when Sting is your wedding band, you had better pick a good venue.
but let’s back up a bit.
this summer when we had the pleasure of working again with a very special family that truly knows how to enjoy life. They flew us to Florence to join them and photograph three days of non-stop events and well planned fab experiences for all their guests. (caveat – to protect our client’s privacy we won’t be showing too much detail from the event)
Florence has always been toward the top my list as places I’d be willing to live for many reasons – the people, the art, the architecture, the food and the light.
It’s just a fantastic place to be. And an inspired place to get married. Now in this case, in addition to the big day itself, the partying included 3 days of hot air balloon rides, cooking classes, museum and art tours, as well as a wonderful welcome dinner and a white party which started in the tiny ancient town of Fiesole and ended after a champagne tour on double-decker buses on the banks of the river arno with the historic Ponte Vecchio nearby.
It was a very private area on the river bank – belonging to the country’s oldest rowing club, Canottieri Firenze. everyone was in white and the tent and all the decor were white as well. the drinks were flowing (esp. the aperol spritzes) the food was outstanding, and as the sunset turned to night the dj began spinning and the groove got going.
And for the late night sugar boost, a bicycle based – gelateria cart arrived plying everyone with more energy to move. (For those interested mixologists: aperol spritzes – one part of the bitter italian apertif aperol mixed with one part prosecco and one part club soda served on rocks and garnished with an orange – giving you a beautiful practically glow-in-the-dark orange cocktail)
now of all the villas in tuscany, there is one that is generally considered to be the superlative example – the one that ends up on the cover of all the ‘italian villa’ books – villa gamberaia. and this is but a small taste of why:
of course, if you’re going to have a 4 day wedding blowout in the hills of tuscany – you had better get yourself a good wedding band.
and i have to say it was awesome! not only because it was the closest I had ever heard Sting play (and things sound soooooooooo much more amazing on an intimate scale), but we also were there for the sound check and rehearsal and got to see how Sting works with his band to develop just the sound he’s looking for. Later, during the show, I actually was able to get up on stage and shoot the bride dancing with Sting and the groom singing along with him.
now while all that was fantastic, here’s what I think makes this family super special people. when they heard that Celeste and I might be heading over to Italy early to take our kids to Rome and Florence on their school break – they insisted that the boys also join in on some of the festivities. the boys made friends and hung out with the other kids at the white party, which when it got into full dance mode, the bride said to me, “will you put down your f*ing camera and dance with your sons?” Coolest people ever, right?
and the night of the wedding, the groom wanted to ensure that my boys were there before the surprise band was revealed. this had special meaning for me because Sting’s opening number was “Every Little Thing She Does is Magic” which was the first song my youngest son Cole ever sang along to. To him, it was affectionately known as “The Magic Song”.
after the show, I got to hang backstage with sting and his wife trudie styler who are a really sweet couple truly in love with each other. They are also in love with their “side jobs” as vintners – growing their own grapes biodynamically and bottling their own brand of wine, Sister Moon which they brought along as a gift.
as i was getting onstage to shoot, i grabbed this shot of trudie admiring her man performing . isn’t she radiant? – beautiful both inside and out and madly in love with her man – you can see it in her eyes.