Due to work circumstances, Anastasiya Shandyga moved to London in February of 2014 and found herself working at an investment bank on the same floor as Manuel Cadez. Without being formally introduced, the two would exchange smiles every time they would meet; but it wasn’t until serendipity played a role a couple months later, that they finally conversed. Anastasia was carrying some grocery bags by the metro train, when she and Manuel accidentally ran into each other and he helped pick everything up.
“I believe there is never a time or place for true love; and if it’s meant to happen, then destiny will find a way,” Anastasia says. “Love isn’t something you find–it’s something that finds you, and we are thankful it found us.” The couple had their first date a week later and have been inseparable ever since.
“LOVE ISN’T SOMETHING YOU FIND–IT’S SOMETHING THAT FINDS YOU, AND WE ARE THANKFUL IT FOUND US.”
The wedding planning process began with setting a summer wedding date, as Anastasia and Manuel knew they wanted to have a destination wedding in Italy. Manuel recommended Isola Del Garda as the ceremony site, which turned out to be the perfect choice. “I’ve never been to Lake Garda before, but Manuel used to go there with his family when he was a kid,” Anastasia explains. “Indeed, Isola Del Garda is one of the most beautiful villas in the world.”
Being self-proclaimed procrastinators, it wasn’t until two months before the wedding that the couple enlisted the help of wedding planner, Katiuscia. Together, each decorative element was carefully chosen and incorporated into a wedding décor theme of elegance, vintage touches, and a peach and gold color scheme. With only 18 guests, Anastasia and Manuel envisioned a luxuriously intimate wedding with everyone sitting together at one big table.
When the wedding day arrived, a large boat transported guests to Isola Del Garda while the bride and her father followed behind in a smaller boat. “From the second I took my first step down the aisle towards my future husband, I felt a mix of emotions, tears of happiness, and the endless love than Manuel and I have for each other,” says the bride. “Everything I always dreamt of was happening right there at that moment – with a magnificent view of the lake and close friends and family surrounding me – while musicians were playing live music in the background.”
After the ceremony, a dinner was set up in a restaurant on one of the highest points of Lake Garda. There, the newlyweds and their guests enjoyed impeccable food, conversation, laughter, and a few games that had been prepared ahead of time. One of the evening’s surprises was when the groom’s best friend played a song on the piano, which led Anastasia and Manuel to improvise with their first dance – a truly unique and memorable experience.
The night concluded with a party at a local Italian lounge, with guests dancing and champagne flowing. “We are beyond happy that such a special day for us turned out to be so perfect and unforgettable, and grateful for the amazing people who helped us throughout,” Anastasia says. “Italy is a country of love, and we have celebrated our love in a way we couldn’t even dream of.”
Ceremony Location: Isola del Garda, San Felice del Benaco, Italy; Reception Location: Hotel Villa del Sogno, Gardone Riviera, Italy; Planner: Italian Wedding Company, Torino, Italy; Photography: Facibeni Fotografia
Floral Design: Il Fiore all’Occhiello, Volta Mantovana, Italy; Wedding Dress: Sophia Toll