East Meets West at This Tuscan Wedding
May 1, 2017
Al FrescoVillaSummer Weddings
When the bride hails from Hong Kong and the groom from the United States, meeting in the middle and choosing an East meets West theme are no-brainers. Italia Celebrations blended significant symbols from both cultures to create a personalized experience for the friends and family at this weekend-long celebration. My favorite? The stationery and place settings featured the Chinese zodiac animal of each guest. See the entire Tuscan affair, photographed by Magnus Boguki and Lauren Michelle, in the Vault plus a stunning film by Sharkpig below!
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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, the history and sense of place! This trip culminated with us getting engaged in the hills at sunset. When it came to planning our wedding, we knew we had to return to Tuscany. 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, of Italia Celebrations 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 brighter colors at cocktails and eventually rich jewel tones during our reception. We also focused on the details: our stationery featured the Chinese horoscope animal of each guest mixed with rustic Italian touches. 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 it into the perfect backdrop for every event.

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 the vows that we had written for each other (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 during the cocktail hour. After which, they were escorted for dinner to another outdoor terrace decorated to be the secret, magic garden of my dreams. We dined al fresco under twinkling 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 personal these touches were, and it definitely got the conversation going! Once the sun set, we cut our magnificent, three-feet-wide Italian wedding cake (the best I’ve ever had!) and then danced to our first song, performed acoustically by our very talented friends. As the song ended, the sky exploded with light and so began a 10-minute, jaw-dropping fireworks display. With the guests all dazzled and stunned, they were led to a secret dancing area and regaled by the amazing 10-piece Kitts Band who were flown over from London for the occasion. 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 an amazing team of vendors 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 makeup teams delivered above and beyond any expectation. Guests are still raving about the food and catering. Our photographers, Magnus Bogucki and Lauren Michelle, and cinematographer, Wade Koch, were each awesome people, made us feel so at ease, and were fun to have around. We are indebted to them for so beautifully capturing these memories so that we may enjoy reliving them for many, many years to come. Finally, The Kitts Band and our friend and DJ, J’Andres, kept the party going all night long. My friends have proclaimed them “the best wedding band, ever!” We wish we could do it all over again, exactly the same way!
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