Real Weddings

A Nostalgic Fall Wedding on an Italian Island

Photography by Flora and Grace Photography.

Wed beneath an imposing olive tree in Sardinia, Italy, Margherita and Alexander returned romantically to the place where they first met. 

Enveloped by a mountainous terrain, the poetic ceremony took place amidst a sinuating aisle of wooden benches, artful arrangements of wild flowers that echoed the flora of the region, and bespoke details. 

The bride’s paired-down, elegant gown was contrasted by notes of drama with a traditionally opulent Italian veil, and natural, wild waves. For the reception, fruit and grape compositions, florals in terracotta ceramics, and bamboo chairs anchored the atmosphere in authentic beauty, mirroring the exquisite, rustic terrain. 

Photographers Jasmin and Tim from Flora and Grace Photography elegantly captured this timeless Italian wedding. 

 

sardinia villas italy

sardinia villas italy

sardinia villas italy

Our Story

Names / Margherita De Natale & Alexander Felsberg

Location / San Pantaleo, Costa Smeralda, Sardinia, Italy 

Wedding Date / September 10, 2024 

Guest Numbers / 170

sardinia villas italy

How We Met

In July 2018, Alex, a Brazilian living in São Paulo, embarked on a last-minute summer trip to Sardinia, Italy, joining his dad and sister’s vacation plans. Prior to this, he rendezvoused in London with college friends, including Irene and Lucas, discussing his impending trip. Irene mentioned her Milanese friend Meg, suggesting Alex seek travel advice from her. Alex, with Irene’s persistence, contacted Meg, arranging to meet for drinks in Sardinia. Their meeting at Cafe du Port in Porto Cervo marked the beginning of a serendipitous romance.

Their connection blossomed during a spontaneous Italian road trip, leading to Alex inviting Meg to join him, defying their usual cautious natures. Despite living in different parts of the world, their relationship flourished, culminating in Meg’s move to Brazil by the end of 2018. Fast forward to July 2022, they returned to Sardinia for their anniversary, where Alex surprised Meg with a heartfelt proposal on a secluded beach, encapsulating the spontaneity and romance that defined their journey together.

 

Our Engagement Story

In July 2022, marking our 4th anniversary, we returned to Sardinia, where our journey began in 2018. Anticipating the special day, we brainstormed novel ideas, eventually opting for an adventure to Caprera Island. Amidst the scorching heat, we sought refuge at a secluded beach, a cherished spot from my childhood. Despite Alex’s odd behavior, complaining about the crowd, I insisted on savoring the turquoise sea. After a refreshing swim, Alex proposed, catching me completely off guard, yet perfectly encapsulating the spontaneity of our relationship. As he professed our shared journey, presenting a ring from an unexpected hiding spot, I was overwhelmed with surprise and joy. It was a moment as unexpected and beautiful as our initial encounter, solidifying our bond in a perfect, spontaneous gesture.

 

What we love most about each other…

Margherita: I love Alex’s loving nature, he’s someone who’s always there for friends and family, someone you can always rely on and will always give you the best advice. 

I love his confidence, he’s definitely a doer and will always work hard to achieve whatever he sets his mind onto. 

Alex: What I love most about Meg is her appreciation of life and capability to see and thoroughly enjoy the big and little things of daily life. She is equal parts loving, kind, brave and adventurous which allow her to have this unique way of enjoying each day while maintaining a thirst for new experiences. 

sardinia villas italy

sardinia villas italy

sardinia villas italy

The Setting

 

Wedding Location

We decided in getting married in Sardinia as the place had such special meaning to us. We wanted an intimate wedding ceremony and reception in a rural setting, surrounded by as much nature as possible – somewhere that still preserved the feeling of the authentic Sardinia, an island of shepherds before becoming famous for its beaches. Having trouble finding the venue as most of them would not allow for more than 100 people. We looked for a typical Sardinian “stazzo” (farmhouse) and finally found an old farmhouse turned into hotel that had preserved the original stone buildings and we rented for the whole weekend. The ceremony took place in the grass/lawn below a big olive tree and was followed by a seated candle-light dinner on the terrace. 

