We seriously don’t know where to begin with this gorgeous wedding from Arielle Fera Events. Between the couple’s incredible family history discoveries, the meant-to-be wedding date, the ridiculously gorgeous floral arrangements from Twisted Willow Flowers, the 20-person guest count, I mean… we’re just at a loss for words. It’s overwhelming how beautiful this wedding is, both inside and out. No one could describe it better than Arielle, read on for her heartfelt words and head on over to the full gallery, captured by Lauren Fair Photography, to see all this special day has to offer.
From Arielle Fera, the planner… A micro wedding filled with rich family heritage, luxury details and an abundance of florals. Francesco and Victoria met in September 2018, through a mutual friend in their small hometown outside of Philadelphia. They clicked instantly, having their first, second, and third dates all within the first week of knowing each other. They quickly learned that they grew up just 10 minutes from each other yet had never met before. As their relationship progressed, Francesco and Victoria also discovered that they had spent many nights at the same parties with each other’s family and friends. It truly felt as though they were meant-to-be! The most magical discovery happened when they hosted a dinner to introduce their parents to each other. They were shocked to find out that their fathers were friends from nearly 35 years ago and grew up together in Calabria, Italy. They’ll never forget that interaction; as the wine started flowing, the old photo albums from their hunting days in the 80s came out, along with so many stories of their dads together throughout the years.
The Proposal: Francesco proposed in a very private moment, the night Victoria moved in with him, just four months after their first date. It was a beautiful moment between the two of them followed by a celebration with their family members all weekend long as they went around their small hometown to tell each family member in person. Their first weekend engaged, they snuck away to NYC for a little getaway to relive one of their first dates in the big city. Knowing her love for New York City, Victoria’s mom suggested a quick honeymoon in NYC after the wedding. As the family prepared for the wedding, Victoria’s mom shared with her, a letter from her great grandmother on her honeymoon in New York City, to her family back in Philadelphia. The details in the letter are so beautiful, as she talked about the hotel, the city, and the adventures she embarked on with her new husband! Reading that note from over 100 years ago, made Victoria even more excited to marry her best friend! Victoria brought this same letter to her own wedding to incorporate her family legacy. Having large families on both sides and being the first children to get married, Victoria and Francesco’s parents were pressing for a large 250 + guest wedding that would be held about a year and half after the proposal. Victoria greatly struggled with this as her dream was to have a highly designed, intimate ceremony with her closest family members followed by the most magical dinner party one could ever imagine. A celebration where every detail was beautifully curated; surrounded by only her dearest loved ones. Also knowing that her grandfather was very ill, she did not want to wait a year and half to say I do and risk the chance of him not making it. It was her deepest desire to have him present with the family so he could see her get married. As grace would have it, he passed the day after her wedding. Shortly after saying yes, Victoria hired Arielle Fera, from Arielle Fera Events, to plan and design the big wedding of her parents’ dreams. A few months into planning and a date set for September 5, 2020; something still did not feel right to Victoria. That’s when plans were flipped upside down – a 250+ person affair was changed to an intimate micro-wedding with a guest list of only 20 immediate family members + a new date of October 3, 2019. The type of celebration that encapsulated the desires of Victoria’s heart. With the change in motion, Arielle got to work – designing and planning a new celebration to take place in two months.
Design: The design concept was a fresh take on an old-world garden romance. Every detail from the color palette to the food choices, to the aesthetic details were selected with discernment in order to create an environment that evoked the senses on all levels and felt truly “Victoria” while infusing the rich heritage of both families. Arielle Fera wanted Victoria and her family to feel as if they were transported to a romantic Italian countryside, where gorgeous design elements + luscious flowers took center stage of the atmosphere.
Color Story: The color story consisted of a soft, romantic palette consisting of tonal shades of pink, muted blush, café au lait & white. Accented with richer mauve tones for a gorgeous contrast.
The invitation: Papertree Studio designed a custom invitation suite that included handmade paper in their wedding color palette, gold foil printing, custom wax seals and a gorgeous floral envelope liner. The suite was hand tied together with blush silk ribbon.
The Brides Look: Victoria was breathtaking in her lace BHLDN gown. Her veil was her “something borrowed” from her best friend. Her shoes – two pairs to be exact – were designed by Christian Louboutin. Her hair was styled in an old-world vintage style, big loose waves pinned back on one side and romantic makeup completed her flawless look by Alisha Nycole Hair and Makeup. Victoria carried an ultra-lux bouquet by Twisted Willow Flowers that was designed in a fashion to include natural movement.
The Floral experience: Victoria is flower obsessed and the only guideline she gave Arielle for the design was that she wanted a wedding filled with gorgeous florals designed in an ultra-romantic way. Arielle brought on Twisted Willow Flowers for the design of Victoria’s floras as their design style is distinctly romantic and lush. Twisted Willow Flowers used a gorgeous variety of flowers including – garden roses from Grace Rose Farm flown in from California, sweet pea, Autumnal anemone, Lisianthus, cafe latte dahlias, ranunculus, cotinus foliage for dark pops, snowberries, antique hydrangea and lunaria for a light airy feel.
The Venue: The venue, The Inn at Barley Sheaf Farm, was selected for their farm to table inspired cuisine and property that is reminiscent of a rural European Bread and Breakfast, set on 100 acres of preserved pasture and country gardens. The bride, her mom, mother in law and sister, who served as her maid of honor got ready in a lavish bridal suite located in the Inn. Francesco and his best man, his childhood best friend, got ready in the groom’s suite located on property. Victoria and Francesco spent a romantic night at the Inn the night of the wedding.
