What’s better than one gorgeous wedding dress? FOUR gorgeous wedding dresses, that’s what! That’s just one of the many wow-factor details of Cher and Tim’s Jew-ish wedding set in the Tuscan Hills of Italy, planned to perfection by Katy Cresner.
The dreamy Tuscan destination played host to a beautiful fusion of cultures, with Tim’s Jewish background and traditions meeting Cher’s Chinese customs. A Chinese tea ceremony followed by a Chuppah is about as delightfully diverse as it gets, with the inclusion of a traditional red dress for the tea ceremony, in which bride Cher looked simply divine.
We love the soft pastel color palette, juxtaposed against the natural backdrop of rolling Tuscan countryside – a mesmerizing, fairytale aesthetic.
As it was a destination wedding, the couple turned it into an opportunity to provide a luxury resort weekend for their guests, looking after them with multiple events over the weekend. It looked, in a word, lush. We are VERY envious!
The big day, of course, had several bridal outfit, hair and makeup changes, each stunning in its own right. The bride wore gowns by Zuhair Murad, Monique Lhuillier and Valentino respectively, as well as heels by both Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin.
How we met
Cher, the bride: We first met at Tim’s friend’s engagement party. He was playing pool for money when I started to mess with the game by lying on the pool table and disrupting the game. Although he went on to lose the game, and his money, it was the start of something special…
A dream Tuscan wedding venue
We got married in Castello Di Casole in Chianti region of Tuscany. It was actually Tim who found the venue. We knew we wanted an outdoor wedding in April, and although we both live in Hong Kong, we wanted the wedding to be closer to UK, as most of our guests would be coming from there.
With the unpredictable weather in UK in April, we decided on Italy, due to the great food and wine options available. Both of us are very keen foodies, and we decided Italy would be perfect.
Tim did a driving holiday through Italy, driving from the lakes in the north to the Amalfi coast in the south. However, driving through the Tuscany region he came across Castello Di Casole, and immediately knew this was the place.
Cher never actually saw the venue until the week before the wedding.
Pastel color scheme
We went with a pastel color scheme, as this is something I have always wanted.
I didn’t want it to be too pink and girly, so we used blush colours (pinks purples greens and blues along with white). We were very lucky to have the best wedding planner Katy Cresner (also my sister-in-law) for our wedding. She is such a life saver!
Cypress tree invitations
We wanted our invitation to reflect the style and feel of the wedding, and we wanted to incorporate the venue into the invitation somehow.
We designed our invitation with The Print Team, and we got them to include the rolling Tuscan hills, as well as the resort’s signature cypress trees.
We also designed hand-drawn emojis for different sections of the invitation. In Chinese culture, white is normally linked with death, so we used a beige colour.
We also designed our own seal with our initials and the signature cypress tree.
Hair and makeup changes
Since I was wearing a train chapel, I wanted my hair to be up to make me look tidy and fresh (again, I’m tiny) and to have my hair half up for my second dress.
I wanted to have more than just one hair style in my wedding. Why not?! I flew over my makeup and hair artist from Hong Kong, as I don’t really have time to have a trial in Tuscany.
My makeup artist is amazing. I went for flawless, glowing skin.
Four wedding dresses
I had four dresses for my wedding. We had a tea ceremony in the morning, so following tradition, I wore a traditional red gown, but because it was a destination and mixed-culture wedding, I decided to wear something red, but not as traditional as usual.
My tailor made a beautiful floor-length red gown. and I had a lot of gold accessories (traditional marriage gifts given by both parents, similar to the tradition of ‘something old’ in western culture).
I bought two wedding dresses in the end. My ceremony wedding dress was by Zuhair Murad, one of my favourite designers. I always dreamed about wearing one of his dresses one day. My dress was from the 2016 ‘Ready to Wear’ series with an appliquà© chapel-length lace train. My second mermaid-style wedding dress was from Monique Lhuillier, I love the nude base with amazing lace all around the dress.
I also had an after-party short dress for dancing; a Valentino star-studded dress.
Simply beautiful accessories
Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin heels
I picked typical white lace heels from Jimmy Choo‘s bridal collection, and crazily sparking heels from Christian Louboutin for the second dress. They were just super eye catching, and sooooo sparkly under the lights!
The handsome groom
Having lived in Hong Kong for 10 years, where there is a multitude of tailors, Tim had his suit made at his regular tailors ‘Zen Tailors’, with Ermenegildo Zegna fabric in petrol blue.
