At a serene neoclassical palace wedding on Italy’s Lake Garda, Hamburg-based couple Chris and Milena wed on the grounds of 17th-century Villa Bettoni. Beneath the historic building’s imposing facade overlooking the alluring lake with mountains as the backdrop, the ceremony took place high above the glittering water on an imperfect stone terrace. Simple white chairs were styled with elegant pastel floral installations, boldly contrasting the textural terrace, for the intimate celebration.
The Italian wedding was artfully captured by Munich-based photographer Katarina Fedora.
Names / Milena & Christoph
Location / Gargano, Italy
Wedding Date / July 8th, 2022
Guest Numbers / 55
Budget / $80,000
How We Met
We met at a rooftop party. Our first date was in a local restaurant in Hamburg, Germany, and I ordered the wine, sushi and truffle fries, which left him very confused. My first impression was why is he so hot? Lol :)), we clicked right away.
Our Engagement Story
3 years after our first date, Chris proposed to me in the Maldives. The atmosphere was super romantic as the sun set our over our villa on the water. I was totally overwhelmed and when Chris got down on one knee, I of course said yes!
What we love most about each other…
We are not only partners but best friends. We always have fun together and can have very deep conversations. Christoph is always very caring and a good listener, he simply has good life advice and calms me down. I, on the other hand, am the whirlwind of the relationship – a bit clumsy and chaotic with a trillion ideas for the day.
The location we chose, Villa Bettoni, is located on Lake Garda in Gargano, Italy. The villa itself has a magnificent facade facing both the garden and the lake. The interior of the villa is decorated with frescoes and sculptures. The highlight however, is the beautiful garden, with sea view that won us over immediately. The turquoise water shimmering under the Italian sun is breathtaking!
We wanted a vibe to run through the Italian wedding. Not only because of the amazing food, for us the atmosphere and loving Italian vibe was important. In doing so, we were inspired above all by the water view because our hometown Hamburg is also surrounded by water and we live close to it. For us it was important that our wedding was timeless but at the same time always elegant and chic.
The day before we had a wonderful get together at Lake Garda with our guests. It was wonderful to enjoy time with our loved ones in a relaxed setting and get in the mood for our big day. The signature drink was a vodka basil and was loved by everyone, especially being summer. The Italian wedding day started with the ‘getting ready’, where I was accompanied by my closest friends and my mom.
To our great delight, our Italian wedding was photographed by the talented Katarina Fedora, who captured all moments and memories through her unique lens. What I love most about Katarina’s work is her timeless, authentic and emotional style. She has a special eye for details and always finds the perfect moment for a photo. With her portfolio, I could whole-heartedly trust her and we absolutely love all the shots she took, and we look at them again and again.
During the ceremony, which took place on a long terrace above the water, the white rowed seating and bright flowers were a decorative highlight. We wanted to keep the decoration simple and avoid it distracting from the stunning view of the turquoise lake and the gigantic villa.
All white was the tenor of the Italian wedding decorations, underlined with small pastel colourful accents. The decorations on the round tables and the bridal couple’s table were also monochromatic in cream, off-white and floral white. The table decorations combined a summery lightness with elegant, royal vibes, such as the richly decorated tableware.
“All white was the tenor of the wedding decorations, underlined with small pastel colourful accents.”
Wedding Planner & Stylist
We were supported in our planning by the lovely Katharina Landenberger. She helped us many months in advance with great persistence to realise our vision of a Mediterranean wedding with a summery ambience.
For the flower bouquets, we opted for an abundance of favourites such as roses, dahlias and hydrangeas in pale pink and cream. The bridal bouquet was kept all white, made of orchids.
The letterpress stationery by Von Nobel provided a minimalist elegance with a modern touch. The great rounded shape of the invitation cards runs like a thread through the entire stationary design, always with our slogan, the motto of the wedding, “more amore”. We also made sure that the design of the menu cards reflected the shape of the place settings.
Food & Beverages
We had a seated dinner with delicious Italian food. As a starter we had burrata with tomatoes and a main course of pasta, and tiramisu for dessert! Everyone was hunting the Tiramisu. Because the whole wedding was a big party, the food was a rather minor matter and the drinks were more important.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
I chose a beautiful simple wedding dress by Kaviar Gauche. It has an elegant A-line with a high slit, straight neckline and long train and it won me over with subtle sophistication, such as the hanging straps. The style was rounded off with a thin, subtle veil. My shoes were by Amina Muaddi and the square shaped heel helped me through all the different Italian undergrounds such as grass, gravel and cobblestones. I didn’t need to change them and felt comfortable all evening.
Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories
My engagement ring is a pear shaped diamond from Leo Mathild and our wedding bands are from Cartier. His is golden and classic and mine has small diamonds. I also wore a little tiara headband from Jennifer Behr and simple Chanel Earrings.
Hair & Makeup
For my hair and makeup, a true master was at work. I’ve known Maurice Rothgänger for a long time and I’m a big fan of his work. He created a dramatic eyeliner look with a natural base and highlights.
On the day of the ‘get together’ Christoph wore something blue – a blue linen wool mix suit to match my blue bag and heels. On the wedding day he wore a black suit and tie and changed to a white satin jacket for dinner. All of the garments had our wedding date and the quote “more amore” embroidered into them.
Because it is not possible to sleep on the premises of the venue, all guests were transported by shuttle. Christoph and I went by taxi.
We went to Taormina in Sicily, and Rome for our honeymoon. Immediately, we knew that we had to go there because we just wanted to continue our ‘dolce vita’ and feel the Italian love. We were there for 10 days and had the best time. And it was soooo romantic, I definitely recommend it to couples.
I don’t even remember our song for the ceremony entry… But we had our exit to ‘You’ve got the love’ by Florence and the Machine.
We had Everso from Germany as our band and it was amazing. The special thing about them is that they combine live music with a DJ. They played during the reception but mostly at dinner between the courses. It was really unique and as I said, the wedding was one big party, and most people ate their pasta standing up. The drums and saxophone provided such a good vibe.
A very close friend of Christoph and it was just perfectly intimate.
We didn’t make any vows to each other. We wanted a very short wedding ceremony but romantic. As it was, it was perfect for us. Christoph gave a speech at the beginning of the dinner where he said very beautiful words.
A memorable moment…
We had a well-being manager on every table who was in charge for drink/shots and always keeping the glasses full because the staff are always very busy and can’t run to the bar for every drink. Because the bar staff eventually couldn’t keep up, they just put big bottles of vodka on the tables so that the guests could help themselves haha!
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
I would only change where the ‘getting ready’ took place. I got ready at the hotel which was 40 minutes away by car. This was very stressful for the ceremony timing and my nerves, and of course my dress. Get ready as close as possible to the ceremony! And plan more time! My lovely wedding planner always said it but time flies on the day.
If I could give other brides one piece of advice…
Hire a wedding planner if you are getting married abroad! Without mine it wouldn’t have been possible. Most contracts were only in Italian.
Sources of inspiration…
For inspiration we used the usual (Instagram, Pinterest) and the website of my wedding planner Katharina Landenberger.
“The table decorations combined a summery lightness with elegant, royal vibes, such as the richly decorated tableware.”
Wedding Venue / Villa Bettoni
Wedding Stylist & Planner / Katharina Landenberger
Photography / Katarina Fedora
Bride’s Dress / Kaviar Gauche
Bride’s Shoes / Amina Muaddi
Wedding Rings / Cartier
Hair / Dashi Krasnici
Makeup / Maurice Rothgänger
Stationery / Von Nobel
Florist / Chiara Sperti
Catering / Love Banqueting
Entertainment / Everso
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