Although Chelsey Ward and David Caputo reside together in New York, it was Tuscany that proved to be their perfect wedding location. “David’s family roots are Italian, and I had spent many summers in Italy, so we liked the idea of having [our nuptials] there,” Chelsey explains.
After scouting different venues, the pair fell in love with a unique country estate that features a central, Old World village with luxurious accommodations surrounded by private villas set on 4,500 acres. “We loved that families could stay together in the villas and then take a short car ride to the wedding events,” asserts the bride.
“It was the most magical place, with amazing food and wine,” adds David. “Both of my parents were born in Italy, and [the estate] represented all of my favorite aspects of Italian culture.”
The rehearsal dinner the previous evening took place on a cobblestone palazzo awash in light, where petite tables were set with green and yellow blossoms, and the menu was outlined in elegant script on a chalkboard propped beside vintage metal milk cans.
The ceremony was held outdoors in an enclave surrounded by trees near the hilltop ruins of an ancient castle. With such breathtaking surroundings, the décor was best kept uncomplicated. “We wanted to celebrate the incredible beauty of Tuscany, so we used a lot of cream and white colors, focusing on texture and layering,” shares Chelsey. Rows of simple wooden seating formed crisp lines beneath the trees, and ivory rose petals overlaid an aisle of lawn that lead to a towering floral arch. Programs fashioned in the shape of fans featured watercolor details, the lone touch of color added through the décor.
The bride was resplendent in a strapless gown with satin-ribbon detail. The delicate swatch of chiffon that swathed the stems of her creamy bouquet echoed the ethereal beauty of the chapel-length veil that fell from the crown of her upswept hair. David donned white tie, his groomsmen black tie, and bridesmaids wore chiffon in a lovely shade of crème brûlée.
The couple recited vows they’d composed themselves, and the bride unwittingly injected a bit of levity into the exchange. “I interrupted David halfway through his [vows], mistakenly thinking he was finished,” she shares. “In the end it was perfect – he let me know that he wasn’t through, which got a big laugh from all of our guests. I was happy to lighten the mood because until that point, most of our guests were in tears!”
The walk back up the aisle as husband and wife was particularly memorable for the groom. “It was such an amazing feeling,” David confides, “the culmination of so much work, so much planning, and so much anticipation, combined with marrying the girl of my dreams – all with the backdrop of the Tuscan sunset and rolling hills.”
The post-ceremony cocktail hour was also enjoyed out of doors: Guests gathered around an idyllic pool and sipped refreshing drinks while an unparalleled view of the Tuscan countryside glowed in the golden light of the setting sun.
The sit-down dinner that followed took place beneath a canopied patio enclosed in walls of glass that did nothing to obscure the magnificent view. Elegant cards arranged on a table adorned with flowers and illuminated with candles led guests to their seats at four extended banquet tables. A riot of white flowers marched down the center of each table, the rows of roses, tulips, dahlias, and lilies arranged in alternating vessels of clear and mercury glass. Menus featuring watercolor scenes were placed atop moiré table linens, and chairs were covered in diaphanous fabric and looped with rope for a rustic-elegant aesthetic. Various forms of candlelight lent a romantic glow.
The wedding cake boasted stacked layers of vanilla crumb with a hint of lemon robed in vanilla fondant. Diminutive sugar flowers and flakes of gold decorated the layers, and ribbons of fondant were composed to reflect the detail on Chelsey’s wedding dress. The effect was sweetly charming, and a sprinkling of fresh flowers around the base of the cake pedestal completed the lovely tableau.
There was an air of magic at the wedding of Chelsey and David, a combination of the intimacy of experience, the unparalleled beauty of the setting, and the authentic details of the event.
“The food, the flowers, the décor, and most of the music were all locally sourced and produced,” states the bride. “We wanted our guests to enjoy meals, wine, and flowers that were in season and native to Tuscany, so that the materials used in the wedding would be just as authentic as the beautiful view.”
“Definitely the most unique aspect of the wedding was the food and wine,” seconds the groom. “It was unbelievably good, so much so that even I was surprised – and I was expecting it to be really good. It was something that I don’t think can be replicated anywhere but in Tuscany, and to me it was the most special aspect of the wedding.”