Historic Italian architecture meets modern Scandinavian design at this Le Marche wedding. Set within rolling hills and surrounded by wineries and olive trees near the Adriatic coast, Sofia and Ryan spent a week at minimalist Casa Olivi with their wedding party, family and closest friends before their wedding in the Le Marche region The couple were joined by 22 guests for an intimate candlelit rehearsal dinner by the infinity pool before their wedding day, where the sunset ceremony was held outside with the ethereal fields in the background. An all-white reception dinner followed amongst the olive trees, beneath a canopy of draping white fabric and glittering chandeliers.
The romantic Italian villa wedding was captured by photographer Bring Me Somewhere Nice.
Names / Sofia Fosado & Ryan Finney
Location / Le Marche, Italy
Wedding Date / May 25th, 2023
Guest Numbers / 44
Budget / $65,000
How We Met
Almost 6 years ago, we were introduced to each other by some mutual friends. Our friends (who were dating), invited us to join them at a comedy show for a double date. I, Sofia, was a little nervous to come to the event as I hadn’t had much luck in the past with being set-up on blind dates. But something felt different, so I joined! We sat across from one another at the show and couldn’t stop laughing together. There was instant chemistry.
I, Ryan, remember thinking Sofia was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen and thought there was no way she’d be interested. I, Sofia, felt something for Ryan almost immediately – it was a weird feeling and difficult to describe but something told me he’d be the person I’d marry one day. We stayed late, and talked a little but after the show but we didn’t see each other for a while. We couldn’t stop thinking about each other but didn’t know who would make the first move. About a month or two later, I, Sofia, asked our mutual friends for Ryan’s number to ask him out… finally!
Our first date was incredible, we went for dinner and attended a Halloween event, then listened to soul music all night and talked until the early morning. We dated for probably a year before we decided to move-in together and get a puppy! And the rest is history, as they say! We couldn’t be more different than each other but that’s what keeps things so interesting. We learn something new about one another every day and our love grows deeper because of that.
Our Engagement Story
We were both itching to go on a vacation together, post-Covid, so we decided to book a special trip to France in October of 2021. Paris is my, Sofia’s, favourite city in the entire world so I thought starting our vacation there would be the best way to kick-off the trip. We spent a few days in Paris, we visited museums, ate delicious food and saw the famous attractions.
The next stop on our trip was the wine country, Bordeaux, since neither of us had been before. We spent a couple nights in the city of Bordeaux, drank lots of wine and moved on to our next destination, the small town of Saint-Emilion. We took a train to this small medieval village, known for its incredible wines and beautiful history. The morning we arrived, we checked-in to our hotel, went for a small breakfast in the town square and wandered the quiet but picturesque streets.
Ryan pulled me, Sofia, to a canopied walk-way that was covered in bougainvillea vines and had the most beautiful view of the entire town. It was surreal as we were the only two people there. While I, Sofia, was looking out at the view, I turned around and saw Ryan on one knee. Immediately, I said yes! It was very emotional. We spent the day together in absolute bliss. To celebrate, we had a picnic at a winery with champagne and charcuterie. Since we wanted to fully enjoy our special moment, we decided to call our parents and siblings and tell them the news but kept it a secret from everyone else so we could have the rest of the vacation to ourselves.
After spending the most amazing days celebrating in Saint-Emilion, we took the train back to Paris. While in Paris, I, Sofia, reached out to a friend of mine who is a photographer and who was staying in Paris at the same time as us and asked if she could spontaneously shoot some engagement photos for us! Luckily, she was free to shoot us. Getting our engagement photos taken on the trip was the cherry on top! Everything was so serendipitous, it truly felt like the most magical trip of our lives.
What we love most about each other…
Sofia: I love Ryan’s sense of humour. I’ve never known someone who can make me laugh so much. He is the funniest person in the room and can cheer me up on even the hardest days. I also love his kind heart; he is the most generous person I know and it’s the thing I admire most about him.
Ryan: I love Sofia’s smile, laughter, and playfulness. It’s how we have bonded and stayed together for so long. She always puts me in a good mood with how positive she is. She’s also the most kind-hearted, loving person I’ve met.
