A destination wedding at the Lazy Olive, Tuscany
Turning off the main road, you find yourself winding along a dirt track for some time. As the trees begin to thin and the view opens out, The Lazy Olive comes into view, sat atop a little hill, and you start to get the feeling you are about to enter a pretty magical place. Nicole and Nils had been recommend myself as a wedding photographer by a friend, I had photographed their elopement in Florence. When they booked me, I had not been to the Lazy Olive before, but it was a venue that was known to me through reputation, and to say I was super excited to photograph a wedding there, well that was an understatement! As I parked the car, met my fabulous second shooter (Julia Bachmann), and grabbed my kit, I began walking up the cypress lined drive and, with each step, I knew this was going to be a venue and wedding to remember.
Quaint and Rustic, yet comfortable and refined spaces for a Tuscan wedding
The buildings of the Lazy Olive have such charm, the landscape dramatic yet serene. You immediately feel comfortable there, and so for the wedding parties getting ready, the girls in one building, the boys in another, the vibe was definitely relaxed. There were so many lovely touches throughout the venue and quietly beautiful moments to photograph; cups of coffee to get the day started, antique mirrors reflecting the morning preparations, the bride's dress gently moving in the breeze hung on the pergola outside. Daniela also arranged all the flowers, bouquets, corsages and boutonnieres in perfect rustic tones for an autumn wedding in Tuscany.
Bridal party First Look
My photography centres around connection, and so I just love photographing emotional moments at weddings. Although Nicole got ready with all of her bridesmaids, she chose to save revealing her finished look to her bridesmaids for a bridesmaids first look. Walking out the door in an simple but ever so elegant dress, she took everyone's breath away and it was a beautiful moment of friendship between her and her bridesmaids.
Bride and Groom First Look At The Lazy Olive
Following on from the bridesmaids reveal, Nicole went to meet Nils down the cypress lined avenue at the Lazy Olive for a private and intimate first look. Moments like these are always something special to capture. It's important to me to be sensitive to these moments, to step back and capture the feelings as they happen and let the emotions lead. Seeing each other for an intimate first look before your wedding ceremony can be just so beautiful, and really cement the feeling of togetherness as you are about to embark on saying your wedding vows to one another. This moment between Nils and Nicole was precious, and such an honour to be able to capture for them.
Dream Outdoor wedding ceremony Over Looking the Hills of Siena
Nicole and Nils opted to hold their ceremony near the pool area with views out over the rolling Siena hills. This really is a spectacular backdrop, and it takes full advantage of the incredible views surrounding the Lazy Olive. The bridal party walked along an olive tree lined path, past the infinity pool, and each took their place with the gentle hills at their backs, facing in towards the couple as they stood under a rustic arch. The arch had been decorated with warm coloured flowers and a cornflower blue sash, echoing the colours of the Tuscan landscape in the distance.
Wedding Reception In the Tuscan Hills
Following the ceremony we took a few family photographs with the gorgeous backdrop of the Tuscan hills surrounding this beautiful wedding venue. After this , the guests, followed by the bridal party, moved over to the terrace for cocktails and aperitivo. Spritz was of course on the menu! But also Hugo and a limoncello Sprtiz. The food was beautifully presented, the guests relaxed, everyone soaking up the sun and atmosphere before dinner was served on the top terrace.
Couple portraits in the Golden Light of Tuscany at the Lazy Olive
Before sitting down to eat, though, with the sun getting lower, the light changed to something even more spectacular and we just had to capture some couple portraits in all the stunning locations around the Lazy Olive. I still can't get over the views, it really is what you dream of when you think of holding a wedding in Tuscany. Soft shadows had begun to form in the velvety creases of the hills, that golden hazy light on a late autumn afternoon was warm and romantic, and these two were just such a gouges couple; it was an absolute joy to photograph the two of them.
The area around the infinity pool at the Lazy Olive was simply one not to be missed! This is one of my favourite wedding photographs from last season. The composition, the light on the hills, the reflection in the pool, and the gaze between the couple - all elements make it that perfect moment to remember.
We also ventured into the olive grove for some more intimate feeling portraits of the two of them, and then, just before dinner was served, the sunset gave the most perfect opportunity for some romantic couple photos showing off the best of Tuscany and the the Siena hills.
Alfresco Dinning at the Lazy Olive, Tuscany
The tables along the top terrace set for dinner were nothing short of incredible. Chandeliers hung elegantly over the long table stretching down the terrace, small glass crystal vases of warm coloured flowers doted the russet coloured table runner, and all sat in harmony with the breath-taking view behind. As the sun set, the colours intensified and the atmosphere became warm and intimate as the chandeliers and candle light took over.
The Wedding Party Gets Started
After dinner and speeches, with full contented tummies and warm hearts from emotional speeches, the party got started with the first dance, the couple surrounded by friends and family holding sparklers. This was then followed by a father daughter dance and a mother son dance.
With a bonfire to keep warm by as the cooler night air of autumn pressed in, a quick change of shoes into personalised trainers, the couple continued dancing and partying surrounded by family and friends into the night at this most magical of wedding venues in Tuscany.
As a wedding Photographer in Tuscany I get to visit some pretty incredible venues. The Lazy Olive, I have to say, though, has certainly become one of my favourite. The attention to details, the connection with the structures, the landscape, the nature, and the people all make for a harmonious and beautiful place to hold a wedding. I'm back there again this year and cannot wait!