If there is anything 2020 has taught us, it’s that one must be flexible with one’s plans. Well, for Elisa and Anthony, their plans could not have gone any more awry. “Unfortunately the day before, bushfires tore through the Adelaide Hills so we ultimately made the difficult decision to relocate to Adelaide Oval the night before.” With an epic dream team behind them, the pair managed to move their entire wedding to the city, in one. night. And that? That is the kind of magic that amazing vendors and an amazing community bring to life.

This was a wedding that was designed to feel just like a big Italian Christmas. “We originally always wanted to get married in Italy, to take our immediate family back to where our parents and grandparents were born. However, with ageing grandparents and newly born nieces and nephews, we knew this would be challenging and we would risk having some key people unable to attend” explains the bride. “So it was decided – we had to turn our wedding into a big Italian Festa! An abundance of traditional, quality food accompanied by Pol Roger champagne, Vermouth Spritz, locally made gin and typical Italian digestive to cap off the night. It really felt like our typical Christmas!

We were very strong-minded when it came to dress code. A non-negotiable black tie to match our eye for design.

Our décor was understated but classy, including black lanterns and cutlery, olive linen and hints of velvet. Flowers were kept minimal and included white orchids, anthuriums and peonies with big tropical palms. We had carefully curated music for the celebration, with a mix of jazz, big band, Italian classics and strictly house/disco tunes with live saxophone, bongos and traditional tambourines. We had an awesome night on the dance floor and kept on partying till early in the morning.”

Evan Bailey captured this one, and spoiler alert – from the bride’s sparkly gown (just The Sparkle issue content we all need right now) and the story that weaves its way through every carefully thought out detail. Oh you’re going to love this one.

Before we get into that though, let me share the story, in Elisa’s words, of how these two came to be. “I first met Anthony at Cibo Espresso, the coffee shop I used to work at in the city in Adelaide. He was a friend of a colleague, and he’d often come past for an espresso after his shift working as a pizzaiolo. One day we were so busy, he ended up jumping behind the counter to help with dishes. The next day he was hired, and we were dating a fortnight later. We also established that we were in the same reception class as children and then we went to University together too! We ended up working together for some 7/8 years before we both left the hospitality industry.

We were together 10 years before he popped the question. What I love about Anthony is his strong family values and love for maintaining our cultural heritage. A bonus, he always knows how to spoil me – the morning of our wedding I woke to our very own, custom pistachio-coloured La Marzocco coffee machine imported from Italy!”

That stunning suit is the work of Salvatore Ferragamo. “Anthony found his suit in Italy after we were engaged. It was a two-piece tuxedo with a dark emerald velvet jacket and charcoal trousers by Salvatore Ferragamo. He completed the black-tie look with a plisée tuxedo shirt and cummerbund by Tom Ford, a black velvet bowtie by Salle Privée and patent loafers by Burberry.”

You didn’t think I was going to leave you hanging with that proposal story, did you? Here it is in Elisa’s memories. “We were travelling through Italy for our best friend’s wedding in Puglia in 2018…before we left, many of my friends were assuming Anthony would propose. I shut it down right away, as I was so against clichés, but looking back we had such an incredible day!

We set out on foot for Il Sentiero Degli Dei, a trek along the Amalfi Coast which we began in the morning from Praiano, bomboloni, peaches and a small box in hand. It was at the peak of the hike when Anthony asked me to be his best friend for life. It was the start of an epic day with breathtaking views, a delicious lunch at Da Adolfo’s and an Italian Aperitivo at Franco’s bar watching the sunset in Positano.”

The bride found her sparkling Inbal Dror gown at Helen Rodrigues (and paired it with emerald green Prada heels!). “I came across Inbal Dror many years ago, after watching one of her films on Youtube that had a favourite Italian song of mine, Pensiero Stupendo by Patty Bravo. It was her 2014 collection set in Rome and Venice and I fell in love! Each collection thereafter, I would admire closely. Our engagement coincided just in time for the 2019 Trunk show at Helen Rodrigues. It’s uncanny how the collection was shot right where we were engaged a month earlier. I had a clear winner before entering the boutique. I loved how it had a timeless feminine shape, yet it was edgy and made a statement.”

Elisa and Anthony were married at Rostrevor Chapel.

There was a definite theme of thought out details for this day, and it began with the bride’s walk down the aisle. She explains “At university, I studied Italian cinema and I introduced Anthony to a film I was analysing at the time, Cinema Paradiso. It quickly became one of our all-time favourite movies we would watch together. The original music score was by Ennio Morricone, so I surprised Anthony with the bridal entrance of “Love Theme”, played live by piano, cello and flute by colleagues within the music department at my school. Walking down to him was a moment I’ll never forget. Our cousin also sang a live version of ‘Praise You’ by Fatboy Slim accompanied by Piano that blew us away.”

Elisa has endless good advice for those yet to tie the knot. “Having a wedding website not only saved us money but in our case due to the relocation we were able to update the website and give detailed information to guests promptly. Get someone from both sides to take charge of a photo list so that you don’t miss anyone!

