San Galgano Abbey, Tuscany - Sonia & Dave
Would I recommend that couples marry abroad? Yes. Would I recommend whether you should take a UK Photographer with you? Yes. Take Me!!! Travel and Photography are my major passions in life (along with my family & friends, of course), so to have the chance to combine my passions, and get paid is everything I've striven towards. Not only that, but I got to spend some time with some AMAZING people in the heart of Tuscany, Italy, at this Abbey..........
The Abbey of Saint Galgano was a Cistercian Monastery found in the valley of the river Merse between the towns of Chiusdino and Monticiano, in the province of Siena, region of Tuscany, Italy. Presently, the roofless walls of the Gothic style 13th-century Abbey church still stand [Wikipedia]. These standing walls are now a place for couples to celebrate their wedding. Complete with glorious weather, the stunning scenery and convenience of its on site guest accommodation, 'Terre de San Galgano' (which housed all of the Wedding guests) this is a perfect location.
I arrived the day before to meet the guests, scope out the venue and surroundings, before enjoying some awesome local cuisine, in the form of Pizza...WOW!!!
Pre-wedding, my morning involved flitting between bridal party, groomsmen and the abbey, trying to capture as much detail and emotion as I possibly could.
My advice to anyone capturing a Wedding abroad is to prepare for extremely bright conditions. It's quite easy to find images ruined through over exposure, but being prepared I had my settings organised on my Canon 5D Mark IV.
The walk from the accommodation to the Abbey is only a few hundred meters but noticeably difficult in the heat of a summers day. It was very Italian walking among the iconic Poplar Tree's before arriving at the main door of the Abbey. San Galgano has to house the longest aisle walk that I've experienced but who cares when the surroundings are this beautiful? These distances enable you to capture depth, which looks great.
The ceremony is performed in Italian by a Mayor or civil registrar, with an official Interpreter. A ceremony in Italy consists of a mix between the articles of the Italian civil code and traditional marriage vows. They could now be pronounced Mr & Mrs McClave.
Whilst the guests continued to the 'Agriturismo' area to enjoy alcohol and canapes, Sonia (Bride), Dave (Groom), their lovely daughter Ruby and I wondered the grounds taking advantage of the stunning locations, using the low light and shadows to be creative. I used the evening before (roughly the same time as the ceremony) to gauge how the lighting would look at this time of the day. We were in for a treat.
On to the evenings celebrations where guests enjoyed a delicious traditional 3 course meal under festoon lighting washed down with local wine before being entertained with several speeches from the father of the bride, groom and best men.