Josephine and Tobias wed under a dreamy installation of muted roses, dahlias and luminous lunaria ascending from the ground at a charming Apulian chapel. A feminine color palette of soft blush, nude and cream tones complemented the whitewashed walls that surrounded them – a modern and playful setting amongst the olive trees and playful citrus gardens of Puglia.
For their reception, a juxtaposition of enchanting black candles and darker elements were introduced, creating a more contemporary and romantic ambience in the modern farmhouse. This continued outside as guests were enchanted by an abundance of candlelight and lights strung from above, replicating the star-filled Apulian sky.
Photography by Kreativ Wedding.
Names / Josephine & Tobias
Wedding Date / 7th September 2019
Guest Numbers / 75
Budget / $75,000 USD
How We Met
We are both originally from Germany but we met eleven years ago in Marbella, Spain, where we were working at a launch event. We were just friends (so I thought) and we didn’t see each other again until four years later. Tobi was based in Singapore at that time, while I had just finished university and was living in New York. We both went back to Germany for the Oktoberfest in Munich, and late one night he somehow managed to find me in one of Munich’s clubs, without knowing where I’d be as my phone was dead. That night when Tobi told me that he had been in love with me for four years, that he would marry me and that I would be the mother of his kids. I thought he was either a player pressing every button to get me home or that he was my soulmate. Turns out it was the latter! Everything went really fast from that point. I visited him in Asia and just two months later, I moved to Singapore for good. Fast forward seven years and I’m now indeed his wife – who would have thought?!
Our Engagement Story
Tobi proposed in Santorini after we’d been together for five years. It is hard to surprise me and I was always sure that I would know when he was planning to pop the question. Since I have my own travel company, The Asia Collective, I naturally plan all of our travels and I assumed that he would never do it during one of the trips that I had organised, as he sometimes doesn’t even know which hotels we will be staying at. Well, turns out he did it on a trip that I had planned and I didn’t suspect a thing! Even after coming back from dinner to our beautiful cave hotel where a bottle of champagne was waiting for us and the whole terrace and room was covered with an ocean of candles, I thought that he was just being romantic. When he eventually got down on one knee I couldn’t believe it and interrupted his proposal over and over asking if I was dreaming or if this is indeed real.
Little did I know that behind the scenes everything that could have gone wrong went wrong. The ring got stuck in customs in Athens and the hotel wasn’t aware of all the arrangements that Tobi had organised with the manager weeks prior to check-in. In the end, he proposed with a €15 ring he bought last minute in a little mom-and-pop shop. Despite the challenges that Tobi was faced with, it truly turned out to be one of the most magical and perfect days of my life! I was so excited I didn’t sleep the whole night.
Marriage to us means…
A lifelong adventure with your soulmate that weathers every storm. Becoming a family, growing together and inspiring each other to be the best version of yourself. A constantly evolving relationship that never loses the love and respect for each other.
After visiting close to 15 wedding venues in Puglia, we were relieved and excited that Masseria San Giovanni was everything we had hoped for. A modern farmhouse with whitewashed walls surrounded by olive trees and a cute little citrus garden. The Masseria has recently been renovated combining Apulian tradition with contemporary design and offered enough versatile entertaining spaces within the venue itself. It was important for us to have different locations for all our festivities to keep it dynamic and exciting for our guests. From our Apulian welcome evening on Friday in the garden by the pool to the ceremony in front of the little chapel, to the Aperitivo on the rooftop terrace overlooking endless olive groves, followed by a dinner beneath a nostalgic vaulted ceiling inside the Masseria, and the party in the garden under the Apulian sky.
Event Aesthetic & Inspiration
Each event of the wedding weekend had its own aesthetic. Our pre-wedding get together truly embraced the Apulian atmosphere. We held it in the poolside garden amongst beautiful olive groves. It was the perfect way to kick off our wedding festivities and the setting inspired our styling – a colorful celebration of the region with pink and yellow pops of color. I wanted to keep it simple on Friday, so our wedding planner Alessandra and I created a DIY décor using local bougainvillea and lemons. We styled picnic blankets with cushions in burgundy, yellow and cream complementing our color theme.
For the wedding day, I envisioned the style to be romantic with modern sophistication. We used a feminine color palette of soft blush, nude and cream and combined it with muted earthy tones. In the evening we introduced dark elements creating a look of contemporary elegance and romance.
