In a fusion of opulence and minimalism, destination wedding planner, Sharon Werbelow married her long-term partner Paul at an ethereal Italian, La Pescaia wedding. After a secluded and intimate proposal shared in The Maldives, the couple traveled to Tuscany to marry beneath the olive groves of this picturesque region. Enhancing the rustic natural beauty of the estate, the ceremony was held infront of historic wooden doors adorned with greenery and florals beneath vine-covered walls.
Beneath colossal silver trees, a poolside reception followed where dinner was served on a grand, single long table styled in earthen and pastel hues. Creating a poetic atmosphere, ethereal blossoms floated beneath the branches above, echoing the dramatic lightness of Sharon’s designer dress.
Capturing the emotive moments and artfully documenting every detail was The Saums.
Names / Sharon & Paul Werbelow
Location / La Pescaia, Italy
Wedding Date / August 20th, 2022
Guest Numbers / 52
How We Met
We met in high school after Sharon came back from an exchange year in Los Angeles and changed schools after her return to Germany. We both had our free period together on Mondays and we became really, really good friends. The rest is history.
Our Engagement Story
After being together for 8 years and being on many beautiful trips together, Sharon did not think much of it when they went to the Maldives together at the beginning of 2020. One evening, Paul had a small surprise for Sharon. They got picked up with a little golf cart to explore the island. The island was super small and Sharon felt like they had seen every corner of it already, but she still just went with it.
After a quick stop by the reception (that’s where they kept the ring hidden from her) they drove to a headland on the far end of the island. There was a beautiful dinner set up for 2 in the sand and this was the first time Sharon had a feeling that this might be the special night. But Paul seemed so relaxed that Sharon thought this could not be it and that it was “just” a nice surprise dinner. The first course had passed and after that Sharon was sure it was only dinner. Shortly after, a photographer popped out of nowhere and Paul got down on one knee.
It was such a special night and we remember that there was a rare halo moon that night, lighting up the island at night.
What we love most about each other…
We started dating when we were really young and we love that we both grew as individuals but also together as a couple. Together we have the same values – cherishing family and loving to travel and explore the world. We love that we can dream together and no big dream scares us. We encourage each other to create the life we love with a great understanding, appreciation and respect for one another.
Sharon is a destination wedding planner herself and has seen many beautiful venues all over the world. She sat down with Paul to define what was important for them. We always saw ourselves getting married in Italy as we love the food, wine, nature and laidback mentality. We also wanted to have a wedding weekend to spend quality time with our friends and family as time is something we usually don’t have enough of, due to our busy jobs.
La Pescaia, located in the enchanting region of Tuscany, is a wedding venue that embodies all the elements of a truly extraordinary experience. Nestled amidst the picturesque Italian countryside, it offers a breathtaking backdrop of rolling hills, vineyards, and olive groves that evoke a sense of timeless beauty. The charm and authenticity of the venue are unparalleled, with its rustic yet elegant architecture and enchanting gardens that provide a romantic ambiance.
One of the standout features of La Pescaia is its versatility which ticked all the boxes for us. It offers a range of indoor and outdoor spaces that can be customized to suit any wedding style or theme. La Pescaia exudes a sense of refined elegance and offers ample room for personalization. Something that was very important to us, was to be able to create an event flow and utilize different spaces throughout the wedding weekend. The venue was also able to accommodate a lot of our guests so we could all be together!
The region is famous for its world-class wines, delectable cuisine, and culinary traditions. Couples and their guests can indulge in a true culinary feast, savoring authentic Tuscan flavors prepared by talented chefs using locally sourced ingredients. This adds an extra layer of charm and delight to the wedding experience at La Pescaia.
When planning and designing the wedding, Sharon put an emphasis on fashion and wanted to incorporate her and her fiance’s own personality and style. The result was a mix of minimalist, but still cozy and warm, and non-traditional elements with a big focus on amazing wine and Italian food.
