I'm sure we've all attended plenty of weddings where we were one of a couple hundred invitees, where friends and family mingle and eat, get drunk and party, and then go home for the night. But I always had the secret desire to be a "fly on the wall" of an elopement, to witness the stripped-down love and sentiments between a special couple where the focus truly was on them and their vows.
Here, Francesco Spighi takes us front and center into the hopelessly romantic Italian elopement of Tanya and Ryan at La Poggiolaia in the heart of Tuscany, with beautiful vistas, vineyards and soft green hills.
"When there are just two people," Spighi explains, "you have all the time to shoot what you want without pressure. But you also have to be really concentrated about the story you want to tell because it's not always so easy to build a good story with just two characters." In this case, Spighi worked on telling the couple's love story by using the amazing Tuscan countryside as another compelling character.
Says Spighi: "Tanya held a colorful rustic bouquet, with sweet romantic tones, and donned a romantic, lace wedding dress to complete the boho chic mood of the day. The touching ceremony was celebrated in the little town of Certaldo, inside the gorgeous Palazzo Pretorio. Later we took a walk during which the Tuscan countryside became a magical backdrop for portraits. The evening concluded with an intimate candlelight dinner."
The couple found Spighi on a wedding blog where they had seen an elopement he had shot in the same villa they decided to use, using the same wedding planner (Chiara Sernesi from Weddings in Tuscany) and videographer (Matteo Castelluccia) as well.
"Basically, they were inspired by this previous work of mine in the same location and after their elopement wrote me a very touching letter: ' Finding your work was part of our inspiration to get married in Italy, and your photos were the greatest reward for following our hearts. There were so many details that went into planning that amazing day, but having you be a part of it was the most important one. Your experience and confidence put us at ease and allowed us to be in the moment the entire time. Thank you for embracing all aspects of who we are – our joy, our friendship, our passion, our romance. We feel lucky to have our love captured so honestly and beautifully. We look forward to seeing you again when we travel back to Italy for our 5-year anniversary!'"
Camera — Nikon D810
Lenses — Nikkor 28mm f/1.8 AFS, Nikkor 45mm f/2.8 PCE, Nikkor 58mm f/1.4 AFS
Photography: Francesco Spighi | Cinematography: Matteo Castelluccia | Wedding Planner: Chiara of Weddings in Tuscany | Wedding Venue: Agriturismo la Lucciolaia | Floral Design: Nel Giardino di Giulia | Makeup: Marine Muradyan | Hair: Armilla Beauty