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A Masseria Wedding in Puglia, Italy

Photography by Cinzia Bruschini.

Escaping to the Apulian countryside for their destination wedding, Amy and Andrew were married on the dreamy grounds of Masseria Grieco.  Amidst Italian gardens, romantic, rambling blooms were sculpted into a dramatic backdrop for their intimate ceremony.

A magical reception dinner was held inside the courtyard’s stone walls, where a tablescape adorned in candlelight was dotted with peach blooms. Drenched in Puglia’s afternoon light, an Italian dinner of dreams was lit by suspended lights and finished with fireworks.

Capturing the magic in her distinct editorial style was one of our favorites Cinzia Bruschini.

Puglia Wedding

Puglia Wedding

Our Story

Names / Andrew Kaczorowski & Amy Zhang

Wedding Date / June 14th, 2022

Guest Numbers / 32

 

Puglia Wedding

How We Met

Almost 10 years ago, we both happened to be in Las Vegas with friends on entirely separate trips. Somehow we crossed paths and caught each other’s eye – it was completely serendipitous and unexpected. At the time I was living in Chicago, and Andrew was living in LA. We felt an instant connection and took a leap of faith, starting a long-distance relationship for a year before I moved to LA. We’ve been inseparable ever since.

 

Our Engagement Story

Andrew proposed during a trip to Todos Santos in 2019. Leading up to the weekend, I had no inclination there was anything unusual happening. We spent the entire first day of our trip doing all of our favorite things before taking a sunset walk along the beach just the two of us. The entire way, we reminisced on our relationship, and he lovingly shared his vision and dreams for our future. As the sun was setting, he pulled a ring out of his pocket and got down on one knee. It was tender and romantic – so was incredibly moved and it remains a special private memory we’ll keep between us forever.

 

Marriage To Us Means…

Building your dream life alongside your best friend. Dreaming bigger and taking more risks than you would dare to alone. Having a partner who sees the best in you, challenges you to reach higher, and accepts you wholly. Holding this person close to you as you cherish the small moments and celebrate the big milestones.

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

Right away we knew we wanted an intimate destination wedding at a venue where we could have all of our guests stay on-site together. When planning our wedding day, we started with a blank canvas and drew inspiration from other weddings we had attended and the feelings we hoped to evoke. We fell in love with Puglia for its weather, food, and scenery – as a bonus none of our guests had travelled there before, so we couldn’t wait to share the magic of the region with them.

Masseria Grieco, located just outside of Ostuni was our chosen location for the celebrations. Drawn to the white stone architecture,  rows of olive trees along the masseria, the wedding venue held endless possibilities for hosting our closest family and friends.

 

Aesthetic

Romantic, refined, and ethereal – but also relaxed and not over the top. Most importantly, we wanted to spend time and create memories with the people we love the most in a special place. Due to the pandemic, we ended up postponing our wedding for two years, so the culmination of our three-year engagement felt particularly magical.

Preparation

The morning of the wedding was very laid back. All of our guests stayed at the masseria, so we started the day eating breakfast with everyone. Seeing people from all different phases of our lives in one place, eating breakfast, and connecting with one another was surreal. We felt so blessed and kept pinching ourselves – we couldn’t believe the day was finally here. We were swimming in the pool with our friends and soaking up the sun until noon before we parted ways and all started to get ready leisurely.

Given the intimate size of our wedding, we opted not to have a bridal party. I got ready with my mom and sister and appreciated having some time alone to write my vows and collect myself before the ceremony. I felt very peaceful and zen in the hours leading up to the ceremony.

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Garden Wedding

Puglia Wedding

“We imagined organic and whimsical floral arrangements that lined the aisle and appeared to be growing from the ground underneath naturally.”

Puglia Wedding

Puglia Wedding

Puglia Wedding

Photography

We spent a lot of time looking for wedding photographers but knew immediately it had to be Cinzia Bruschini. There’s truly no one else like her – her photos are distinctive and editorial, yet they perfectly capture the raw emotions and what is unique about your day. I trusted her completely, there was no brief or instruction needed. After the wedding, all you have left are the photos and video, so we felt so fortunate to have her and her husband Matteo shot our wedding. The memories are truly priceless and we will cherish them forever.

Videography

We fell in love with Ana Sanz’s work – watching her previous videos gave me goosebumps and brought tears to my eyes. The way she captures emotion and love in the most intimate moments is really special. She also is such a warm soul and her sheer presence is a joy to have on your wedding day.

