Growing up, Felicia Kawilarang and Kevin Aluwi had always known of each other, largely thanks to their mothers, who were college BFFs. “We bumped into each other socially and were casual acquaintances,” the bride says of their longstanding relationship. That all changed after college when Felicia and Kevin both ended up working in Jakarta. At the time, the groom had just built a dating start-up and needed to find someone to replace his role. Lo and behold, he reached out to his future bride via Facebook, thinking she would be the perfect fit. But, when the pair eventually met for coffee to discuss the details, their instant connection got in the way of any business decisions. “Instead of hiring me, he decided I was a better fit as his girlfriend!” says Felicia with a laugh.
Four years after Kevin asked Felicia to be his girlfriend (on her birthday!), he got down on one knee to propose another important question—and even incorporated the bride's closest friends. Basically, what was meant to be a girls' trip to Hong Kong turned into the ultimate surprise, with Kevin flying in to crash the group’s dinner. “I was so surprised when the lights in the restaurant went off and my friends started getting up,” the unsuspecting bride recalls. “Before I started freaking out thinking there was an emergency, in came Kevin with a bouquet of flowers getting down on one knee and proposing in front of my girlfriends.”
The couple struck gold with their stunning ceremony venue—Church of Saints Nazaro and Celso in Lake Como, Italy—for their destination wedding on October 20, 2018. “We were lucky enough to be the last foreign couple allowed to celebrate our wedding on the premises,” says Felicia of the locale. To complement the breathtaking Italian countryside, the duo commemorated the special occasion with a romantic, rustic-meets-elegant allure, complete with a blush color palette and natural décor. Highlighting their loves of food and music was also a must—so much so that Felicia and Kevin tried every restaurant in the area before deciding on Villa Pliniana, which features catering by Il Sereno Hotel, for their wedding reception.
To thank her bridesmaids, Felicia wrote each of them a handwritten letter, highlighting their friendships and taking a walk down memory lane. And, keeping in line with the soft, simple vibe, the bridal party sported blush dresses made by an Indonesian designer and close friend of the bride’s, Paulina Katarina. “We wanted to show off local Indonesian talent, so we had all our wedding party attire designed by local designers,” says the bride.
In terms of her own attire, the bride walked down the aisle in a delicate lace, A-line gown by Romona Keveža. It happened to be one of the first gowns she saw while dress shopping, but she wanted to scope out other options before pulling the trigger. After more try-on sessions, she couldn’t get the original dress out of her head and immediately knew it was "the one." Felica asked her family members, including her mother, to wear deep blue gowns that coordinated with the rest of the day's color palette.
Felicia paired the look with a matching veil by the same designer, a Jennifer Behr hairpiece, and a lush, silk ribbon-adorned floral arrangement by Tuscany Flowers.
A similar blend of blooms accented the church during the ceremony, along with an assortment of candles.
Kevin and Felicia decided to write their own vows in order to make their commitments to one another more personal. “I’m a huge fan of Disneyland and Kevin isn’t, but in his vows, he made sure to mention that he promises to take me to Disneyland every few years, which I absolutely adored,” says the bride.
Friends and family, who had flown in from all over the world, showered the newlyweds with flower petals after their vows. After exiting the church, the newlyweds took a sunset boat ride to the reception venue: Villa Pliniana. "The sun was beautifully setting over the lake and it was such a clear day, but the waters were still misty, which made the whole scene so dreamy I had to pinch myself," says Felicia.
The outdoor cocktail hour at Villa Pliniana featured special signature beverages inspired by the bride and groom—"The Kevin" and "The Felicia," which mirrored a whiskey sour and a cosmopolitan, respectively.
Pops of blue and gold tones, tall candelabras, and soft drapery topped off the couple’s dreamy décor vision. Covered by a lantern-infused tent, guests enjoyed traditional recipes from Il Sereno catering—aubergine terrine with tomato and mozzarella, scallops, ravioli, grilled lake fish of the day, and tiramisu.
During the reception, Felicia swapped her ceremony ensemble for a fitted blush frock and cape, both lined with Swarovski crystal beads and custom-made by Indonesian couture designer Adrian Gan.
"We wanted to dance 'til dawn, as our friends are all party animals," explains the bride. So, to kick the after-party into high gear, the newlyweds wowed the crowd with a first dance they had been practicing with dance lessons. “It was so memorable because we got to dance in front of our closest friends and family as a saxophonist and electric violinist played ‘Shut Up and Dance,'” says Felicia of one her favorite moments. A close friend of the couple, who is also one of the leading DJs in Indonesia, also played during the celebration.
The stellar music performances continued for the cake cutting, as well, during which Kevin and Felicia capped off the night with their first bites of a traditional Italian millefeuille with berries and cream—a sweet finish to their beautiful destination wedding in Italy!
Ceremony Venue: Church of Saints Nazaro and Celso in Bellano || Reception Venue: Villa Pliniana || Wedding Planning & Design: Design Anarchy by Chic Weddings || Bride's Dresses: Romona Keveža, Adrian Gan || Bride's Veil: Romona Keveža || Bride's Jewelry: Tulola Bridal || Bride's Shoes: Jimmy Choo || Hair & Makeup: Lala Barbie, Marcela Bantea || Bridesmaids' Dresses: Paulina Katarina || Mother of the Bride Dress: Stella Lunardy || Groom's Attire: Dior Homme || Groomsmen's Attire: Agus Lim || Music: ALR Music, DISQUE Music, Blunotte Eventi || Floral Design: Tuscany Flowers || Invitations & Paper Products: Veronica Halim || Catering & Cake: Il Sereno Hotel || Rentals: Smacrent || Accommodations: Il Sereno Hotel, Hilton Como || Videography & Photography: David Salim