Real Weddings

A Wedding in the Wheat Fields of Sicily

Photography by Rosita Lipari.

A romantic floral arch of Gypsophila was poised perfectly in the center of an expansive wheat field, framing the Sicilian ceremony of Paul and Angelica

In an unfolding scene of soft light and seasonal blooms, the reception at La Commenda di San Calogero was adorned with lemons, Moorish heads, and traditional Sicilian ceramics, a nod to the vibrance of the culture. Layer by layer, each well appointed detail added an enchanting dimension to the grandeur of the villa.   

Conceived and designed by the bride’s aunt, a dress of classic lace with a fitted bodice, was met with touches of modernity in the neckline and sleeves. 

The wedding was poetically captured by Rosita Lipari.

sicily wedding venues

sicily wedding venues

sicily wedding venues

Our Story

Names / Angelica Montini & Paul Balassiano

Location / Augusta, Sicily

Wedding Date / May 1st, 2023

Guest Numbers / 170

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“We wanted to embrace the Sicilian atmosphere, incorporating Moorish Heads, Sicilian pine cone ceramics, and an abundance of lemons throughout the celebration.”

sicily wedding venues

sicily wedding venues

How We Met

Angelica: Paul and I have known each other since high school, although we never really spoke as there was a five-year age difference. It wasn’t until seven years ago, at his cousin’s surprise birthday party, that we truly connected. In a rather amusing twist, I accidentally spilled some wine on his pants, and that incident marked the beginning of our conversations and dating journey.


Our Engagement Story

Angelica: A beautifully simple engagement story, just as I had hoped. We were in our home in Milan, and he surprised me by preparing breakfast in bed. With a stunning emerald ring and a book filled with our cherished memories, he asked me to spend the rest of our lives together.

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The Setting


Wedding Location

Angelica: The day we stumbled upon La Commenda di San Calogero, it was love at first sight. We selected it primarily for the enchanting wheat field, which served as location for our civil ceremony (opting out of a religious one due to my Catholic background and his Jewish heritage). The decision to host our wedding at this venue was also influenced by the opportunity to spend quality time with our families in its 12 charming rooms before and after the celebration. The reception unfolded in a stunning garden, where we treated our guests to an aperitif, followed by dinner in the courtyard, and dancing under a beautifully arranged tent.



Angelica: We aimed for a vibrant and colorful aesthetic, which is why we chose to tie the knot in spring, anticipating the blooming of flowers. Our desire was to embrace the Sicilian atmosphere, incorporating Moorish Heads, Sicilian pine cones ceramics, and an abundance of lemons throughout the celebration.


Angelica: The villa was very big, and we managed to get prepared for the wedding in two different spots. I prepared for the big day in the pool area of the villa with my bridesmaids, while Paul and his groomsmen readied themselves in the salons. My preparation was a joyful experience, filled with laughter, shared meals, photo sessions, and sipping Messina beers with my friends. Paul had a similar, enjoyable experience with his groomsmen.

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Angelica: We chose Rosita Lipari and Michele Lipari as our photographers because we specifically desired someone with a Sicilian perspective to capture our wedding. Opting not to bring anyone from Milan, their local expertise and Sicilian taste were essential to us. We truly appreciated how they skilfully captured the highlights of our wedding, reflecting the joy and happiness of the day.



Angelica: The videographer, Marco Fato, was also a local from Sicily, ensuring that the video carried a distinct Sicilian flavor.

Style Notes


Ceremony Décor

Angelica: The ceremony was elegantly simple, featuring a beautiful white arch positioned amidst a picturesque wheat field. Along the aisle, baskets brimming with white flowers added a touch of natural beauty. We aimed to enhance the natural beauty of the location without introducing additional details. Therefore, we adorned the space with flowers and welcomed our guests with simple chairs and cushions. The main house of the villa framed the ceremony, complemented by palm trees and other elements.


