Wed at a Roman Baroque villa near Siena amidst the tranquil Tuscan gardens, Anna and Frank said their vows beneath ancient statues and towering trees. Surrounded by vine-covered structures, climbing roses and the forest beyond, the emerald grassy aisle for the couple’s romantic ceremony was lined with delicate white flowers which appeared to sprout up from the ground.
The scenic reception was held outside under the balmy Tuscan sun below the historic Villa Cetinale’s imposing facade.
The elegant Italian destination wedding was artfully captured on film by by photographer Studio of Tejasvir.
Names / Anna Marquart & Frank Lichtenberg
Location / Tuscany, Italy
Wedding Date / August 20th, 2023
Guest Numbers / 97
Budget / € 250,000
How We Met
After having worked together in Germany (where both originally are from) for a couple of years, Anna decided to move to the US (Detroit, MI) in 2019 for a couple of months to support the company there. Frank, who had always been a great fan of the US, suddenly made sure to also visit the Detroit office very frequently. Being the only two Germany colleagues there, they decided to go out for dinner together, to explore the amazing restaurant scene in Detroit. This dinner was followed by many more dinners and other activities together – both still convinced themselves, that that was totally usual behaviour between two colleagues. After a very fun night in Detroit, Frank invited Anna to his house for a final drink, where he kissed her for the first time.
Even though both felt like it was something forbidden, as they were colleagues, they continued to go out with each other and realized shortly after, that they had developed feelings for each other. They right away decided to end things, as they felt like there were reasons not to be together – them being colleagues, Frank already being a father and significantly older than Anna etc.
Both were heartbroken and devastated and it didn’t take long until they reached out to one another again and started dating again. After that they probably tried to end things for roughly 30 more times, but in the end (1.5 years later) they realized that they were probably meant to be together, after all.
Our Engagement Story
They were in New York City for the weekend of October 31st, 2021, which came as a surprise to Anna but had been meticulously planned by Frank. On the first evening of October 30th, they attended a Harry Styles concert (one of his songs had special significance for them during our early days of getting to know each other). They stayed in an incredibly cool hotel room with a rooftop terrace offering a view of parts of Central Park and the skyline.
The morning after the concert, Anna was feeling unwell with stomach pains and not at her best. However, Frank insisted on getting her out of bed, and they strolled around Soho. Frank, using the argument, “How often are we in New York?” convinced Anna to go to a speakeasy that evening. Anna mustered up the energy, completely unaware that there was no speakeasy, and he had planned a proposal on a rooftop terrace.
They took a taxi to the location, and Frank was acting a bit strangely, but Anna assumed he was just annoyed by the traffic. When they arrived at the location, they took the elevator and climbed the last set of stairs. That’s when Anna saw a glowing sign that read “Marry me,” and Frank got down on one knee in front of her, popping the question. Frank, who is usually a very outspoken person, was out of words and could only ask “Anna-Lena Ursula Marquart – will you marry me?” which was answered with a clear “Yes” by Anna.
What we love most about each other…
That they’re both home for each other. Even while traveling the world together they always find their peace in one another and never get bored, when they’re together.
Villa Cetinale, near Siena in Tuscany. They decided they wanted to have a destination wedding early on, as the weather in Germany is often very unstable and locations are rather mediocre. As Anna had spent most of her childhood vacations in Italy and as both love Italian cuisine, it was clear that they wanted to get married in Italy.
After looking at 7 venues in Tuscany, the Villa Cetinale stood out to them, due to several reasons. Number one being, that it was not only an event location, but a villa where they could stay with 25 more guests for a whole week. As they both are family that was exactly what they were looking for – an opportunity to celebrate with their families and closest friends for one week. Number two were the impressive gardens of the villa, which made it a perfect venue for the two night celebrations, with a casual Italian get together, followed by the big ceremony on Sunday. Number three was the fact that at the Villa Cetinale it was allowed to party all night long – most Italian venues only allow music until 1am.
