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Following on from Sally and Michael’s Honeymoon in Florence on Wednesday, we couldn’t resist putting together this little snapshot of six things to love about Florence. And believe me, it was very hard to stop at six!

1. The Fashion. Image via The Sartorialist

2. The Architecture. (image source)

3. The Landscape. (image source)

4. The Shopping. (image source)

5. The Gelato. (image source)

6. The Art. Michelangelo’s David (image source)

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The Santa Maria Del Fiore

We travelled from Paris to Florence on an overnight sleeper train… which was an interesting expereince to say the least! We arrived safe and sound in the early hours of the morning, and had the chance to explore the city a little before checking in to our hotel ‘Hotel Pendini’ – A lovely family run hotel which is decked out with antique furnishings and does a great buffet breakfast. One of the first things we did in Florence was to check out the ‘Santa Maria Del Fiore’ or ‘Dome’ church… which included climbing to the top of course! Below is the view of the inside of the ‘Dome’ featuring amazing artwork by Andrea del Castagno, Paolo Uccello, Luca della Robbia, Michelozzo, Vasari and Zuccari.

The view of Florence from the top of the ‘Santa Maria Del Fiore’, including one of the bell towers which stands beside the church.

We only spent two days in Florence, so we decided to do a few ‘hop on, hop off’ bus tours so that we could get a comprehensive view of  the city. Our hotel was really central, so it was great to also be able to explore the heart of the city on foot. We were surrounded by endless streets of markets, quaint cafes and resturants and soo many gelato shops! Yum! 🙂

Top deck tour bus with audio guide of the city’s history

The tour included a trip up into the beautiful hills to ‘Michelangelo Square’ where a statue of the famous ‘Michelangelo’ stands.

We also ventured to ‘Fiesole’, a beautiful town outside of Florence which has a rich history attached to it.

View of the ‘Arno’ river which runs through Florence

The paved piaza outside our hotel

Michael enjoying some espresso and brioche!

We found the people in Florence to be really lovely and welcoming, and made friends with a particularly friendly waiter name ‘Giuseppe’ at the Hard Rock Cafe Florence. We had some delicious meals in Florence, including an amazing hand made gnocchi dish (see below), complemented perfectly by a bottle of red!

We loved exploring Florence, and wished we had spent more time there! I think it was probably the most laid back of all the cities we visited, and the general atmosphere of the city and it’s people was warm and inviting. I think this will definitely be a place that we will come back and visit some time in the future. But for now, it was off to ‘Roma’…

Pictures from ‘Sally and Michael’s collection’ 

Swirl divider2 Sally and Michaels Honeymoon   Part One, Paris

Ms Gingham says: I love seeing snapshots of people’s honeymoons. Especially Sally and Michael’s who had an amazing time in Europe!

Sally says: “I am a 25yr old Speech Pathologist from Perth WA. I recently married the love of my life (my Plumber hubby Michael) on a lovely spring day in October. icon smile Sally and Michaels Honeymoon   Part One, Paris

Be sure to have a look at Sally and Michael’s wedding on Polka Dot Weddings

Celeste and Cristian

Whenever I think of elopements, I always think of a location in a far flung country, where nobody speaks English and as you say your vows, your family & friends are sleeping. I’ve never thought of elopements in Australia and today’s elopement of Celeste and Cristian makes me wonder why. There’s a photo of Celeste walking down the aisle to Cristian in their spectacular ceremony location and really, it is so beautiful, so moving, that perhaps eloping in Australia is one of the best ideas.

On their decision to elope, Celeste says “Be true to yourselves, making the decision to elope we were always scared of hurting our families, however we weren’t going to be able to have the wedding we wanted any other way, it was getting too big and out of hand. People will be disappointed but they will also understand. Also take the pressure off yourself, no one else is going to notice what you call imperfections, the most important thing is who is standing up there with you pledging their life and love to you.”

