Charming Italian Village Wedding

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South Africans Marisa & Dino, both have Italian parents and have spent many a holiday visiting family and exploring Italy, so choosing to get married there was an easy decision. They wanted to have a wedding that was relaxing, free-flowing and not structured, so they didn’t send out any invitations and encouraged their friends and family to join them on the day if they were able to, realising that travelling to Italy was an expensive option for most. “Ultimately we wanted to have an intimate wedding with special people we wanted to share in our celebrations.

“After taking Dino to the town where my grandmother is from, Bassano del Grappa, we both immediately fell in love with it and decided it would be a beautiful, quaint destination for our wedding. The old town makes you feel as if you have stepped back in time, there aren’t many tourists and one can’t help but feel Italian just being there. When we discovered the Villa Ca’ Rezzonico (built in the 17th century) in Bassano, it was everything we had pictured in our dreams and we immediately knew that we had to make this Italian destination wedding a reality. We knew that it would be a wedding unlike any other and it was impossible to settle for anything else.

We had originally planned to have the whole wedding and reception in Bassano but unfortunately the Catholic Churches in Bassano will only marry locals, therefore we decided to have our ceremony in the Chiesa di Santo Stefano in Vicenza which is the nearest city to Bassano and also where my cousins are from. This actually worked in our favour as we managed to take advantage of the beautiful Basilica backdrop for some great bridal party snaps while the rest of the group relaxed sipping their drinks downstairs in the Piazza dei Signori (with musicians serenading the locals).”

Photography JENNI ELIZABETH travelled from South Africa to join them for this amazing celebration. If you were on the fence about having an Italian destination wedding, I’m pretty sure this will convince you!!

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TELL US ABOUT YOUR PROPOSAL: The proposal was incredible and Dino did a good job in not letting any hints slide. It was his turn to treat me on our 7 year “anniversary” and he usually goes over the top with surprises. He picked me up for what I thought was a casual hike up Lions Head mountain (Cape Town), which is something we both really enjoy doing every Friday morning during the summer. When we arrived at the top of Lions Head, he had managed to have a romantic lunch display all set up on the summit – white tablecloth, rose petals, Moet champagne, champagne glasses and our favourite Willoughby’s sushi.

I was so overwhelmed with how beautiful the setting was with the picturesque Table Mountain backdrop that I didn’t even realise Dino was preparing to propose. After he poured us some champagne, he got down on one knee and asked me if I will spend the rest of my life with him. Without hesitation I said yes and shed a whole bunch of tears. We sat at the top of the mountain for up to two hours and were so fortunate in our timings as remarkably there was no one but us at the top of the mountain. After the proposal Dino arranged for us to dine at the Roundhouse, situated at the base of the mountain, at one of Cape Town’s oldest restaurants where we ended the day with a five course dinner and wine pairing.

TELL US ABOUT FINDING YOUR WEDDING DRESS: I always wanted to get married in lace and although I love the vintage look I wanted to incorporate the style with a dress that I had once seen in a magazine. I didn’t go to a lot of dress fittings as I knew what I wanted from the start and selecting my dressmaker was easy as I knew the best local designer for exquisite lace is Elbeth Gillis.

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MOST MEMORABLE MOMENT? There were so many moments that I absolutely loved, but my favourites would be when Dino and I met for the first time in the piazza before the ceremony. This was one of the best and most emotional experiences for the both of us. Meeting each other before the massive fan-fare (just the bridesmaids and groomsmen present) meant we got to really experience a moment just between us and nothing else mattered. It helped us both relax a lot more and made us aware of what is important about today… us and the commitment we were about to make to each other.

The other really special moment was when Dino and I arrived back at our B&B Palazzo Remondini in Bassano which was situated right on the Piazza Liberta and decided to dance in the rain in the square for a little while. Also walking through the beautiful town of Bassano on the morning of my wedding day with my bridesmaids and stopping at the Italian patisserie to sample some of the freshly baked macaroons and treats was another highlight. Another detail that I will never forget were the impromptu moments like when the venue told us to turn off the music and our friends started playing the piano and everyone joined in to sing along to some of the Beatles best hits.

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ANY OTHER DETAILS THAT HELP TELL THE STORY OF YOUR DAY? Dino and I decided to meet before the church ceremony so that we could have an intimate moment for the two of us to see each other before we got married and to utilise the time to take couple photographs in the town of Bassano before heading to Vicenza for the ceremony. Dino arrived earlier with his groomsmen in the square (Piazza Liberta) in front of the Palazzo Remondini B&B where I was staying and getting dressed with my bridesmaids and mother. Our room had big windows which looked down on the square and the bridesmaids could chat to the boys and give some updates while at the same time the locals were gathering as clearly something was happening in their usually peaceful town. That’s what really made it so fun for us, the locals get involved. They are super inquisitive and all want to be in on the action. The Café owner made the boys espressos and took it out to them the square while they waited – no charge, just too happy to be a part of the big day.

