Immersed in artisanal beauty, Ersilia and Lucio’s Tuscan celebration played homage to their love for design and the Italian aesthetic. Exchanging vows inside a cathedral famed for its architectural finesse, Ersilia and Lucio’s ceremony began beneath hallowed arches, evoking a mood both emotional and atmospheric.
The reception unfolded under sun-drenched skies before a backdrop of infinite fields. Friends and family mingled in true Italian style, indulging in cheese and wine to a soundtrack of Dixieland jazz. Tables classically dressed in crisp white linens paired perfectly with seasonal fruits and flowers styled in summertime hues. As dusk fell over the elegant soiree, a four-course feast ensued, with several guests taking to the sky, floating above the festivities in a billowing hot air balloon…
Beautifully captured by LANE handpicked photographer, Giuseppe Marano.
Names / Ersilia & Lucio
Wedding Date / July 21, 2018
Guest Numbers / 122
How We Met
We met the at the University in Rome, we both studied Architecture. We had talked for the first time in Barcelona, on Passeig de Gràcia during an architectural trip with the University. It was in July 2009, but we started officially dating in 2010, when still in Rome. After two years we moved in together, to Tuscany first and then to New York where we currently live.
Our Engagement Story
On Ersilia’s birthday we went to the opera at the Metropolitan in New York and right outside the theater Lucio got on one knee and proposed in the middle of Lincoln Center Plaza. It was a very cold night in January, but we decided to walk around for a few minutes afterwards because we were both too excited. When we felt the cold penetrating our bones, we got a taxi and the kindest driver appeared to us. She was a Rastafari woman who started talking about love – without knowing us or what just happened – while Perfect by Ed Sheeran and Andrea Bocelli was playing in the background. As we got out of the taxi, it started snowing. It all felt like a movie, just incredible and perfect.
Marriage To Us Means
Sharing our happiness and our preoccupations, sharing every moment of our lives but at the same time, saving each other’s personal space to allow that individual growth that is gold for the couple.
We are living in New York, but we are Italians. So for us, it was kind of obvious to celebrate our wedding in our motherland. We chose Tuscany because we lived there before moving to New York and because it was our first “home” together (besides the fact that it has beautiful landscape, architecture, great food and wine!). We celebrated the ceremony in the Catholic church in Pienza, il Duomo, architecturally one of the most important churches in the world. The reception was at Locanda in Tuscany, a lovely historical country house with an incredible view over the hills of Val d’Orcia. Locanda feels like home as well as a dream – it can be a wonderful wedding venue, but it is also a peaceful place where you can reconnect with yourself. The hills reach out into the horizon and have spectacular sunrises and sunsets.
Theme & Style
Living abroad doesn’t let us spend much time with our friends and family, so we wanted the wedding to be a special occasion to reunite our dearest and spend a memorable day all together. Tuscany is just beautiful in summer; the hills are in shades of gold, the sun goes from a vivid yellow to a warm orange before setting, the nights are mild…it was the thought of these things put together that led us to the style of our wedding.
We were all reunited around the same open-air table, the idea was to revive the imagination of the Italian rural tradition, something between Fellini and Bertolucci with a glimpse of the New York glamour. An elegant family dinner under the Tuscan sky where children could laugh and play around, our grandparents could enjoy seeing their families growing, younger and older talking, dancing, eating and drinking with joy. Our desire was to imprint these precious memories in everyone, and to make everybody a protagonist of that day with us.
Giuseppe Marano photographed our wedding. We selected a pool of wedding photographers we found online, and Giuseppe was the only one we both liked immediately. We loved his authentic and very profound way to capture the essence of moments, things and people; his ability and sensibility to get sophisticated images but still without losing his peculiar journalistic approach. For us, that was essential. We wanted every moment to be photographed naturally and artfully at the same time, in order to convey the beauty, the happiness, the love we were enjoying.