Reception Décor

Angelica: the reception was exceptionally vibrant, accentuated by the natural surroundings of the villa. The fortunate timing of our May wedding allowed us to incorporate an abundance of freshly picked flowers, creating a lively atmosphere. Additionally, we adorned the venue with Moorish heads and traditional Sicilian ceramics. For the cocktail hour, we arranged Sicilian stalls where a diverse array of local foods and beverages were served.

Wedding Planner & Stylist

Angelica: We were fortunate to have two exceptional wedding planners, Federica Russo and Sabrina Caracappa. They guided us from the very start, assisting with everything from selecting the venue to orchestrating the wedding decor. We had multiple meetings in Sicily to choose suppliers and bring all the wedding elements together. Their support extended throughout the entire event, allowing me to enjoy the celebration without having to worry about a thing.



Angelica: We didn’t want to decorate the venue with too many flowers because it was May, and the villa was already adorned with wonderful seasonal blooms. The bouquet was a round arrangement of white Gypsophila and the boutonnieres were of the same flower. The same flower (Gypsophila) was used for the arch and the wicker baskets along the aisles. Inside the baskets we have also added Camomile. During the happyhour and the dinner, we wanted to have more colourful flowers and we picked bouganville, Dhalia, peonies in pink, orange and fuchsia colours. On the tables we added Moron heads, Sicilian pinecones and a lot of candles. We wanted a softer, non-white light, so the candles were primarily tall in taupe and light pink colour. I want to add that the florist (local in Catania) did an excellent job understanding exactly how we wanted to set up the wedding. The flowers were of excellent quality.

“We chose to tie the knot in the spring, anticipating the blooming of flowers and intending to achieve a vibrant and colorful aesthetic.”

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Angelica: For the stationary, we wanted to use as little paper as possible. In fact, the save the date and the invitation were solely digital and designed by a freelance designer (Clare Fisher) whom we discovered on Instagram. We explained that we wanted to convey the Sicilian vibe of our wedding to our guests right from the start. The save the date featured two Moorish heads resembling me and Paul. Meanwhile, the invitation was the launch of the website where we explained to our guests how the event would unfold. The site, also created by Claire, was very helpful because we provided tips on what to do during the weekend of our wedding, where to eat and drink. We also created three itineraries, typical days that Paul and I had already experienced in Sicily during our vacations. The website was animated with beautiful designs from Clare. Other stationaries were placeholders, food and cocktail menus.


Favors & Bonbonniere

Angelica: For the wedding bonbonniere, we were very practical. We decided to gift our guests Sicilian magnolia tiles (tiles depicting symbols of Sicily) that we also used as place holders. The guests took them home at the end of the celebration, and they use them as coffee pot rests or as placeholders.


Angelica: The cake was show cooked on-site during the wedding and was a millefeuille covered with forest fruits. Delicious, people couldn’t stop eating it. It was also very entertaining to see the pastry chef prepare the cake on the spot, and it provided entertainment for the guests.


Food & Beverages

Angelica: Food was very important for us (another passion of Paul), and it was organized as follows: during the ceremony, we offered typical Sicilian granitas and flavored waters. After the ceremony, when we were saying hi to all our guests, waiters passed around with Aperol spritz, Sparkling wine and White wine and some canapés to eat. Examples: 1. Arancino with cheese fondue, eggplant and mozzarella di bufala; 2. Salmon tartare with passion fruit cream. Later, we had a long aperitif of about 1 hour and a half in the villa’s garden. In the garden, we set up stalls serving typical Sicilian food.

Examples of stalls included a ricotta corner, a tuna corner with cherry jam and sweet and sour onions, seafood corner and much more. Beverages were server by professional waiters during the whole event. The dinner took place in the villa’s inner courtyard and was seated. Two courses were served during the dinner: the first was pasta with cherry tomatoes and tuna on a buffalo mozzarella and eggplant velouté, and for the main course, we had the catch of the day baked with cherry tomatoes, capers, and black olives. We also had an alternative for vegetarians: the first course was the same but without tuna, and the second course was a vegetable burger and a potato tart.