He complimented the plain suit with a checked waistcoat, with hints of petrol blue running through the check, and a baby blue tie.
He also wore Paul Evans Chelsea boots from New York.
As a wedding present, Tim’s brother and best man, Nick, took him to trendy London barber Manifesto for a beard trim and haircut.
Bridesmaids in baby pink
I had two bridesmaids. They were my sister, Lena, and my bestie, Gemma. Of course, they were both amazing and super helpful! I went for quality, not quantity!
They were wearing a tailor- made pale baby pink dress that matched our color scheme.
A simple chuppah design
We didn’t want an over-the-top chuppah, as we didn’t want it to detract from the backdrop, so we went very simple, with flowers to match the color scheme.
A multicultural ceremony
Because this was a Jewish/Asian wedding, we wanted to bring our favourite customs from both and incorporate them into our wedding.
On the morning of the wedding, we held our Chinese Tea Ceremony, where the bride and groom serve tea to both sets of parents, and receive Red Pockets in exchange.
The ceremony itself was set in the resort’s amphitheatre, with the stunning backdrop of the rolling Tuscan hills. It was led by Giuseppe Rossi from Blessings from Italy and he was amazing. We had Skype calls with him before the event, and he made us feel so relaxed.
We had readings from both Tim’s sisters, and even a wedding certificate made over 100 years ago with intricate gold leaf. Everyone commented how great Giuseppe was.
Chart music choices
The bridesmaids came in to an instrumental of Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve.
Pastel pretty floral arrangements
We used a company called Flowers from Tuscany.
I have to say, these guys were beyond what I was expecting.
The bouquets were gorgeous: light pale pink garden roses, blush pink peonies and white and pink lilacs with sweet pea and baby eucalyptus. The table settings were also amazing, as you can see from the pictures.
Our fabulous photographer and videographer
Our photographer was Chiko, who has worked closely with Katy on a number of events, and knew the family very well.
We also used AT Motion for the video, and we were really pleased with it! We felt it really captured the vibe and ambiance of the wedding — the guys were great to work with too.
For our band, we picked Club Live as Katy highly recommended them, and also we had seen them at other parties.
We felt they would be the best choice to get the whole room dancing, and we were not disappointed. They were, simply put, amazing. We were so glad they were able to come and perform, and Marlon, Wayne and the girls simply left all the guests in awe.
A luxurious long weekend
Since it was a destination wedding, we knew it would be a big effort for our friends to come from around the world, so we wanted to make it “a romantic and relaxing weekend trip to a luxury countryside resort” for everyone.
We had a very nice and casual welcome dinner on Saturday to help everyone settle in, and to see everyone before the big day; it was a BBQ and pizza buffet with some songs by Club Live.
We had a tea ceremony in the morning of the ceremony, and any guests who wanted to attend could. This gave most of the guests who had never seen this the chance to experience it.
The day after the wedding, we had a farewell brunch to thank our guest for coming to our wedding. Nothing fancy, but a nice finish to the weekend!
The importance of family
Words cannot describe how much I want to thank my parents. My favorite part of our wedding was my daddy’s speech. Daddy is a hard-working businessman who travels a lot, but he always tries to spend as much time as he can with family.
I also appreciate how my husband Tim made the effort for my parents. He is learning Mandarin to communicate with my family, and prepared a touching and sweet speech in Mandarin to show how much he loves me. I’m the luckiest girl in the world!
Also, I want to thank my baby sister, Lena, for keeping me company while I tried on at least a hundred wedding dresses! Without her opinion, I couldn’t have made any decisions and might not have chosen the beautiful dresses I wore!
Advice to couples currently planning their wedding
I was probably the most chilled-out bride in the world, thanks to the beautiful Tuscan scenery and peaceful resort. Stressing yourself out won’t change anything.
I know everyone sees their wedding as one of the most important things in the world, and some think they can’t make any mistakes, but, there’re no standard to what is a “perfect” wedding.
Just have your wedding your way and R-E-L-A-X.
Cher & Tim’s little white book
Wedding planner – Katy Cresner
Photographer – Chiko
Videographer – AT Motion
Venue – Castello Di Casole
Bride’s dresses – Zuhair Murad, Monique Lhuillier and Valentino
Bride’s shoes – Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin
Bride’s accessories – Toni Federici, Jennifer Behr and Dior
Groom’s attire – Ermenegildo Zegna and Paul Evans
Barber – Manifesto
Flowers – Flowers from Tuscany
Band – Club Live
Officiant — Giuseppe Rossi from Blessings from Italy