Florence has always played a huge part in Craig and Sharlene’s romance. After all, it’s where he proposed!
After meeting at 19 and spending 8 years together, the two went on holiday traveling through Europe. While on an evening walk in Florence, the two paused to look over the Santa Trinita bridge and watch the sunset. It was there that Craig dropped to one one knee and asked Sharlene to return to Florence as husband and wife. And two years later, they did just that!
The two were originally planning on marrying in their hometown of Melbourne, Australia and honeymooning in Italy. Unfortunately, things took a tragic turn: Sharlene’s grandmother lost her fight to cancer nine months before the wedding. Three months later, her grandfather followed.
Despite having the venue booked and guest list ready to go, the couple turned their plans around.
“With a giant void in my life, this great loss was enough for us to reassess what we truly believed our wedding should be,” Sharlene explained. “The decision was made to cut our losses and stay true to ourselves, to travel to a beautiful destination with our closest friends and family — and what place was more meaningful than Florence?”
Sharlene’s grandfather always stayed close to the bride, especially on her wedding day. After she got dressed, Sharlene’s mother handed her a pearl-and-topaz ring that was once a present to her from her grandfather.
“It was my something old, borrowed and blue, along with a lace and pearl horseshoe [my moth made for me for my something new.”
As for choosing a wedding dress? The process was “easy!”
“I always loved Steven Khalil’s designs,” she enthused. “It was such an easy deision once I tried that beautiful gown on.”
Her favorite part? The silk, the lace and the fit was incomparable to anything she’s ever seen.
“As with my husband, it was love at first sight!”
The couple chose Villa La Vedetta in Florence because it had a venue for everything — immaculate gardens for the ceremony to the terrace that was seemingly made for the reception. The couple and guests were able to wine and dine under the stars while watching the city light up all around them.
The most surreal (and Sharlene’s favorite) moment of the day happened during the reception, too:
“Craig and I were dancing as the sun was setting, and I remember saying to him after looking around: ‘I can’t believe this is our wedding!'”
Photographer: Facibeni Fotografia | Venue: Villa La Vedetta | Dress: Steven Khalil | Hair: Bride | Shoes: Saint Laurent | Accessories: Dior and Love On | Bridesmaids Dresses: Zimmermann | Grooms Suit: Bespoke | Stationery: Adorn Invitations | Cake: Provided by Venue | Food: Provided by Venue | Flowers: Stiatti Fiori | Celebrant: Blessings from Italy | Cinematography: Gattotigre – Destination Wedding Videography