Real Weddings

A Romantic Italian Wedding at a Historic Abbey in Lazio.

Photography by Dos Mas En la Mesa.

With a vision of honoring the bride’s Italian roots, Maura and Alex chose to marry at the historic home of Abbazia di San Pastore, a breathtaking venue carefully preserved and surrounded by natural beauty, in Lazio, Italy.

Engulfed by ancient walls, the couple exchanged vows in front of a sculptural ceremony arch of climbing blooms, followed by intimate portraits under a backdrop of olive trees.

After the post-ceremony aperitivo hour, guests were moved through to a candlelit dinner, enclosed by the venue’s towering walls. Capturing every poetic detail of this boldly ambient and effortlessly romantic celebration were photographers Dos Mas en La Mesa.

Our Story

Names / Maura Carmel Gaudio & Alex Brill

Wedding Date / September 24th, 2022

Guest Numbers / 80

The Setting


Wedding Location

Alex and I were looking for a venue that spoke to our architectural dreams, where the physical space could be a stand alone jaw-dropping experience, that spoke to our commitment to each other as a couple, historic, timeless and utterly romantic. The idea of getting married in Italy was an idea that my dad, a very proud Italian-American, suggested somewhat casually, his relatives own a venue in Benevento, Italy. We didn’t choose that location as it was extremely far for our friends and families to get to, so we did a search around the Rome airport. 

I am an event producer in New York City and have dreamed of planning my (our) wedding since I was young. Initially my dream was to marry at The Frick Collection, a museum, in New York City, sadly it was closed for renovations. We also had a very specific goal in mind, which was to create a weekend out of our celebration, with all of our closest friends onsite at the venue, so we had to find a space that could accommodate 60+ of our friends and family. 

In searching for a venue, a lot of the research came from The Lane, a wedding was posted at our venue and I immediately was astonished by the space, both stark and elegant simultaneously. We had our Italian Wedding Planner, our boots on the ground, Danila Stella, reach out to get more information. 



In defining the aesthetic for our wedding, we drew a ton of inspiration from my parents’ wedding photos and my grandmother’s wedding dress that my mother also wore. Candid photos showing raw emotion, minimal floral design with amaranth for a draped effect and most importantly a highly curated selection of our favorite songs.   

We met with a number of floral designers in Italy, however I was always in love with Fluida’s work, she is an artist and set designer, a fabulous creative director. She took my ideas, my budget concerns, since I often find florals to be a ridiculous expenditure at weddings, and delivered the most elegant, refined contemporary floral concept that truly blew our minds. The goal was to create magic through shapes and shadows, Fluida came up with the idea of crawling our flowers along the columns in the dining room, at first I was nervous this would be easy to miss, but Fluida delivered above and beyond our expectations.



My dearest friends, my officiant and my mother all got ready with me. Alex and his closest friends had a suite slightly farther away where they hung out and got ready together as well. Everything I did for our wedding was ‘site-unseen’ so I hired the loveliest hair and makeup artist, Cassandra Lusi, who flew in from London. Cass felt like a lifelong friend and made me feel so calm on both nights as I was getting ready. A second, wonderful, hair and makeup artist Erika Fusca, did all my friends, mother, mother in law and officiants hair and makeup. My best friend Lauren Iaconetti, who is my regular colorist and hair stylist galore, did my extensions for the wedding. Prior to walking down the aisle, we listened to a playlist of pop-songs that reminded me of my memories with the women surrounding me. It was a special and hilarious experience listening to Rage Against the Machine before walking down the aisle, it will forever remain one of my favorite moments in life.