Elizabeth and Zach met on a Monday, the night before Valentine’s Day in what Elizabeth describes as “a seedy dive bar in a sketchy neighborhood of Los Angeles.” Zach had plans with friends to see a band play in a small club, but when he got to the club, it was at capacity and he was turned away. He decided to go instead to this small dive bar. Elizabeth was entertaining her cousin who was visiting from out of town, and on a Monday night this bar was the “happening place.”
“There was an immediate connection,” notes Elizabeth, “as I saw him standing at the other end of the bar. It wasn’t that he was just cute—he was the kind of guy you just wanted to talk to.”
“WITHIN A FEW MINUTES OF TALKING TO ELIZABETH ... I FELT THAT I HAD KNOWN HER FOREVER.”
Zach, who had also noticed Elizabeth, remembers, “As soon as I saw her, I felt that I needed to talk to this girl.” Elizabeth took the initiative: as Zach walked by her at some point, she tapped him on the shoulder, put her leg in front of him blocking his path, and the conversation started. “Within a few minutes of talking to Elizabeth,” he notes, “I felt that I had known her forever.” Elizabeth concurs feeling exactly the same way about Zach.
Fast-forward six years later and wedding plans were in full swing. “As an actress and screenwriter by trade out in Hollywood, it was destined from the beginning that our wedding was going to be a production,” says Elizabeth. “Instead of the standard wedding, my husband and I were looking to create the set of a movie that would truly transport our guests to another world.”
Besides the fact that they are both very artsy people, Zach and Elizabeth are by their own admission pretty opposite or as Elizabeth describes it, “complementary.” Zach is more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of guy. Elizabeth is more of a Jimmy Choo and vintage sequined cocktail dress kind of girl.
So when it came time to get married, they wanted to find a way to blend their two tastes: his, casual and laidback, and hers, fancy and “dramatic.” They both quickly agreed on a destination wedding since they knew they wanted the wedding to be intimate—just the people who matter most to them. And they wanted the event to be more of a collective vacation than some kind of tribute to what Elizabeth calls their “coupledom.” “We wanted it to be an event where we would celebrate all the relationships in our lives—not just ours.”
They agreed on a small town in the Italian countryside near Lucca called Borgo a Mozzano where Elizabeth had spent time in college singing opera. Borgo a Mozzano is in the Garfagnana, the wild and untamed mountain region of Tuscany. It is lesser known than the sprawling fields and terra-cotta wash of much of Tuscany. The Garfagnana is rugged and overgrown, and until the 1960s didn’t even have a road to reach it. “It was that kind of wild, unkempt romance that attracted us to it,” notes Elizabeth, “and I can’t tell you what a perfect decision that was.”
The theme for the wedding was Miss Havisham meets Florence and the Machine. “I’m obsessed with the faded grandeur you can find in Italy—and the villa we chose for the wedding, Villa Catureglio, just embodies it,” says Elizabeth. “Ivy growing out of the old stone, olive trees everywhere, that gorgeous light that seems to only exist in Italy. To us, there is nothing more beautiful than patina and we wanted to make that the aesthetic focus of the wedding.”
The colors of the wedding were pulled straight from the discoloration in the stone—from salmon to grey to blue to green. “There is a whole kaleidoscope of colors just in the stone,” remarks Elizabeth. “We wanted the wedding décor to have an organic feel to it as if it was part of the villa.” She continues, “The description I like to give is the wedding should look as if it were set up a hundred years ago and then was just forgotten. Over the century the elements took over—the ivy and moss began to grow over the décor, age faded the tablecloth. And now, the wedding has almost a ghostly feel to it. To me, there is nothing more romantic than the Havisham tale of a wedding frozen in time. And I love the juxtaposition of beauty and decay.”
Zach treasures the quality time spent with all their guests over the five days and Elizabeth remarks, “I didn’t realize until that day how close I am to my family and friends—it was a true celebration.”
Location: Villa Catureglio, Tuscany, Italy; Cake: Melanie Secciani, Florence, Italy; Event Design and Planner: Weddings International, Florence, Italy; Floral Design: Tuscany Flowers, Florence, Italy; Stationery: Lion in the Sun, Brooklyn, NY; Wedding Dress: Reem Acra, New York, NY; Veil: Kleinfeld, New York, NY; Bride’s Shoes: Jimmy Choo; Photography: Matthew Moore Photography