Ceremony experience: The intimate ceremony was set in the garden area of the Inn’s property. The first awe moment that the family experienced was the iron pergola that served as the entrance to the garden ceremony area. Twisted Willow Flowers lavished the pergola with florals to create a grand entrance point for the family and couple to walk under as they entered the garden ceremony area. With such an intimate celebration, each family member was a guest of honor. As such each member was presented pre-ceremony with a boutonniere or corsage that represented their significance to the couple and their wedding. It rained the entire day of the wedding; however, Victoria’s one hope was to go on as planned with her outdoor ceremony. Each family member was gifted a clear umbrella as they headed to their seats that were nestled within a garden walkway designed by Twisted Willow Flowers. Victoria was escorted down the gorgeous floral filled aisle by her father as “Can’t help falling in love with you” was played by Elegance String Quartet. This song holds great significance to Victoria and Francesco as they truly feel as though they couldn’t help but to fall in love with each other. Victoria and Francesco said “I do” surround by a lush asymmetrical illusion floral arch designed by Twisted Willow Flowers. A dear friend of Victoria’s grandmother officiated the ceremony. This made the ceremony even more personal as she has known Victoria since she was a little girl.
Dinner experience: After the ceremony, family members + the newlyweds were welcomed to an enchanting tent where they enjoyed an assortment of passed hors d’oeuvres and homemade wine produced by the father of the bride and the father of the groom. For the cocktail hour and dinner, we decided to forego the use of the Inn’s dining room and instead a tent was erected over the Inn’s slate patio so that Arielle Fera Events and Twisted Willow Flowers could transform the blank space into a romantic oasis. Twisted Willow Flowers lavishly covered the tent ceiling and sides with greenery to soften the space and bring the outside garden feel inside the tent. In order to achieve true intimacy in the dining experience, Arielle Fera Events positioned six wood trestle tables, from White Glove Rentals, in the form of a connecting rectangle. Louis style cane back chairs were placed around the outside of the tables so that all family members were facing each other. The newlyweds sat at their own table that was connected to the other tables and positioned at the head of the rectangle formation so that they could see and be seen by all their family members. A blush settee served as their seating. A magical hanging floral and luminary installation that also included crystal chandeliers by Twisted Willow Flowers, was designed so that it hung gorgeously in the center of the tables from the tent ceiling, creating a fairytale like feel. The twinkling of the lights from the crystal chandeliers set the stage of the romantic atmosphere. The newlyweds table was adorned with an illusion floral arrangement that appeared to be romantically spilling off of the table. The illusion ceremony arch was repurposed behind their table to encapsulate them in flowers. The other tables in the formation were lavishly adorned with gorgeous, lush, compote style floral arrangements in the couple’s wedding color palette that lined the full length of each table. Fresh plums, figs and grapes were styled between the floral arrangements to add additional visual interest to the tables and taper candles provided romantic lighting. Veuve Clicquot Brut Rose was selected to be pre-poured into the crystal champagne coupes which incorporated another hint of blush form the wedding color palette into the tablescape design. Arielle Fera Events curated the tablescape details to accentuate luxury infused with Italian details. The table was set with Italian cut crystal stemware, Finezza Italian ceramic chargers and salad plates, which are handmade in Italy and gold flatware. Linen napkins were tied with mauve silk ribbon. All the rentals are part of White Glove Rentals inventory. Each charger was adorned with a dainty gold bowl filled with Italian olives and a sprig of fresh olive leaf. A custom menu designed on handmade paper with gold leafing + a custom wax seal by Papertree Studio completed the look of the charger adornments. Seats were designated with the use of place cards designed on handmade paper outfitted with gold calligraphy. Personal nicknames were used on the place cards such as Nonna and Nonno to lend to the intimacy of the celebration. Lounge furniture in the wedding color palette was added to provide soft seating for guests to enjoy along with a distressed white Italian style bar with a dark wood top from White Glove Rentals.
The Food: The family feasted on a 3-course meal crafted by the Inn’s Executive Chef – Josh Homacki. The feast included – a first course arugula salad with shaved parmigiana Reggiano, pine nuts and fresh lemon vinaigrette; a duet plate main course included grilled tuna with Puttanesca of olives, tomatoes and capers paired with braised short ribs. For dessert, the family enjoyed limoncello that was homemade by Francesco and his father that was mad specifically for the wedding; while indulging in a duet plate of fresh fruit tart and panna cotta. The newlyweds opted for a small ceremonial cutting cake skillfully crafted by The Sugary.
The music: Instrumental music graced everyone’s ears as the string quartet continued to play throughout the night and provided the perfect melody for dancing with loved ones.
Photography: The wedding was exquisitely captured by Lauren Fair Photography. It was Victoria’s dream to have Lauren Fair shoot her wedding, but unfortunately Lauren was already book on the original date of the wedding. As grace would have it, Lauren was available on the new date that was chosen for the intimate wedding celebration.
Photography: Lauren Fair Photography | Cinematography: Willow Tree Films | Event Planning: Arielle Fera Events | Floral Design: Twisted Willow Flowers | Wedding Dress: BHLDN | Cake: The Sugary | Invitations: Papertree Studio | Reception Venue: Inn At Barley Sheaf Farm | shoes: Christian Louboutin | Hair and Makeup: Alisha Nycole | Rentals: White Glove Rentals