The wedding decor followed the editorial theme, working with a lot if different textures, from the layered table linens to the cake design, to the ceremony chairs. The reception decor gave both minimalism and opulence at the same time. We had a unique flower installation over the dinner table and candles filling the air with a wedding scent which illuminated the night.
Sharon got ready in the main villa with her girls, mom and grandma. We had some bubbly wine together and I was gifted a photobook from my bachelorette party.
Paul got ready with his boys and dog, Cooper, who also wore a custom made bow tie with a special pocket to hold the rings.
The Saums captured our wedding in photos and video. We have been loving their work for many years and when we got engaged we already knew that we wanted to ask them to photograph our wedding weekend. Pia and Chris are the type of people you want to be around on your wedding day (and any other day) with their energy.
The Saums are undeniably one of the best wedding photographers in the industry, captivating couples and capturing the essence of their special day like no other. With an impeccable eye for detail and a keen understanding of the emotions that unfold during weddings, they masterfully capture every cherished moment. Their ability to seamlessly blend artistry and storytelling results in breathtaking photographs that tell a unique love story.
From the intimate glances exchanged between the couple to the charm of the venue, The Saums effortlessly encapsulate the beauty, joy, and romance of each wedding. Their professionalism and passion for their craft shine through in their work, creating timeless images that evoke powerful emotions and transport viewers back to the magic of the day. With their exceptional talent, dedication, and commitment to delivering outstanding results, Pia and Chris really exceeded our expectations and are truly among the finest wedding photographers in the industry.
“With a desire for understated elegance, we made a deliberate choice to maintain a sense of simplicity in our ceremony setting, directing our focus towards a captivating backdrop.”
With a desire for understated elegance, we made a deliberate choice to maintain a sense of simplicity in our ceremony setting, directing our focus towards a captivating backdrop. A grand wooden door was carefully selected to serve as the centerpiece, artfully enhanced by an ethereal floral arch that organically enveloped its majestic presence. To infuse a touch of tactile richness, we adorned each chair with gracefully draped, loosely hanging neutral-colored runners, seamlessly integrating texture into the overall ambiance.
Our ceramic plates were handmade in Italy and custom made just for us. It gave the table top the perfect finish and an elevated but organic look. Guests had to find their names on little limoncello shots that said, “Sip and Be Seated” to find their table. After everyone found their seat, we had our grand entrance to a typical Italian song and all guests waved their napkins in the air. This was such a fun moment for everyone. Overall we tried to combine attire and decor at La Pescaia.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
As head of event planning company IDO Events, Sharon planned everything herself and had a planner friend execute the wedding weekend for her.
The selection of our wedding floral arrangements was predicated upon the interplay of textures and colors. Our aim was to procure arrangements that embodied a diverse array of textures, featuring opulent blossoms, whilst showcasing a subtle, nuanced blend of our wedding colors, interspersed with an abundance of softly flickering candles. We focused on the dinner table, recognizing it as the space wherein we would devote considerable time, and where our guests would have an intimate view of their surroundings. Our intention was to curate a visually expressive design that authentically reflected our personalities and imbued an air of refined sophistication with an underlying aura of casual ease.
We choose a blind letterpress for our “Save the Dates” to keep it really simple, and then, built up the design from there. For the invitations we worked with multiple cards and shapes to communicate our program. We also added a nude/sand color and had a mix of letterpress and white printing on the program card. Our menus on the wedding day had a similar shape to the invite, combining name card and menu in one.
As a seating chart/escort card display we used small shots of limoncello that had each of the guests name and table number on them – “Sip and Be Seated.”
We wanted something that reflected the textures we had throughout the wedding. Sharon loves design and wanted the cakes to reflect that as well. We had 3 different ones in the flavours vanilla, peanut butter, and fresh raspberries, and chocolate vanilla with fresh wild berries and chocolate nibs.
Food & Beverages
We had an aperitif after the ceremony with Aperol spritz and rosé accompanied by some delicious finger food, followed by the cake in the afternoon. We had 3 special cakes and felt like they needed some attention. Sharon has the biggest sweet tooth so 3 cakes felt natural.
