If you’re a desk-bound minion as I am, I’d imagine you’ve just gotten out of your first round of meetings for the week, your to-do list is appallingly long, and your boss might be a wee bit more than “short” tempered this morning. So you might be here, checking out this blog, for a little something on the bright side… Which I will try and strive to deliver. So let’s look at something bright and beautiful shall we?

It’s that time of year again – when the weather is a little too hot for my liking, the kids are back for the summer holidays, and the brides and grooms have come out to play. It’s also the time of year when you’re likely to find me sitting in front of a closet full of clothing lamenting about how I have nothing to wear to yet another wedding. But it’s true, I don’t have a closet full of semi-fancy dresses – it’s mostly populated with plain old boring work clothes which won’t stand up in a room full of lush fabrics and sequin embellishments. Anyway, that wasn’t the point of this post, the point was this stunning wedding set amidst the rolling hills of Tuscany and how much I would love for mine to go something along these lines.

These beautiful images were shot by Jose Villa | Fine Art Weddings. I thought they did an incredible job of capturing the essence of the evening, and if you have a moment, you should head over to their website to see the rest of their amazing work.

I especially love how the photographer managed to capture both the tiny details and the bigger picture – the sprig tied in place on the menu, the votives in the hanging glass jars… to the sweeping landscape of Tuscany that formed the backdrop to the evening, and the beautiful grove in which the ceremony was held.

What struck me the most was the last picture above – that gorgeous view, the wide open space (all that room for dancing!), and most of all, the fact that there are only 4 tables (in sight – there may be more but this was definitely a small wedding).

I recently had the pleasure of attending a Singapore-Norwegian wedding, and like the couple in the Tuscan wedding, this lucky couple had also discovered the key to a truly wonderful wedding — less than 10 tables. The intimacy of the affair allowed the couple to enjoy the company of their guests (instead of running around being perpetually harassed to take photo with this table, go say hello to that uncle, and what have you), and allowed the guests to unwind and have a good time in the comfort of close friends and family. Most of the guests didn’t know each other — his family is from Norway after all, and for a lot of them it was their first time in sunny Singapore. But they had a chance to get to know her friends, and by the end of the night, Norwegians and Singaporeans alike were getting their groove on, on the make shift dance floor.

The Norwegians also have some pretty epic wedding traditions that we would do well to emulate.

1. Whenever someone clinks their glass, the couple has to kiss

2. Whenever someone starts to stamp their feet, the couple has to stand up on chairs and kiss

3. When the groom leaves the room, it’s a free-for-all and any man is welcome to kiss the bride

4. When the bride leaves the room…. Well let’s just say we didn’t get a chance to try this out :)

Very entertaining to watch these giant men (who are normally quite reserved) go sprinting across the room to steal a kiss from the bride while the groom was away. Also very entertaining to start stamping like a bunch of flamenco dancers on crack to get the couple kissing. The father of the groom was called Thor, and the best man was named Roar. With that introduction I knew for sure that the evening was going to be epic – and I was not disappointed. I’d share some pictures but I was having too good of a time to remember to take any :p

Photos: Jose Villa | Fine Art Weddings

A little more Jose Villa – He’s a Southern California-based professional photographer specializing in wedding photography. He’s been featured in (my main woman) Martha’s as well as InStyle Weddings, and his portfolio is full of breathtaking images from weddings around the world (seriously, check out Cathlene & Eric’s mountain-side matrimony). He is available for travel! So for those of you getting hitched soon you can contact him here (weddings@josevillaphoto.com).