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

Our ceremony was held at the masseria, at the bottom of the staircase underneath a massive tree. Our vision was lots of flowers to compliment the clean, white stone and natural beauty of the masseria. We imagined organic and whimsical floral arrangements that lined the aisle and appeared to be growing from the ground underneath naturally, and Nina e i Fiori brought this vision to life. Her team created a cascading path of nude and blush peonies and roses lining the aisle that led to an effortless, asymmetrical grounded arch that served as the backdrop for our ceremony.

 

Reception Décor

At home in Los Angeles we love to host. So for our reception, we wanted to create the intimate Italian dinner party of our dreams – underneath the stars and the light of a full moon. The result was pure magic – a single long table adorned with flowers, candles, fairy lights, and local Puglian ceramics. I couldn’t have dreamed of anything better.

Puglia Wedding

Editorial wedding photographer

“For our reception, we wanted to create the intimate Italian dinner party of our dreams – underneath the stars and the light of a full moon. The result was pure magic.”

wedding photography

puglia wedding

Wedding Planner & Stylist

Victoria from Impression Weddings & Villas was instrumental in bringing our dream vision to life. She was with us every step of the way during our three-year planning journey. Victoria was truly a rock through all of its ups and downs. She was able to effortlessly navigate the constant changes to plans and communicate exactly what we wanted to each of our vendors.  On the day of, Victoria made everything run seamlessly. We are truly so grateful to have had her by our side while planning and replanning our wedding.

 

Flowers

A June wedding date in Southern Italy meant we were lucky to have a rich selection of early summer flowers – my vision included lots and lots of flowers, but we were also careful not to overwhelm the natural environment surrounding us. For the ceremony and reception, we went with lots of nude, blush, and peach peonies and roses, and small amounts of greenery that accentuated the raw beauty of our surroundings. My bouquet was a loose arrangement of peonies and smaller white flowers.

Puglia Wedding

puglia wedding

Puglia Wedding

Stationery

We sent virtual save the dates by Bliss and Bone. For our formal invitations, we customized a watercolor suite and map of Puglia with Anne Robin Calligraphy. Because we had to reschedule our wedding date twice, we used Bliss and Bone for all of our new wedding invitations.

 

Favors

We opted not to do physical wedding favors as all of our guests were traveling internationally and we wanted to avoid the added pressure of transporting anything in their luggage. We left handwritten thank you notes and local baked goods in the room of each guest.

 

Cake

A traditional Italian millefoglie with seasonal berries and fresh chantilly cream. Rather than leaving the wedding cake untouched, our catering company Il Fagiano had the brilliant idea to take the cake away during the reception when everyone was dancing, and served it at breakfast the next morning – it was still delicious! Guests remarked it was the best wedding cake they’d ever had.

 

Food & Beverages

Our catering company, Il Fagiano, truly went above and beyond with the menu they created for us. We served aperitivo by the pool immediately after the ceremony – Wine, Beer, Prosecco, Aperol Spritzes, and Negronis alongside passed hors d’oeuvres.

Afterward, our guests moved to another side of the masseria for appetizers before a seated dinner. We had five stations of live starters – everything from hand-tied mozzarella to fresh homemade panzerotti, to cold cuts, focaccia, and seafood tempura. Everyone was raving about the starters.

For dinner, we followed starters with two additional courses of local pasta, sea bass, and beef. Finally, there was a selection of desserts served in the courtyard. Many of our guests commented on how delicious the food was, and couldn’t believe how much was served!

Aperol Spritzes were flowing throughout the day, and for the reception, we had a full bar and cocktail menu featuring several signature cocktails. Since Andrew and I don’t drink alcohol, we made sure that every cocktail could be made into a non-alcoholic version for our guests as well.

Puglia Wedding

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

My ceremony dress was an A-line cream and nude tulle dress with hand-stitched lace by Vera Wang. I fell in love with the whimsical movement of the tulle, the delicate lace details, and how light would shine through the sheer layers during a trunk show in 2019. I had to commit within 24 hours, or else I would miss the cutoff date to order. Although I was still early in my dress shopping, I hadn’t tried on anything else like it and couldn’t get it out of my mind – so I knew it was the one.

For the reception, I changed into a two-piece mini dress with pearl straps and statement gloves by Cinq. I became obsessed with Macye’s designs online and worked with her only a few months before the wedding to customize her Daphne gown into a mini skirt version that was perfect for the party. My wedding shoes were Amina Muaddi PVC slingbacks.

 

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

My engagement ring is an oval diamond set in a thin white gold band. Our wedding rings are from Verstolo – we designed my ring together, a thin eternity band of sideways marquis diamonds set in white gold. Andrew chose a plain 18K gold band.

