This Olive-Inspired Celebration in Italy Was a Foodie's Dream
Malin Heyer and Thiago Gudelwein Silva had only gone on two dates over the span of a few days when she took a gamble: She invited him over WhatsApp to her birthday party, a small celebration at her parents' home. She thought, "What the hell," and pressed send. Within a minute, he wrote back saying he would definitely be there. When he arrived on her parents' doorstep, flowers in hand, he greeted her with a dramatic, deep kiss—and they've been together ever since.
After a teary-eyed proposal during a trip to Sylt, an island in northern Germany, the German pair (she's a yoga instructor and wedding planner, and he's a dental surgeon) started mapping out a day during which they'd be surrounded by epic views, amazing food, and 36 of their favorite people. Quickly, they realized their respective visions were very much the same. "We both wanted a relaxed summer wedding with a long table and a party outside," Malin says. "So, it was important that it was in a country where the sun was more reliable than in Germany." They immediately zeroed in on Italy, where the Villa Montanare ticked all their boxes. "It's a location with so much charm and character—plus it's unique and natural," Malin says. "Unmistakable—and that's how our wedding should be."
And indeed it was—partly in thanks to their next-level menu, which spotlighted some of the region's most famous dishes (pizza and ravioli, included).
The duo planned an entire weekend of events for their guests, which were outlined in an olive- and eucalyptus-themed invitation template they found on Etsy. The suite also included a map, by Nicnillas Ink, that featured sketches of the Colosseum, Ponte Vecchio of Florence, and their venue, Villa Montanare.
All Together Now
Malin and Thiago kicked off the weekend with a "Benvenuti in Tuscany" pizza party, where Preludio Catering made pies on site and guests indulged in fresh mozzarella and gelato.
On the Tables
Guests mingled at tables decorated with Silk & Willow table runners, lemons, and mixed herbs including rosemary, thyme, mint, lavender, and sage.
The pizza selections—of which there were many—were arranged on wooden boards; pine cones, tomato vines, eggplants, and basil plants filled wooden crates that were repurposed as décor.
The Warmest Welcome
"Everything was perfect," Malin says of the kick-off party. "We couldn't imagine a warmer welcome for all our guests who were traveling so far to join us on our best day ever."
Thiago sported a tailor-made Rooks and Rocks smoking jacket on the big day. As a finishing touch, he added cuff links with the date and his and Malin's initials—a wedding-day gift from his bride.
On his suit collar, Thiago wore a boutonnière comprised of astrantia with olive branches, all tied up in the same blue silk ribbon as Malin's bouquet.
Malin held an arrangement by Fineartflowers Tuscany that was brimming with peonies, lisianthus, astrantia, blackberries, and olive branches.
Her dreamy Hochzeitsspeicher an der Elbe wedding dress wasn't what she expected to wear down the aisle—at all. "It's the complete opposite of what I've always imagined," she says. "But it was just love at first sight."
Because of the property's stunning views, the couple decided to keep their ceremony décor simple. Peonies and olive branches decorated the simple wooden chairs topped with comfy cream pillows.
Malin's mother walked her down the aisle to "Can't Help Falling in Love" by Kina Grannis.
The couple sat in a grove of olive trees for their non-religious ceremony, during which they exchanged self-penned vows.
Guests beat the heat with fans placed at the entrance of the ceremony space.
The pair found an unlikely new friend while Malin was wedding-dress shopping. "My bridal fashion consultant and I got along so well that after Thiago and she got to know each other, she became our wedding [officiant]," Malin says.
During the cocktail hour, drink stations offered up three kinds of fresh juices, Prosecco, and sparkling water. Just one of the trays that made the rounds during the food-packed interlude featured prunes with caprino cheese; cherry tomatoes with olive mousse; Belgium endive with nut mousse and tarragon; and skewers with cherry tomatoes and melon.
The couple wanted "simple and organic" decorations for their reception, says the bride. Olive branches ran along the center of the tables, which were accented with antique brass candle holders, light gray linens, and glasses with gold accents.
As a gift to guests, the newlyweds prepared small olive oil bottles with a label that read: "Fatto con amore by Thiago & Malin," which translates to "Made with love by Thiago & Malin."
Nestled in the olive grove, guests settled into a hearty Italian meal that included ravioli filled with ricotta and spinach and roasted sliced beef and green beans.
Their simple white three-tier, adorned with olive branches, consisted of a mille feuille cake with strawberries and chantilly cream inside.
Photography, Jenny Quicksall
Venue, Villa Montanare
Event planning and Design, Weddings by Silke
Catering and Cake, Preludio Catering
Flowers, Fineartflowers Tuscany
Videography, Angelo Kovatchev
Music, Hochzeits DJ Italien
Rentals, Preludio Noleggio
Bride's gown, Hochzeitsspeicher An Der Elbe
Groom's suit, Rooks and Rocks
Invitation map, Nicnillas Ink