Our wedding was captured by Anne from Kreativ Wedding and her lovely assistant Sonja. Considering that imagery and having an eye for detail is an essential part of my job, photography was going to be an important element for me. I discovered Kreativ Wedding’s work years ago on Facebook and they immediately came to my mind when starting the research for a wedding photographer. The girls captured the emotions and special moments of the day perfectly and I was over the moon when we received more than 2400 images from our wedding. Apparently it was the biggest image gallery Anne has ever created! I cried quite a few tears when looking at the pictures that brought back all the emotions from our special day.
I always had a certain vision of my dream dress: long voluminous sleeves and a soft A-silhouette with delicate details. When I tried Kaviar Gauche’s Champagne Sleeve Dress, it was exactly like I had always imagined. It was also incredibly light and so comfortable to wear. I loved the airy sleeves and the shimmering lace combined with delicate silk, which created a romantic silhouette that complemented my body.
I also wore Kaviar Gauche for our civil wedding. I chose a silk slip dress together with a floor-sweeping lace cape which I absolutely loved. I accessorized with statement three-tiered shell earrings by Mercedes Salazar.
For our Apulian welcome dinner, I wore a dreamy floral lace dress in ivory with tiers of ruffles by Philosophy Di Lorenzo Serafini and white lily flower earrings in mother of pearl with a crystal pave center by Lele Sadoughi.
Silver Givenchy slingbacks with cross over straps in the front and a tapered heel. They were incredibly comfortable!
It was important for me that my girls felt comfortable in what they were wearing, even more so because my cousin and maid of honor had just given birth to a little baby boy and one of my bridesmaids was pregnant. I chose to dress us all in white but I wanted the girls to each pick a dress they liked. I thought it was going to be super easy but in fact, it was quite challenging as there are so many different shades of white! We didn’t nail the exact same color for everyone but they looked absolutely beautiful.
We had our wedding bands made by our friend who owns Ayura. We opted for the exact same rings engraved with our wedding date and a little love message. We chose a simple band in rose gold so I can wear it together with my engagement ring without being too much bling. Tobi also designed my beautiful engagement ring with Ayura. It’s an oval diamond set in a rose gold double band and I absolutely adore it.
Jewelry & Accessories
I decided to wear my hair down as it felt the most “me”. I found it incredibly challenging to find a good hairdresser and makeup artist in the area. On reflection, for the money I spent on trials, I might have been better off flying someone in. In the end, I found Vittorio, a local hairdresser who was such a sweet guy. My hair is naturally super straight and quite heavy, so the challenge was to make the curls last. At the end of the night I had rather natural waves but I was happy with the look!
My makeup artist was Alessandra Catalano who was friends with Vittorio. They were such a fun and lovely duo! I wanted to have natural make up with a bit of glam. We chose a bronze smokey eye with a little eyeliner to enhance the natural shape of my eyes. I bought my lip gloss beforehand – a perfect shade of a fresh pinky nude with a touch of peach (Bareminerals’ Gen Nude Buttercream in the color ‘Cosmic’).
I created our invitations with Erin from Paper Paper who I discovered through The Lane. I went for a minimal and elegant look in muted blush and cream, which perfectly matched the overall style of our wedding; informal yet with a touch of modern sophistication. At the last minute, I stumbled across the hand-painted maps of Kathryn Green Illustrations and thought they would be the perfect addition to our invites. As a hint of what was to come, Kat created a bespoke watercolored map featuring all the things we love about the region as well as a beautiful illustration of our wedding venue. Our gorgeous “day of stationery” like the menu, place cards, seating chart, and bar menu were also created by Paper Paper.
I personally design The Asia Collective’s Ultimate Travel Guides which means I naturally have quite high expectations when it comes to design. Both Erin and Kat did an outstanding job and they were brilliant to work with, even when the annoying perfectionist in me regularly asked them to move things 2mm to the left or right!
We gave our guests personalized bottles of limoncello that we made ourselves based on an original recipe from an Italian friend. We gave them as a welcome gift at our get-together which perfectly complemented the vibrant Apulian atmosphere of the party. We thought our guests could enjoy the limoncello back home while reminiscing about the wedding weekend, but it turned out that hardly any bottles survived the weekend and made it back home!
Flowers, Bouquets & Styling
I had a beautiful bouquet in muted sorbet tones consisting of quicksand, cappuccino, and cream roses. Chiara added cascading ribbons in shades of nude made out of pure Italian silk by Allegoria. For our bridesmaids, we chose unique bouquets of preserved white ruscus and fern tied with silk ivory ribbons. Our sweet flower girls wore matching crowns of ruscus and a mix of dried natural flowers, they looked absolutely adorable!
