert were – down to earth, adventurous with a love for travel and an appreciation for good wine and food.

Morgan, Robert and all their friends and family where so incredibly welcoming and really made me feel part of the celebrations. This was highlighted on the night I arrived. After sneakily discovering through the dark arts of Facebook that it was my Birthday, Morgan had bought me two Birthday cakes. Around 10pm the lights were dimmed and the chant of ‘Happy Birthday’ began. It was both mortifying (I’m not used to being the centre of attention) and really sweet. I may also have lost a little respect when i failed to blow out all of the 6 candles, twice!

I’ve structured this blog post a little differently than usual due to the multi day element and because I just couldn’t cut down the number of photos with so much awesomeness going now. But before we jump into the photos, I’d first like to hand over to Morgan and Robert for their thoughts on their epic Tuscany wedding.

What was your favourite part of your wedding?

The ceremony. There’s so much tradition and expectation around a ceremony that didn’t reflect us. So we got rid of it all. From getting ready together, having no aisle or assigned seating, being married by our best friend and a celebrant wearing jeans, to drinking champagne out of the boot of the car in a public garden afterwards. It was just us.

What made you choose to have your wedding in Tuscany, Italy?

We brought together 40 people from 11 nationalities; Italy meant everyone had to travel to the event.

Our relationship was forged on spectacular food and wine, and Lucca held a special significance for us in this respect.

We had the ceremony in Lucca’s historic town hall (we didn’t explicitly pick it, it’s just where it always was).

We picked Fattoria Mandi Bernardini because it was perfect. We literally booked it over the internet without having seen it first.

What would your advice be to other couples planning a destination wedding?

The only thing we would do differently was to delegate more, and more clearly. During the event, we shouldn’t have been the point of contact for anything!

In terms of wisdom it would be, “fuck everyone else, it’s your day: do your thing” and make it yours.

What made you choose your details and styling for your Italian?

Italy does simplicity amazingly well, and we wanted to embrace this minimalism in all it’s glory.

Apart from the eucalyptus leaves (to represent a bit of Australia), all the decorations on the table were found in the garden.

Robert’s outfit was particularly special. Every element represented an important relationship for him. His suit was made by one of his closest friend’s sister, his shoes were only possible becuase of his Florentine friends, his shirt was from his family’s favourite shirt maker, and his cufflinks were from his late grandfather.

Morgan wanted a princess skirt that her 8 year old self could be proud of, but which reflected the relaxed and natural feel of the event.

Did you have any entertainment at your wedding?

We had a wine tasting that no one else in the world would have.

Three spectacular Italian wines chosen by Robert’s father contrasted with three of Australia’s best wines from Morgan’s father’s cellar.

These were paired with absolutely fantastic local meats, cheese and nibbles.

We didn’t quite cotton on to the benefits of plying our friends with a bottle of wine before the evening really got stared. That evening ended up being our biggest party, and everyone danced to the early hours of the morning.

Do you have any comments working with Matt Badenoch Photography?

We didn’t want a wedding photographer, we wanted a friend who took spectacular photos. This was exactly what Matt came to be. So many of our friends were surprised to learn that he wasn’t a guest!

We loved the vivid and candid style of Matt’s photos, which focused on capturing the “essence” of the day.

When we first met with Matt it was obvious that he would get along with our friendship group. He was caring, fun and adventurous; it was a natural fit!

Ceremony in Lucca, Tuscany

The villa was situated near the historic city of Lucca famous for its Renaissance walls and cute cobbled streets. It was here that Morgan and Robert were to be legally married.

The ceremony was performed fully in Italian (as was legally required) and translated flawlessly into English by Morgan’s friend Giulia. A very impressive feat.

Chilled champagne was enjoyed in the court yard outside before Morgan, Robert and I ventured out into the city for a little explore and some portraits.

I had a blast on the drive back up where I got to play a Tour de France photographer. David’s car had an awesome option where you could remove the back window and turn the seat so I was facing the rear. This allowed me the perfect vantage point to capture Morgan and Robert making their way up the hill in style in David’s prized Aston Martin.

Chill Time At the Villa

One of my favourite bits of the weeks, which may come as a surprise, was capturing some of the little in-between moments during the down time. From people chilling in the pool (respect as it was shockingly cold) to enjoying a game of tennis in the heat.

Often during a wedding days things move at a fast pace. While this can add to the energy and be fun to capture, there’s not alway time to develop and build upon a photo before moving on to the next. At the villa I had the chance to really slow things down and play with my photos. Plus having such a lovely location to play with may have helped too.

Wine Tasting & Party

As mentioned before, Morgan and Robert shared in my appreciation of good wine. But even more passionate than us were their dads. Alan and David’s personal wine collections were infamous among the guests and so I was delighted to hear they’d be hosting a wine tasting one evening. Each shared 3 of their favourite wines for us. David kicked us off with a collection French and Italian wines. Alan, being a proud Aussie, followed with a selection of Australian’s finest. Wow, just wow. The range of flavours was incredible. I don’t think I’ve ever been so spoiled on the wine front and as a bonus I also made my dad rather jealous.

Such an amazing wine experience was naturally followed by dancing and a tad more drinking. Kudos to Aine (Morgan’s sister) for DJing. Great tunes and not an easy task, when enthusiastic partiers kept mixing up the order.

The Big One

During the week, more and more friends had been arriving. Come Saturday we had a full house for the main the celebration. It started off with some relaxed afternoon drinks and nibbles in the garden. This was followed by a mouth watering 5 course meal (yes 5! I told you I was spoiled ? ).

Now one of my favourite parts of photographing weddings in Italy has been sampling one of their local delights – Lemoncello. Seeing a 2L ice cold bottle appeared on the table at the end of the meal, a rather large smile on my face.

Probably the nicest thing about photography a wedding in this way was having the chance to get to know people and slow things down. One of my biggest goals with my wedding photography is to capture the energy and atmosphere of the celebrations. To do this I first need to feel it and so getting a chance to mingle and chat with everyone really helped.

Thanks again so much Morgan and Robert for picking me to be your Tuscany wedding photographer!