In 2016, after eight years of dating, Thom Scherdel was sure he wanted to propose to his girlfriend Gemma Boner, whom he first met while working at the Topman headquarters in London. Except when he was ready to pop the question, he couldn't get the words out! "It was the first time I'd ever seen Thom speechless," says Gemma with a laugh. "In fact, he was down on one knee for a few minutes before he said anything!" Once Thom finally managed to ask Gemma to marry him, she said yes, and they started planning a summer wedding in the Tuscan countryside.
Gemma organizes events for a living (she's the director of membership for Soho House), but didn't want to be overwhelmed planning events for both work and fun so she turned to Liz Linkleter Events to assist in the logistics of their Tuscany wedding. "Even with Liz's amazing help, a lot of things were done last minute," the bride admits. "In fact, I didn't even get my dress until two weeks before our wedding day!"
Last-minute decisions aside, the three-day celebration came together on June 18, 2018, encompassing three things the couple loves most: food, music, and no curfew! The day's design was inspired by the couple's shared love of fashion—the color scheme came from the Acne Studios logo—and paired modern details with wild local foliage to create an environment that was simultaneously natural and contemporary.
Keep reading to see more of the couple's boho wedding that came together with an airy vibe, playful signage, and some fab fashion. You don't want to miss Chris and Ruth Photography's photos below!
"We fell in love with Villa Lena the moment we set foot on the grounds," says Gemma of their wedding venue. "It has an amazing spirit—it's a magical place with a laid-back, carefree attitude, which is exactly what we were looking for!"
A few weeks before the wedding, Gemma still didn't have a wedding dress. "I had a backup, but it didn't feel like it was the one," she says. She and her mom went on one last shopping trip, stumbling upon a floral Rime Arodaky dress with sheer off-the-shoulder sleeves. It was the last dress Gemma tried on. "I felt like I could really have fun in it," she says. But, there was one catch: The sample was four sizes too big! Thankfully. the bride's seamstress was able to work wonders in a quick timeframe, and once it fit properly, Gemma knew she'd made the right choice.
The bride accessorized with loose waves and a simple veil, adding a fun pair of shades for some candid portraits.
Gemma's bridesmaids all wore nude slip dresses by Nikeen Asar. "He was a saint!" says Gemma. "I had 11 bridesmaids total, and the majority of them got pregnant before our wedding. He had to keep altering them as their bodies changed, and they all looked incredible!"
Guests were greeted with fans as they arrived at the outdoor ceremony. "Thom and I really wanted to have fun signage throughout the wedding, from cute directional signs to slogans and song lyrics used as the décor," says Gemma.
That said, the ceremony location was kept simple (and fitting for the venue) with a wooden altar decorated with olive branches and local foliage.
Though Thom and Gemma were legally married in the U.K. (and celebrated at their favorite pub with friends!), their Tuscany wedding was equally specially. "Thom's mother is incredible and put together the most wonderful spiritual blessing. We gave her free rein, and, my God, did she smash it!" says Gemma.
Guests showered the couple with olive leaves as they made their exit as husband and wife!
"Our wedding was so relaxed because there wasn't much of a timeline," says the bride. "Things happened organically, even right before our ceremony. We were all in the pool and it was hot out, so we decided to bump our ceremony back by an hour so we could swim longer!"
Gemma sipped sparkling rosé at cocktail hour, while other guests enjoyed another surprise at the bar: a self-serve espresso martini station!
At dinner, guests were seated at three long tables set with pink plates, textured linen napkins, and blush candles between vases of simple gathered blooms. Instead of traditional place cards, each guest's seat was marked with a personalized tambourine.
The night's menu was as carefully considered as the table decor. "A big reason we got married in Italy was the food," says Gemma. "We had a pizza party the night before the wedding. Then, on our wedding day, we ate fresh linguine with pecorino and lemon, Italy's famous Florentine bistecca with arugula, eggplant parmigiana, and roasted potatoes and zucchini."
Said tambourines came in handy during toasts, when guests shook them in applause after each speech.
Gemma changed into a simple white silk slip dress by Nikeen Asar for the dance party, while Thom swapped out his black shirt for one with an eye-catching black and gold pattern. "The oversized pink sign that reads 'We've come a long long way together...' is now the focal point of our garden at home!" says Gemma.
At the end of the night, Gemma joined her wedding guests in the pool—still wearing her wedding dress! "Someone whispered in my ear that you only live once, so I jumped in, shoes and all!" she laughs.
Wedding Planner: Liz Linkleter Events
Venue: Villa Lena
Bride's Dress: Rime Arodaky
Bride's Reception Dress: Nikeen Asar
Bride's Shoes: Prada
Bridesmaids' Dresses: Nikeen Asar
Groom's Attire: Richard James
Floral Design: Cressida Jamieson
Paper Products: This is Gill
Catering & Cake: Villa Lena
Photography: Chris and Ruth Photography