Anne’s wedding to the love of her life, Stefano, was a “truly Italianate affair.”
With a Signor Mont Couture gown embellished in 170-year-old Italian lace and a lavish baroque banquet with centuries old statutes, their wedding was one to be seen to be believed.
The strong influence of their Italian heritage on their wedding began with Stefano’s proposal, which happened during an impromptu trip to Lake Como at the sixteenth century castle, Villa D’Este. While the couple wanted to get married in Italy, they decided on Melbourne as they wanted their elderly grandparents to be there. This, of course, meant bringing Italy to Melbourne.
Without a wedding planner, Anne put her trust in her brother Anthony, the man behind Signor Mont, to bring her vision to life. Of the dress he created for her, Anne said it was a “labour of love.”
“He spent 2 years sourcing rare antique Burano lace from merchants around the globe, with the pieces ranging in age from 100 to 170 years old,” she said. “All originally made by hand on the island of Burano and depicting scenes of lovers and Venetian landscapes amongst baroque crests.”
Every other element was just as lavish, with a metal rose plated in gold in place of a traditional bouquet, vintage Alexander McQueen heels, and a crown inspired by the one Napoleon Bonaparte gave Empress Josephine in 1809.
“We worked with Maria Elena Headpieces Australia and USA to create our own crown fit for royalty,” she said. “Using a rare Italian carved shell cameo from 1849 depicting a lovers scene, they built the crown around the cameo and then plated it in gold and adorned it with Swarovski elements.”
For her something borrowed, Anne wore the same pearl weddings her mother had worn on her wedding day. For something blue, her dress had a bow of blue fabric sewn into the lining of her dress. The fabric happened to belong to Anne’s late grandmother, who would have been 100 years old on the eve of their wedding.
Their choice of St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Melbourne came about as they had both admired the church’s architecture their whole lives, with the structure even making it’s way onto Anne’s gown.
“On the train of my gown, we incorporated an image of the cathedral made in lace, commissioned from Dalla Lidia Merletti in Burano out of the same lace as the antique pieces we had collected,” said Anne. “The elderly mother of the owner of the lace firm made the image by hand over 2 months.”
With an Italian folk band playing in the garden of the cathedral, Anne and Stefano recreated the wedding processions of their grandparents. For the reception at Melbourne Town Hall, the “historical blank canvas” of the space meant that Anne and Stefano’s dreams of a Baroque-inspired banquet could come true.
“Rita [Feldmann Flowers] sourced 3800 roses in vintage varieties. Anthony took care of the non-floral elements, hand finishing over 100 metres of navy velvet tablecloths with gold fringe as well as producing 170 individual baroque portraits printed on linen, gifted to each guest as a placemat.
“He also sourced life sized antique statues and Versailles urns, bronze and alabaster statues, countless brass vessels and candelabras as well as 350 locally made pillar candles.”
With the Elan String Quartet playing to guests in the foyer, a first dance serenaded by Rutherford Entertainment, traditional Italian dancing and food, and a 6-tiered ivory cake by Jo J Sweets (complete with angels, columns, reliefs, and icing statues) the wedding was an unforgettable experience for all involved.
“Really focus on creating a dream team for your wedding,” said Anne. ” Each party cared so much for their craft … each of them wholeheartedly went above and beyond. We’ll forever be indebted to our dream team.”
Photography by Lumière Weddings
Dress: Signor Mont
Shoes: Alexander McQueen
Photographer: Lumière Weddings
Videographer: Film My Wedding
Hair: Caterina Di Biase
Makeup: Merton Muaremi
Groom’s attire: P Johnson Tailors
Venues: St Patrick’s Cathedral, East Melbourne
The Supper Room, Melbourne Town Hall
Catering: Ed Dixon Food Design
Florist: Rita Feldmann Flowers
Music: (Church) St Patrick’s Cathedral Choir, Organ, Cantor
(Garden party) Santa Taranta (Traditional Sicilian folk band, honouring Stefano’s mother’s Italian heritage)
(Pre-dinner drinks) Elan String Quartet
(Reception) Rutherford Entertainment (DJ and saxophonist)
Stationery: Il Papiro
Melbourne and Florence
Cars: Always Classic Cars – 1 x 1947 Rolls Royce Silver Wraith. 2 x 1959 Rolls Royce Cloud