Castello Il Palagio wedding in Mercatale Val di Pesa, a small but authentic venue ideal for a castle wedding. Olives and vineyards surround it. A short cypress lined driveway leads you to the castle entrance. Entering the castle you walk into the impressive courtyard which is a great space for any moment of your wedding day.
The bride and groom are staying in an apartment near the castle. However, we agree to do all the photos of the wedding at Castello il Palagio. This way, we keep the images all with the same look and feel, it is better for continuity.
As I drive up to Castello il Palagio I stop to take a couple of photos of the wonderful views and vineyards, a few images to set the scene. Inside I find the florists hard at work as they transform the courtyard of the castle for the wedding reception.
Upstairs there are a few rooms that are available for to use. I find the brides, shoes, dress and veil in one them. The bride will wear a Vera Wang gown, it is a non-traditional wedding dress as it isn’t white! I enjoy taking some pictures of it, the room is painted a strong red and it’s interesting to try to merge the colors and items together in a harmonious way. Next, the bride puts on the wedding dress, her bridesmaids are wearing black and help her put on the gown and accessories. Finally, her father enters to see her for the first time before we all go to the ceremony.
The groom gets ready in a different room, all the men and children are also wearing black in keeping with the dark wedding theme.
The wedding will be an outdoor civil ceremony taking place under two large oak trees in an area to the side of the castle. Two very large vases overflowing with flowers define the entrance to the ceremony area. A carpet of petals covers the aisle that leads to a flower arch.
This Castello il Palagio wedding ceremony starts with the groom and best men entering. The bridesmaids make their entrances, lastly, the pageboy comes down the aisle carrying a “here comes the bride” sign, and then the bride arrives. She looks radiant and everyone compliments her dress. An outdoor civil ceremony in Italy does not take very long, reading the articles of law, the exchanging of vows and rings is a quick process. Lastly, they sign the documents and exit their wedding under a shower of petals.
Everyone congratulates the couple and enjoys some refreshments. A bar serves drinks and people enjoy talking and relaxing sitting in the shade around the fountain. In one corner there is also a photo corner for the guests to use. I have a few family photos to take and then I also have to take the couple for some photos closer to sunset. It is a very warm day but thankfully we don’t need to go far as there are beautiful locations everywhere.
Next, I head into the courtyard to take some photos of the lovely table decor and flowers before dinner starts. The dark theme continues and we have black, gold, purple, pinks and violets all mixed together with darker leafy tones. I work quickly and then the guests start to find their seats. The bride and groom enter and applause greets them. Then a lovely dinner commences. There are three short but amusing heartfelt toasts and then the surprise entertainment begins. A tenor performs three times during the dinner and it is the highlight of the evening, the acoustics are perfect inside the courtyard and his performances thrill everyone.
At the end of dinner, everyone moves outside to witness the cake show. This is where the chef prepares the traditional Italian wedding cake in front of everyone. Once it is ready the bride and groom cut the cake and open some prosecco. As they toast, fireworks explode and as we all know everyone loves fireworks!
In conclusion, we all return inside the courtyard which is now ready for the dance party and open bar. There is the first dance and then everyone has a great time. To end this wonderful Castello il Palaggio wedding there is a dessert buffet, open bar and dancing into the night.
“Beauty exists everywhere. It’s my job to find it.”