The wedding was a combination of Italian “la dolce vita” and elegance. The first night (themed “It’s Amore”) was a more casual pizza night, with a pizza, an Aperol, an antipasti, and an ice cream station. The decoration was inspired by Italian olive branches, lemons and great Italian family dinners.
The second night (the ceremony, themed “La Grande Belezza”) was more elegant. The whole decoration was dominated by white flowers, candles etc., while still keeping classic Italian details to loosen it up. Overall it was very important to Anna and Frank to make the event a very personal and emotional one, which was driven by their welcome speech on the first night and followed by personal notes that were hand-written by the couple for every single guest. Also the wedding speech and the vows were very personal and almost no eye was left dry.
The groom collects old cars, so it was very important for him to incorporate these into the wedding as well. Besides the old Vespa, which he used to get to the ceremony, the couple also drove off with a Jaguar XK 140. Both vehicles are the groom’s property and were transported from Germany to Italy.
The couple started the wedding morning casual with a breakfast with all guests in the house, followed by a swim in the pool. Afterwards, Anna went inside the Villa to get her hair and make-up done, mostly accompanied by her maid of honor and her mother. While Frank was still at the pool, relaxing with the other guys, more girls joined Anna and the opened the first bottle of champagne. Anna stayed extremely calm during the entire preparation and enjoyed getting her hair and make-up done as well as taking the first photos in the wedding dress. After Frank had changed into his tuxedo, he went downstairs to welcome all the guests in front of the Villa and lead them to the ceremony on his old Vespa.
“The wedding was a combination of Italian ‘la dolce vita’ and elegance.”
The couple chose Studio of Tejasvir. They chose Tejas for two reasons:
1. They had known him for years and he had followed and documented their love story for years. He had photographed their story in Detroit and NYC during their engagement.
2. His artistic style and his skill to capture special moments always made his pictures incredible.
Super8 video made by Studio of Tejasvir.
For the ceremony, the couple chose a very spectacular spot in the gardens of the Villa Cetinale. They decided not to overdo it with the decoration, to let the venue shine and simply focused on white florals lining the guest’s seats (Delphinium, Astilbs, Ruscus, Spray & Garden Roses were used mainly) and a flower arch on the ground, in order to not disturb the expanse of the view.
The reception decoration was also mainly dominated by flowers in whites and some greens. Flowers used were Scabiosa, Roses, Wild & Spray Roses, Olive branches, Ruscus, Sweet Peas and Ami Majus. Additionally the whole tables was covered in candles. Due to the stunning venue itself the couple wanted a decoration that was airy and elegant, but not too formal.
Wedding Planner & Stylist
Katharina Landenberger Weddings was their wedding planner. Katharina and her team supported the couple with the entire planning and conduction of the wedding. This included searching the venue, all vendors and organizing the wedding days. Their service was absolutely perfect for the couple as they were amazing at organizing everything which made it so easy for the couple to enjoy every single moment without stressing about anything. Furthermore, their team was absolutely lovely and supporting and made sure the couple had always what they needed.
The bride’s flower bouquet was inspired by the hand-painted lace of her dress. As soon as she got the dress, she knew that she wanted a compact, but unstructured bouquet with spray & garden roses and orchids in all white to support the light and flowy look of her dress. The flower choice for the bouquet was extended to all further florals for the wedding day.
All stationery was designed by Studio Vanhart. The couple wanted the stationary to be elegant, simple and a mix between a modern and classic look. The colors again were mainly white, green and some taupe. On the invitations, a graphic of the Villa Cetinale was printed.
The couple decided to not go with classic favors but to write personal notes for every wedding guest instead. In these hand-written notes they referenced experiences, they had made together and thanked them for their coming etc.
As a wedding cake they chose a Tuscan classic: Mille foglie with toasted almonds and fresh berries, which was perfect for the warm summer night.
Food & Beverages
For the get together, the couple chose an Aperol Spritz stand, where the Guests could get Aperol Spritz and other Aperitif style long drinks.
On the main wedding day they had a Champagne tower and served Champagne throughout the entire night. They had shipped the Champagne from France, as they wanted to serve their favourite Champagne from Rilly-la-montange.