I kept my accessories minimal – diamond drop earrings by Verstolo, and a custom French tulle cathedral-length veil with ruched tulle flowers along the train by Daphne Newman. We added Jennifer Behr crystal bobby pins in my hair for the reception.

 

Groomsmen

Andrew wore a custom ivory tuxedo jacket with silk-cashmere blend Loro Piana fabric designed by Rick Pallack in Los Angeles.

 

Hair & Makeup

It was very important to me to look and feel like myself on my wedding day, and Davide and Marcela delivered elevated versions of my everyday style. My hair and makeup for the welcome event were inspired by a mermaid coming out of the sea – Davide created a beachy, voluminous sleek ponytail with waves, and Marcela used lots of shimmering bronze tones and gloss for my makeup.

On the wedding day itself, Davide created loose, classic Hollywood-inspired waves that somehow lasted an entire week. My daytime makeup was very classic – glowing skin, a bronze smokey eye, nude rose lips, and cheeks. For our reception, we added a darker eye and lip. Marcela not only made me feel beautiful, but also made sure I was so taken care of all day – she helped me calm my nerves before I walked down the stairs to the ceremony, and even sewed my dress when one of the straps broke! Having Davide and Marcela present for the celebrations was perfect, by the end they felt like old friends.

Puglia Wedding

puglia-wedding

The Details

 

 

Honeymoon

We have yet to take our honeymoon – our original plan in 2020 was the Maldives and Sri Lanka, but have postponed the trip several times. We did spend almost two weeks after the wedding in Puglia and Sicily to relax and unwind.

 

Gift Registry

We did a honeymoon fund through Zola.

 

Wedding Songs

Entrance song: “Higher Love” by Steve Winwood and “Love” by Del Rey

First dance: “Baby I’m Yours” 

 

Entertainment

For our reception, we hired Rinaldi Events to bring the wedding entertainment. We had a live singer, saxophone player, and DJ – we didn’t know what to expect with such a small guest count, but everyone was dancing and the party didn’t stop until 2 am.

 

Celebrant

We asked Andrew’s close friend Alex to be our wedding celebrant, who was present the day we met and has been with us through the years. He’s since become a close friend to both of us – we knew he was the best person to lead our ceremony. He delivered a heartfelt ceremony that made the tears flow.

 

Readings

We wrote our own vows and read them aloud at the ceremony. It feels particularly intimate and vulnerable to do so in front of your closest family and friends, and was one of the highlights of our day.

Puglia Wedding

Puglia Wedding

Our Advice

 

Memorable moments…

  • Walking down the aisle. I began alone, descending the staircase (I was so anxious not to trip and fall!) before meeting my parents at the foot of the stairs. I locked eyes with my husband, who was teary-eyed and smiling – I’ll never forget the look of love we gave each other.
  • Exchanging our vows in front of an intimate group of friends and family.
  • Entering our reception and seeing the people we love most, from all corners of our lives, in one place – just an overwhelming feeling of love and gratitude.

One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…

Things will go wrong and they may be entirely out of your control – obviously, we never expected a global pandemic to happen, or anticipated the stress and uncertainty of postponing for two years. At the end of the day, the wedding is only one day, but your marriage is a lifetime. Cherish this time with your partner and never lose sight of why you are getting married. No matter what stressful or unexpected events come your way, learn to lean on your partner to see the bright side and flow through the changes together.

 

If I could give other brides to be one piece of advice…

Everyone says it but it’s so true – the day goes by so fast. Trust the process, learn to let go, and savor every moment – you’re only a bride once so make sure to pamper yourself. When making certain decisions, remember you are the only person who will notice the small details, so choose the ones that make you happy and proud. Soak up every minute of your engagement – even the stressful ones – because you’ll end up looking back on that short-lived phase of your life fondly.

 

Sources of inspiration…

The Lane was by far my number one source of inspiration. I also created mood boards of images that inspired me from Pinterest and wedding accounts and drew details we appreciated from other weddings. Ultimately we did our best to stay true to our vision and who we are as a couple.

 

Our Contacts

 

Wedding Venue / Masseria Grieco

Wedding Planner / Impression Villas & Weddings

Photography / Cinzia Bruschini

Videography / AMS Love in Video

Bride’s Dress / Vera Wang and Cinq

Bride’s Shoes / Amina Muaddi

Groom’s Formal Wear / Rick Pallack

Wedding Rings / Verstolo

Jewelry & Accessories / Verstolo

Veil / Daphne Newman

Hair / Davide Cichello

Makeup / Marcela Bantea

Stationery / Anne Robin and Bliss and Bone

Florist / Nina e i Fiori

Cake & Catering / Il Fagiano

Entertainment / Rinaldi Events

Gift Registry / Zola

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