This Couple Flew Every Single One of Their Vendors to Italy for Their Intimate Wedding
After meeting through mutual friends and getting engaged on a secluded Hawaiian beach in 2018, Southern Californians Jen Jar and Alan Dang started mapping out their dream wedding day. It would be in Italy, they decided (they are both really into the cuisine), and ideally in the rustic, rolling hills of Tuscany, a place they'd always wanted to visit. The only thing? Neither one of them had actually ever been to Italy, and they wouldn't be able to visit their venue, Villa le Capanne, before their big day. But they booked it anyway and forged ahead with planning—what is a marriage if not a leap of faith, anyway?
Thankfully, Jen, a photographer, made sure they had the right team in place to help them pull off their event. "Every single vendor was flown into Italy," she says. "I could have hired some local vendors to make things easier, but I really wanted the best of the best—people who I already knew and trusted. I had vendors flying in from Virginia, Indiana, and Ireland!" So, on May 12, 2019, among Tuscany's epic scenery, the pair exchanged vows in an outdoor ceremony surrounded by 22 of their nearest and dearest in Volterra, Italy.
The palette of mauve, moss green, blush, gold, and gray matched the surroundings perfectly, and the pair's intimate affair turned out to be the just the kind of rustic chic celebration they'd always imagined. "I wanted a very intimate wedding with super close friends and immediate family members in a beautiful Italian countryside setting where we could all just enjoy the scenery and delicious food," Jen says. How do you say, "Mission accomplished" in Italian?
A Paper Birch Designs invitation suite set the tone for the day's romantic vibe. Designer Lacey Geary went with embossed borders on the main invitation and reply card and added a photo of Tuscany to line the handmade envelopes. A soft gray leather band engraved with the couples initials lent a personal touch, and a bronze wax seal kept everything all together.
A Rustic Setting
Jen found Villa le Capanne on Airbnb, and it ticked all their boxes: the Tuscan countryside as a backdrop, rooms on site for their family and friends, and owners who just happen to also run a catering business. "I've always wanted to travel to Italy, and Alan really loved the landscape and scenery of Tuscany," Jen says. "Most of our family and friends had never been to Italy either, so it was the perfect location for us to bring our loved ones on a once-in-a-lifetime trip, together."
Sparkle and Shine
In addition to accessorizing with Scarosso shoes, Alan wore a pair of cuff links with the likenesses of the pair's two cats on them. "One of our cats passed away from cancer a month before our wedding, so it was very special," Jen says.
Jen slid into a pair of sparkling Christian Louboutin "Pigalle Follies" pumps before her walk down the aisle.
Mauve-and-green hellebore made up the boutonnières, which were assembled by Kelly Lenard.
A Mother and Daughter Moment
Jen and her mother, who lives in Taiwan, shared a sweet moment before the ceremony.
Jen held a loose collection of fritillaria, sweet pea, lilac, hellebore, garden rose, scabiosa, and spray roses.
The pair saw each other for the first time that day in an olive tree grove near their ceremony site. "I was really excited for him to see me in my dress," Jen says. "Afterwards I felt really happy and excited to get the day rolling!"
A Serene Setting
An archway of roses and greenery accentuated the ceremony space; cane-back chairs, arranged two per row, defined the aisle.
After Jen's dad walked her down the aisle to "Ave Maria," her high school best friend officiated the non-religious ceremony. The pair sealed their vows with a kiss.
Time to Party
Jen and Alan left their ceremony to "Now That We Found Love" by Heavy D & the Boys.
A Family Affair
The wedding day marked Jen and Alan's parents' first time meeting—and the first time both of their families had ever been to Europe.
The Great Indoors
While the original plan involved having the reception outside and eating dinner al fresco, the threat of rain moved the party indoors, where floral centerpieces dotted tables along with extra candles that their planner purchased from IKEA the morning of the celebration (just in case).
Dusty mauve spray roses defined the majority of the tabletop's arrangements; coordinating taper candles cast a romantic glow on the beautiful scene below.
Dinner Is Served
"We are big into food, so we went all out when it came to the catering of our wedding dinner," Jen says. Everyone chowed down on an Italian feast: prosciutto with burrata cream and figs; tagliolini pasta with truffle; and sliced beef steak.
Tiers of Joy
For dessert, the entire crowd enjoyed a vanilla and chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.
Photography, Laura Gordon
Venue, Catering, and Cake, Villa le Capanne
Event planning, Lindsay with House of Hannah Events
Flowers, Kelly Lenard
Videography, Amelia Johnson
Stationery, Lacy Geary with Paper Birch Designs
Music, Jon Jar
Rentals, Preludio Noleggio
Bride's gown, Rivini by Rita Vinieris
Hair and Makeup, Kelly Cahen
Groom's suit, Armani