When Chelsey Wayte and Dominic Kaffka first met in February of 2015, they fell in love "almost instantly," and immediately committed themselves to a long-distance relationship. “Dominic was living in Berlin, and I was living in Sydney," she explains. "For a year, we flew around the world to see each another!” Finally, they decided they’d had enough of the distance, meeting in the middle in New York City to build a life together.
It was there in New York City, on the rooftop terrace of their apartment in August of 2017, that Dominic proposed. “He kept it really simple and intimate, and we spent the night celebrating before we even told anyone about our engagement the next day!” says Chelsey.
Knowing that the majority of their 90 guests would need to travel no matter what location they chose, Dominic and Chelsey decided to head to Tuscany for their wedding on October 13, 2018. “We found Borgo Stomennano online, and they only had one 2018 date left, so we booked it on the spot!” says the bride. Chelsey and Dominic both produce events for a living, so instead of hiring a wedding planner, they took it on themselves. “It was really nice to be the clients for a change, and we loved doing the planning together,” Chelsey says.
Inspired by early Renaissance art and the gorgeous garden setting, the bride and groom created a romantic celebration full of soft flowers and blush tones. Take a peek at the photos by Lelia Scarfiotti below!
“One of our favorite element of the venue is this stone arch that greets guests at the entrance,” says Chelsey. “We wanted to really accentuated it, so our florist hung fluffy asparagus fern, tinted in lavender and pale blue, to create an otherworldly, magical feel.”
Chelsey wore a custom lace Cynthia Rowley gown embellished with her late grandmother’s pearls. “Cynthia is a dear friend—and my former boss!—so when she offered to make my dream dress, I was thrilled,” says the bride. The gown paired modern lace with a sheer neckline and sleeves, and Chelsey accentuated it with ornate Gucci sandals for a touch of sparkle.
Her bridesmaids wore custom silk chiffon dresses with tiered skirts, long sleeves, and high necks in shades of blush. The bride carried a bouquet of pink roses, white anthurium, and pink-tinted pussy willow branches, while her bridesmaids carried pampas grass and fuchsia-tinted pussy willow.
A single dramatic floral arrangement marked the altar, pairing pampas grass and roses with pussy willow and gold-painted asparagus fern. Guests were given cones of dried flower petals to toss after the couple’s first kiss.
“I asked my stepfather to walk me to the aisle, then I walked to the altar myself,” says Chelsey. “I’ve always been fiercely independent, and didn’t want to be ‘given away.’”
After the ceremony, Dominic and Chelsey made their way to the villa’s olive grove, where they posed for post-ceremony portraits just before sunset.
Guests’ seat assignments were written on a vintage mirror surrounded by even more pampas grass. This display also welcomed guests to the night's dinner location: a single curving reception table.
“We had all of our guests seated at a single, curved table that followed the garden path,” says the bride. The bare wood table was topped with a mauve runner, brass candleholders, and asymmetric arrangements of pampas grass, asparagus fern, roses, pussy willow, and anthurium. Each place setting paired a white plate with a pink menu and printed napkin. The final touch? Leather luggage tags that doubled as place cards.
Dinner was all about seasonal local produce and Borgo Stomennano wines. “The spinach and ricotta ravioli was the best ravioli we and our guests had ever had in our lives,” says the bride.
After "raucous toasts" and a delicious strawberry champagne cake, the couple and their guests headed into an old granary for dancing. “We transformed the space with the help of our wedding party," adds the bride. "We turned it into a hot pink night club complete with mirror balls and a custom neon sign that read ‘Amore!’”
Wedding Venue: Borgo Stomennano
Bride's Dress: Cynthia Rowley
Bride’s After-Party Dress: A Current Affair
Bride's Veil: Anna Marguerite
Bride's Shoes: Gucci
Bride's Jewelry: Gucci
Makeup: Constance Bowles
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Morrison
Groomsmen's Attire: Hannes Kettritz
Floral Design: Fluida Design
Paper Products: Mia Birchall
Catering: L’Oste Gentiluomo
Audio & Lighting: GB Audio
Photography: Lelia Scarfiotti