During the dinner, waiters server wine nonstop and we also set up bars serving cocktails and three signature cocktails that we renamed ourselves (1. Angie’s kiss was a cocktail with Vodka, lemon juice, grapefruit soda and bitter; 2. Spicy “Paulo” was with Mezcal, agave syrup, lemon juice, and chili; 3. Bala-Mule was with Gin, lemon juice, elderflower liqueur, sugar syrup, and ginger soda). The desserts were served during the disco, because the cake cutting followed the dinner. The dessert buffet featured small pastries and various cakes. Additionally, there was a corner dedicated to Sicilian cannoli with chocolate and ricotta cream, a platter of fresh fruit, and sugared almonds (traditional Italian sweets often given as favors at weddings and other special occasions). We also offered coffee and digestifs.

sicily wedding venues

sicily wedding venues

Fashion & Beauty Notes


Bride’s Dress & Shoes

Angelica: My wedding dress was very special. It was conceived and designed by my aunt Michela (my dad’s sister), who owns a beautiful bridal atelier in Padua, near Venice. The atelier belonged to my grandmother (who has passed away), and she continues the business. When I told her that I was getting married, she immediately started sketching the dress (without asking me how I wanted it to be because she perfectly knew my tastes and what would look good on me) and named it Angelica. From there, we worked on modifying the dress according to my personal tastes.

The dress was entirely made of lace with a slim fit and a long tail. It had a neckline both in the front and back to add a touch of modernity to the dress. The sleeves were long (as it was spring) and covered half of the hands. The veil was amazing: very long, that covered the dress, with the edge featuring the same lace as the dress, and it attached to the arms as if it were a cape. The shoes were simple with a pointed toe and a wide heel for comfort from the famous designer Amina Muaddi. The heel height was around 9.5 cm.


Bridesmaids Dresses

Angelica: The bridesmaids’ dresses were also crafted by my aunt. We started with an existing dress and made some modifications. The fabric was silk chiffon with a pink floral print. Two bridesmaids had a back-only neckline and were collared with a front collar, while the other two had a neckline both in the front and back. All of them had a rose-shaped pin in the same fabric as the dress that they could place wherever they preferred. My sister, who was the maid of honor, had a last-minute issue with her dress, so she wore a lilac Zimmerman dress instead.

Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories

Angelica: My engagement ring is an emerald (with an emerald cut). Around the stone, there are two diamonds that enhance the ring. The band is made of white gold. The wedding bands, on the other hand, are very thin and made of yellow gold; we didn’t want them to be too flashy. Inside, our respective names and the wedding date are engraved. Here, too, it’s a lovely situation because our rings were gifted by our witnesses (Paul’s cousin and my sister) and provided by Paul’s aunt, who works for a jewelry store.

Angelica: The dress was so beautiful that I didn’t want to wear too many accessories. I decided to wear a pair of stud earrings to illuminate the face and nothing more.


Hair & Makeup

Angelica: My hair was tightly pulled back in a bun. I wanted to emphasize the back neckline of the dress. The makeup was very natural during the ceremony and dinner, and together with the makeup artist (who is a close friend and was invited to our wedding) we emphasized it a bit for the evening. The makeup colors were indeed natural, leaning towards pink and light brown.


Groom’s Attire

Angelica: Paul wore an elegant cappuccino-brown suit paired with a white cream vest, a choice made to harmonize with the picturesque surroundings. The tie was light blue with micro patterns to add a bit of contrast. The brown suede shoes matched the suit. Paul’s suit was crafted by the same Italian tailor who used to make my father’s suits. It was an emotional experience. Paul’s groomsmen were wearing a dark green Suit Supply suit.

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The Details



Angelica: The wedding took place in the villa where we were staying with our families during our time in Sicily, so we didn’t need transportation to and from the wedding location. Very convenient, as we were just steps away from the ceremony.



