A lot of weddings draw inspiration from fairy tales. But the Jewish wedding of Benedetta, who works in sales, and Ilya, in finance, really takes it up to the next level. Seriously, we’re still picking our jaws up off the floor after scrolling through their incredible photos, which really look like they could’ve come out of the latest live action Disney blockbuster.
When the couple first met with their amazing planner, Smashing The Glass Recommended Vendor Deborah Di Castro, they knew she was the one when, on hearing the bride’s vision, she said, “It will be exactly like going to Snow White’s wedding!” And honestly, we’d be hard pressed to come up with a better description ourselves. You don’t want to miss Antonio Carneroli’s incredible photos and Sesame Films’ moving vide of the day.
There’s no better spot for a fairy tale wedding than a castle, and so Castello di Tor Crescenza was a fitting choice of venue. The whole affair, from outdoor chuppah to indoor reception, had a distinctly enchanted forest feel to it, bursting with peonies, roses, and hydrangeas in all shades of pinks and reds, plus some artfully arranged berries and forest foliage. Abundant candles, crystal chandeliers, and metallics brought in more than a hint of Beauty and the Beast’s enchanted castle, too.
Oh, and did we mention that that the couple had a henna in honor of Benedetta’s Libyan heritage? Looks like so much fun!
We could go on and on about this dreamy day, but we’ll leave it to the bride, who looked ravishingly romantic in her custom gown from Atelier Acqua Chiara, to fill you in on the rest…
How we met
Benedetta, the bride: Ilya and I met in South Africa during a holiday with friends. We immediately felt a connection and became friends straight away, and that friendship turned into a relationship very early on!
A Castle Wedding
Ilya and I got married at Castello di Tor Crescenza in Rome. I knew straight away this was the right venue the first time I walked through its gates. I knew I wanted a castle because I have always dreamed of the classic ‘fairy tale’ wedding like the ones I used to watch in movies while growing up.
Snow White’s Wedding
I still remember the very first time I sat down with my wedding planner Deborah Di Castro in order to discuss how I was envisioning my wedding. Deborah was amazing, she immediately understood my vision and made it reality. I realized Deborah and I were on the same page the moment she said “It will be exactly like going to Snow White’s wedding!”. The main color was “raspberry” with shades of green, wood and plenty of musk. All the details of the flowers and decorations recalled elements of an enchanted forest.
What ‘Smashing The Glass’ Did For Us
When organizing my wedding, reading about other people’s experience was vital for me! Smashing the Glass was certainly essential when looking for wedding inspiration as well as when it came to putting down the Ultimate Jewish Wedding Checklist.
The invitation was classic white, and the writing recalled the same raspberry color of the wedding. My favourite thing about the invitation was the raspberry seal wax with our initials and a very cute time line card with vintage images, so that our guests could know what to expect throughout the day.
Hair + Makeup
My make up artist, Claudio Noto, is one of the best in his field, and I have known him since my bat mitzva. He always goes for very natural looks on brides, and that’s exactly what I wanted!
I am a huge Game of Thrones fan so I wanted my hair to be just like Daenerys Targaryen in the series, she always wears little braids going down her back while intertwining with each other. Alessia Solidani was my hair stylist, she is the number one hair stylist in Italy and works constantly with TV productions and also owns several salons around the country. She came herself to do my hair and we had so much fun together.
An Atelier Acqua Chiara Dress
I must have tried at least 25 different dresses to only realize that none of them reflected what I had in mind, “the one” just wasn’t out there for me. I knew what I wanted, so I decided to ask for help to Gabriella, from Atelier Acqua Chiara, one of the best Italian wedding dress tailors based in Rome. She brought my dream dress to reality, it was all made in light white tulle with many small pleated flounces. It was very classy and romantic.
I wore a very long veil and a pair of diamond earrings worn by my mother at her own wedding. I wanted to keep it simple and exalt the dress by keeping my neck jewelry free.
I wore a pair of white leather sandals with a little platform to keep them comfortable! Towards the end of the night I changed into my all time favourite white all star sneakers.
The handsome groom
Even though we live in London, Ilya decided to have a suit tailor-made in Italy. The suit was made by a well-known Roman tailor, Andrea Spizzichino from Bracci, in pure dark blue wool following the typical italian style. He also had a white shirt underneath with his initials sewed on the cuff. He looked very elegant and I couldn’t help but smile when I first saw him under the chuppah.
I had my three childhood best friends being my bridesmaids. They wore three beautiful raspberry dressed made of the same fabric but in different styles.