 

Aesthetic

We wanted something authentic, simple yet sophisticated. We agreed on the fact that the surrounding nature and landscape would speak for itself and we wanted to go for a candle-light, bamboo chairs and minimal interference in the landscape – think of an end of summer Mediterranean island night. Our inspiration was from Cabana Magazine, as we love the mix-match of patterns and textures. 

Preparation

We got ready at the wedding venue, Stazzo Lu Ciaccaru, where we and the closest friends and family stayed. I got ready with my bridesmaids, mom and sister and Alex with his groomsmen. We both had our first looks with our respective families separately. My dad walked with me to the ceremony and Alex had his mom by his side. 

sardinia villas italy

Photography

I discovered Jasmin and Tim’s work (from Flora and Grace) on Instagram and I fell in love with the way they capture moments, emotions while paying attention to every detail. Both me and Alex hate “posed” photos and wanted something very spontaneous, capturing the essence and emotions of the moment. 

sardinia villas italy

Style Notes

 

Ceremony Décor

I loved the idea of a ceremony on the grass and creating a wavy and sinuous aisle, a curvy path to get to the olive tree where the ceremony would take place. We opted for wooden benches rather than chairs and we chose some wildflowers to get the idea they were naturally growing from the grass, as they were part of the vegetation. We also placed bespoke napkins on each seat.

 

Reception Décor

This is where we had the most fun thinking about the décor as we love a table setting. 

We opted for bamboo chairs, long communal tables and lots of candles. The tablecloths were made especially for the wedding as we could not find the right size to fit the tables and they were all with different prints. Same for the table mats, they were all different. As for the flowers and vases, we opted for terracotta, ceramics with wildflowers and seasonal fruits and vegetables compositions like figs and grapes. The menú was designed by Brazilian artist and illustrator Jackie Hatys – it was handwritten in different colours and maintained the wavy pattern just like the aisle. 

sardinia villas italy

Wedding Planner & Stylist

We definitely did a lot of research, looked for references for the aesthetic but we hired a wedding planner to help us with the overall organization, location scouting as we were living so far. We actually booked the venue without seeing it live before-hand. 

 

Flowers

We only wanted flowers along the aisle and for the dinner reception. We wanted to keep it as close as to the original plants and wildflowers found in the region at that time of year. The floral palette was mostly greens, with touches of burgundy.

Stationery

As I have always loved beautiful stationery, I knew I wanted something special, handwritten and for that we chose Brazilian artist and illustrator Jackie Hatys who also did our wedding website visual ID. She did digital save the dates and invites, printed programs, menús and the vows booklet. We loved doing personalized matchboxes for the party too that people could take home with them, it was a last minute decision and it was totally worth it! 

Favors/Bonbonniere

Following the Italian traditions we gave little bottles of mirto – a typical Sardinian liquor – to each guest that also served as seats markers at the dinner table. And following the Brazilian weddings tradition we got personalized Havaianas (flip-flops) for our guests during the party. 

Cake

To be honest, we were not sure at all about having a wedding cake. It was something neither me or Alex were super excited and interested about but in the end, mostly because of our parents, we opted for a traditional big crostata with cream and berries on top and a dessert corner at the party with traditional Sardinian sweets and biscuits (mostly because of our Brazilian friends and their sweet-tooth). 

 

Food & Beverages

We did a cocktail on the lawn right after the ceremony at sunset, served appetizers, wine, aperol spritz, beer (this was Alex’s request – it had to be Ichnusa non filtrata, the beer he tried on our first date in Sardinia) and then we had a seated dinner with a two-course meal. Following the Italian tradition, we only served wine at the dinner table and then went for an open-bar with drinks and whisky for the party. 

sardinia villas italy

sardinia villas italy

Fashion & Beauty Notes

 

Bride’s Dress & Shoes

I did my dress and ceremony shoes in Milan with Francesca Piccini, a young Italian wedding dresses designer. It was a friend’s recommendation and I loved it. I wanted something summery, not too formal and modern given the overall aesthetic and location so we opted for a silk mixed linen dress. At the same time, given the clean dress, I wanted to have a long “dramatic” veil, that covered my face in the more traditional Italian style. 

