An Ancient Abbey Wedding at La Badia Di Orvieto, Italy
Photography by Kostis Mouselimis.
Surrounded by the crumbling facade of an ancient abbey, Ioanna & Nikolas were married at Italy’s iconic La Badia di Orvieto.
With expansive views over olive groves and the undulating hills of Umbria, the venue’s historic walls needed little styling to finish the space. Drawing from the Renaissance era, 15th and 16th century styling touches were used throughout the wedding.
The imposing courtyard walls of La Badia enclosed Ioanna & Nikolas’s intimate ceremony accented with small amphitheatre of chairs. Finally, the abbey’s ruins created the most dramatic, open-aired reception space for a decadent dinner under the stars.
Capturing the magic was Kostis Mouselimis.
Names / Ioanna & Nikolas
Wedding Date / October 5th, 2022
Guest Numbers / 75
How We Met
Literally, love knocked on the office door! For the first few months, they were working partners – as a wedding videography duo – but then they became partners in life and for life! Since then, they are inseparable, 24/7. Together in everything.
Our Engagement Story
As Wedding Videographers, Nikolas informed Ioanna that they had a request for an elopement to their favorite place in the world: Tuscany. Caravan Project (Wedding Planners) and us (Kostis & Melina Mouselimis), being friends and colleagues with the couple, joined in and helped out with the ‘’Secret Proposal & Engagement Plan”, with the good excuse of traveling to see both the potential (and non-existent) client and of course, the venue! At the airport we splitted and Thanasis with Konstantina (Caravan Project) left first for Villa Cozzano to get everything ready. We followed with Ioanna & Nikolas, to supposedly meet the imaginary couple. Nikolas sneaked into Thanasis room to get changed into the suit, which was safely kept there! Ioanna – oblivious of our romantic scheming – was in the couple’s room, till Nikolas called for her to come to join us at the perfect spot: a breathtaking view area in the villa with the winery used as background. When she came out, Nikolas could no longer hold the tears of joy! She hugged him and whispered YES to him! As they both admit, this was one of the best moments of their lives!
Marriage To Us Means…
Live together through everything life brings!
“Since I can remember my childhood, I wished that the moment would come when I would walk with my dad down the aisle, I held his hand tightly and felt so happy that this moment came, and I had him by my side.”
La Badia di Orvieto, Italy.
The inspiration came from the Renaissance, as they wanted all elements of the wedding to have references from the 15th and 16th centuries, the time the Renaissance began in the Republic of Florence. During those times, great things happened in the art scene. The whole team (the just-engaged couple, the Caravan project, and us) studied some of the art history, which was a greatly inspiring process that led us to form the wedding mood board.
The night before the wedding there was a pizza party, as most of the guests had just arrived. On the day, everyone had to wake up pretty early! We all had to cherish the perfect light of this October day, as the sun goes down early! Ioanna had her makeup and hair done by Marios Stavropoulos, who is an amazing artist, listening to Italian music covers that matched perfectly with the mood!
We are so grateful that Ioanna & Nikolas picked us, Kostis & Melina to capture their special day! We have been good friends with the couple for a very long time and it was a real honor – and a beautiful challenge – to photograph this wedding! Our aesthetic is in perfect alliance with the couple’s and we passionately shot every moment of this three-day event, both analog and digital. The outcome, full of emotion, left both the couple and us full and happy! It is a little miracle to keep their memories alive forever!
The Fim Blanc & Oblivion Films were the videographers. These guys made the couple’s and the guests’ emotions the protagonists of the wedding film. Their serenity and amazing timing gave the most wonderful frames that we love to watch over and over again. Loved their aesthetic and their distinctive style!
The ceremony took place at a very atmospheric spot: surrounded by the imposing walls of La Badia, full of natural greenery, and with an amazing statue there was no need to make one single change! It was as if it was built to host their wedding! The only thing added was a floor composition with grass and flowers, made to look like it had always been there.The ceremony seating was arranged in an amphitheatric way, so that all guests could enjoy a good view of the wedding and on each chair, there was a card with what the symbolic ceremony meant, along with a flower for each guest to toss at the end of the ceremony.
The renaissance era was a milestone for the sculpture to turn to the human, so now the reliefs adopt the themes of Greek and Roman mythology. Statues and busts were selected to give to the reception table decor a sense of the artistic past. The menus were printed on gauze and the name tags were made to resemble papyrus.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
Hats off to wedding planners Thanasis & Konstantina from the Caravan Project Events who put everything together in the most thoughtful and amazing way! They took care of every detail and made this day unforgettable for the couple, the guests, and the vendors!