I tried dozens and dozens of dresses in many showrooms and designer stores in New York, I really wasn’t into bridal dresses at all. After weeks I went back to one of the first dresses I had tried, inside myself I knew I wanted to wear the Made in Italy. My choice was a Dolce & Gabbana gown, fully white lace, light bustier with square neckline front and back, lightly puff sleeves, sheath/curve-skimming silhouette with a train. A simple gown, yet still precious and very detailed. I chose pure silk tulle for the two-tier veil, in an oversized cathedral length.
Dolce & Gabbana white pumps in Taormina lace with crystals for the ceremony and dinner, and Dolce & Gabbana platform sandals in glittery leopard-print with bejeweled heels for the party.
Ersilia’s sister was the only maid of honor, she wore a Dolce & Gabbana floral print, silk organza, tea length dress. A classically elegant fit-and-flare dress with oversized blooms to match the floral theme of the wedding: vivid colors and opulent romance.
Dolce & Gabbana light pink suede sandals, towering block heel accented with a pearl-white logo charm and matching studs along the gold-tone metal trim. Further tiny studs edge the crossover front straps and wraparound ankle strap finished with a crystal-encrusted buckle.
Floral lace dress with a round neck, short sleeves and a ruffled hem by Il Gufo, styled by Dindolo’ Zerosedici. The oldest, Matilde, wore a flower crown, the youngest Teresa couldn’t keep it on! We chose a very comfortable and effortless elegant outfit for our nephews to match the bridal dress.
Traditional yellow gold band by Unoaerre, gifted by Lucio’s brother’s family.
Jewelry & Accessories
Ersilia: a pair of diamond earrings, with the center diamond surrounded by a halo of pavè-set diamond accents, gifted by Lucio’s parents.
Lucio: white gold cufflinks made in Italy, gifted by Ersilia’s parents.
Lucio wore a blue virgin wool and silk three-piece dinner suit from Dolce & Gabbana featuring a jacket with peaked lapels, a broad welt chest pocket, two-button fastening, front flap pockets, long sleeves, button cuffs and a rear central vent. The waistcoat featured a V-neck, front button fastening and front welt pockets. He wore this with a white shirt and blue silk tie both from Dolce & Gabbana, with a white pocket square from Brook Brothers.
The only groomsman was Lucio’s brother. He wore a two-piece blue virgin wool/silk suit from Dolce & Gabbana with a white shirt, a blue tie with a dotted pattern, and a white pocket square.
I was oriented towards something simple. I often put my air up in a bun, so I decided for a clean medium-low bun. My trusted hairdresser, my auntie Rosanna, took care of my look.
I wanted to be as natural as possible and represent my personality. I didn’t want to wear too much makeup, I wanted to feel fresh, clean and young! Giulia, with Consuelo makeup, achieved the best result straight away.
Stationery & Invitations
We sent our ‘Save the Date’ 6 months before the wedding (just a few days after the proposal!) via email. We used paperless.com where you can pick one of their designs or build your own like we did. Our design was classic and simple, with a white background and gray writing. The invitations replicated the same designs with the addition of our logo, an E and L combined to become a heart. The logo was the fil rouge throughout the wedding, we used it on the ceremony readings booklets, the menu, the wedding favors and we had it projected as a light on the facade of Locanda in Tuscany after the sunset.
Our gift to the guests was made up of three moments…
Pre-Dinner: a very special moment, right after the Aperitivo and before everybody sat at the table, a giant yellow hot-air balloon rose from the ground while The Four Season was playing out loud. Our guests were literally astonished, and we were so happy to see that surprised them. We gifted our family and friends with rides on the hot-air balloon throughout the dinner to enjoy the beautiful view from the sky!
Dinner: we placed a natural cotton tote bag with our logo printed on it held together by a hemp string on everybody’s chair. Female guests particularly appreciated that, it’s perfect for shoe exchange!
After dinner: we chose Confetti Pelino, the most renowned Italian confetti, and customized m&m’s from New York to fill favor boxes with our logo.