It was my favourite part – hand embroidered with little flowers. 

 

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

For the engagement ring, Alex had his grandma’s round diamond set on a white-gold thin halo setting, he designed it with his mom and I absolutely love it. 

We opted for classic yellow-gold thin wedding bands, made by Sabbadini Milano, my grandma and mom’s go-to jeweler. They are family friends and actually gave us the wedding bands as a wedding present for me and Alex. 

My own diamond earrings from Sabbadini Milano. 

 

Hair & Makeup

I was very unsure on what to do with my hair for the ceremony until the very last minute. Months earlier I had done a test and had decided to go with a low sleek bun but then changed it before the ceremony and opted for natural wavy hair. I felt it’d go better with the overall vibe of the wedding, more relaxed! For the make-up I went for a very natural, glowy and bronzy look. 

 

Groom’s Attire

Alex had his suit tailor-made in São Paulo. A classic dark-blue suit with black leather shoes and a light blue tie. 

The Details

 

Transport

We stayed at the wedding venue for the whole weekend and we organized transportation for people staying at close-by hotels as it is not too easy to get taxis around the area. 

 

Honeymoon

We had planned a trip to Morocco which then got postponed due to the earthquake that hit the country in September. We had to change our plans a day after the wedding and opted for Menorca, somewhere close where we could enjoy the beach and relax! It was great. 

Wedding Songs

For the ceremony we got an authentic “coro sardo”- folkloric Sardinian choir, to come sing acapella traditional wedding songs. It is made up by 10-15 male singers that position themselves in circle, inward looking and perform various songs. They still preserve their traditional clothing. We thought it fit perfectly! 

We opened the dancefloor with September by Earth, Wind and Fire. 

 

Entertainment

Both me and Alex love a party! We did not want a band to open the party, we wanted to start with a DJ right away. We chose Brazilian DJ Marina Diniz and elaborated a playlist together. At the end of the party a dear friend of us, who’s also a DJ, surprised us with a performance/set. 

 

Celebrant

Our dear friend Gabe was our celebrant and it was his first time officiating a wedding! Honestly it was the best decision ever have someone who knows you well as an individual and as a couple and can really speak from the heart. He cried too during his speech, it was very emotional. 

Our Advice

 

A memorable moment…

For us organizing the wedding was not an easy process, it took a lot of time and effort, especially being so far away from Italy. But once you see your friends and loved ones coming together from different parts of the world and being there to celebrate you and celebrate your love for a weekend, it is so worth it. Just getting to be surrounded by people you love and matter the most in your life, is priceless. 

 

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

Try and hire catering and bar from outside the wedding venue because mostly they will be more specialized in that particular matter, especially if it is a small wedding venue. I feel like they will be able to give you more options. 

Enjoy the day and the morning before your wedding, take sometime to step aside with your partner to savour the moment! 

Always make sure you talk and listen a lot to each other to understand each other’s vision, expectations and desires during the whole planning process. And enjoy the moment cause it goes by too quickly! 

 

Sources of inspiration…

We did our research mostly on Instagram! And Meg’s mom! She has such great taste and she’s an arts and design lover – she always shares the best inspirations on Pinterest and Instagram. For contacts we mostly went with close friends and family’s recommendations.

sardinia villas italy

sardinia villas italy

Our Contacts

 

Wedding Venue / Stazzo Lu Ciaccaru

Wedding Stylist & Planner / Elisa Mocci Events

Photography / Flora and Grace

Bride’s Dress / Francesca Piccini & Magda Butrym

Bride’s Shoes / Francesca Piccini & Aquazzura

Wedding Rings / Sabbadini

Hair / Valeria Boncoraglio

Makeup / Armonia Donna Parruchieri

Stationery / Jackie Hatys

Florist / Anthea Studio

Cake / Stazzo Lu Ciaccaru

Catering / Stazzo Lu Ciaccaru

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