We knew we wanted a wedding video that focused on the amazing vibe and great energy of the day instead of the usual format which tends to showcase the vows speeches. Our videographers Julia and Gil absolutely nailed it! Just 48 hours after the wedding we received our wedding teaser and it blew our mind. It’s bold, unique and 100% us. They were also such sweet personalities and they truly felt like our friends who were attending the wedding. The boys still talk about how much fun they had with Gil throughout the day.
Tobi and I untraditionally spent the night before the wedding together. The boys relaxed by the pool in the morning while I got ready with my bridesmaids, my mom and my grandma. In between drinking champagne, getting my hair and makeup done, assessing the unstable weather situation with Ale and discussing the plan Bs that might need to be activated, I was writing my vows literally until the very last minute! I would recommend other brides to avoid that.
Ceremony Décor / Reception Décor
We worked with Chiara Sperti who I absolutely adore for her aesthetics and innovative floral designs. For the ceremony décor, Chiara and her team created a dreamy installation of muted roses, dahlias and luminous lunaria ascending from the ground into a unique shape that complemented the charm of the chapel perfectly.
For the evening, Chiara created my dream tablescape that epitomized contemporary romance whilst being warm and inviting at the same time. The color palette of muted blush and cream set a consistent theme, from the invites to the ceremony, through to the decor and embellishments of our dinner. To elevate the look for the dinner, we introduced dark accents and added texture through customised elements such as precious silk napkins by Allegoria and handcrafted artisan ceramics. The center of the long table was lined with tall black candles accompanied by versatile floral arrangements in different heights, consisting of cappuccino and quicksand roses, black anthurium and cafe au lait dahlia. Chiara paired the compositions with dried flowers and foliage such as bunny tails, fern, cascading white amaranthus and preserved ruscus, grouped with fresh local figs. The look that Chiara and my wedding planner Alessandra created exceeded my wildest dreams.
Wedding Planner / Stylist
I’m so grateful that I found Alessandra Linoci who did the planning and styling for our wedding. During our first Skype call, it only took ten seconds for me to fall in love with her sweet personality and I immediately knew that she was “the one”! Alessandra’s creative vision matched my ideas and aesthetics 100%, to the point where we even ended up pinning the exact same inspirations on Pinterest before seeing each other’s boards. She was simply wonderful in finding all the vendors that we needed for our wedding and bringing all our dreams and visions to life. Her professionalism, aesthetic eye, attention to detail and lovely personality made her a dream to work with.
Both Tobi and I don’t like overly rich cakes so instead, we went for an airy, crispy millefeuille which was made of puff pastry, cream and fresh berries. It was incredibly delicious and I’m sad I just had a small piece of it!
After Ceremony: “Can’t Take My Eyes Off You” by Frankie Valli
First Dance: “Everything I Do, I Do It For You” by Hope (Acoustic Cover)
We had a Neapolitan Quartet for our Apulian welcome evening and they set the mood perfectly. Initially, we wanted to keep the get-together quite relaxed but then we thought, why not get the wedding weekend started with a bit more fun? So we hired a local DJ last minute! He was amazing and the evening got much wilder than we had initially planned, but we are so glad it did! It was so much fun!
During the ceremony, we had a guitarist/singer duo who were wonderful. I don’t think there was a dry eye among our guests. For the Aperitivo, we chose an incredible street band called Vagaband, who really pumped up the energy in the afternoon and got everyone into the party spirit. They were such a hit and our guests were still talking about them the next day! We also had a saxophonist who guided people from one location to another and later played together with our DJ, Alex from Munich, who we found through a mutual friend. He was amazing on the decks and we danced until the early morning hours (with short interruptions when we all got thrown into the pool!).
Food & Beverages
For our Apulian welcome dinner on Friday, we had a pasta live cooking station with our favorite dishes from the region and an Aperol Spritz stand that matched the vibe perfectly.
Saturday was a food feast. We had canapes and champagne right after the ceremony, followed by a traditional Aperitivo with five different food stations and various wines, Peroni beer and of course, more Aperol Spritz. We also served rounds of Ramazzotti on ice and limoncello throughout the day. Our caterer Rotondo prepared the freshest local cuisine, from cold cuts and fresh seafood to mozzarella and handmade local panzerotti on the terrace of Masseria San Giovanni overlooking the beautiful olive groves while the sun was setting, all to the sound of the amazing street band.
