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 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