Intimate Italian Wedding at Villa Cetinale


Villa Cetinale is a stunning family home that has only hosted a couple of weddings in its recent history. This absolutely breathtaking venue is where Jose Villa recently held his workshop, and every detail of this exquisite home is absolutely perfect. We were so excited when Heather Waraksa sent us Lee and Cristiano’s intimate wedding at Villa Cetinale because there have been so few events held there in the past, and it all just seems like a dream.

Words from the Bride about their beautiful day:

We met abroad, as you do, in the South of France. It was a total set-up by mutual friends. We actually dated long distance for almost 2 years – I was living in London. Cri was part-time living in Italy and the rest of the time in Dubai. We traveled non-stop all the time seeing each other before I made the move to leave London and relocate to Dubai. This made a big impact on our wedding, as we have friends literally all over the place.

A few things made our wedding special. Firstly, numbers. Cristiano and I are really wanted something small, intimate and private. We wanted to do something beautiful, but do it for the people that really mean the most to us. I couldn’t really stomach the idea of exchanging our vows in front of 200 people. That was something really important to me – I wanted to be comfortable, not feel like I was performing. When Cri and I first did our list, Cri’s list was only 6 people long! So, we had 29 or 30 people total for the ceremony and lunch, and then had other friends join us in the evening for a reception.

I guess we take it for granted, but there was obviously a very international vibe to our wedding. In a small group of 30, we had guests from the UK, Netherlands, America, Australia, UAE, Italy, France, Hong Kong! We also mixed in lots of Italian elements because of Cristiano’s Italian family: we had ‘cantucci’ from a famous artisanal baking family in Prato, we also had ‘confetti’ which in Italian is actually almonds with sugar coating.

I didn’t want a standard Tuscan ‘wedding factory’ wedding. Villa Cetinale beyond fulfilled our dreams – it has such innate personality because it’s a true family home. 

Lee and Cristiano succeeded in creating an intimate gathering for their closest friends and family. I’m sure this dinner was one for the books for all of their lucky guests who traveled from all over the world to be there. We’re just in awe of the beauty of this Italian landscape and want to bask in it all day…

Photography: Heather Waraksa | Venue: Villa Cetinale | Caterer: Villa Cetinale | Dress: Bespoke by a dressmaker in Dubai, Anastasia Yermakova | Bride’s shoes: Christian Louboutin  | Groom’s shoes:  Ferragamo | Wedding Rings: T. Ristori | Earrings: Annoushka | Cufflinks: Hermes | Florist: Heaven Flower Fioristi | Embroidered chair backs: Etsy