"One of the only sad things about your wedding day is that it goes past in a flash, and you want to try to savour and recapture how it looked, how you both felt….

When I look at our wedding photos, I still get a catch of emotion in my chest, because all the joy, warmth and excitement of that day is crystallised right there in the prints.

Our Photographers, 'Our Labour of Love' made it look exactly the way we remember it, which means none of it need ever be forgotten…"

♥   ♥   ♥

I admit that on the whole, I usually prefer to feature colour, as opposed to black and white photographs on Love My Dress. It's just a personal thing.  But I'm breaking the habit this lunch time to share something quite different, and extremely beautiful.  Yet a few weeks back, I received an email from photographer Alys from 'Our Labour Of Love', who had gotten in touch to submit a wedding for a feature.  "We shoot almost entirely in black and white", she said, "… and our style is very much from the school of observational and documentary photography…".

This made me curious and so I followed the link and soon found before me these dramatic, glamorous and cinematic style photographs, staring back at me – the type of images that reminded me of a classic 1950's Italian movie – which is just how the couple had wanted it.

Maria and Colm have been together since they were teenagers and got married on their 14th anniversary!  Maria looked resplendent in her floaty and romantic Vera Wang wedding gown and veil…

"It was the first dress I tried on, on a very spontaneous trip with my cousin designed to get over the nerves (I’m not a fan of being fussed, and was not looking forward to lots of dress expeditions!).

I knew it was going to be warm in Italy in August, so I needed something very light and easy to move about in…"

Love My Dress Wedding Blog – Photography Copyright (c) 2012, Our Labour Of Love

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"I admit I felt really intimidated at the idea of being the bride, having everyone’s eyes on me – I’m very shy and hate having my photograph taken, and am not photogenic because I’m so shifty in front of cameras. I wasn’t nervous at all about making a speech, but I was really anxious about the photos.

I needn’t have worried; I knew Alys, having worked with her before (I’m a journalist, and we’d worked on some projects together) and Colm had also worked with her professionally. She somehow manages to be both an incredible perfectionist and amazingly laid-back – it must be confidence!

The photo of my dad leading me through the door doesn’t show the detail of the dress, or even our faces – instead it’s bathed in this incredible light, and by our postures you can see everything you need to know…"

Maria&Colm14

"When it came to flowers, I didn’t want anything overly formal. I love the simplicity of antique-style hydrangeas – the bridesmaids just carried one each – but after that I was a bit stuck.

I described the kind of mood I wanted to my mum, and she and a florist in Ireland designed a bouquet with the hydrangeas, cream vendella roses, fountain grass, pale green hypericum berries, mini eden roses, green lisianthus and lavender. We took photos of it and sent it to the wedding planner in Italy, who was able to replicate it for my bouquet, and for the flowers on the tables (in cream earthenware jugs and bird cages).

The vintage creams, pale pinks and greens looked great in the evening light, and the little pops of red and gold on the menus, ribbon, place-names, table settings etc stopped it from looking too sugary…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"Tuscany is where we had our first holiday together, so it has always been special to us. Getting married there, in the evening, was the only kind of wedding we ever really imagined. We wanted to be able to have everyone at both the ceremony and the celebration, and hiring a venue that could accommodate everyone for a holiday was like a dream.

The ceremony was in the town hall of the ancient hill town of Certaldo, in an open courtyard (where marriages have been taking place for centuries – the romance and sense of history really appealed to us). The guests had to ride a tiny funicular railway up to the old town…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"I thought my dress was really romantic and elegant, and I loved the slightly antique-y coloured silk. Most importantly, I felt like myself in it, and there was no sense of being constricted or flouncing in something I would never ordinarily wear.

A dressmaker added the ‘sleeves’ for me. For something that I chose so quickly, I was lucky – it felt really special. People told me it looked like something from an old romantic film … that’s how it felt too…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"We didn't provide wedding favours, but we gave all the ladies a wooden fan. We put little bottles of local olive oil, made by a friend, on the doorstops of their apartments…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"I knew Alys' portrait work, and also that she’d done lots of high-profile travel photography, so I thought a wedding in Tuscany brought the two together perfectly.

Knowing that I’d be at ease with her – she’s such a cool, lovely character, as is Dan – it made perfect sense to ask her to take on the task (having a bride who hates photos can’t be a dream job!). We feel privileged that ours was the first wedding that they worked on together…."

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

 I love that the our ‘official’ wedding photos show Colm and I laughing as we try to prevent my veil from becoming a turban – it’s real, and it’s true to life, but also extremely romantic and innocent…."

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"We drove away from the ceremony in my sister’s boyfriend’s pride and joy – his white vintage Fiat 500 (he’s Sienese, and some of our happiest memories of Tuscany are of the four of us chugging around the hills in it over the years). However, it’s old and takes a certain skill to drive it, so he drove us – I had to sit in the backseat!"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"Colm is a graphic designer so the printed materials, which really create so much of the personality of the wedding, were no problem – we had a lot of fun planning them. [In fact, he has since been completely inundated with requests to do other people’s wedding stationery, and is now providing a bespoke service called A Marriage of Note].

We wanted to do something really different to make our guests feel special and excited about the wedding. We were aiming for a blend of old-fashioned romance and a sense of fun, taking inspiration from everything from 1950's Italian typography to the colour of the light in Tuscany.

