“We were supposed to get married in Las Vegas, but then we looked at each other and understood that happiness exists only if it is shared with the people we love and who love us“ writes Evelyn, the beautiful Brazilian bride protagonist of this DIY wedding (do it yourself) with her husband Gabriele. “We chose the Lake Orta because it is a magical place where time seems to stand still and the emotion that pervaded us since the very first instant was that of feeling like the characters of an ancient fairy tale which we no longer wanted to leave”.
The setting for the wedding of Evelyn and Gabriele was Miasino, “with its narrow streets and the smell of its chimneys” and Villa Pestalozza was the location where they welcomed their guests coming for the occasion by each part of the world. During the months prior to the marriage, until the day of the event, the bride gave free rein to her creativity preparing by herself every corner of the villa and the park with objects from the shabby chic style.
She wrote: “It was the atmosphere of the location that give me the inspiration to start creating. The shabby style was the right path to take and fully reflected our moods. I chose pastel shades: pink, ivory, ecru… everything had to remind something we lived. The macramé and crochet of my grandmother were used to decorate objects that I put on the “table of memories” and on the tables in the pergola and in the garden”.
Evelyn continues: “Ideas came spontaneously as in an ancient dream idealized and desired for years”. The table centerpieces were all different from one another. Everything was filled of flowers: the shabby lanterns enriched with old lace aged in tea, bird cages, watering cans and a small bicycle… peonies, roses, hydrangeas, carnations, gerberas and bridal veil were everywhere.
“One of the first elements I realized were the wedding cones. I gave to the pages of an old love poems book the right shape and decorated each cone with bows of jute and with the stamp of our initials to make them ready to be filled and then emptied with a shower of wishes in the form of rice grains”.
“I never had any doubts about the choice of flowers. The peony, a flower of unquestionable beauty and delicacy was my first certainty”. Evelyn arrived at the villa at dawn bringing from the city everything she needed: with the invaluable help of her family and until just before the beginning of the ceremony she decorated the whole location: pots, baskets and small glass bottles were lying on the tables or hanging from the big tree on the terrace. And then the bouquet of peonies made in a heartbeat, instinctively, just a while before walking to the Church.
Meanwhile, in the rooms at the second floor, Gabriele, the groom, was preparing for the ceremony in the company of his parents. “He also wanted a tailored made suit, enriched with some details inspired by my dress, the result of confessions whispered over the phone to Riccardo Negro, the style consultant who advised him in such an important choice, translating his expectations in an impeccable suit”.
“One of the first steps I wanted to make was choosing my dress because I thought it would have helped me figuring all the subsequent scenes of this beautiful story. So I met a Danish designer, Justian Kunz, and we designed the dress and chosen the fabrics together: to stay on topic, beads and laces, all strictly in ivory. At first I was not sure to wear the veil, but on reflection I thought it would be my only opportunity to do it, and so we went for the veil!”.
After several hours undertaken to prepare the villa, Evelyn also kicked off her preparations, and retreated to the main floor in suite Camelia. Giulia Pestalozza, the mistress of the house, tells us: “Since she is a perfectionist, made up and coiffed, but still in shorts before getting dressed, she reached the pergola to finish the decorations placed on the tables, risking almost be late for the ceremony”. Then a chamomile, prepared in a while just before heading to the Church of San Rocco which stands in all its glory from above the roofs of the village of Miasino.
The celebration of Don Primo Cologni, who spoke of religion movingly and in a modern style, was exciting and sometimes fun. A shower of rice grains and tons of greetings, some group photos, and then everybody moved to the villa, strictly on foot to fully enjoy the beauty of the village.
The bride and groom, in tail of the procession, walked for about ten minutes through the cobbled streets of Miasino, in the golden light of a beautiful early summer sunset to take the opportunity for snapping a few pictures with me.
Reached by foot Villa Pestalozza, the newlyweds made their entrance between the hydrangeas of the access road, greeting their guests with a toast. Greetings, hugs, joy and the spirit of celebration greeted them and so spent the time of the aperitif, they all moved together to the photo booth set up in the garden.
“I bought the wood, the rope and I asked my shoemaker to kindly get me the necessary holes… and here was the seesaw! I only needed someone to hang it to the chosen tree, a little more than ten meters high! And just before I could realize it, my uncle had already hung it to the big tree with heart shaped leaves right in the middle of the garden! It was there, under that solitary tree imposed on the lawn that I decided to record the most unique moments of the party. A kind of photo booth without booth! Outdoors, in the open air, accompanied by the gentle swing of the seesaw.”
In the evening, everyone sat at a table under the pergola in wrought iron. “The menu choices told little episodes of our history: the pyramid of macarons by Ladurée brought us back to Paris, the beloved town of our first love trip. The ice cream by Haagen Dazs that accompanied so many evenings at home in front of the TV, two teaspoons and an ice cream can. Behind every choice there was something about us, a special reason”.
“We wanted our party to be very intimate, in the company of about thirty people among close friends and relatives who came from all over the world: so much colour, so many positive vibes, hearty laughs and complicity, as if the world itself had been lying inside that tiny scenario”.
During the dinner, the notes of the talented singer Rosa Emilia Dias touched the hearts of the bride and groom and their guests who danced and had fun unleashed until midnight when the wedding cake decorated with old lace entered the scene. Crowned by a chocolate stamp with the initials “E&G”, each floor of the cake had a different filling: fresh milk, fresh coconut and chocolate. A little reminder of flavours from Brazil, the land of Evelyn.
“The full moon was our godmother… she was there, illuminating the garden of the villa with her sparkling light upon us! She almost took the thunder away from me!” says Evelyn who concludes with the most touching words: “For us, the wedding is a celebration, an intimate moment of sharing more noble and true sentiments as true friendship, the unconditional love of our relatives, and the happy reunion of people who have helped us to make our dream come true. We were lucky enough to find the right people and this was not at all easy, but when your heart is full of passion and positivity, it seems that all answers knock on the door! So thanks to the power of the universe we have met and created bonds of friendship with many people who devote themselves wholeheartedly to make these moments even more unique.
Photographs are the most tangible memory that remains to us of this so memorable day. The choice of the photographer Marta Guenzi could not be more apt. In every photo she has been able to capture the essence of the moments. We will keep forever a thousand photos, each more beautiful than the other and all telling us every smile and every gesture, like a silent film, a rich and detailed documentary of the most important day of our lives.”
Lake Orta wedding photographer / Shabby chic wedding in a charming villa in Orta San Giulio / Ceremony: Church of San Rocco, Miasino / Reception: Villa Pestalozza / Flowers and settings: Evelyn Lobo / Bride Dress: Justian Kunz / Groom suit: Riccardo Negro Personal Tailor / Catering: Sadler