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Letting Go of Perfection | Rangefinder

When Veronica and Paolo were planning their wedding, they were imagining everything would be perfect, according to their photographer, Patricia Giovannini of Pat Cori Photography in Roanoke, Virginia. “They had found a beautiful old church, Abbazia Farneta in Cortona, Italy, only about 20 minutes away was Paolo’s family villa in Tuscany. It was like something out of a movie,” says Giovannini who was a winner in the Wedding Reception category of the Rangefinder 2019 Wedding Photography Contest with this image.

The villa was too small to house the reception, what with all of the guests they had invited, so the couple rented transparent tents and specially selected farm wood tables. They also hired their favorite florist to decorate the area with tons of lavender and an “un’ape” (the Italian version of a food truck) that would provide “fritto,” or fried appetizers, during cocktail hour. “Veronica’s vision was a Tuscany wedding surrounded by love,” Giovannini says.

But as they began the morning taking pictures of Paolo getting ready in his family’s villa, they heard thunder in the distance. “We laughed and joked about it and we said, ‘Well, at least we have a tent to protect us from the rain…’”

What they didn’t realize was that this was not just an average summer storm. The joy of the day hid the acknowledgement of a major flood that was to come.

The tent got destroyed by the storm and even though the rental company made its way back with another one, it was raining so hard that they couldn’t mount it. No music was playing either—the musicians had all left the party because their instruments had gotten all wet.

“What was supposed to be a seated dinner turned out to be a buffet split up in two rooms,” says the photographer. “At one point, some of the couple’s friends gathered all of their guests into one small room and shared a video they had prepared. As the bride and groom sat on two chairs watching it, surrounded by all those who joined them to celebrate their love of one another, this image became one of my favorite moments in the history of weddings! In that moment, all that mattered was being together, surrounded by the warmth and laughter of their closest people.”

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