Casa Olivi Villa is the most unique place, in the most remote part of Italy, Le Marche. It is an authentic Italian experience. The historic farmhouse was redesigned by Swiss architects and transformed into a minimalist dream. The villa is modern while still being warm, welcoming, and rustic. We chose to get married at Casa Olivi Villa because of how different it was from all the other Italian venues we looked at when doing our venue search. I, Sofia, am passionate about interior design and architecture so this villa was a dream come true for me. The farmhouse is beautiful and very much matched our personalities and wedding aesthetic. Not to mention the scenery that surrounds the villa. Casa Olivi is tucked away, amongst the rolling hills, wineries and cyprus trees.
We wanted our rehearsal dinner and wedding to be modern, romantic, and minimalist. We really wanted the villa and scenery to be the showstoppers, so we chose to go very neutral in the colour palette. I, Sofia, am inspired by romanticism and the ethereal so I wanted our wedding events to evoke those feelings not only for us but also for our guests. We wanted our wedding to be very timeless, so we chose to do a less-is-more approach with the overall aesthetic. When planning the style of our wedding, we both agreed non-traditional suited us best.
Our bridesmaids, groomsmen and their significant others were staying in the villa with us for the whole wedding week! So, it was a special way to be surrounded by our siblings and best friends. Our ceremony was later in the evening, so we had plenty of time in the morning to relax, jump in the pool and prepare for the big day. We made a big breakfast all together – pastries, charcuterie, and mimosas! After breakfast Ryan and I went our separate ways with our parties.
While the bride and bridesmaids were getting hair and makeup done inside the villa, the groom and groomsmen spent the morning and early afternoon in the guest house, playing pool and drinking beers. We decided not to do a first look and instead save the surprise of seeing one another for the first time at the ceremony.
“We wanted our wedding to be very timeless, so we chose to do a less-is-more approach with the overall aesthetic.”
As soon as we got engaged, we knew that searching for a photographer was just as important as searching for the venue. Funny enough, we chose our photographer well before finding Casa Olivi. When it came to the style, we wanted a more editorial approach to our photographs. We wanted our special memories to feel more like a documentary – capturing beauty and emotions. That is how we identified with Dani Rodriguez. Dani’s style is unmatched. His work is minimal, fashion-forward and refined. We knew Dani would capture our rehearsal and wedding day in a way that felt genuinely us and stayed true to our aesthetic.
Our ceremony was held alfresco in the garden of the villa. The sun was low, so the lighting was magical. I wanted the focal point of the aisle to be the largest olive tree at the property. Trying to not take away from nature, I went very minimal on décor. I chose to do white pedestals at the start and end points of the aisle. Each pedestal was decorated with white Italian ceramic vases adorned with ivory peonies, sweet peas, ranunculus, and roses. On the rattan chairs, guests would find white fans, floral confetti, and wedding programs. Since I was a kid, I envisioned being surrounded by white florals on my wedding day, so I took inspiration from my childhood imagination. I also wanted to celebrate local artisans and asked our florist if she could source alabaster or ceramic vases from the region.
We chose one long dinner table, staying true to ‘la famiglia’ style of dinners in Italy. Our dinner table was decorated minimally with white linens, ivory taper candles, tea lights, minimalist dishware, silverware, and glassware. Our centerpieces were short white ceramic vases filled with florals that mirrored those of the ceremony. I wanted our dinner table to feel very romantic and full of life. I gathered inspiration from a monochromatic colour palette (or lack thereof) to keep the table clean and modern. We both wanted a timeless tablescape so I chose décor that would age well.