Celeste and Cristian met at school. “We actually went to high school together; Cristian was several year levels above me. We have known each other since I was about 14 (2000) because my best friend Rachael (witness) is Cristian’s best friend Paul’s (witness) sister, so we would see each other at their house, parties etc. But we only thought of each other as the big brothers/little sisters friend (I actually used to tease him).

After high school we didn’t really see each other, we both had serious relationships (which weren’t the best examples of functional partnerships). I was actually in a 7 year relationship that ended in 2009 after which I asked Rachael to invite some lovely single guys to her annual grand final BBQ, to which she answered, sorry all the good guys are taken! However on the day of the BBQ Cristian walked in, Rachael hadn’t even thought of him as a prospect. We hadn’t seen each other for at least 5 years, he made a rude but joking remark, something along the lines of how horrible it was to see me, I basically told him to be quiet and that it wasn’t so great to see him either and that was the beginning of a beautiful relationship!”

Photographs are by Love, Katie & Sarah Photography. Katie & Sarah always capture stunning imagery and although the backdrop of Tasmania helped, their eye for imagery is incredible.

Celeste and Cristian had one witness with them each. Cristian chose a suit from Roger David.

Celeste chose a strapless gown from Beautiful Bird Boutique. She explains “Of course my dress was a big feature, the train was fun and flirty with the bursts of organza creating a more modern version of a train. My head piece also held a great amount of sentimental value, it was my great grandmother’s wedding head piece which was also worn by my grandmother and mother, I had earrings and a bracelet custom made from America (by treasures570 on Etsy) to match and the basic concept and style for the dress and wedding really sprouted from it. My veil was also cut at the final moment, though assembled by the dressmakers we left cutting it to length until the day as where it sat in my hair would determine the length, so my very brave maid of honour cut it to length right before we left for the ceremony.” Celeste’s bridesmaid wore a gown from Revival. Both girls had their hair styled by Nykita Fahey from Navada Elite Hobart and makeup by Jane Jensen from Releaf Skin Clinic .

Celeste and Cristian held their intimate ceremony at Port Arthur’s open air chapel. Celeste explains “The open air chapel ruins were perfect for our style of wedding. We wanted simple with a vintage feel, the chapel has no roof, flooring, windows or doors. It does have a bell tower with functioning bells which topped off the ceremony, but the most perfect touch was the tiny white daisy that had sprouted throughout the grass in the chapel.”

Celeste recalls, “We made an aisle by filling jars with flowers, a very special friend got there early and lined the grass with them. I walked down the aisle to an acoustic version of Jose Gonzalez “Heartbeats”.”

The couple were married by Robyn Brake. Celeste remembers “I was never a girl who grew up dreaming of her wedding day but the thing I remember most is how happy I was and how not once during the ceremony did Cristian take his eyes off of me. Rachael choking up during her reading also added to the emotion of the moment.

I also kept the fact that I was going to change my surname a secret right until the last moment, when the celebrant announced us as Mr and Mrs Astudillo I remember the surprise on Cristian’s face, I had to ask him if he’d heard her! After that he couldn’t wipe the smile off his face.”

Celeste loved “The intimacy, the profession of our love to each other being only about us and not being about a show for everyone else, my dress, our vows, which we wrote ourselves and the location.”

Of their photographers, Celeste says “Our photographers were amazing! We actually originally started to plan a wedding in Victoria, where we both live and even after our plans changed we loved Katie and Sarah so much we decided to take them to Tasmania with us. Their style is unique and original, they are such bubbly ladies who felt were truly emotionally invested in our wedding and our marriage and this shows in the photographs.”

The couple celebrated their marriage with an intimate dinner at a beautiful restaurant. Celeste explains “We had a dinner afterwards in a private dining room at Monty’s on Montepelier with our witnesses and their partners.”

Congratulations on your marriage Celeste and Cristian! Thank you for sharing your elopement with us! Thank you also to Love, Katie & Sarah Photography for today’s images.

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Bridesmaid Dresses
  • Revival
  • Flowers & Decor
  • Floral Land Seaford (03) 9775 0834
  • Ceremony Officiant
  • Robyn Brake