Text by Melanie Saxton Photos by Donatella Barbera and Damiano Salvadori
The Tuscan countryside became a perfect wedding destination for Truly Moore and Patrick Kane, who had already shared international adventures throughout their courtship and engagement.
Truly is a lifelong Houstonian who attended Bellaire High and earned a B.S. degree in speech pathology at University of North Texas. She is currently pursuing a master’s in education with an emphasis on applied behavior analysis and is employed as an early intervention speech therapist.
Patrick was born in Montreal, Québec and attended College Jean de la Mennais and the University of Ottawa, Ontario, earning an honors bachelor’s degree of commerce with a specialization in accounting. He is employed as an assistant director of finance.
The couple were married on May 19, 2016 at San Galgano Abbey in Chiusdino, Italy, and celebrated the occasion at a reception at Tenuta di Papena.
First Meeting And Courtship
The couple met online, and Patrick asked Truly to go on a date after only a couple of messages. She was immediately attracted by his direct approach and met him for drinks, along with her dog Lucky, who had to approve of any potential suitor. They spent hours talking about a shared love of arts, food and travel. Imagine Truly’s surprise when Patrick mentioned he would soon be moving overseas for work, although the timeline was unclear.
Undaunted by distance, and with Lucky’s blessing, the couple maintained their romance as Patrick traveled for work. When he accepted a position in the Caribbean, Truly flew to visit him and realized she’d fallen in love… and the dreamy little island wasn’t so bad, either. They decided that Truly and Lucky would join Patrick and his island mutt Ziggy to live and work in paradise.
In June 2015 after months of island fever, Patrick took Truly to Canada for the first time to meet his friends and family. They boarded a train from Montreal to Québec City and enjoyed the quaint old town with its cobblestone streets. Patrick had stowed a unique engagement ring in his pocket for three days and proposed on a knobby hill overlooking The Citadelle on the last day of their stay. Of course Truly said yes, and she was absolutely delighted with the 19th century statement ring with a Burmese sapphire in the center and old mine diamond crown.
During their 11-month engagement, the couple spent a good deal of time planning a destination wedding. They researched locales all over the world, but nothing compared to the Tuscan countryside of Tenuta di Papena in Chiusdino. They were able to reserve a villa — or more precisely a 14th century Cistercian monastery — for friends and family who would be staying for the celebration. “We coordinated everything from halfway across the world, sight unseen, with our lovely planner, Ginevra di Amicis,” said Truly.
The couple flew to Florence a week ahead of their wedding date to enjoy the sights and tastes of Italy. Many of their loved ones joined them over the course of the week in preparation for the festivities. They travelled to Cinque Terre, Siena and throughout the city of Florence.
When everyone finally arrived at Tenuta di Papena, they became immersed in an exquisite wonderland of historic Tuscan architecture and authentic old world charm. It was the sentimental, simple and intimate venue that the bride had dreamed about.
Floral and décor: The bride’s bouquet was composed of peonies, freesia and lily of the valley. The groom’s boutonniere was made from garden roses and fragrant lavender. The altar table was decorated on either side with two arrangements of peonies, garden roses and lisanthus. The bride’s mother had collected antique lace handkerchiefs for years and arranged them for guests along with a note that said “For your tears of joy.” Dried lavender was bundled to be tossed during the couple’s exit.
Attire: The bride’s “something old” was her engagement ring. Her “something new” was a beautiful off-white Nicole Miller Hampton gown with lace details on the back and train. Her “something borrowed“ was a cathedral length veil with antique lace trim and appliques. Her “something blue” were earrings given by her grandmother that matched the engagement ring. Gold studded flats completed the ensemble.
The groom wore a custom blue suit and shirt made by Black Lapel and shoes by Allen Edmonds.
The walk down the aisle: The proceedings had a hint of suspense because the couple did not have a rehearsal. In fact, the bride did not see the interior of the abbey until the very moment she walked down the aisle, and the glorious sight caused her eyes to well with tears.
It had stormed earlier in the day, and when giant puddles appeared in their path, her father asked if she wanted to walk through it. Then suspense turned to excitement as they both started laughing and meandered onward toward the groom. “When I saw Patrick standing at the end I wanted to kiss him right away,” notes the bride.
Nuptials: Mayor Luciana Bartaletti officiated as parents of the bride, Tony and Starla Moore of Houston, and parents of the groom, David Kane and Josee Santoni of Montreal, witnessed the union of their children. The couple exchanged Italian vows that were read by the mayor, and then exchanged vows they had written for each other on Florentine marbled cards. As the groom began reciting, the rain started pouring down. The bride and groom’s sisters, serving as witnesses, stood next to the couple and held umbrellas. Then as the rain fell harder, guests and the officiant ran for cover.
Top wedding moments: The newly married couple shared their first kiss, still shielded by their sisters, and then met everyone under the cover of the abbey’s alcoves. Mayor Luciana announced that she hadn’t yet given them permission to kiss, and then did so. Everyone laughed, cheered and applauded as the couple kissed again.
Due to the downpour, the reception dinner was moved indoors, and it exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Floral and décor: The room was lit with hanging candles, illuminating a large table decorated with olive branches, peonies, bouvardia, delphinium, lily of the valley, gladiolus and hyacinth. Rattan chargers, white linens and white quilted chair covers added ambiance, and napkins were tied with lavender. Each guest received a personalized bottle of wine, the same vintage that was served at the reception dinner.
The cake: The couple’s scrumptious two-tiered mille-feuille wedding cake was a traditional confection used for Italian celebrations, customized with fruit di bosco (mixed wild berries) and a topper made of natural birch wood.
Music and dance: A string quartet performed during the ceremony, cocktail hour, dinner and first dance. After dinner, the bride, groom and guests moved to a larger room and danced by firelight until the wee hours of the morning. Becky Moyes, the bride’s best friend since fifth grade, surprised her by singing Etta James’ version of At Last, accompanied by the quartet for the first dance. The special moment brought the bride to tears as she walked onto the dance floor with her groom. But the mood quickly became upbeat when Wannabe by the Spice Girls started playing, and all of the girls began belting it out. “We felt like little girls at a sleepover singing our hearts out,” the bride said.
Top reception moment: Friends gave the most heartfelt toasts, exemplifying why the couple chose a destination wedding. The celebration brought everyone together and created unforgettable memories for those who were meeting for the first time, as well as others who were reconnecting after long absences.
After the wedding, friends and family stayed with the newlyweds for a day at the villa to enjoy each other’s company and savor the quality time. Afterwards the couple honeymooned for two weeks on the Sorrento Coast, Capri and New York. They indulged in food delicacies and enjoyed Michelin-starred meals in every location (and gelato nearly every day). The highlight was a meal hosted for young couples at Torre del Saracino highlighting 14-plus courses and wine pairings during a five-hour experience.
The couple returned to the Caribbean where they continue their honeymoon on weekends, with sunset cocktails by the sea and days at the beach. In time they may resettle in Texas, especially since Truly’s Houston roots run so deep, but for now have embraced an island lifestyle.
Category: Memorable Weddings