Our rehearsal dinner was poolside, under the Le Marche sunset. The colours of the hills reflected off the pool. Like our wedding day, this was one long table for 22 of our family and friends. I wanted the dinner table to be candle-lit so I was drawn to really play that up. I didn’t want any florals for this event, instead I chose to have a wide row of pillar candles going down the length of the table. Natural linen tablecloths and gold satin flatware laid on the table, along with dried floral stems placed on each guest’s menu card.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
Designing my own wedding was a dream come true for me. I had a very specific vision of the day but needed a coordinator in Italy to help plan all the logistics overseas. Our venue, Casa Olivi, recommended Andrea Zengarini as a wedding coordinator who specialized in logistics and coordination of local vendors. Our wedding events couldn’t have gone smoother thanks to him! Andrea worked tirelessly to make my vision come to life. He and I became a dynamic duo to ensure all the wedding events were fun, beautiful and had the aesthetic I wanted. Andrea took care of all the stress for us throughout our wedding week. He went above and beyond his duties as our wedding coordinator. Every detail that I planned with him was executed perfectly.
We were inspired by the simplicity of the florals grown in Italy. We wanted nothing overly extravagant or fussy. Our florist, Alessandra Ribichini, ensured that our floral vision aligned with her own brand and aesthetic. Her creativity shone brightly, and all of the floral details were meticulously curated. We wanted to keep the palette white to match the rest of the décor for the wedding day. My bouquet was simplistic but beautiful and was made from roses, sweet peas, and peonies as were my bridesmaids’ which were smaller versions of my own. Our bouquets tied in with the other floral arrangements throughout the ceremony and reception.
We chose handmade paper invitations as well as handmade paper day-of stationery. We chose modern fonts for all the stationery and kept the verbiage minimal to go with our aesthetic. The colour scheme was off-white and dove grey. I was inspired by the rustic villa for our stationery, so the edges of our invitations were raw and natural with a wax seal to finish.
Favors & Bonbonniere
When choosing our favours, we decided to mix Italian culture with Sofia’s Mexican culture. Traditionally in Italy, you finish a meal with a digestif like grappa or limoncello. In Mexico, traditionally you finish a meal by smoking a cigar and sipping on mezcal. We brought Mexico to Italy with a cigar bar and imported mezcal from Oaxaca for the party. We also offered our guests mini bottles of locally produced limoncello, which were garnished with silk chiffon ribbons.
Traditionally in Italy, wedding cakes are sheet cakes (flat). But we wanted little tradition and asked for an English style wedding cake which was vanilla and vanilla buttercream. Our cake exterior had a slightly “raw’ texture to it, making it feel perfectly imperfect. It was garnished with a few white roses for beauty and a little femininity.
“Each pedestal was decorated with white Italian ceramic vases adorned with ivory peonies, sweet peas, ranunculus, and roses.”
Food & Beverages
Our Chef, Samuele, prepared food not only for our wedding dinner but also for all our wedding week events. For the rehearsal dinner our menu was caprese salad to start, grilled chicken with radicchio and walnuts for the main, and for dessert we had grilled peaches with rum caramel and vanilla gelato. For our wedding day dinner, we enjoyed two pasta courses which were truffle risotto as well as pappardelle with wild boar ragu. The next course was grilled bisteca steak accompanied with rocket, cherry tomatoes, and had sides of rosemary potatoes and prosciutto wrapped asparagus. Our dessert course was traditional tiramisu, prepared by a small bakery in the nearby village. Because both dinners were family style, it was a sit-down dinner, but our waiting staff went around to each guest and served them food from family-style large dishes. It made our dinner feel less stuffy and more relaxed.
Our bartender, Lorenzo Castricini, trained in a London Michelin Star restaurant so the drinks were exceptional. He prepared two different cocktail menus. The first for our cocktail hour and the second, for our reception and party. Lorenzo also produces his own gin (Scriptorium Gin) which he used in his gin-centric cocktails. Our signature drinks were an elderflower gin smash (for Sofia) and a ginger infused old fashion (for Ryan). Our guests were thrilled with having so many beautiful cocktail options.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
My dress was an ivory, crepe fit-and-flare, strapless bustier gown by Chicago-designer Alyssa Kristin. Covered buttons embellished the cathedral train. I was inspired by 90’s minimalist fashion and wanted to go classic with a bustier-style bodice for my curves. I wore a soft-tulle cathedral length veil and baroque freshwater pearl earrings by Australian designer Christie Nicolaides. My shoes were Bottega Veneta strappy ivory heeled sandals because I wanted the shoes to be quite modern and something I could wear again. For the after
For the after party, I changed up my look and put on French lace opera gloves by English designer Cornelia James and wore the iconic pearl strand choker by Vivienne Westwood.
