There are many reasons we love destination weddings, and it’s not just the idyllic natural backdrops they boast! It’s the way they represent the coming together of cultures, and more often than not, the destination chosen holds significant meaning for the couple. The same holds true for Stephanie + Attis, who tied the knot amidst the rolling hills of Tuscany. They had a full weekend of events to celebrate with their guests, and planning expert Brenda Babcock Celebrations was instrumental in putting it all together.
From the bride: On a trip to Italy my now husband and I fell in love with Tuscany – the food! The people! The amazing landscape, history and sense of place! – on a trip that culminated with us getting engaged in the hills at sunset. When it came to planning our wedding, we knew we had to return. Attis and I are independent spirits and it was important to us that our wedding was a true reflection of that, while honoring our families, cultures and guests. I am from Hong Kong with French and Chinese parents, and Attis is Californian with European roots. With our families and friends spread across Asia, Europe and the United States, Italy was the perfect “meet in the middle” location.
With our amazing wedding planner Brenda and my sister/ design stylist, Justine, we designed our wedding around an “East meets West” theme. It was important to me that our wedding was full of light, joy and life and told its own story of the day. We pulled that through our color palette which evolved from light creams and greens during our ceremony to more bright colors at cocktails and eventually rich jewel tones during our reception and dance party. We also focused on the details: our stationery featured our Chinese horoscope animals mixed with rustic Italian touches while Brenda collected Chinoiserie-inspired decorative pieces that she used throughout, all of which brought our worlds together so perfectly.
I couldn’t have imagined a more perfect venue than Il Borro, a former medieval country hamlet now run as a hotel that not only housed all 160 of our wedding guests, but also hosted three full days of events in different venues across the property. The setting was so naturally beautiful, we didn’t have to do much to transform them. Our wedding day began with a personal, non-denominational ceremony officiated by a friend in the 15th century village square at Il Borro. We somehow made it through our personally written vows (with lots of tissues) and traveled to our cocktail hour in a vintage Alfa Romeo convertible.
Guests sipped on Aperol Spritz and rosé champagne and snacked on hand-carved prosciutto in a stunning Italian garden before being escorted for dinner to yet another outdoor terrace decorated as the secret, magic garden I had dreamed of. We dined al fresco under sparkly lights as the sun set, and feasted on the best of Tuscan cuisine and wine. One of my favorite touches was that at every guests’ place setting was a miniature golden figurine of their Chinese zodiac animal. I loved how personalized these touches were, and it definitely got the conversation going!
When darkness finally came around 10 pm, we cut our magnificent 3-foot wide Italian wedding cake (the best I’ve ever had!) then danced to our first song, performed acoustically by our very talented friends. As the song ended, we revealed one of our biggest surprises of the night – the sky exploded with light and so began a 10-minute jaw-dropping fireworks display. Then with the Kitts Band hitting the stage, we danced late into the night (and for some of us, into the next morning), wishing the night would never end!
We feel so grateful to have been supported by such the amazing team of vendors assembled by Brenda who executed our vision so flawlessly. Under Brenda’s watchful management, the three days unfolded seamlessly, each event bringing even more beauty and wonder than the last. Her floral and make-up teams delivered above and beyond any expectation. Guests are still raving about the food and catering. Our photographers Magnus Bogucki and Lauren Michelle and videographer Wade Koch were each awesome people and made us feel so at ease and fun to hang around. We are indebted to them for memorializing these memories so beautifully. Finally, The band our friend and DJ J’Andres kept the party going all night long. We wish we could do it all over again, exactly the same way!
Check out the video from Wade of Shark Pig below:
Photography: Magnus Bogucki and Lauren Michelle
Wedding Planning: Brenda Babcock Celebrations
Design stylist: Justine Chevalier (Bride’s Sister)
Venue: Il Borro
Bride and Bridesmaids Dresses: Monique Lhuillier
Veil: Mark Ingram Atelier
Bride’s Shoes: Chanel
Groom’s Attire: Enzo Custom (NYC)
Groom’s Shoes: Hugo Boss
Groomsmen Attire: Combatant Gentlemen
Rings: Melville Fine Jewellery
Hair and Make-up: Orazio for Italia Celebrations
Stationery: Lucy Says I Do
Invitation calligraphy: Alice Dang of Lace and Lettering
Day-of-Essentials Calligraphy: Letters By Anat
Catering: Guidi Lenci
DJ: DJ J’Andres
Cinematography: Wade of Shark Pig