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An intimate destination wedding in Tuscany, Italy – Abi + Mike

Relaxed micro-wedding in Certaldo and a wedding breakfast in San Gimignano, Tuscany

Abi and Mike booked me some time ago for their incredible wedding in Tuscany, after many of my couples moving their dates or transferring their weddings to the UK as a result of the pandemic, it looked like their dream wedding was also going to be a victim of the past year. They rebooked their wedding for 2022 and accepted that they would just have to wait…..or did they! The first week of September, out of the blue, Abi dropped me a message – “hey were thinking of going to Italy anyway and getting married, fancy it?” “HELL YES”. 

Que some manic logistics whilst I try and find flights around my other weddings, a complete debacle of car hire (turns out Pisa airport had completely sold out of cars!) and a cheeky night in Viareggio, followed by a train journey to Lucca to finally get a car, I made it to the wedding!

There were many stories on this trip, from missing the last boat to Cinque Terre, racing to the next stop to beat the ferry and a random police check on the motorway, I somehow made it to the wedding with an hour to spare – this gave me plenty of time to scope out the high city of Certaldo, SO MANY PLACES to shoot. Certaldo is a dream destination for the bride and groom, and for me the wedding photographer, any future couples I can’t recommend this part of Tuscany enough.

Abi and Mike brought a handful of friends and family with them, the perfect amount for a confetti throwing shot and for partying in historic town of San Gimignano into the early hours. The ceremony was held in Palazzo Pretorio, the municipality of Certaldo – in a stunning courtyard. Abi made her way to the ceremony with her dad, arm in arm, heading up the cobbled street of Via Giovanni Boccaccio – a true Italian lane with ivy hanging, locals having their suitably timed 3pm lunch and a few tourists enjoying ice cold peroni’s. 

Then we walked along Via Rivellino to “Luogo dove è obbligatorio baciarsi” which translates as “the place where kissing is mandatory” for not only kissing, obviously, but for the view – you could see all the way to our next destination of San Gimignano.

The portrait session in Certaldo Alto was nothing short of magical, with stunning views, the most romantic light and beautiful congratulations from all of the passers by. We wound our way around the high town of Certaldo to Hotel Bar Il Castello, where the post-ceremony drinks reception was taking place, with another breathtaking view and a steady supply of prosecco.

After the drinks reception everyone headed for the funicular to get back down to the lower town and all of our cars – however Abi & Mike decided they would rather walk than wait for the next funicular, so we headed down the winding path along side the tracks, going through a super Italian little row of houses and a little bit of the town before making it back to the car.

We jumped in our respective rental cars and headed to San Gimignano for the wedding breakfast – an Italian meal at Le Vecchie Mura, overlooking the Tuscan hill and the perfectly red sunset. I raced ahead of the couple to catch a few gold hour shots before the light vanished, it always seems to disappear sooner in Italy.

At this point I left the couple and their close friends and family to enjoy their meals under the moonlight whilst I headed off to meet some of my own friends for dinner. A few hours later we all caught back up again in the main square, we sampled some of the local red wine and then headed down to “Enjoy” a sudo bar-club beyond the walls of San Gimignano where we rounded off the night until the early hours drinking coffee liqueur and rum.

The next morning was made up of coffee, pastries and hangover comparisons before we all departed for different parts of Italy, I managed to squeeze in a sneaky nights holiday at Poggio Piglia in Chiusi whilst the bride and groom headed over to Florence to begin their honeymoon.

If anyone is considering getting married in Italy and needs an alternative wedding photographer, particularly for the Boutique Hotel Poggio Piglia, you can count me in – one of the most wonderful places I have ever been. See a selection of my other Italian Weddings.

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