Accents of white and organic rustic florals created the dreamscape surrounds for Laura & Asher’s destination wedding nestled in-between cobblestone walls in Umbria. Seemingly infinite, a dramatic tablescape stretched through the reception space, filled with cascading olive branches and pillar candles. Festoon lights effortlessly swung above guests, evoking a softly lit, moody ambience.
Names / Laura & Asher
Wedding Date / June 17, 2016
Guest Numbers / 60
How we met…
London 2012 – we were introduced by mutual friends at a party. We didn’t have a whole lot to do with each other that night but a few days later found ourselves lost together in the crowds of Wimbledon. At the end of the day, Ash asked for my number (through that mutual friend) and the rest was history. We went on 2 dates while I was in England and then I boarded my plane back home to Australia. 6 months later….I moved.
Our Engagement Story…
Christmas morning 2014 at Ash’s family home in Derbyshire, England. Ash wakes me up to open presents. [Now, it’s worth noting here, that in the lead up to Christmas Ash had seriously hyped up my present, like reeeally hyped it up.] I sit down to open my first of two presents – a head strap for a GoPro. I have to admit, slightly confused and underwhelmed I go on to open my second present….any guesses? Yep, a GoPro. Ash then hands me a card that instructs me to strap the GoPro to my head and hunt around the house and backyard for a dozen roses. My clues are short rhymes taking me from one rose to the next. I get to the 12th and final rose and my clue reads “You’ve done it! You win! You completed the task. But there is something else…I’ve got a question to ask!!”. Completely oblivious (and still with the GoPro strapped to my head) I cluelessly turn to him and say “What?”. He was on a knee. We drank champagne with Ash’s mum and grandma with my family on FaceTime. It was perfect.
Marriage to us means…
Forever. We were lucky to have found each other so early on in our lives. Marriage hasn’t changed our relationship. It purely symbolises everything we’ve felt for each other since that day at Wimbledon.
With Ash being from England, me from Australia and our current home being NYC, there was no clear-cut country let alone venue to hold our wedding! After a ton of conversations, brainstorming sessions and google search’s we came to the conclusion we wanted an intimate wedding in Italy. Ash took to Instagram and hashtagged #italywedding – not knowing (but definitely hoping) he stumbled across a breathtaking photo of the archway ruin of La Badia di Orvieto. A historic 12th century Abbey nestled amongst the olive trees in Umbria. La Badia has 26 rooms so we were lucky enough to have the majority of our family and friends stay with us which helped make the days we were together just so incredibly special.
We wanted to keep things very simple, organic and allow the beauty of the location to speak for itself. I think as far as wedding planning went, it made logistics quite a bit easier. The flowers were mostly olive leaves with accents of white, the table was raw and wooden without a cloth.
Our photographer was the creative genius that is Giuseppe Marano. I was lucky enough to stumble across Giuseppe’s work whilst searching through The LANE – once he had caught my eye, there was no turning back. The rawest of emotions captured, the ‘perfect’ lighting made to seem absolutely effortless and one of the kindest and gentlest souls I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting. Sharing our wedding with Giuseppe felt like we had 1 more guest at our wedding. If you’re looking for those unexpected details to be captured in a way that seems like it’s too beautiful to be real, then Giuseppe is your man.
Working in the fashion industry, I knew I was going to be a nightmare in the dress department. I jumped around every ‘anti-bridal’ boutique in NYC and my 9 month ‘cut off’ was coming closer. I booked what I told myself was going to be my last appointment and it was with Delphine Manivet. Brides – they have an 8 week turn around with their dresses, so the pressure was off! The 2nd dress I tried on, I had seen online but didn’t really look twice at it. As soon as I tried it on, I was done! I cut the ¾ sleeve into a cap sleeve and worked with their Parisian Atelier to fine tune specific details in order to make the dress feel like mine.
A sore point when you ask my now husband… I purchased 4 pairs over the course of our engagement. I ultimately settled on a pair of Aquazzura x Poppy Delevingne suede lace-ups.
All my 5 bridesmaids wore different dresses from Self Portrait in slightly different shades of lilac.
Because all their dresses were different shapes and slightly different colours, I asked the girls to pick an amazing pair of nude/neutral shoes that would go with their dress.
Ash worked with Harry at J. Kleinhaus & Sons and Sandy at Elegant Jewelers here in NYC to create my stunning engagement ring and so naturally we went right back to them for our wedding bands. I opted for a simple rose gold and black diamond band.The story of Ash’s ring is a little more special so here it is in his words – “When my father passed away, we had his wedding ring cut in half. Half was given to my brother and half to me. I took my half and kept it exactly as it was. Sandy from Elegant then fused a second half (brushed platinum) to my dad’s half to symbolise Laura and Dad being with me always. They never met, but this way they will be forever intertwined.”
I wore a pair of black & white diamond earrings that were again crafted by J. Kleinhaus & Sons and Elegant Jewelers.
Ash worked with James at Cad & The Dandy to create a timeless three piece black tux for him and his brother (Best Man).
All Ash’s ushers wore black tie.
I styled my own hair so I opted for a simple side part with loose curls and half pinned to the side with olive leaves.
