Paige and Richard were married in Florence with a beautiful Jewish wedding ceremony at the Great Synagogue of Florence followed by a fabulous wedding reception at Villa di Maiano in Fiesole.

Ceremony (Chuppah)

Paige and Richard’s Jewish wedding ceremony (the Chuppah) took place at the Great Synagogue of Florence. The Synagogue dates back to the late 1800’s and is certainly one of the most beautiful Synagogues that I have ever seen.

For the chuppah itself, we wanted something beautiful – but everyone  (the couple,  the florist – Il Giardino delle Fate Flower Design – and myself) agreed that it should not in any way distract from the beauty or elegance of this historic building.

Florah chuppah Great Synagogue of Florence

The Wedding Venue

Following the Chuppah, we transported guests in a fleet of coaches to the Villa di Maiano, a beautiful villa in Fiesole, a small town in the hills above Florence. Villa di Maiano is where the movie A Room with a View was filmed (just celebrating the 30th anniversary of the film).

Florence destination wedding

Villa Di Maiano luxury destination wedding Italy

Guests were treated to the most spectacular view of the city of Florence from the terrace where we hosted the drinks reception (or as the Italians call it,  the Aperitivo). The caterer, Delizia Ricevimenti, served Prosecco, Aperol Spritz and cocktails alongside canapés (or finger foods as they call them) and food corners which were beautifully dressed and served items such as Tuscan breads, cheeses, fish carpaccio and caprese. It is true to say that the food at an Italian wedding is always delicious and plentiful.

Italian wedding food

Flowers and Styling

The focus of the table centrepieces was an antique gold candelabra around the base of which we placed small pots of flowers, gold candlesticks with tapered candles and antique gold votives with tea lights. The flowers were white hydrangea, white and green lisianthus, blush garden roses, ivory and light pink avalanche roses.

Gold candelabras Italian luxury wedding

Glass chandeliers luxury Italian wedding

However, the main feature on the day was undoubtedly the top table, which was placed on to a purpose built platform opposite the stage and at the end of the dance floor.   The table itself was wooden and rustic in style, with a pergola placed over the top. This was dressed with chandeliers, flowers, foliage and hanging glass globes, with tea lights.

 Hanging tealights Italian luxury wedding


Entertainment was provided by Totem, a London based band who flew out to Florence especially for the wedding. Guests danced before dinner, between courses, after dinner and then again at the after party.  The atmosphere was electric with an amazing connection between the band and all of the guests.  Lighting, sound and production were provided locally in Florence by Alma Project 24/7.

Luxury Italian destination wedding

Luxury Italian Jewish wedding Florence

Villa di Maiano luxury wedding


Wedding Speeches

A highlight of this wedding were the speeches, all written by the groom’s mother, and professional speechwriter, Sharon Winton. As a wedding planner,  I passionately believe that wedding speeches are a crucial element of the day – I would even go so far as to say they form a huge part of the wedding entertainment and at this wedding were sensational, with each one incorporating a song.

Groom and groomsmen luxury Italian wedding

Details, details, details…

As always at an Elegante by Michelle J wedding, we included a number of carefully curated little touches and special details, including fans, heel protectors and flip flops for the ladies (“ a little treat for your dancing feet”), kippot from Hebrewear for the men and a calligraphied mirrored table plan by Laura Mazzetti Wedding Letters.

wedding flipflops Italian wedding

Modern wedding table plan idea Italian wedding

Wedding invitations were by Ruth Kaye Design

Luxury Italian destination wedding stationery

And wedding day stationery by Big Day Designs

Luxury gold wedding table decor Florence

Featured on Smashing the Glass – Jewish Wedding Blog

Paige and Richard’s wedding has been featured on Smashing the Glass – Jewish Wedding Blog;  for further details of the wedding – and to hear all about it in Paige’s words,  head over to Smashing the Glass.

Suzanne Neville wedding dress hanging

And if you would like to see my showcase of 10 spectacular luxury wedding venues in Tuscany, you can access it here.

Special thanks to all of the suppliers who worked together as a team to deliver Paige and Richard’s dream wedding:

Wedding planning, design and co-ordination:  Elegante by Michelle J   

Venue:  Villa di Maiano 

Synagogue: Great Synagogue of Florence 

Photographer David Bastianoni

Caterer:  Delizia Ricevimenti

Florist: Il Giardino dell Fate Flower Design

Band:  Totem

Lighting and Production:  Alma Project 24/7

Wedding day stationery:  Big Day Designs

Invitations:  Ruth Kaye Design

Table Plan: Laura Mazzetti Wedding Letters

Bride’s Dress:  Suzanne Neville