On the Baroque Sicilian island of Ortigia, Francesca and Jorge were wed above the Mediterranean Sea. On a rooftop terrace, overlooking the historical city center’s Piazza Duomo, the striking Cathedral of Syracuse served as the backdrop. Warm winds swept through the bride’s Marchesa for Pronovias dress and delicate veil, which danced in the shimmering heat.
As day segued to night, the surrounding white-washed stone buildings were painted in dusk hues. With a dramatic cityscape backdrop, the pair kept their styling minimal to drink in the magical views. A long reception table lined the rooftop, finished with transparent ghost chairs and dotted with candles and flowers.
Names / Francisca & Jorge
Wedding Date / September 10th, 2022
Guest Numbers / 22
Budget / $25,000
How We Met
A mutual friend introduced us in 2020. Each of us had a friendship with her that spanned 20 years in different countries, but we had never crossed paths before!
Our Engagement Story
We took a holiday to Vieques, a small Caribbean island that is a part of Puerto Rico. Francisca went on a night lagoon kayak trip, while Jorge stayed behind in the house, preparing for a surprise engagement. He set up a dinner on a rooftop terrace under a beautiful full moon and proposed as soon as she arrived.
Marriage To Us Means…
Marriage to us means a commitment to walk together on the journey that is life. The actual marriage ceremony for us was an expression of a commitment before our closest friends – our chosen family.
Our wedding venue in Sicily was a stunning two-level terrace overlooking Piazza Duomo, with a 360-degree view of Ortigia. We selected Sicily for several reasons. Sicily is the intersection of so many important cultures that we love, and a gateway between Europe and Africa – two continents we have both worked in extensively. Both of us are also water babies – access to and a view of the sea is very important! finally, in many ways, Ortigia reminded Francisca of Havana, which represented her Cuban roots.
the style of our wedding was romantic, elegant and understated.
Francisca had a surprise brunch party with her girlfriends that arrived from the United States and different parts of Europe, while Jorge had lunch with friends that arrived from Peru.
“Our wedding venue in Sicily was a stunning two-level terrace overlooking Piazza Duomo, with a 360-degree view of Ortigia”
Very little decor was used since the surroundings all ready did a great job, with Il Duomo as the backdrop for the ceremony nothing else was needed, hence the transparent chairs, which were modern yet invisible.
Romantic, modern, and enhancing the surrounding. A lot of candles and flowers in dusty, light colors with a hint of golden edge.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
Our wedding planner was Dazzled. They were excellent at understanding that we wanted something simple yet elegant. They found the most exquisite terrace in Ortigia for a wedding, with a church for a background, which was particularly important for us.
The only floral palette I had in mind was dusty pink flowers, whites, and lavender. Emily from Dazzled took it from there and created something beautiful for us, she really got it right. An important detail for Francisca was to have pictures of her grandparents and mother attached to the bridal bouquet, as a symbolic way of them taking part in their big day.
For our wedding stationery went paper-free and simply did a website. However, we did a ceremony program ourselves on stationary we printed, and Dazzled had gorgeous nameplates handmade by Verygraphy Calligraphy for the place settings at the dinner table and printed the dinner menù.
We wanted to share something very unique to one of our cultures as our wedding favors, so we brought special handmade Peruvian decorations in the form of hearts.
We felt that instead of a traditional wedding cake, we wanted something unique, specifically of the region of Italy we were in. Our wedding planners at Dazzled recommended a traditional Sicilian Cassata cake from Etna Catering, which was absolutely PHENOMENAL. We never had anything like it and remain so grateful for it.
Food & Beverages
We wanted the dinner to be special and a long seating to enjoy a family dinner with our chosen family, since it is not often we all sit together at a dinner table enjoying each other’s company, so we really wanted to take the opportunity. We went for a 5-dish gourmet dinner from Etna Catering, DELICIOUS. We also choose to have an open bar with rom, beer & whisky. Simple yet what we all drink.
We walked! We were only 100 meters from the ceremony location.
We spent 10 days exploring glorious Sicily – Valley of temples, Favignana Island, Erice, Tonnara di Scopello, Palermo.
We specifically asked that no one give gifts.
Ceremony Songs – Max Richter – On the Nature of Daylight & Dustin O’Halloran – An Ending, a beginning.
We had live musicians for the ceremony, and for the party, we created a playlist that represented Peru and Cuba, and many of the countries we have lived in across Africa and the Middle East. We wanted each of our guests to feel present through the music.
We had two celebrants! Padre Arturo Grasso, a wonderful Italian priest from Acireale in Sicily, and a close friend of the bride, Jennifer.
We wrote our own vows.
A memorable moment…
After the ceremony, we walked through the streets of Ortigia to the seaside just as the sun was setting. It was a special private moment before coming back together with guests.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
Don ́t get us wrong our day was perfect, but the desire of getting married catholic is still something we would like to do, but for many reasons that is not possible yet.
Sources of inspiration…
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