Again, I did my own makeup after a crash course from a close friend and make-up artist in New York. I went for a soft, natural look with a bold lash and rose coloured eyeshadow.
Find our handpicked edit of Bridesmaid brands from around the world on the Directory.
The wonderful thing about having creatively talented friends is that they normally have creatively talented friends too! We worked with Emily Schwegman – very close friend of a friend who bought my blabbering words/brief to life. We didn’t do save the dates, as we had guests all over the world we sent out our invitations about 8 months before the wedding. We had a gorgeous menu (again designed by Emily) printed onto a long canvas scroll that we popped on an easel by our table during our reception dinner.
We put together welcome packets for our guests and popped them in their rooms before they checked in. Inside we included something from Italy, something from Australia, something from England and something from New York.
Flowers & Bouquet
We wanted to keep the florals very simple and be careful to not distract from our beautiful surrounds. We knew olive leaves were going to be a running theme within bouquets, boutonnieres, church and reception florals and then worked with our wonderful florist, Debra who suggested other locally sourced blooms.
We didn’t work with a planner. However, Ash’s mum (who lives in England), made everything come together on the day! Planning a wedding in a foreign country; I wish one of us had been able to speak Italian but didn’t feel like we missed out on having a planner.
The morning of the wedding, my bridesmaids and I ate breakfast in the La Badia courtyard and then went for a quick swim. I wrote notes and gave them small gifts – something tangible to thank them for everything intangible they had done throughout our friendship.
Marco’s eye/aesthetic was very closely in line with our photographer Giuseppe. We were lucky enough to find out that the two of these creative souls had actually worked together before which made them both instantly at ease on the day of the wedding. We are beyond excited to see the final product of Marco’s video and relive our Italian fairytale.
Ceremony & Reception Décor
Our reception decor was simple and allowed the charm of The Abbey to shine through. For our ceremony, we again took the same approach. Through the process, the only detail I would not budge on was to have a single, banquet table for everyone to sit together during our reception. The table and chairs were raw wood we juxtaposed this with modern tableware to elevate the look and feel.
We had a chocolate cake lightly iced with a white cream frosting baked by the local patisserie in Orvieto.
Processional: Staralfur – Sigur Ros, Recessional: Wait For Love (Sidewalk Sessions)- St. Lucia, First Dance: I’m Your Man – Wham.
Food & Beverage
We worked with the incredible Luca at Ristorante La Badia to design the most perfect menu for both our garden cocktail reception as well as our sit down banquet-style dinner. Our bespoke cocktail list was personally crafted and served by Luca which was a really lovely touch. The canapes were artfully served on a table which allowed our guests to meet and mingle before dinner. Our sit down meal included beautiful, locally sourced produce paired back with Orvieto wines. Later on in the evening Luca surprised Ash and I with a barrel of 90 day aged negroni.
We found a local acoustic trio called Enola Grey that played an amazing hour unplugged during our cocktail reception and then amped things up a little after dinner. They were a huge hit and kept our family and friends dancing until the early hours!
The morning after our wedding, we drove to Florence to spend a phenomenal 2 days with some of our closest family and friends. We stayed at the breathtaking JK Place Firenze and eat/shopped our way around the city. From Florence, Ash and I headed to Capri for some R ‘n R. We stayed at JK Place Capri where we were treated like family from the moment we stepped off the ferry at the port. Stefano and his team made us feel as though we were their only guests and again, like we were family. If you’re in Capri your must-try restaurants are; Aurora, L’Approdo and La Fontelina. You. Are. Welcome (in advance).
Source of Inspiration
First and foremost; The LANE. Long before we were engaged I had The LANE bookmarked so naturally, it was my first port of call when it came to initial research and then again finding and refinding potential creatives to work with us on our special day. Instagram was naturally also a massive portal of inspiration for us.
A memorable moment…
We had just sat down to eat and then had a tap on my shoulder from Giuseppe (with Marco peering over his shoulder). He asked me, would we mind if they stole us away for 10 minutes while the lighting was ‘just so’. We absolutely did not object! After Ash and I sat back down at the table, I looked down to both my left and right realising the most beautiful thing was happening – all of our people…our dearest all from every corner of the globe were sitting at the same table, sharing a meal. The laughter, joy, happiness and love was completely overwhelming.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
We didn’t have a planner which made the logistics aspect difficult due to the communication. It would have been incredibly helpful to have someone be able to communicate in both English and Italian in order to act as the middle man.
If I could give Brides-To-Be one piece of advice…
Don’t be too tough on yourself. Try not to let whatever ‘bridal status quos’ get in your head. Everyone takes a different journey. Go your own way…it’ll be right. Stick to your guns and let the tears happen – happy ones and sad ones, they’re all worth it in the end!
Photography / Giuseppe Marano
Bride’s Dress / Delphine Manivet
Bride’s Shoes / Aquazzura
Bridesmaids’ Dresses / Self Portrait
Groom’s Formal Wear / Cad & The Dandy
Wedding Rings / J. Kleinhaus & Sons.
Stationery / Emma Kate
Florist / Debra Flower
Catering / Labadia Hotel
Wedding Venue / Labadia Hotel
Honeymoon Destination / JK Place
Entertainment / Scarlett Entertainment
Videographer / Marco Abba
Gift Registry / Jung Lee