Inside a crumbling church in the Italian countryside sat a canopy of green, a collection of trees reaching to the ceilings, trunks steadied by soil resting on the ancient sandstone floor. It’s as if they have grown in through the church, an enchanted garden that has sprouted between minute fissures in the stone…
In a celebration imbued with Italian tradition, Maria and Riccardo exchanged vows beneath the emerald leaves of their bespoke interior garden. Beautifully captured by Cinzia Bruschini, guests mingled amongst the rolling Italian hills, a balloon installation hanging above.
This was a wedding of sunset skies and candlelit feasts, where guests danced to jazz music and the couple were whisked away in a sky blue vintage Fiat…
Photography by LANE handpicked photographer Cinzia Bruschini
NAMES: Maria and Riccardo
WEDDING DATE: September 10, 2016
GUEST NUMBERS: 210
HOW WE MET: We met in a club in Sardinia in the summer of 2003. We were introduced through mutual friends and have been together ever since!
OUR ENGAGEMENT STORY: I was coming back from a working trip in London, the flight had been delayed and I was very tired. Riccardo had prepared an amazing dinner for us both and proposed once I got home. I was so happy and surprised!
WEDDING LOCATION: Villa Sparina, in Monterotondo, Italy. We’ve always been fascinated by the idea of getting married in a winery. We loved Villa Sparina because it has a beautiful hotel on the grounds where all our guests could stay with us and spend the weekend together in a charming location.
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THEME/STYLE: We were so inspired by our beautiful venue and its amazing surrounds, so decided to keep our styling rustic to fit in with the space. We opted for décor and florals that echoed the earthy colors and natural finishes of the estate. Keeping to this theme, we asked our guests to dress in printed gowns and statement accessories – everyone looked so gorgeous!
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cinzia Bruschini. We love her style, how she catches the moment in a very authentic way. We found her work online and she immediately caught our attention - it’s so very rare to find spontaneous work out there!
BRIDE’S DRESS: Maison Samit, an atelier in Verona. The dress was a mix of different shades of white macramé with cream chiffon layered underneath. The dress has a gentle A-line shape with a big ruffle on the upper part to cover the shoulders. On the waist, there was a grosgrain belt. The macramé was especially designed by Ricamificio Paolo.
WEDDING RINGS: Matching our wedding aesthetic, our rings were minimal gold pieces that were beautifully understated.
GROOM’S ATTIRE: Riccardo wore a made-to-measure single breast suit in blue with a white shirt and grey knit tie. He also wore vintage Cartier cufflinks.
HAIR: I had my hair in braids, woven into a bun. This was styled with little Japanese white and pink flowers.
FAVORS/BONBONNIERE: We gave each guest a flute of confetti (that they threw over us as we walked out of the church) along with a traditional Italian bonbonniere of sugared almonds. We also put hangover kits in each of their rooms so help with their day-after recovery! Additionally, everyone was able to make a personalized flipbook during the weddings party – we provided colourful masks, glasses and wigs!
FLOWERS & BOUQUETS: The bouquet was made from flowers in soft shades of pink and pastel colours, keeping to a rustic style. The bridesmaids wore handmade flower bracelets in the same colours as the bouquet.
PREPARATION: In the morning, I had a massage to relax and unwind before the ceremony. As I got ready, I had some drinks and nibbles with my sisters and bridesmaids.
CEREMONY DÉCOR/RECEPTION DÉCOR: We got married in a deconsecrated church that was beautiful and timeworn. We wanted to create the environment of an enchanted garden that was growing through the floor of the church, so we filled the space with huge green plants. They were placed on the floor without vases, and after the wedding all of them were planted in a beautiful garden next to the church.
CAKE: We had a large rectangle cake that was topped with strawberries. Surrounding the cake, we had 100 balloons that were connected in sync with the music. They changed colours and bumped together – the effect was very romantic!
WEDDING SONG: Our first dance was to “Heroes” by David Bowie
ENTERTAINMENT: In the church, we had a trio of violin, viola and violoncello. During the happy hour, we had a jazz band playing and then after dinner, we had a DJ playing all ‘90s music.
FOOD & BEVERAGES: Our reception was a sit-down dinner with a rustic menu. We had a lot of fried canapes with vegetables and homemade salami during the aperitivo. For the later courses we had agnolotti with cured meats and filet steak with vegetables ratatouille. During the evening, there was pizza and focaccia available as well (to help the guests that were drinking too much!). We served champagne and had an open bar for everyone during the dance party.
TRANSPORT: We left the wedding in a vintage Fiat 500 in light blue.
GIFT REGISTRY: We used Mohd for our registry. My favourite gift was from my bridesmaid - an ostrich egg on which she had hand painted our love story. My sister prepared a collection of our favourite pictures from our years together which our guests could take and glue onto our guestbook. It’s a beautiful memento to keep.
CELEBRANT: The celebrant was my cousin, Don Renato Fantoni. It was so special for us to have him during the ceremony.
A MEMORABLE MOMENT: My most memorable moment was definitely entering the church with my dad, it was so amazing and emotional. And of course, the feeling of all our friends being willing to be there to share in the best day of our life.
ONE THING I WISH I KNEW BEFORE I STARTED MY WEDDING PLANS: That everything goes so fast – it’s important to enjoy every moment!
IF I COULD GIVE OTHER BRIDES TO BE ONE PIECE OF ADVICE…
You can’t control the weather! Avoid stress and try to have a plan B just in case!
MARIA & RICCARDO’S CONTACTS:
PHOTOGRAPHY: Cinzia Bruschini
BRIDE'S DRESS: Maison Samit
HAIR: Massimo Serini
MAKEUP: Massimo Serini
FLORIST: Flores, Manerbio
CAKE: Villa Sparina
CATERING: Villa Sparina
CELEBRANT: Don Renato Fantoni
WEDDING VENUE: Villa Sparina
GIFT REGISTRY: Mohd
OTHER: Balloons by La Notte Delle Luci