My bridesmaids wore black, A-line, floor-length satin gowns and black open-toe sandals. I wanted my bridesmaids in black for as long as I can remember since it’s so non-traditional and modern. It also paired well with our black-tie guest attire.
Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories
Ryan’s wedding band is a platinum white satin gold with a brushed finish. Sofia’s wedding band is a combination of baguette and round diamond to match her emerald-cut engagement ring.
Ryan wore a custom Italian wool ivory tuxedo jacket by Atelier Suiting, a French cuff tuxedo shirt, a black satin bow tie, Italian wool tuxedo pants, and black patent tuxedo loafers. He was inspired by Daniel Craig’s James Bond. He wanted to go very traditional and timeless in his attire. His groomsmen wore custom black wool suits also by Atelier Suiting, with black satin ties and black leather oxfords.
Hair & Makeup
I wore my hair in brushed vintage-waves for the ceremony, then pulled my hair back into a sleek, tight 90’s style bun for the party. I wanted to have “glass skin” for my makeup look and wanted to be natural, glowy and minimalist. The makeup was clean, light and felt like me the whole day!
Right after the wedding, we flew to Sicily for our honeymoon. We spent a week traveling to Taormina for the Mediterranean beaches and then to Noto for the history and mountains. Taormina was beautiful and so relaxing; we spent our days lounging on the rocky beaches and sipping Aperol spritz. Noto was picturesque and quaint. We stayed in the most beautiful boutique hotel, Dimora Delle Belza, in the middle of the mountains and went horseback riding. We would highly recommend visiting both towns!
“We chose one long dinner table, staying true to ‘la famiglia’ style of dinners in Italy. Our dinner table was decorated minimally with white linens, ivory taper candles, tea lights, minimalist dishware, silverware, and glassware.”
Sofia’s walking-down-the-aisle song was “Beyond” by Leon Bridges. The recessional song at the ceremony was “Ain’t Nothin Wrong” by KC and the Sunshine Band. Our first dance song was “The Nearness of You” by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong.
Our DJ, Alessandro Barboni, killed the playlists! We guided him with the general style of music we wanted. Our ceremony consisted of acoustic covers that were romantic and easy listening. We told Alessandro for the wedding dinner the vibe was “sexy dinner party” so the music was lounge and cool. Our party music consisted of early 2000’s bangers, hip-hop and mixed in with our mutual love of disco! The music was incredible, and everyone danced all night long.
In addition to the awesome music, we also had an artisan gelato cart for our midnight lunch, a champagne tower, and fireworks! The entertainment was everything we could have dreamed of and more.
We asked Sofia’s step-father to marry us and be our officiant. We chose someone who knew and loved us and could keep the ceremony very intimate. He did such a great job of keeping it short but so sweet and his readings were kind, genuine and memorable.
A memorable moment…
Saying our own vows to each other was the highlight of the day for us. They were so pure and so emotional. What we said to one another will stay with us for the rest of our lives.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
I, Sofia, am a complete control freak and perfectionist. I spent countless hours stressing over every little detail to ensure the day would be perfect. Not letting anyone help me made me be overwhelmed and stressed out. I would recommend delegating specific tasks to your bridal party or close family members and utilizing them when they offer their help! Doing it alone isn’t nearly as fun.
Trust your vendors. They are the experts!
Sources of inspiration…
I, Sofia, found inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram, wedding magazines (including The Lane). Our inspiration for the wedding really started with the photography style we wanted for the big day!
Wedding Venue / Casa Olivi
Photography / Bring Me Somewhere Nice
Bride’s Dress / Alyssa Kristin
Bride’s Shoes / Bottega Veneta
Wedding Rings / Alberta Diamond
Makeup / Roxy Ponomarenko
Groom’s Attire / Atelier Suiting
Stationery / Minted
Florist / Alessandra Ribichini
Catering / Chef Samuele with Chefaway
Entertainment / Alessandro Barboni
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