From the Welcome Party to the Day After, This is a Perfect Wedding Weekend
October 8, 2018
Al FrescoBeach ResortWinter Weddings
For a Bride and Groom that are wanderlusters through and through, a destination wedding was a must. But this Italian affair is so much more. Feast your eyes on an epic adventure that spans three countries (Ibiza, Italy, Greece) and culminates with the prettiest celebration in Puglia. Planned by Meggie Francisco, with floral design by Chiara Sperti plus Tracy Enoch's gorgeous photographs, this is a wedding weekend for the books.
For avid world travelers Morgan McCleery and Michael Phillips, an epic adventure was the only way to wed. The couple has family history stretching back generations in Italy, so they knew the perfect country for the wedding. But how could they make the even more of this once-in-a-lifetime moment? The answer was to journey not just to one country, but three! 
It all started with a bachelor/bachelorette party from a dream in Ibiza. Surrounded by their entire wedding party, the couple lazed away the days and partied until sunrise while counting down the days to their wedding. Next stop: a wedding in Puglia, a hidden gem in southern Italy boasting crystal clear beaches and thousands of years of history. The conclusion: but of course, a honeymoon in Mykonos, Greece.
While Puglia is generally dry and mild in May, wedding day brought balmy 80-degree temperatures. Bright and early in the morning, Michael and his groomsmen rode vespas to ancient Ostuni. Often called "The White City" for its jigsaw puzzle of white-washed buildings perched high atop a hill, Ostuni features stunning Baroque churches and sprawling views of the Adriatic Sea. Meanwhile, Morgan and her bridesmaids relaxed with champagne in the bridal suite while getting prettied up.
As the wedding day festivities got underway, Morgan surprised Michael with a wedding day gift of a Breitling watch, and shorty after the couple glimpsed each other for the first time on a centuries-old stone staircase. Morgan wore a romantic, summery floral appliqué gown with a creamy champagne underlay, and accented her look with antique beaded earrings gifted by her mom. In true Italian style, the bride wore sky high stillettos to complete the ensemble. Her bouquet, designed by talented local florist Chiara Sperti, bursted with creamy peonies and tiny touches of blush.
The groom donned a dashing gray-blue trim-fit suit from Suit Supply, complete with slim-fit pants that grazed the ankle. A clean navy pocket square and boutonniere accented with olive branch topped off his stylish attire. As the ceremony began, feathery clouds filtered the sunset.
The couple exchanged written vows under a dramatic arch bursting with blossoming bougainvillea. A halo of pampas grass anchored the moment. Low arrangements of pampas grass and creamy floral accents tied in the neutral tones of the bouquets and bridesmaid gowns.
The reception was held in the Masseria's smartly designed Winter Garden, a bright space surrounded by windows and featuring a dramatic stone fireplace stacked with ivory candles. Tables were topped with lush centerpieces and taper candles from Chiara Sperti. Guests found their seats by way of a custom water color seating chart, featuring a map of the region. The scene was set for a spectacular 5-course meal.
Wedding festivities kicked off in Fasano, Italy with a poolside welcome dinner at the the boho eco-luxe Masseria Montenapoleone, a 16th century gem built atop an ancient cave settlement. Reflections of the cafe bulbs twinkled in the water as guests enjoyed refreshing Aperol Spritz cocktails, Italian wines, and Peroni beer. As the sun set, the chef topped pizzas with fresh organic tomatoes and local cheeses. Guests requested custom toppings and watched in delight as the chef pulled piping-hot pizzas out of the wood-fired oven.
The evening started with a variety of fresh, local charcuterie, carpaccio, and fried prawns. The meal continued with Puglia's most beloved pasta, orecchiete, served with local zampina sausage and a wild herb crumble. For the main course, guests relished a tender beef filet with sweet and sour baby onions and charred potatoes. The evening transitioned outside, where the chef set up a cannoli bar under a terrace and the indoor/outdoor bar came to life. One the dance floor, the groom and his mom surprised the crowd with a traditional Italian Tarantello, and everyone joined the dance floor! Without missing a beat, DJ Deks fired up a high-energy mix of top party hits and Ibiza-style house music while guests danced under the stars. Seemingly every "last song" turned into a wild encore. Morgan, Michael, and their guests left it all on the dance floor - and the couple stepped into the night as an exhausted yet thrilled Mr. And Mrs. Phillips.
The next day, the group gathered back at the Masseria pool for one last hurrah, with DJ Deks playing chill summer beats by the pool. Guests relaxed in their cabanas and traded stories about the festivities the night before. Some took the afternoon and evening to explore local sights like Monopoli and Polignano a Mare, and others soaked in the sunshine and the relaxing quiet of the Masseria. But as the adventure wound down, one thing was clear: Morgan and Michael succeeded in kicking off their marriage while giving their guests the experience of a lifetime.
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