Ashley & Terrence
If you’re a lover of the beautiful boho styling of much acclaimed bridal gown design house Daughters Of Simone then you’re going to love today’s magic Lake Como wedding because it’s the wedding of the co-designer herself! And if you thought this occasion was going to be understated, it’s what destination dreams are made of. From the Midsummer Night’s Dream inspired reception (with hidden tequila bar) to the nuptials themselves on the mountains overlooking the lake. Luckily for us, Elisabetta Redaelli captured every single moment in motion!
It was a far cry from Europe when these fell in love, but in equally as cool and fashion filled place! Ashley shares “My husband Terrence and I are from the same hometown, Fresno, California. We went to the same schools growing up together. I may have even had a crush on him at the young age of 11. We didn’t have mutual friends or really know much of each other but reconnected 8+ years ago while living in San Francisco. Our first date was a 12-hour car ride from San Francisco to Indio for the Coachella Music Festival in 2010. Our mutual love of music must’ve been pretty strong because we’ve been inseparable ever since.”
Terrence and his groomsmen kept with the fashion-forward theme of the day, working with El Patcha Ashleigh explains “My husband Terrence kept the fashion-forward theme going by designing dark burgundy embroidered tuxedos, with embroidery by El Patcha Embroidery. He was inspired by a Valentino collection a few years back and incorporated nature-inspired details and southwestern symbols. He’s always had a unique sense of style and the tux’s complimented him and his crew beautifully.”
The couple chose the beautiful Giardino del Merlo and Villa Camilla on Lake Como for their day, noting “Ever since that first summer in Europe with Terrence, I had envisioned getting married in Lugano, Switzerland. So once he proposed I was determined to make it happen. We made a few trips to Europe to seek out our wedding venue and found a beautiful villa on Lake Como, Italy (only 45 minutes from Lugano). We combined our history in Lugano and the epic venue in Lake Como to host wedding festivities in both countries, Switzerland and Italy.”
The bride and her bridesmaids walked down the aisle to Fleet Foxes “Cascades”, Bob Dylan “Shelter from the Storm”.
Of their ceremony at Giardino del Merlo overlooking the lake, Ashley tells “We knew that whatever theme we would decide on would be unique and nontraditional. Most of the creativity evolved over time but we knew one of the main things we wanted to highlight was our shared love of fashion. We asked our guests to dress in their finest “runway attire”. I even put a link to the Met Gala coverage for inspiration. We set our ceremony up as though the guests were seated for a runway show and had our bridesmaids and groomsmen walk down the aisle one-by-one so they could have their individual runway moment.”
Ashley dressed her bridesmaids in capes and crowns, remarking “I had a fantasy of my bridesmaids donning gold crowns, long pearled capes and luscious silks with flowing trains. I don’t know if it was from obsessing over too many Elie Saab runway shows or binging on Game of Thrones but these were looks I pulled together, and they looked marvellous.”
And what does a wedding gown designer wear for her own day? She designs her own of course! “My wedding gown was comprised of 100% ivory silk, I’ve always been a sucker for vintage silk pieces so I knew right away this would be the fabric of choice. I had always envisioned wearing an off-the-shoulder gown, as my mother had, but I wanted to put a unique spin on it by developing these large billowy sleeves. In designing my own gown, I knew I wanted floral embroidery to be a feature, and after scouring the fabric markets I finally found a floral embroidered trim (of course it was vintage), so I had it recreated and customized for my gown. You can see subtle hints of it throughout the gown and all along the ridiculously long train. I wanted a gown that made me feel like I was floating while standing still.”
Guests celebrated the newlyweds with a garden reception at Villa Camilla “There was a moment of awe as I walked up the steps to our reception area. The pool had been completely converted into a midsummers night’ dreamland. ” remembers the bride. “We had gone for a nonconventional seating arrangement by having only lounge areas comprised of vintage furniture, along with a few tables scattered about. Everywhere you looked were larger-than-life florals, sparkling string lights and drippy candles.”
Guests were made to feel special at every turn. “We wrote haikus for each of our wedding guests. These were displayed on little cards on a welcome table as they arrived at the reception. It was a nice personal touch as we wanted to reiterate to our family and friends how much we appreciated each and everyone one of them making the trip across the world (literally!) for us.”
Beautiful blooms by Christine Cater were a highlight of the day says Ashley. “I had been a big fan of our florist/designer Christine Cater for a while. And, knowing her work I pretty much gave her free reign to do whatever she was inspired to do. She did not disappoint. She created larger-than-life florals for both the ceremony and the reception. Her intentions were to use flowers that were more heat resistant such as straw and wax flowers and proteas, while keeping in mind my request for wild flowers mixed with more formal blooms. She blended these with anthuriums, garden roses, magnolias and many more.”
The reception was filled with surprises and secrets to enchant Ashley and Terrence’s guests. “We had a secret tequila bar, there were no signs leading to it which made it fun for the guests who were curious enough to wander the property and find it. It was located on the opposite side of the reception area under a beautiful lit up tree – you really had to seek it out. Throughout the night, one friend would tell another and it was such a delight to watch their excitement when they found out about it.”
The surprises kept coming- even for the newlyweds! “My family is really into speeches, and there were so many wonderful ones throughout the wedding festivities. My two sisters, Courtney and Brittany, took it over the top by surprising us with a song. They passed out their edited version of the lyrics to, “Don’t let the Kids Win” by Julia Jacklin, and performed the melody while Court played the ukulele. The whole crowd sang along and I quickly fell into happy tears.”
The newlyweds didn’t completely ditch tradition, especially for the dancing (to Old Crow Medicine Show “Wagon Wheel” & George Benson “Give me the Night”)! Ashley says “Although most of our wedding could be perceived as very non-traditional, I still wanted the special dances to occur: father-daughter, mother-son, and bride-groom first dance. To put our own spin on this aspect we had a slideshow with video clips and images playing on a screen in the background while we danced. During Terrence’s mother-son dance the imagery playing was of his childhood and family, same went for imagery during my father-daughter dance. Imagery of us as a couple played during Terrence and my first dance. It was a nice personal touch that brought everyone back to the reason why we were all there.”
A big congratulations to the newlyweds! Thank you for sharing the beauty of your day with us. Thank you also to Elisabetta Redaelli or today’s beautiful images.