Flowers & Bouquets
Everything seasonal and local! This was the only imperative condition, and luckily we met Puscina Flowers. three sisters, Laura, Mara and Teresa, who grow more than 400 varieties and 200 species of organic flowers in their family garden! We felt like we were in very good hands, and it was a pleasure working with them.
We had to deal with two different contexts; Il Duomo, the church, and Locanda in Tuscany, the reception venue. What they had in common was the beauty of their own architecture, the landscape and their essence – and that’s what we wanted to keep intact.
The church was so spectacular per se that we decided to put only one beautiful floral composition of seasonal flowers there, like dahlias, roses as well as wildflowers on the altar, in the same pastel color palette as my bouquet. At the reception venue we wanted to focus the attention on the table, and with everything else being white, we wanted the flowers to be colorful and express the warm colors of summer. The floral arrangements were an explosion of yellow, orange, pink, burgundy and a touch of white mixed with wildflowers and small vase with fruit.
The best last-last-minute decision. We were very undecided if we wanted a videographer. In the end we went for it, and we are so glad we decided so. Giuseppe Marano suggested we check out Evergreen’s work online, so we did, and we contacted them right away. Their style is simply poetic – dramatic and ethereal at the same time. Masters of lights and composition. We soon loved them both as professionals and as people. We got the greatest photo-video combo!
For our morning preparations – we didn’t live the best lives. Despite what the weather forecast showed, it was cloudy and sporadically started raining while a strong wind blew. This didn’t allow our vendors to work properly on the installation. Lucio decided to dive into the swimming pool a few moments before getting ready to lower his stress levels. With our wedding being completely outdoors and not having a Plan B, rainy simply wasn’t an option! Luckily a few minutes before getting out, the rain stopped and by the time we arrived at the church, the sun showed up and it was a wonderful day.
Ceremony Décor & Reception Décor
The ceremony was very traditional, a Catholic Mass was celebrated in the Duomo, and it was unnecessary to add anything else to the magnificence of its architecture.
For the reception we wanted to stick to tradition. We chose white for the table setting: fine linen tablecloths, Richard Ginori white porcelain plates, crystal glasses and silver cutlery. Each plate setting had its menu with a small seasonal fruit on the napkin. We love candles, even when we are at home alone we light up a candle at dinner. So, among the flowers arrangements we had tall candelabras, single candle holders of different sizes and tea light candles throughout the table to create a romantic atmosphere.
Above us we had string lights, and more far away we had hidden lights that illuminated the rounded hay bales on the fields. We also had spotlights to emphasize the facade of the patio and create the scenography along with the projected red logo. The lighting was very important to us, and Wedding Music & Lights realized all of our requests.
Wedding Planner & Wedding Stylist
Being both architects we curated the style of our wedding on our own. Everything came along incredibly smoothly. We put together the things we liked that met our aesthetic sensibility, but above all else, we were moved by the idea of accomplishing something that could genuinely express ourselves and could make everyone feel good with us.
Our incredible catering Preludio, made our cake for us. It had five layers of sponge cake, it was a total of 130cm in height, filled with cream and white chocolate chips, flavored with Limoncello liquor and garnished with whipped cream organic dahlia flowers. The cake topper was our logo, custom made exclusively for us by Darqcreations.
We musically divided the day in different moments as we wanted to create the proper atmospheres. In the church, a harp, violin and cello trio played during the religious ceremony. Very ancestral and classic and so Renaissance. The church called for it!
During the Aperitivo, at sunset in the southwest patio of Locanda, a Dixieland band delighted our guests between wine and pecorino cheese. For the dinner, our DJs from Omero & Friends played the playlist we put together weeks before the wedding. It had an escalating sequence of songs starting with classic music to dance to, then opera, jazz, Italian pop from the fifties and sixties, and Italo-American songs. The first dance couldn’t be other than Perfect by Ed Sheeran & Andrea Bocelli.
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We had a DJ, but we wanted to create our own playlist. We wanted to include all the songs that could express our life and experiences together. We wanted to mix the romantic, but also irreverent Italian mood that is our roots, with the glamour of New York City that is our present.