Colm created a little motif of a gold tree; it represented the fact that we’ve been so close for so long that it’s hard to know where each other’s roots begin and end, and where they’ve grown together…we made it into a ‘family tree’ for the table plan. It was combined with some irreverent/fun stuff…{our RSVP cards said Si! or No Grazie!; we had a little save-the-date sticker, and included a little booklet  about Tuscany, directions, insider tips on things to do and see…}"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"We continued the same mood in the menus and table settings; we used tiny wooden clothes-pegs and string to tie the place-names, with a little sprig of dried lavender, to the napkins…."

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"The cream jugs of flowers had red/cream/gold-striped linen ribbon around them to tie it all together [ribbon, pegs and string by East of India, stocked at John Lewis haberdashery dept, and also…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"The cake was a traditional Italian wedding cake – very delicate, similar to mille feuille, with custard and strawberries. We served it as the dessert with coffee and liqueurs. Made by the caterers, Tuscan Dreams…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"The Tuscan scenery does the work for you, so very little decoration was needed, but we had created quite a strong visual theme with our invitations, and that carried through to the table plan, table settings etc. Once the invitation ‘concept’ was sorted, everything developed very easily from there…."

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...


Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"We asked for more of a photojournalism style – something that would capture the feeling, the atmosphere, rather than hundreds of straight-on, cheesy wedding portraits. When we talked to Alys about it, I didn’t even really know how they’d do it, and we didn’t really give any more direction than that … which goes to show just how good they are…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"The reception was in the gardens of the villa we had hired/were staying in (in Gambassi Terme, about 15 minutes away) and later in the old coach house underneath the villa…"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"In the evening, we had candles up the paths and hanging in the trees, as well as torches all the way up the driveway (traditionally lit in Italy when there’s a wedding)…."

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

"Our planners and stylists Tuscan Dreams arranged a band to play in the evening.  As we were planning the wedding from London, we obviously didn’t get a chance to hear them beforehand – but they were perfect, and really set the tone for the celebration.

They played really laid-back, romantic music in the garden in the early evening, during the canapés, then did a really upbeat, lively set after the meal, which got everyone up and dancing. We had our ‘first dance’ at midnight – highly recommended if you’re nervous about it; the fear had melted away by then! – to kick off the late-night session (we compiled a playlist of about five hours of music on an iPod).

When we went to bed at 4.30am the party was still in full swing….!"

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

Words of Wedded Wisdom…

"Weight your time and budget according to the things that really matter to you, and simplify everything else. Your guests really won’t remember the chair covers; they’ll remember how happy you were.

Get friends and family involved in the little details, contributing their skills and talents – people are dying to help, and it’s the best gift they can give you…it makes everything much more personal and special.

On the day, take time to stand back and drink in the fact that all the people you love the most are there – it’s probably the one time in your life they’ll all be in the same place together.

Our friends and family turned the week of our wedding into their summer holiday, and between us we hired the venue for a full week: this meant that everyone met and was relaxed in each other’s company before ‘the day’. It really heightened the atmosphere, as there was less polite conversation and more partying!  Highly recommended as a way to break the ice…."

Black and White Wedding Photographs of a Tuscan Wedding and Vera Wang Wedding Dress...

I love these photographs, they transport me entirely into a place I've never been, to a day I felt I was a part of; a gorgeous, warm, relaxed, inviting, glamorous and fun wedding day.

Thank you so much Alys from Our Labour Of Love for sharing these beautiful black and white wedding photographs…

On the day I was hardly aware that there were photos being taken. I don’t remember being asked to pose at all.  The pictures weren’t contrived: they caught every single one of those moments – the one where I’m walking through a doorway re-arranging my veil; the unpredictable windswept shots; the glances between us; the emotion of the speeches; the dance moves! – as it happened.

I remember having a conversation with Alys after midnight, begging her and Dan to relax and stop working, but I think they were enjoying themselves too much!

Not only did we receive all these beautiful portraits of the people who were there, there are all these amazing little angles and details that together tell the whole story – and not necessarily as we saw it…"

I'd love to hear your thoughts my friends – do you love black and white wedding photography? And are there any more Vera Wang brides reading this?

I hope this features serves as a reminer to book the very best wedding photographer that you can afford. It will be the best wedding budget related investment that you make :)

Much love,

Annabel

Photographer – Our Labour Of Love
Venue – Certaldo, Tuscany, Italy
Brides dress + Veil – Vera Wang
Brides Shoes – Sandals from LK Bennett
Grooms Suit – Givenchy, from Dover St Market + shirt from Turnbull & Asser + tie from Gieves & Hawkes.
Bridesmaids Dresses – Ted Baker + Coast
Florist – Organised via Tuscan Dreams
Cake Designer – Organised via Tuscan Dreams
Planners/Event Stylists – Tuscan Dreams
Stationery –
A Marriage of Note {the groom!}

Leave a Comment!

7 thoughts on Vera Wang and Cinematic Elegance for a 1950′s Italian Film Inspired Wedding in Tuscany….

  1. I LOVE B&W photos. I’ll be having both colour and B&W for my wedding. The people shots, dramatic bridal portraits and candid moments all look better in B&W in my opinion. These shots are EXQUISITE!!! :)

  2. Absolutely stunning photography – it’s brave to shoot pretty much all in black and white, particularly for couple’s shots and table shots, but this photographer is an absolute master at using light – a triumph! Absolutely love these images, well done.

  3. Wow! I’m blown away by these beautiful photos. The whole wedding is so timeless and elegant. I love the bride’s modesty – if you ask me she takes an amazing picture! Xx

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