They also served local wines and had an open bar with cocktails, long drinks and their signature cocktails.
The food on the wedding day was Italian. During cocktail hour they had a flying buffet with Italian finger food. For the seated dinner they served pasta, risotto and beef. The pasta & risotto was served family-style, as the couple really wanted to indulge on the Italian vibe and wanted to avoid a too formal dinner.
Fashion & Beauty Notes
Bride’s Dress & Shoes
Getting ready dress: Daily Sleeper
Wedding Rings, Jewelry & Accessories
Hair & Makeup
For the get together, the bride went for a dolce-vita inspired make-up with red lips and a winged eyeliner, as well as flowy voluminous hair.
For the actual wedding she went for a glowy, natural make up. She had her hair in a low chignon for the wedding and changed it into a bouncy high pony-tail for the party.
For her it was really important to still look natural and like herself, while having a make up and hairstyle that would last in the heat of Tuscany in August.
Groom & Groomsmen Attire
Smoking – Max Dietl
Shirt – Eton
Bow Tie – Brunello Cucinelli
Cufflinks – Mont Blanc
Shoes – Santoni
Socks – Falke
Watch – Cartier
Same, but Jacket by Bonobos
Groomsmen: The groomsmen chose their own outfits.
“The whole decoration was dominated by white flowers, candles etc., while still keeping classic Italian details to loosen it up.”
The couple drove the groom’s Jaguar XK 140, as seen in cruel intentions.
The couple will have their honeymoon in Japan. They wanted to go to a place they both hadn’t been to before. As they both also love the Japanese cuisine, they are excited to explore the country in 2024. Right after the wedding the couple had a small mini moon at Lake Garda, where they used the 5 days to come down and relive the beautiful wedding.
Entry of Anna: I Try by Macy Gray
During the ceremony: If I Ain’t Got You by Alicia Keys
After the wedding vows: Make You Feel My Love by Adele
After ceremony song: Watermelon Sugar by Harry Styles
First dance: Georgia On My Mind by Ray Charles
Cake cutting: That’s Amore by Dean Martin
Anna’s entry after changing into the party dress: Crazy In Love by Beyoncé
Wedding Day: Everso Music – they are a combination of DJ and Live music. The couple chose Everso, as they could do emotional / romantic live music during the ceremony and encourage the party afterwards. As the couple didn’t want a classic and long seated dinner, Everso already played party music between the courses and people already danced. The couple particularly liked that they weren’t on a stage but really mingled with the party guests, which made the whole mood exceptional.
Marina Danner via Strauss und Fliege – the couple chose her, as they felt and emotional connection with her right away. They know she would be able to share their story and their emotions with all their guests on the wedding day. And they were very happy with their decision, as Marina’s speech was absolutely exceptional – it had many personal details and most guests had tears in their eyes at some point. She also managed to include light and fun moments to speech, which made everyone laugh.
The couple both wrote their own wedding vows.
A memorable moment…
The moment before Anna walked in felt like a movie. There is a portrait of Anna before she walks down the stairs and a few small moments as she walked up to see Frank. Those entire moments were unforgettable.
One thing I wish I knew before I started my wedding plans…
That you will blow your budget no matter what.
If I could give other couples one piece of advice..
To look for a wedding planner you trust, because that will make the whole planning process and the wedding day itself so much more relaxed and pleasant.
Sources of inspiration…
The couple mainly used Pinterest & Instagram as their inspiration as well as their wedding planner’s suggestions.
Wedding Venue / Villa Cetinale
Wedding Stylist & Planner / Katharina Landenberger
Photography & Videography / Studio of Tejasvir
Bridesmaid Dresses / Hannah Artwear
Wedding Rings / Tiffany & Co.
Hair & Makeup / Joana Greimers
Stationery / Studio Vanhart
Florist / Flowers Living
Champagne / Paques et fils
Celebrant / Marina Danner
Guest Transport / Poggibus
Honeymoon / Grand Hotel Fasano
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