For the dinner we had a seated 4-course menu which was composed of our favourites like burratta, pasta, tagliata steak and the quintessential traditional Italian mille feuille dessert, personalised with our initials.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
Sharon wore three custom-made gowns, by Berlin based bridal couture brand Ritual Unions, over the course of this wedding weekend (even four if you count her getting-ready robe). Her welcome night, mini dress was made out of recycled fabric pieces, and her wedding gown handcrafted out of one hundred meters of the softest tulle. For the party she changed into a sleek slip dress with thin spaghetti straps that crossed in the back. It fell softly to the floor and wrapped around the body smoothly for a laissez-faire look. She styled it with a soft tulle top with long sleeves and buttons in the back. With three dresses, Sharon was able to live out her fashion dreams and really show her personality through her different dresses. She truly combined her attire to the decor of her La Pescaia wedding.
Bridesmaids’ Dresses & Shoe’s
All bridesmaids were able to pick their own dress in a given colour scheme.
Wedding Rings, Jewellery & Accessories
Our rings are from the Berlin-based designer Leo Mathild. Paul created Sharon’s engagement ring with Leo herself which holds a lab grown diamond. Their wedding rings are also from Leo Mathild. An eternity band with diamonds for Sharon and an elegant but masculine white gold band for Paul.
Hair & Makeup
As we were expecting high temperatures and the wedding took place mostly outside, we wanted to get the hair out of the face while still showing off Sharon’s long, dark hair. So we tucked the front part behind the ears and styled the remaining hair into uniform waves. We kept her skin natural and luminous while drawing attention to her eyes with warm bronzy tones to match the modern extravagance of her dress.
All groomsmen were able to pick their own suits within a given colour scheme.
We went to the Maldives because this is where we got engaged and it is absolute paradise and relaxation for us.
We had enough of gifts with the people that made the trip to Italy for our wedding.
“We wanted something that reflected the textures we had throughout the wedding. Sharon loves design and wanted the cakes to reflect that as well.”
Ceremony Song: “Can’t Help Falling In Love” by Elvis Presley
After Ceremony Song: “As Long As You Love Me (Acoustic)” by Justin Bieber
First Dance: “No One” by Alicia Keys
For the ceremony we had a duo that also performed during the cocktail hour, dinner and first dance. They male vocalist has an amazing smooth jazz voice but with a modern twist. I was able to sing everything from Frank Sinatra to Chris Brown.
For the party we had a girl band from the UK who really got the party started and danced within the crowd. The DJ took over from there.
We chose Linda as our celebrant because Sharon has heard her speeches at other weddings and loved her style. Personal, emotional, funny but also giving it the seriousness it deserves without cheesy quotes from poems.
A memorable moment…
Too many! We also tried to celebrate milestones throughout the planning for example when we choose a venue – with a glass of champagne with our families.
We took dance lessons with a private dance instructor that came to our home. Instead of doing a crash course, we did constant dance lessons over a few months which was a super fun activity with the whole family.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
As Sharon is a wedding planner herself she knows the ins and outs, so there were not too many surprises there.
Sources of inspiration…
We choose all our vendors wisely and wanted to give everyone creative freedom throughout the process. Especially when it came to the florals – this was important for us.
But having seen so many weddings as a planner, we wanted to create something that we hadn’t seen 100 times, but of course something that still reflected us as a couple. We travel a lot as a couple and love to dine. Sharon also loves interior design and fashion and finds inspiration everywhere.
Wedding Venue / Pescaia Resort
Photography & Videography / The Saums
Bride’s Dress / Ritual Unions
Bride’s Shoes / Jimmy Choo
Wedding Rings / LM Studio
Hair & Makeup / Stella Loewnich
Stationery / Made With Love
Cake / Tuscan Wedding Cake
Tablecloths & Napkins / Vonrock
Catering / Guidi Lenci
Celebrant / Linda Tillmann
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