We also recommend having a group shot after the ceremony – It was nice to have everyone all together which we can look back on in years to come. Don’t compromise on a good photographer and videographer, they are always worth it! Most importantly, don’t tailor your day to suit other people, it’s your wedding and you don’t want regrets. It needs to represent you.”

Louise Woodhouse Flowers styled the stunning blooms for the day, Elisa telling “The flowers we chose were simple, yet elegant. We went for white phalaenopsis orchids, white peonies and white anthuriums accompanied by lots of dark green tropical foliage and plants to tie in our emerald theme.”

Of their photographer, Elisa says “A local South Aussie hero! He’s a family man that oozes coolness and we clicked right away! We fell in love with his work – super natural and fun! He captured our day perfectly and we were so happy with our shots.”

“I remember being shocked at how amazing Elisa looked in her dress” Says Anthony. “I had so much fun that I forgot about the 24 hours we had been through before and I didn’t even think twice about our venue change. Having our nearest and dearest around us all day was something I’ll never forget!”

Guests celebrated with the newlyweds at the iconic Adelaide Oval.

The last-minute change, and the food, was all sorted for the wedding by their original venue – Lot 100. Elisa says this is the reason that these guys stood out to them so much for their amazing service. “What they managed to logistically do within 24 hours and move everything the morning of, was impeccable. They kept us calm, informed and they were always flexible and accommodating throughout the whole process.”

“For us specifically, relocating the reception was a mammoth task. In the afternoon, the day before, we got the call from our venue explaining that due to the catastrophic fires in the Adelaide Hills, we had to consider a plan B. It was heart-breaking to think our vision was perhaps not going to go as planned. We had to make the call though, and by 6:00 pm we were out searching for a new venue where we planned to get all our food, beverage and decorations relocated into a new setting. The team at Lot 100 and Adelaide Oval were phenomenal at pulling it all together. The CFS escorted the team in on Saturday morning through road closures to pick up all our things in the hills and transport EVERYTHING to the city!”

“Together with my brother Julian, we designed all our stationery” explains Elisa. “We also decided to include our favourite places instead of table numbers. Each table had a story about how the place had impacted our lives. Most guests seated at those tables also had some connection to them too. I made our website through WiX which was also used for guests to RSVP and access the finer details. Together with our mums, we hand-made crostoli and almond bread (traditional family recipes) and our Nonna and Zia helped organise Olive Ascolane (stuffed olive balls) for guests to enjoy.”

I’m not sure how, but somehow, despite that change, the reception was just as these two had dreamt, tells the bride. “Non-negotiables for us was our food, drinks and music. These can make or break your event!
Upon arrival, we wanted guests to be well-fed. Anthony was big on quantity. There’s nothing worse than guests swarming waiters for food as it comes out of the kitchen so we decided to have a grazing table including a prosciutto-cutting station with a wide variety of antipasti as well as fresh fish and warm dishes being circulated. When guests were seated, we decided to go with a shared menu of kingfish, orecchiette, pork belly, flank steak and fish so that guests had a wider choice and no one went hungry.
High-quality drinks were also important which included Pol Roger Champagne, Spritz, local wines by Vinteloper, local gin by 78° and Italian digestive.

Given the change in venue, I surprised Anthony with his favourite pre-Christmas film, Die Hard on the big screen over dinner. Given it was a few days before Christmas, he was very happy!”

“We enjoyed hanging out and picking things together. We didn’t have a stylist or planner, so we both were very much part of every process” remembers the bride. “We are real foodies so we loved developing a menu with our chef to include food that represented us and our families for all to share.”

In keeping with Italian tradition, the pair ditched a tiered cake for an Italian millefoglie, thanks to Schinella’s Your Local Market .”Our cake is something everyone still talks about…wedding cakes with multiple tiers don’t exist in Italy, so after speaking with our friend Luca, we went with a traditional Italian millefoglie. He is a pastry chef from Italy and used his Nonna’s recipe. Hands down – the best decision! We finished the night with traditional Italian dancing from the South and North, this was both nostalgic and fun!”

“Having all our family and friends, the people we love, around us all day was amazing,” remembers Elisa. “We were really lucky to have had friends and family travel from Italy, London and interstate to be there with us. Also, the fact we had some of our grandparents witness our marriage is something very special to us. We tried to involve our family as much as possible so we have some lovely memories of family involved in our ceremony and at our reception, whether it was through prayers, music, dances or speeches.”

The first dance? A classic old favourite. “We danced to the soothing voice of Nina Simone’s ‘My Baby Just Cares For Me’ but it wasn’t long until we were wrapped up by streamers (a traditional first dance ritual at many Italian weddings!)”

“We love the close shot of us on the dance floor in black and white wrapped in streamers. Sums up our night perfectly, gazing lovingly at each other and with everyone around us.”

Can’t get enough of this story like us? GoldBear Wedding Films were invited along for the day and captured this beautiful film.

A big congratulations to you both Elisa and Anthony! What a joy it was to share your day. Thank you to Evan Bailey for sharing today’s incredible images.