The luxury elopement experience by Rochelle Cheever is a boutique design and photography studio based in San Diego, California and Rome, Italy.


Wedding at La Badia, Orvieto

Jillayne and Will had a storybook wedding in Italy at an 11th century monastery on the Umbrian/Tuscan border. After the guests trickled in throughout the day the celebration began with a Pizza Party Welcome Dinner in the courtyard of the monastery with pizza and typical Italian antipasti. The trees were draped with twinkly lights typical of an Italian town festival. Will is a fan of craft beer and on a trip to Chicago they met a supplier of Italian craft beer. He loved the idea of having it at his wedding and my assistant Valentina spent weeks tracking down where to find a supplier willing and able to provide the necessary equipment. The result was a big success and added a lot of flavor (pun intended) to the three days of wedding events. To top it all off, an antique gelato cart offering a choice of six gelato flavors. Throughout all this an Italian folkloric duo serenaded the guests and got them to sing along to some of Italy’s most classic songs.

On the second day we planned a trip to an organic farm in Tuscany with spectacular views over the pristine rolling hills…just what Tuscany is famous for. There was a tour of the farm with the highlight being an explanation of how their award winning Pecorino di Pienza cheese is made and how it is affected by the soil and the various seasons of the year. The tour was followed by a languid, lazy lunch where tray after tray of delicious seasonal fare and bottle after bottle of their own Tuscan wine were brought out one after another while a curious billy goat wandered by.
Later that evening a BBQ Rehearsal Dinner was served back at the monastery. More Umbrian specialties and wine abounded and more were still to come.

Next up the big day for which everyone had traveled so far. In the morning many of the guests went into the Medieval hill town of Orvieto to sight see, shop and have lunch before the wedding would begin later in the afternoon. The Catholic ceremony was held in an ancient church on site at the monastery that was just the right size for the 70 guests in attendance. Following the ceremony there was a cocktail hour in the church area courtyard that included a full leg of prosciutto sliced by hand upon request. The dinner took place in the spectacular ruins of an ancient church where now only small section of the roof remains in place. From the dinner area you could see the main Cathedral of Orvieto with its famous façade flickering as the sun set and danced off of its marble surface as it has done for centuries. The seated dinner featured two long parallel tables with flowers in bright autumn reds, fucsias and oranges. In the nooks of the former church we put similarly colored pillows and throws. Placed on each woman’s chair was a blanket to keep them toasty for the autumn night ahead. The cake was a traditional Italian millefoglie wedding cake with wild red berries and pastry cream and was followed by a dessert buffet. As with the other days, the weather was sunny and spectacular. A bit of chill in the evening air was vanquished by the warmth of friends and family joined to celebrate Jillayne and Will being united in marriage.

This wedding was published on BRIDES Magazine. (Click link to view feature)








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