Babak and Chiara are beloved friends. Along with Sriroop, they were our room mates in this piso in Madrid. These three people became not only friends, but an incredible support system and ultimately a family. You could always count on a belly laugh and a good meal. For two years we celebrated birthdays, Christmas, took road trips and bought a leg of jamon together. It was truly one of the best parts of my life thus far. I cannot even begin to tell you how excited we were to travel back to Europe for Babak and Chiara’s epic wedding.
Babak and Chiara’s destination wedding in Italy was a true blend of cultures from all across the globe. Chiara was born to Italian parents in the USA but neither really ever lived in the USA or Italy. Rather, she grew up in Brazil, the UK, and Spain – and as such, speaks four languages fluently. Babak was born in Iran but grew up mostly in the UK. The two had mutual friends throughout University but never really saw each other as more than acquaintances until they later found themselves both living in Madrid. Babak & Chiara quickly fell in love over their shared love of food, wine, and wit. Several years later, they returned to the village in which her mother was raised and married at the same stone church her mother married her father.
Not far from the breathtaking Cinque Terre, Sestri Levante is a lazy pastel-colored beach town. Guests from all around the globe vacationed during the wedding week. Chiara wanted the theme of their wedding to be “local”. Meaning all the decorations, foods, wines, etc had a meaning rooted in either one of their families or traditions. Realizing that the creativity in event design is still waiting to reach the remote towns of Italy, Chiara took on designing her entire wedding and made many things herself – wine crate centerpieces with aromatic herbs (Italian cooking is based on using fresh herbs – something that reminded Chiara much of her grandmother, also a cornerstone in Iranian cooking).
Chiara designed the invitations and all paper goods herself using hand sketched maps of Sestri Levante by the local artist, Rezzano. The 4 sketches are actually maps of the world as viewed from Sestri pointing North, East, South & West – an amazing homage to all the places from which guests traveled – other sketches included Sestri herself and the spire of the stone church in which they married – Chiara brought our idea of cocktail hour lawn games to Italy and it was a resounding hit!
One of the highlights from the reception was a “Q&A” game for which guests were asked to send in questions ahead of time that the “Master of Ceremonies” would then ask the bride and groom – a favorite was “What pizza topping would you describe your husband/wife to be?” Probably one of the most FUN receptions ever, every single speech was profoundly eloquent and sweet and full of humor. See all the laughs below!….and find a link to their amazing wedding video!
Church: Chiesa de San Nicolo
Reception Venue: Grand Hotel dei Castelli
Wedding gown: Madeline Gardner
Coordinator: Le Bouquet Events
Florals: Fioridee Sestri Levante, Mauro Scopesi e Cristina Cafferata
Videography: Rubik Production
See their amazing wedding video here!