When it was time for us to meet, Dino stood in front of the church in the Piazza Liberta and I walked across the square and tapped him on the shoulder. Although our bridal party was standing in the square watching our encounter, it felt like it was just the two of us and I couldn’t hold back the tears. Apparently there was clapping and cheers of “Auguri” but it literally just felt like the two of us. Shortly thereafter the owner of Remondini poured us a glass of Prosecco to enjoy on our own in the square before we headed off to do a few couple photographs. On our way down to the “Ponte Vecchio” (old wooden bridge), locals would clap and shout “Viva i sposi!” (long live the married couple), kissing us on the cheeks as if we had made their day that much better. It is something that we weren’t expecting and it felt amazing how everyone just made us feel like we belonged.

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Photographer JENNI ELIZABETH / Videographer DESERTROSE PRODUCTIONS / Florist KARA FURTER, KING JULIET / Name tags NIFTY250 / Ceremony Venue CHIESA DI SANTO STEFANO, VICENZA / Reception Venue VILLA CA’REZZONICO BORELLA, BASSANO DEL GRAPPA / Dress Designer ELBETH GILLIS / Shoes WILD ALICE / Hair & make-up BRIDE’S SISTER, DANIELA LOGAN STEENKAMP / Bridesmaids Dresses ZARA, ISABEL DE VILLIERS CLOTHING and ELZBIETA ROSENWORTH COUTURE / Grooms Attire RIVER ISLAND, TM LEWIN / Planner CAMILLA CATTANEO / Caterer FRANCESCA
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Delicate Bridal Accessories

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I’m thrilled to be sharing with you the new collection of bridal accessories from ROMANTIC ART LIFE – aptly titled ‘Inspired by Love’. With a love of nature and the delicate beauty of flowers, designer Anastasiya has a passion for beautiful details and feminine beauty. These gorgeous accessories are the perfect addition to your wedding day attire. If you’re not so keen on wearing a veil, these are such a sweet option to dress up your hair style.

Romantic, exquisite and charming, the collection features delicate fabrics, soft laces, charming beads & crystals. Every piece is handcrafted & carefully put together to create an elegant accessory that will enrich your feminine side and add a unique personal finishing touch. Anastasiya says, “I hope you will sense a true spirit of my collection & will enjoy it, because every piece was made with love & passion!

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HOW DID I GET STARTED: Though I have been creative since I was a child, I became inspired to create my bridal floral collection in 2011 when I started to plan my own wedding. I discovered Etsy and was so inspired and amazed by so many talented people – I knew I needed to find a way to express my creativity. Etsy seemed to be a perfect place and just in the perfect time. Browsing this creative Etsy world brought back some of my deep childhood memories. When I was little, my grandmother loved making fabric & paper flowers. It was just a hobby for her but I admired how beautiful and real her flowers looked. I remember I asked her if one day she would teach me how to make them, and she was really happy to hear that. Unfortunately, by the time I was old enough to learn this technique, she was too sick. With these memories and being engaged myself, I realized I should try to create my own wedding flower accessories and share them with other brides. It was a perfect time to try something new, creative and so special to me! It was a long designing and learning process but in 2012 Romantic ART life Shop was born.

WHAT DO I LOVE ABOUT WEDDINGS: I am really passionate about art, beauty and fashion. Working in the wedding industry has everything I want. I enjoy every day by making beautiful, elegant and fashionable accessories, where every piece is designed and crafted to explore unique personality of each bride. It’s a creative process full of inspiration, learning, passion, experiments, hard work before you get a true art piece.

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Bridal Accessories ROMANTIC ART LIFE / Photography JO PHOTO / Hair & make-up TONY WILLIAMS
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Pre-wedding shoot in the Utah mountains

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Aren’t the vibrant colours in this bouquet by SOIL & STEM amazing against the breathtaking backdrop of Utah’s mountains in full autumn bloom? This cute-as-a-button couple actually just got married this past weekend but had a pre-wedding shoot with photographer KRISTINA CURTIS in this gorgeous Aspen Grove just above Utah’s ski resort Sundance. Her stunning florals are made up of dahlias, garden roses, hellebores, viburnum berries, clematis vines, indian feather, tea roses, and scabiosa.

Gorgeous bride Emilie tells us,“Tyler and I met while we were in high school and love to say we are high school sweethearts. We were set up on a date by our friends and instantly clicked. We became best friends and then fell head over heels in love and have been inseparable ever since. Tyler planned a sweet and romantic proposal by taking me to the restaurant where we had our first date 4 years ago and popped the question. It was so intimate and special to be at a place that meant so much to us. After the proposal we danced the night away at a Train concert, which was incredible.

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Photography KRISTINA CURTIS PHOTOGRAPHY / Flowers SOIL & STEM / Gown THE BRIDES SHOP
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