Food & Beverages
The Aperitivo was a banquette with seven stations themed with all the typical Tuscan food like salumi, cheese, crostini, fried vegetables, meat skewers cooked in the moment, salads and obviously red and white wine, spirits, Prosecco, Negroni, and gin and tonics. We decided to place some wicker tables and chairs in the garden to make it more comfortable, especially for the elders and the kids. Dinner was a four-course menu served at the table by waiters in white gloves. It was followed by dessert, fruit and drinks.
Ersilia: My father drove me from Locanda in Tuscany to the church in Pienza in a stylish Alfa Romeo Duetto Spider in a cream color, designed by Pininfarina. After the ceremony it was Lucio driving, and he drove me around the hills of Tuscany with the sunroof down. We drove back to Locanda to our friends and family. We organized dedicated transfers for them from Pienza to Locanda.
Our honeymoon has been in stints.
When the special day was over we spent one more day with our families at Locanda. That place is so simple and stunning at the same time, and it felt so relaxing we didn’t want leave. So, we decided to enjoy the swimming pool and the incredible view on the Val d’Orcia. After that, we went to Hotel Il Pellicano for a few days, on the Argentario coast in Tuscany. There are no words to describe that place other than by its name…it’s one of the most iconic places on earth. When we were back in New York, we went for a second mini honeymoon to Miami, at the Delano Hotel designed by Philip Stark, and for a third mini trip to Tulum in Mexico. We stayed at the Be Tulum Hotel, a lifestyle hotel spa inspired by the rustic charm and raw natural beauty of the Mayan Riviera. We had the best time.
We did our own website on www.given2.com where you can build a website with all the info pertaining the wedding timeline, locations, transportation as well as the gift registry.
Ersilia’s sister selected the readings:
Corinthians 13, 1-13, The way of Love
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
Matthew 7, 21, 24-125, The way of Love
“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.
We loved them very much because they express the real meaning of love.
Any Other Special Details
It is very important to select and partner with the vendors, we feel blessed to have chosen the best. Every one of them was very professional, helpful, efficient, and respectful of our indications (we tend to be over-controlling, lol), and everyone cared as much as us about the end result. Without each and every one of them, we couldn’t have seen our dream-day realized.
Sources of Inspiration
We were inspired by everything we like the most when we travel or simply go out for dinner. Certainly, we were inspired by our Italian heritage and by New York, which has contributed many inputs.
A Memorable Moment
Ersilia: when we sat for dinner and our dearest were with us at the same unique table, the hot air balloon flew in the sky while the music played Volare Volare by Pavarotti, the candles, the flowers, the lights, the laughter, the joy in our parents and siblings’ eyes… I turned to Lucio and said, “everything is like we imagined it would have been”. That is my precious moment that fulfilled me with bliss and gratitude.
Lucio: when I saw Ersilia at the majestic door of the church, a beautiful light was filtrating through the gothic windows and surrounding her coming down the aisle. It was very emotional.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
Not to worry about the distance if you have chosen a destination wedding. We planned everything from long distance and it came out beautifully.
If I could give other Brides-To-Be one Piece of Advice
Express what you as a couple are. You don’t need to impress, you just need to live one of the best days of your life!
Photography / Giuseppe Marano
Second Photographer / Ocin Images
Videography / Evergreen
Bride’s Dress / Dolce and Gabbana
Bride’s Shoes / Dolce and Gabbana
Bridesmaid Dress / Dolce and Gabbana
Flowergirl/Pageboy Outfit / Il Gufo styled by Dindolò Zerosedici
Groom’s Formal Wear / Dolce and Gabbana
Wedding Rings / Unoaerre
Hair / Rosanna Fantini
Makeup / Consuelo Makeup
Florist & Styling / Puscina Flowers
Catering / Preludio Catering
Cake / Preludio Catering
Wedding Venue / Locanda in Tuscany
Entertainment / MM Dixieland band and DJ Omero & Friends