We can’t help it – at STG we’re total suckers for a romantic destination wedding, and destinations don’t get much dreamier than the rustic Italian hills overlooking the whole of the city of Rome (the groom’s favourite childhood beauty spot, no less).
This earthy, natural and pastel-accented beauty was submitted by much-loved Smashing Supplier wedding planner, Italian Wedding Company and we just adored swooning over the pictures and hearing Americans, Lynell and David’s, touching account of their big day.
First of all, can we just talk about the décor scheme? Enchanted foliage and moss-heavy foundations decorated with soft and chic ballet-pink pastel hues, and that Chuppah! It all looks like something out of a contemporary adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream – whimsical and with a real wow-factor, captured expertly by photographer Joe Kathrina.
While this real wedding is undoubtedly stunningly beautiful, it was also rich with emotion. Having grown up glued to her parents’ wedding video, where her mother walked down the aisle to Sunrise Sunset (we like Fiddler on the Roof just a bit, didn’t you know?), romantic Lynell chose the same song to make her entrance.
And this part of David and Lynell’s write up stopped us in our tracks: most couples would be upset about rain on their wedding day, but when it started to lightly drizzle right after the vows were exchanged, bride Lynell said it was like the sky was crying happy tears with them. We’re not crying – you’re crying!
We could go on for hours about this wedding’s magical moments, from the food (don’t read this while hungry – don’t say we didn’t warn ya) to a particularly adorable idea involving sparklers, but we’ll hand over to the happy couple now to tell you all about their day, in their own words.
A romantic hilltop ceremony overlooking Rome
Lynell, the bride: We got married in Rome. Surrounded by our closest family and friends we said forever at Villa Miani in Monte Mario, a hilltop villa overlooking all of Rome.
David had lived in Monte Mario with his family when he was in high school, and one of his favourite things about living there was being able to see the most beautiful view of the entire city. To have that same view as the backdrop for our wedding was something neither of us will ever forget.
Earthy colours mixed with soft pastels
We both really love nature and I especially love the look of earthy colours mixed with soft pastels, so we wanted to incorporate as much greenery and nature in our day as possible.
I really wanted the evening to have an understated elegance and the night was everything I could have dreamed of and more.
The invitation is really the first impression the guests have of the wedding so wanted our invitations to feel personal yet still playful.
We worked with the very talented Alizabeth of Chicks ‘n Hens to create a custom invitation for the wedding. We really liked the look and whimsy of having a hand-illustrated invitation so when we found Alizabeth we were elated.
We absolutely loved our invitations and we thought they perfectly set the tone for the wedding.
Bridesmaids in ballet-slipper pink
I had seven amazing bridesmaids, and as my bride tribe I trusted them entirely with their dresses. I told them I wanted the girls to be in different shades of ballet slipper pink and I gave them full freedom to choose the style of their dresses.
Our foliage-draped, floral Chuppah
I absolutely love flowers so I knew that I wanted the Chuppah to be covered in flowers from the beginning, and David really loves all of the natural ivy that grows over much of the city in Rome.
The chuppah turned out incredible. It was everything we could have imagined and more. We are still in awe of how perfect the chuppah looked and we owe it to all to Andrea Patrizi, our incredible florist, for creating something so beautiful and fitting for us.
Exchanging emotional vows
David: My favourite part of the ceremony was saying our vows. I really enjoyed writing my own vows, and being able to express to Lynell how much our relationship means to me and really what she means to me.
Lynell: Exchanging our vows was the absolute best part of the ceremony for me as well and we were married by Rabbi Barbara Aiello, Italy’s first woman rabbi. I will never forget what it was like to be under the Chuppah, surrounded by all of our closest family and friends, but truly feeling like there was no one in the world beside David and I for those precious moments.
We got married in Rome during the summertime so it was exceptionally hot the week of the wedding. We were all pretty so concerned with the Roman heat that we hadn’t even slightly considered the possibility of a little rain.
Well, to our surprise the day of the wedding was perfectly cool and overcast. I remember it started drizzling right after David and I had said our vows and it was like the sky was crying happy tears with us. It was truly unreal.
As the sun began to set the sky began to clear up and the lights became the dazzling backdrop to our Roman fairytale. Yet again, pure magic.
When I was a little girl my favourite movie to watch was my parents wedding video, and my absolute favourite part of the video was watching my mum walk down the aisle. She walked down the aisle to the instrumental version of Sunrise Sunset from Fiddler On The Roof and I have always had a great attachment to the sound of that song.
When it came down to choosing the song I would be walking down the aisle to it was almost a no-brainer for me. I walked down the aisle to the same song as my mother, and it was a deeply meaningful moment that I will forever cherish.
Customised chocolate favours
Thanks to Stefania, our wedding planner, we were able to find an artisanal chocolatier from her home town of Torino.
We told Stefania we both have a serious love for hazelnut chocolate, and with her collaboration we were able to create custom packaged jars of Gianduia, which is a very rich dark chocolate hazelnut spread.
It was a sweet treat of thanks for our guests. We of course snuck some of the leftovers home and we keep a few jars in our pantry at all times.
An Italian foodie feast
The food at the wedding was something David felt very passionately about, as he is a great chef and a lover of all foods.
When he lived in Rome, he fell in love with the simplicity of Roman cuisine and the quality of their produce, so it was really important for him that the food at the wedding reflected his respect for it.
We had a full antipasti bar along with an on-the-spot fritter station, two primis (including my all time favourite: cacio e pepe), and one secondo. We also had a full dessert spread and late-night pizza snacks. The food at our wedding was seriously killer.
A magical path of sparklers
Towards the end of the night, we passed out sparklers in the sweetest packaging, and asked everyone to light a path for us to walk towards our cake, the throwing of the bouquet, and the throwing of the garter.
That was pure magic. To see the shining faces of our loved ones lit by the glittering beauty of the sparklers as we walked through was something truly special. It still feels like magic looking back on it.
Advice for brides and grooms currently planning their wedding
It’s easy, terrifyingly easy, to get swept up in planning every little detail of the day, but continue to remind yourself WHY you are planning the wedding and bring yourself back to the moment.
Remember to be as present as you possibly can throughout your entire wedding day.
Soak in the process of getting ready with your best girls, what its like to see your future husband for the first time on your wedding day, the feeling you get when you start walking down the aisle, entering a room filled with your most beloved family and friends as husband and wife for the first time… take in every single minute of it. It’s about you and your love, so remember to take a step back and take it all in.
Lynell & David’s little white book
Wedding Planner – Stefania Zen of Italian Wedding Company
Photographer – Joe Kathrina
Videographer – Angelo La Torre Films
Venue – Villa Miani
Bride’s Dress – Aura Cercel
Flowers – Andrea Patrizi
Invitations – Chicks ‘n Hens
Rabbi – Rabbi Barbara Aiello