Being in London it was hard for me to keep track of everything. I fully trusted Deborah and my mother with this decision and they did a great job. The most beautiful aspect was the size, the chuppah was huge and managed to fit both of our big families. The flowers were on the pink/raspberry tone and to reach the chuppah I walked on the simple layer of grass without any kind of carpet on the ground.
My favourite part of the ceremony was standing under the chuppah with all the people I love most in this world. Turning and seeing my parents, brothers, grandparents and my future husband all around me made me complete and made me realize one more time how lucky I am. We kept the ketubah very simple with a small colorful flower design.
Our music choice
The song I played for my husband’s walk towards the chuppah was ‘Mode Ani’ and for my walk it was ‘Im Eshkocheich’. Both songs make me cry every time I listen to them!
The floral designer was by Flo-w by Stefano Latini. When I entered the main hall and I saw all those flowers, candles and beautiful table centres my heart skipped a beat. Every table was set up differently with crystal chandeliers, musk, brass and gold. In the centre of the room there was an ancient well and above it hung romantic light bulbs. Part of the concept was to give it a touch of romantic rock. The flowers were peonies, roses and hydrangeas of different pink shades and a bit of dark red. The team used also berries and typical plants of the forest. Stefano was great.
The reception tables created a medieval market style atmosphere. The flowers alternated with wooden boxes filled with cherry tomatoes, the flowers were in straw baskets and metal vases and also antique clocks were placed on the tables.
Deborah told me about the photographer, I saw some pictures and I chose him.
The catering was Le Bon Ton, a kosher catering. I wanted the atmosphere at the reception to be elegant but informal and since a lot of guests were from London we wanted to serve them something really Italian. Every detail was attended to. For example, there was a corner of fried vegetables served in little packs with our initials, then there was a corner with pasta cacio and pepe which was prepared on sight. There was also a big buffet with a selection of cheeses served along mustards and jams and next to it another table serving fish tartares and fresh salmon cut on sight. The dinner following the reception presented dishes with pasta, risotto and other fish.
The wedding cake was stunning, and Deborah and my mom wanted it to be a surprise for me. The cake was not the traditional white. Alice, my cake designer, was also Chiara Ferragni’s cake designer in other occasions. The wedding cake was in different shades of pink and gold with white chocolate details. The cake also had scattered macarons and one of the layers was created giving the effect of a tree trunk with a heart carved into the center with our initials.
I had a DJ from Tel Aviv, Shay Goldberg. His console was decorated with musk and a pink heart of flowers in the middle. There was also a violinist, Andrea Casta, who is known to play his violin with a laser bow which lights up at night.
We gave out many gadgets during the wedding, but my favourite was the photo magnets. It is a great way for the guests to take home a memory of the night.
One of the best creative touches was a very long table located on the opposite side of the DJ’s console, next to the dance floor. The table was one of the first things to catch your attention as soon as you walked inside the castle. At its center there was the wedding cake, and the rest was decorated with smaller cakes, trays of cupcakes, huge crystal vases filled with candies, marshmallows and lots of flowers and musk. I never thought the buffet of cakes could ever serve as decoration, it definitely gave the feeling of a “Be our guest” moment in the Beauty and the Beast.
I also had a Henna, following my Libyan origin. This was one of the highlights of the night, and a great way to involve my family and friends by making them dress up for the occasion and carry candles during the Arab dancing.
I did not make a speech, I just enjoyed all the speeches from our loved ones, especially my husband’s!
Soon after the wedding we went on a minimoon around some Sicilian islands and it was just magical. At the moment we are planning the honeymoon in Hawaii, it just seems like the right place for us. Hot weather, the beach and lots of adventure. We will not use a travel agency. I enjoy planning trips by myself and customizing them to our liking.
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
I believe the best advice I could give to brides would be to delegate to others. I usually love to be in control of things but during the wedding prep there is so much to do that often we forget what the wedding really is about. Learn to delegate, let your family and professionals take care of things and focus on preparing emotionally for the most important day of your life.
Benedetta & Ilya’s little white book
Photography – Antonio Carneroli
Wedding planner – Deborah Di Castro
Videography – Sesame Films
Venue – Castello di Tor Crescenza
Bride’s dress – purchased at Atelier Acqua Chiara
Hair + Makeup – Solidani and Claudio Noto
Flowers – Flo-w
Catering – Le Bon Ton
Cake – Dolce Alice
Violin – Andrea Casta
DJ – Shay Goldberg