The technique of sfumato in painting was born during the renaissance, along with the depiction of still life in paintings with flower and fruit compositions in atmospheric hues like purple, red, cypress, ocher, etc. Those paintings were the main source of inspiration for the loosely structured flower compositions with amaranths, grapes, dahlias, garden roses, and lisianthus.
“The destination wedding is the best idea! At first, we didn’t think about destination weddings and something I’ve realized is that it was the best choice we made AND specifically in Italy, we spent 3 days in a medieval castle with our loved ones and we all have to remember our wedding not just as a ceremony but as a complete experience.”
During Renaissance, oil painting emerged and this is the technique that inspired the paper goods of this wedding. The monastery of La Badia was depicted in the lining of the envelopes and the invitations were printed on deckled edge textured paper, which gives a special sensation to the touch. And there was no better way to seal them other than a hand-painted plaster cameo. All guests found in their rooms a paper card with a watercolor painting of La Badia which described the spaces and where each event would take place.
As a thank you gift for all guests, there was a silk scarf depicting the sculpture in front of which the ceremony took place. It was an original, elegant, and luxurious idea: men can use it as a pochette in their blazer’s pocket, while women can use it as a hair accessory or tie on the handle of their bag.
Food & Beverages
After the ceremony, cocktails & finger food was served on the terrace of La Badia, overlooking the old town of Orvieto. A delicious four course dinner followed, accompanied by local, Tuscan wines.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
The wedding dress was designed by Luna Bea. The gown was made in England out of soft & fluid pure silk. Nothing resembles the flow and movement of real silk! All Luna Bea gowns are made to order, are hand-sewn and the fabrics used are free of chemicals and environmentally conscious. The whole process of the gown to get ready took roughly 3 whole months! The shoes were from Jimmy Choo.
Maid of Honor Dress
The Maid of Honor dress was made by a Greek designer “Semina Michailidou”, who creates unique pieces for special occasions.
Wedding rings were Tiffany & Co bands.
Groomsmen wore Dimitris Petrou Designer – the fastest rising fashion designer of recent years, the meter of Sur Mesure in Greece and beyond. Groomsmen wore Salavadore Feraggamo shoes.
Hair & Makeup
A low, simple, and chic chignon was the perfect hairdo for Ioanna and matched perfectly with the clean, natural lines of her makeup!
Guests traveled to Italy from Greece, Switzerland, and Germany by air and a bus was waiting for them at the airport to take them to La Badia.
Menelaos Koutsakos was trusted to create the soundtrack of the ceremony, the dinner, and the party. He shuffled the most amazing vinyl Italian covers, both vintage and contemporary, perfectly matching the aesthetics of Ioanna & Nikolas’ wedding!
Aris Papachristou and his words touched our hearts throughout the ceremony! His moving and amusing speech, made all guests feel such beautiful and intense emotions and live an experience that will remain unforgettable.
The couple chose to each write their own speeches, reading them for the first time at the ceremony! That made that moment unique and extremely sentimental and moving. Miss Pastel designed and created the vow booklets on natural paper and muslin ribbon.
A memorable moment…
Since I can remember childhood, I wished that the moment would come when I would walk with my dad down the aisle, I held his hand tightly and felt so happy that this moment came, and I had him by my side.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
That the destination wedding is the best idea! At first, we didn’t think about destination weddings and something I’ve realized is that it was the best choice we made AND specifically in Italy, we spent 3 days in a medieval castle with our loved ones and we all have to remember our wedding not just as a ceremony but as a complete experience.
If I could give other brides to be one piece of advice…
Is to choose the right professionals for the most important day of their life. Choosing these will make this day easy or difficult. You have to make careful choices and choose people who communicate, fit your aesthetic, and above all, trust them to get the best possible result.
Sources of inspiration…
Blogs, Planners’ and photographers’ Instagram accounts and Pinterest.
Wedding Venue / La Badia Hotel
Photography / Kostis Mouselimis
Wedding Planner & Stylist / Caravan Project Events
Videography / The Fim Blanc & Oblivion Films
Bride’s Dress / Luna Bea
Bride’s Shoes / Jimmy Choo
Groom’s Formal Wear / Dimitris Petrou
Groom’s Shoes / Ferragamo
Wedding Rings / Tiffany & Co
Hair & Makeup / Marios Stavropoulos
Stationery / Manousenia Design & Marygro Art
Florist / Flowers Living
Catering / Apollinare Catering
Celebrant / Aris Papachristou
Entertainment / 4 Records Events & DJ Menelaos Koutsakos
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