Angelica: We went to the Philippines this Christmas. The decision to do it six to seven months after the wedding was intentional. We wanted some time to pass before making the trip, so it wouldn’t feel too rushed and we could keep the wedding period alive. We didn’t want it to end. Additionally, we wanted to break away from winter and go to a warm destination. We chose the Philippines because we didn’t want the typical honeymoon destination (e.g., Polynesia). We wanted the experience to be unique and different from others. We couldn’t have made a better choice. The Philippines is wonderful, with paradise-like beaches and azure seas. The people are incredibly kind, making us feel at home. A nice thing was that everyone we met locally thanked us for choosing the Philippines as our honeymoon destination.

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“We wanted a softer, non-white light, so the candles were primarily tall in taupe and light pink colors.”

Wedding Songs


Paul’s entrance (including groomsmen and bridesmaids): Fields of gold by Eva Cassidy.

Angelica’s entrance: Can’t help falling in love by Elvis Presley.

The song when we finished the ceremony and were heading towards the gardens was Better Together by Jack Johnson. Our entrance during the dinner: L’amour toujours by a famous Italian DJ (Gigi D’agostino). We wanted the entrance to be memorable and set the vibe since the beginning of the dinner.

Cake cutting: Just you and I by Tom Walker.

First dance: First one was Stumblin in by Chris Norman and Suzi Quatro and the second one was Beyond by Leon Bridges.



Angelica: For us, music was extremely important (especially for Paul, who is passionate about it). We had a live musician throughout all the moments. During the ceremony, the songs were sung and played by a duo (female singer and acoustic guitarist). For the cocktail hour, we had a Sicilian folk band singing traditional Sicilian songs. During dinner, we had the Super Pop, a live band that performs music from the 70s/80s and is becoming very popular in Italy. The band members were dressed in vintage Gucci. After dinner, the disco was held under a tent, and an Italian DJ, who is a resident at Raya in Panarea, a famous hotel and restaurant, played the music.



Angelica: Our celebrant Paul’s stepbrother. Being a notary in Italy, he already had the authorization from the municipality of Augusta to marry us, and he didn’t need to seek additional approval. Moreover, as someone very close to us, it was a very emotional experience and we felt at home.

Our Advice


A memorable moment…

Angelica: One of the most beautiful moments of our wedding was certainly twofold. The first was our speeches and those of our witnesses and friends. We understood how much they love us and how much they care about us. The second was when we entered the dinner, dancing, and from that moment on, we never stopped. At that moment, we set the mood for the evening, enjoying ourselves and dancing all night.

A memorable moment during the planning was when we went to Sicily, to La Commenda, for the choice of catering and other things. It poured rain the entire weekend, never letting up. It rained so much, and we were happy, that we said it wouldn’t happen during our wedding, and indeed, it didn’t.


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

Angelica: Certainly, if I were to organize it again, I would be more relaxed and wouldn’t have rushed so much. If you plan well, there’s time. Having planned it in May, the risk of rain was high, but our Plan B wasn’t up to the standard of Plan A. The anxiety was intense; we didn’t want the event to take place indoors because the location was chosen exclusively for the outdoors (especially the ceremony). If I could go back, I would make sure that if, unfortunately, it rained, I would still be happy to follow Plan B.

Enjoy the preparations, as they are the most beautiful and fun part (the wedding flies). Tune in with your future spouse (with a few arguments of course) and organize together the most important day of your lives. Compromise, even though it’s not always easy. Be determined in your choices but also flexible; you can’t plan everything (the unexpected is around the corner).


Sources of inspiration…

Angelica: Certainly, I took inspiration from other weddings I attended, but mainly from Instagram and Pinterest. They are useful resources where you can find everything you need.

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Our Contacts


Wedding Venue / Commenda di San Calogero

Wedding Stylist & Planner / Federica Russo and Sabrina Caracappa

Photography / Rosita Lipari

Videography / Marco Fato

Bride’s Dress / Anna Spose Padova

Bride’s Shoes / Amina Muaddi

Hair & Makeup / Elena Torbol

Stationery / Clare Fisher

Florist / Fiorelli Wedding

Cake / Valentino Catering

Catering / Valentino Catering

Entertainment / Musica Evento, I suonatori di Tarmonia & Super Pop



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