A Romantic, Vintage-Inspired Wedding at Villa di Geggiano in Tuscany, Italy

Nina Moellers (28 and a PhD student) and Julian Dames (28 and cofounder and global CMO of Foodora) forged a friendship while studying business at the

Nina Moellers (28 and a PhD student) and Julian Dames (28 and cofounder and global CMO of Foodora) forged a friendship while studying business at the same university. “Julian claims it was love at first sight, but it actually took a couple of months until we became a couple,” Nina says. They dated long-distance through study-abroad programs and internships, but “there was never a doubt that time apart could harm our relationship,” she says. “We felt instinctively that the bond between us was unique.” Their bond is built on love, common interests, mutual respect and being best friends,” Nina says. After getting engaged on the beach—as the sun was setting—in the Dominican Republic, they started planning their dream wedding in one of their favorite regions of Italy. The Tuscan countryside was beautiful, and the estates and villas were historically significant. “A great respect for the past and a desire to incorporate it into the present and future is a passion our families share,” Nina says. They quickly fell in love with Villa di Geggiano in Tuscany. “We loved the history of the beautiful villa, the romantic garden and the wonderful view of the rolling Tuscan hills and Siena,” she says. Unfortunately, Villa di Geggiano doesn't offer room accommodations, so the couple looked at several hotels. They returned to the area a second time, and “by coincidence we noted the charming Villa Catignano in the vineyards just above the Villa di Geggiano.” Their guests could stay at Catignano and walk to Geggiano. “It was a wonderful weekend getaway with our families and friends, who had to walk only a couple of minutes to our wedding venue,” Nina says. Their decision was made. Nina and Julian kicked off the weekend by greeting guests with aperitifs as they arrived. In every guest room the couple left handwritten welcome cards, a set of toiletries by Salvatore Ferragamo Tuscan Soul and Bronnley citrus and lemon neroli soaps. They celebrated that evening with a relaxed barbecue in the gardens, with a surprise act by an 11-piece traditional brass band from Serbia, in honor of Nina's Croatian heritage. On the wedding day, Nina, who was a ballet dancer for many years, wore a beautiful ballerina-style gown with pale pink shoes, a gold bracelet (the first gift her grandfather had given her grandmother), vintage Dior earrings and carried a customized clutch engraved with her new initials. Julian went with a classic black-and-white tux, then changed into black velvet slippers and a vintage off-white dinner jacket after the ceremony. The couple made all decisions together, working with an experienced planner (whom they still keep in touch with) and talented vendors to carry out their vision of a soft, timeless palette that didn't compete with the villa's beauty. For the ceremony, the existing natural arch was decorated with little white flowers, and Nina walked down the aisle on a long, white runner. Because it was unusually hot that day, their 80 guests received small fans and umbrellas to cool off and block the sun. A classical quartet accompanied the groom’s sister as she sang “Morgen” by German composer Richard Strauss, and the couple exchanged personal vows in a beautiful setting overlooking the Tuscan countryside. After the ceremony, the guests walked to an open-air theater for the reception, where tables were decorated in vintage vases holding bouquets of light blue, purple, pink and cream peonies, hydrangeas and lisianthus, vintage candleholders, and elegant glassware, plates and cutlery.  A DJ kept the party going as the sun went down. It was a quintessentially Tuscan wedding and "the most amazing weekend of our lives," Nina says. —Chrissy Sorenson

Julian wore a black J.Crew tuxedo, a black silk bow tie and cummerbund from Boggi Milano, white gold Bulgari cuff links and black patent leather shoes. For dinner, he changed into black velvet slippers with “I do” stitching and a vintage off-white dinner jacket by Hugo Boss.
The groomsmen share a toast before walking over to the wedding at Villa di Geggiano in Tuscany, Italy.
Villa di Geggiano, where the ceremony took place, has been in the Bianchi Bandinelli family since 1527.
Villa Catignano is a magnificent 17th-century villa set in an idyllic countryside estate in Tuscany, Italy.
Many of the rooms remain unchanged from the 18th century, with actual relics from families of the past.
Nina wore Christian Louboutin pumps in the color ballerina and a long custom veil—with hand-stitched flowers and delicate lace—from Lerina.
"I wanted the hair and makeup to fit my personal style and also to match my wedding gown, the venue and the alfresco wedding," Nina says. She wanted a soft but elegant updo, lipstick in a shade she typically wears, mascara and a "dewy and healthy" glow on her face. "My stylist Daniela was really incredible. I have actually followed her on Instagram because she is so fashionable and cool, and she immediately understood what look I was going for."
"I loved photographing the bride getting ready—the rooms are amazing," photographer Jules Bower says. "It's like being part of a film set."
The interiors of the rooms match the feeling of the refined estate. Nina got ready in the Sala Azzurra, or blue room.
For the bridal bouquet, Nina wanted something soft, elegant and timeless that reflected her personality and also went with her ballerina-like dress. She chose flowers she loves to be surrounded by at home: roses, peonies, hydrangeas and lisianthus.
Nina wore a Papilio gown from the Swan Princess collection with woven lace on the semitransparent bodice and sleeves and a romantic tulle skirt.  "l felt like a ballerina in it," Nina says. "And that is a part of me, because I have danced ballet since I was 4 years old, and I have always loved the ballet. The dress is from a collection that was inspired by the ballet. The gown was dainty, elegant and feminine, and as soon as I put it on, it felt like my gown."
Lace details on Nina's gown carried around to the back, further accented by a beautiful custom veil.
Julian got ready in nearby Villa Catignano, a short walk from the ceremony site at Villa di Geggiano in Tuscany, Italy. The guests and wedding party stayed at this villa. (Up to 90 guests can stay on the Catignano estate.)
The ceremony took place in the botanical garden of Villa di Geggiano in Tuscany, Italy, overlooking the lush Siena countryside (responsible for the famous Chianti Classico wine).
Centuries-old cypress and dramatic medieval architecture set the tone for the outdoor ceremony. Because of the unseasonably warm temperatures, guests were given fans and umbrellas to use during the outdoor ceremony.
Guests threw paper cones of rose petals during the processional.
For the dinner tables, Nina and Julian decided against overwhelmingly large centerpieces to give the entire decoration a more elegant, relaxed and intimate atmosphere. Nina wrote the name cards on each table to give it a personal touch.
At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if there was a typo on the menu or something was ordered in the wrong color. "What matters is the chemistry between you and your partner, the two people who have chosen to spend the rest of their lives together," she says. "If you appreciate and cherish this special day with each other, you will have happy memories of your wedding day and your guests will feel the love too."
The reception took place in the open-air theater, between statues of Tragedy and Comedy, created by Maltese sculptor Bosio.
Nina and Julian's first dance was Michael Buble and Laura Pausini's duet "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine."
"We wanted a dessert that was typical for Italy and perfect for a warm summer night, so we went for millefoglie with Chantilly custard and crunchy almonds inside, topped with strawberries and raspberries, prepared on stage in front of the guests," Nina says. "It tasted heavenly."