For our reception, we chose a sit-down dinner where Rotondo created a delicious menu using seasonal produce. We started with lemon risotto and shrimps, followed by beetroot gnocchi with zucchini flowers and stracciatella cheese blended with butter and sage. The main was slow-cooked veal with potato millefeuille and summer vegetables, accompanied by great wines from the region. The dessert was served together with the wedding cake in the courtyard around an ancient olive tree that had been covered by dreamy fairy lights. We chose our favorite Italian desserts tiramisu and panna cotta, with a side of espresso spiked with Grappa to kick start the party. From the courtyard, we moved to the dance floor in the poolside garden where three personalised cocktails were served. The mixologists created custom versions of our favorite drinks, Gin & Tonic, Moscow Mule and Bellini, and served these alongside a selection of other signature cocktails.
Immediately after the ceremony, we drove off in a white vintage Alfa Romeo. We intentionally planned that moment so that we would have an opportunity to soak it all in and enjoy a few moments just the two of us. My cousin made classic wedding tin cans for us with sweet pictures of Tobi and I and tied these to the back of our wedding car. Sadly, I didn’t get a chance to look at them in detail as they fell off during our spin, but it was such a wonderful idea!
Running our own businesses means we often work during our vacations but were adamant our honeymoon would be a proper laptop-free break. We traveled around Italy and Greece for four magical weeks right after the wedding. Our first stop was Capri where our friends crashed our honeymoon. We rented a boat and spent the days relaxing on the water and unwinding at La Fontelina, followed by a few days at the Amalfi Coast eating pasta and drinking Aperol Spritz all day long. As we got engaged in Santorini we knew this couldn’t be missed on our honeymoon and so we spent a few amazing weeks hopping around the Greek islands. I’ve created a Capri and Mykonos travel guide with all my must-see places and shared some more honeymoon inspirations on my personal travel account.
Since we had an international audience and our family doesn’t speak English too well, we needed a celebrant who spoke both English and German. Needless to say, this wasn’t too easy to find in Puglia. At the same time, we wanted someone who is loving and who we connected with. Overall it was quite a mission! But our wedding planner Ale found the wonderful Michela Solito who led the most beautiful and intimate ceremony in both languages. She also assisted with the planning and translation of our civil wedding which we had two days prior in Ostuni with our families.
Sources of Inspiration
Of course, my number one source was The Lane, followed by the usual Pinterest and Instagram rabbit hole.
A Memorable Moment
I always assumed that the reception and the party afterward were going to be the best part of the day. But despite the fact that I was so nervous about the exchange of our vows and that it started to rain shortly before the ceremony (we needed to delay it by an hour), the ceremony turned out to be my favorite moment of the day. Standing in front of all our friends and family while feeling their love and our deep love for each other was incredibly magical. The readings during the ceremony as well as the speeches in the evening were unforgettable and emotional moments that I will cherish forever.
One Thing I Wish I Knew Before I Started My Wedding Plans
I always thought that starting to plan your wedding more than one year in advance was a bit over the top. Little did I know, this was rookie thinking! It turned out a few of our shortlisted wedding venues and photographers were booked already way over a year in advance. So indeed start planning early! When you pick your venue, make sure it has a Plan B option. It will save you stress and costs down the road.
Also, our goal had always been to keep the energy at the highest level during the wedding day, so we planned the ceremony quite late (4pm being pushed to 5pm due to the rain) to avoid sections without any “action”. Indeed, the energy was always pumping, but looking back we wished we would have had more time to soak it all in. We would probably plan the ceremony a bit earlier just to make the day last a bit longer.
If I could give other Brides-To-Be one Piece of Advice
The big day is over before you even realise it. Invest in good photography and video so you can reminisce about all the moments that flew by so fast. Make a shot list for your photographer if you want certain pictures taken to avoid disappointment afterward.
I know this might be controversial, but we skipped greeting all our guests individually after the ceremony, so we could enjoy the time dancing, drinking and mingling instead of standing in the same place for an hour to accept everyone’s wishes. The day should be all about you two, so don’t be shy to skip traditions if you feel they are not for you.
Photography / Kreativ Wedding
Bride’s Dress / Kaviar Gauche
Bride’s Shoes / Givenchy
Wedding Rings / Custom by Ayura
Hair / Vittorio Risola
Makeup / Alessandra Catalano
Florist / Chiara Sperti
Cake / Rotondo Catering
Catering / Rotondo Catering
Wedding Stylist / Alessandra Linoci
Wedding Planner / Alessandra Linoci
Celebrant / Michela Solito
Wedding Venue / Masseria San Giovanni
DJ / Alexander Drexler Zoom Like
Transport / Classic car via Puglia Auto Classica
Videographer / Julia and Gil
Silk Napkins & Bouquet Ribbons / Allegoria
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