Nigerian and italian traditions combined at this wedding weekend in campania
They went out a second night, too, and got along so well that he asked her to come visit him in Paris the following month. He claims he always had a good feeling about us. The two went ring shopping in September Nony is the first to admit she was expecting a proposal as soon as she moved to Paris. Then, we had a weekend in Ischia planned.
Finally on our last night, he took me to dinner at a restaurant called La Lampara which has beautiful sea views. He had stuffed the ring in his pants pocket. Without the box!
It was simple and perfect. A solitaire emerald-cut diamond on a thin platinum band. I wanted a ring I would never get tired of. The couple decided to host their wedding weekend in Italy.
The dancing is considered the after-party which happens at a second location, if at all. You end up losing some people this way. We wanted everything and everyone together at all times. They expanded their search to Paestum, located just 25 minutes from Albanella, the little village Alessandro is from. An ancient town that was founded by the Greeks, Paestum is known for its temple ruins, buffalo mozzarella, and olive oil. The invitations by Momental Des celebrated the location and set an elegant yet playful tone with soft, washed colors and a bit of gold. The Momental deers hand-painted the reception villa onto the save-the-dates, the temples onto the invitations, and a map of the region behind the weekend agenda.
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They relied on Simona Imparato to organize it all. I had no idea what would look good on my body, but I knew I wanted my dress to match the occasion, black tie, and the location—Italy in June. We kept it light and feminine. Lots of pinks. I didn't want anything about my look to confound me in the future. On Saturday evening, the bride walked down the aisle, escorted by her mother, at Basilica Paleocristiana in Paestum, which dates back to the 5th century A.
They added flowers to the hand rails on the staircase descending to the entrance, and around the door. Inside, local aromatics, lemons, and flowers were meant to enhance the overall beauty without being overwhelming. The priest conducted the ceremony seamlessly in both English and Italian.
We felt so loved. During the apertivothere were nine separate food stations serving local foods like caciocavallo impiccato melted cheese from the regionbuffalo mozzarella, sushi, different varieties of salami, fried fish, and vegetables. They watched the sun set over the farmlands while a musician played Italian and American love songs on a saxophone in the background, and eventually guests picked up their seating cards from a chart adorned with flowers.
Once they walked into the dining room, they were greeted by a ceiling covered entirely in lights and chandeliers dripping in ivy. Dinner was three courses and all fish-based. There were tears. Nony always wanted to incorporate her Nigerian culture into the evening in a fun and impactful way, and after the meal seemed like the perfect time to do it.
It is a uniform way of dressing often incorporated into Nigerian weddings. The bride picks the fabric and her closest friends custom-make dresses of their choice in the selected fabric. It is an honor to be chosen. My 11 girlfriends live all over the world, so it was a production to coordinate, but my two friends Nwando and Nora who live in Lagos and Maryland helped with the entire thing. Ordering the fabrics, helping the non-Nigerians pick their styles, gathering measurements, managing the Lagos tailor, and shipping all over the world.
They kept everyone on time and on track.
I chose the fabric from Kwamuhle Fabrics. Usually the mother of the bride and her friends wear matching materials, but my mother chose to just gift her women matching gold fascinators. She had two options made because it was too late to get his measurements, and she wanted to make sure one fit.
The wedding truly showed me how unbelievably blessed I am with the most generous friends. Then, the reception turned into a full-on dance party with Nigerian music. By the time it was all said and done, the venue had gone through 10 bottles of tequila. Momental Des created our entire invitation suite. We wanted it to be elegant, playful, and to give a sense of the region where we were getting married. On the save-the-date, they hand-painted the reception venue, Villa Andrea. On the invitation, they hand-painted one of the famous ancient Greek temples in Paestum.
We used our wedding flowers—bougainvillea, pale pink roses, lemons, and olive leaves to border the cards. The most fun was the hand-drawn map of the region. We really wanted our out-of-town guests to get super-excited about where they were coming. Initially, we had focused our venue search around the Amalfi Coast and Capri, but then Alessandro suggested we also look into Paestum, which is close to his hometown. We came upon Villa Andrea when interviewing wedding planners, and it was perfect because the expansive grounds enabled us to host the aperitivodinner, and dancing all in the same place but still have each moment feel different.
They also handled the extensive catering and the cake. They were really a dream to work with. This shot is from the wedding morning, and you can see they are setting up the aperitivo food stations and seating. My bridesmaids and I got ready at Villa Andrea. While we dressed, our incredibly creative photographer, Cristiano from Facibeni Fotografiashot my wedding dress and veil in a way that showcased its size and grandeur while highlighting the beautiful elements of the venue.
Instead, each of my bridesmaids surprised me with some lingerie on the wedding morning.
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It was very sweet, and I got the most beautiful pieces, including this full lace confection from my maid of honor. It was important for me to wear shoes that I could kick off and on easily, and I wanted to incorporate color into my look. I already had these Gucci floral-print slides; they worked perfectly and happened to match the wedding colors and flowers.
I love this image of her in our Igbo native attire, dressing me in my white dress. I wanted an engagement ring I would never get tired of and loved the timelessness of a solitaire emerald-cut diamond on a thin platinum band. She and I picked out her dress from Eddy Monetti Donna in Naples as well as her patent leather Dior slingbacks from Galiano, a fabulous little boutique also in Naples. Me standing by a bougainvillea plant at Villa Andrea right before we head to church.
I love bougainvillea so much. It reminds me of my childhood in Nigeria, as we had them growing up. They are all over the Campania region and were the main element of our wedding flowers. The guys got ready at the villa Alessandro grew up in with his mother and grandparents.
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While they were getting ready, lots of well-wishers came by, as is the custom in southern Italy. They flew in all the way from Nigeria and are wearing Igbo attire with matching fascinators that my mother arranged for her closest friends. My bridesmaids adjusting my dress and veil before we walk into the church.
I love the activity, colors, and bougainvillea in this photo. My mother walked me down the aisle, as my father passed away two years ago. She and I are very close, and she adores Alessandro so much and was very happy to give me away. We felt that Basilica Paleocristiana, which dates back to the 5th century A.
We added just a few flowers and let it stand in all its grace and beauty.
My younger brother, Jeff, getting ready to launch some rice at us as we exited the church. Our florist, Enza Cinolo, did a fantastic job of incorporating lemons and aromatic herbs into the flowers at the church entrance.
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We used a vintage Alfa Romeo as our bridal car, which our florist adorned with flowers. Here we are driving into the villa for the aperitivo. I absolutely love my veil. It was made for me at the atelier at Metal Flaque, the Parisian bridal boutique where we bought my wedding dress. My look was clean and simple, but the veil brought a bit of drama. Alessandro and I took some photos together while our guests enjoyed the aperitivo.