Esmeralda Lekaj and Mattia Vigliarolo’s Italian love story began almost eight years ago, in a small town not far from the Ligurian coast. At the time, Esmeralda was working at a café to pay for University, and Mattia would stop by often with his friends.
“What struck me particularly was his extreme kindness and his smile,” Esmeralda recalls. “I knew he was a photographer and that fascinated me a lot, too. He fell in love with my colour-changing eyes and my liveliness.”
“I’D NEVER FELT SO MUCH JOY IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.”
In 2018, Mattia planned a surprise trip to Paris for Esmeralda’s 29th birthday. The birthday girl didn’t even know where they were headed until they got to St. Pancras train station in London. Once they arrived in Paris, the couple checked in to a hotel on Rue de Rivoli, and the rest was a dream come true.
“On the evening of my birthday, he took me out for dinner at the Eiffel Tower and this is where it all happened,” Esmeralda describes. “The waiter came by, serving the dessert, and on the plate, there was written in chocolate, ‘Will you marry me?’ Matt came over my side, he knelt down, opened the ring box and I burst into tears. It was a big yes! I’d never felt so much joy in my entire life.”
The couple planned their entire wedding celebration together, which was the perfect culmination of their Italian love story. They first chose a date, followed by the location.
“Lake Maggiore stole our hearts since our first trip together on the 8th September 2013, so we decided to marry on that same day, just six years later,” Esmeralda explains. “We entirely designed the invitations, the menus, and each place card was also handwritten by me. We chose aquamarine and dusky rose as our colour theme. Initially, it was a bit difficult as we are based in London and have relatives from all around the world. But luckily, all went as planned!”
The big day involved a quintessential mix of happiness and anxiety, followed by an overwhelming sense of love from the friends and families who had gathered together for a destination wedding in Italy. For a brief moment, rain had set in as everyone was leaving the church; but like every fairy tale, the sky soon opened up just in time for a stunning photoshoot on the water.
“The day after the wedding, we went exploring the Borromean Islands by boat with our closest relatives, and the day after we were heading to Bali,” the bride shares. “Our honeymoon trip was something that we will treasure forever in our hearts. Every person we met was so kind and friendly that we felt so welcomed – not to mention the stunning views and the breath-taking sunsets. We spent our last few days in cosmopolitan Singapore and then we headed back to London with our hearts filled with joy and unforgettable memories.”
Ceremony Location: Chiesa di Carciano, Stresa, Italy; Reception Location: Villa & Palazzo Aminta, Stresa, Italy; Floral Design: Giuseppina Comoli, Baveno, Italy; Ceremony Dress: Pronovias; Reception Dress: Riki Dalal