A Shakespeare-Inspired Wedding at La Foce in Tuscany, Italy

When Rebecca Mahoney, a chief marketing officer, and Greg Rosborough, the menswear designer behind Abasi Rosborough, were visiting London, they happened upon turn-of-the-century posters of a performance of William Shakespeare’s "A Midsummer Night’s Dream." They were immediately taken with the whimsical and mysterious illustrations.

“These elements became the starting point for our wedding: to create a dream-like setting, beautiful and natural, with hints of mystery and whimsy,” Rebecca says. “We wanted our guests to feel that they’ve been swept up and transported to a special world for the evening.”

That fantastical realm took place at La Foce, a villa and gardens in Val d’Orcia, a region of Tuscany just south of Siena. After getting engaged on Lake Michigan in the States, Rebecca and Greg flew from home in New York City to Italy to begin the exhausting search for a venue. With his family from the U.S. and Rebecca’s from the U.K., they felt a destination affair in Europe would provide the ethereal vibe they wanted for their families traveling such long distances. They eventually landed on La Foce, which Rebecca picked for its tie to England: when the current owners purchased the villa, they constructed massive English-inspired gardens on the property as part of the renovation. Those, says Rebecca, would be the idyllic venue for their nuptials. 

Another hint of magic came along with the couple’s planners, Laura Bravi and Viviana Tarantino, whom the couple describe as “bold, ambitious, inspiring” and Greg calls “magicians.” They organized everything from flowers to caterers and everything in between. Of course, they lent plenty of Italian touches like an Aperol Spritz bar at cocktail hour.

Quite possibly the most dream-like element, though, was the fashion. Being a CFDA Fashion Fund finalist, Greg designed his own look and those of his groomsmen. Rebecca too had stylish moments of her own. She donned a fairy-like Vera Wang gown that looked as if she were floating across the grass, and really pulled out all the stops for the dance party in a custom Bill Bull dress. “I definitely felt the pressure of marrying a fashion designer!” she says.

Read on for all the details of Rebecca and Greg’s whimsical wedding, planned by Laura Bravi of Laura Bravi Events and Viviana Tarantino of Bianco Antico and photographed by Cinzia Bruschini.

Shhh My Darling designed the couple’s invitations, which included a detailed itinerary of the wedding’s events and an illustrated map of the surrounding region. 

Given Greg’s career as a fashion designer, the couple’s outfits were clearly on point at all times. For their rehearsal dinner, Rebecca wore an asymmetrical ruffled gown from Solace London, a British womenswear brand known for their minimalist bridal looks, and Greg, not surprisingly, wore a look he designed for himself: a modern take on a classic three-piece suit with an eye-catching print on the navy fabric.

The couple wanted to celebrate the best of Italy—a country they say has the best food and wine—so the rehearsal dinner ran with that idea. Guests sat at long tables topped with taper candles dripping in wax.

“I was originally against the idea of a destination wedding because of the logistics involved,” Greg admits. “But when the weekend finally came, we had all of our family and friends in a beautiful villa. We could wake up every morning and have cappuccinos together in the garden. I was so happy.”

Roberta Pellegrino and her team at Nina e I Fiori created the florals for the day, including the boutonnieres with pale blue oxypetalum and blue berries. 

"I studied history so I definitely was happy to wear something old from the UK,” Rebecca says of finding her celestial-inspired earrings at Grays Antiques in London. 

Rebecca’s bridesmaids flew in from four different countries to stand by her side—and be the last ones standing on the dance floor. To honor their individual personalities, she had them each pick their own Shona Joy gown. 

“The location of La Foce, among the rolling hills, vineyards, cypresses, medieval hilltop towns and castles, had been a stop on the pilgrimage from Paris to Rome for centuries,” Rebecca says. “We liked that story as a metaphor for our lives, and for the start of our journey together, to be connected to that history.”

“Vera’s dress hit all the right notes,” Rebecca says of her chiffon and lace, long-sleeved gown. “I wanted something that could fit in with the theme of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in an Italian garden in the late summer, something ethereal and romantic, timeless but unique.” She added a handmade veil from Daphne Newman and shoes from one of her favorite Italian designers, Gianvito Rossi

Rebecca made quite the dramatic entrance into the garden, first solo, then greeted partway down the aisle by her parents, all accompanied by an orchestral version of Des’ree’s song “Kissing You.”

Greg put a rare spin on his wedding day suit. He made his beige menswear from upcycled deadstock fabric he found in an old fabric warehouse in New York. (A choked up groom is everything on the wedding day!)

Rebecca and Greg wed in a traditional ceremony set in front of a massive floral installation wrapped around a stone sculpture—very dreamlike indeed. 

The couple also wrote their own vows, which Rebecca says were a mix of sincerity and humor. They also included a reading as a nod to their shared pup, Rosie, who stayed at home in New York.

The guests lined a pathway of the garden for the newlywed’s exit, filled with the sounds of their classical musicians and the fluttering petals tossed by their friends and family. 

We loved that whimsical romantic sense of mystery for our wedding.

“The characters in A Midsummer Night’s Dream go on several fantastical journeys; it’s about love, but at the end the audience is left to question whether or not it was all just a dream,” Rebecca says. “We loved that whimsical romantic sense of mystery for our wedding.”

After the ceremony, guests transitioned to the lemon garden for a picnic-inspired aperitivo hour. Blankets dotted the lawn and wicker lounge areas made for great conversation as guests sipped an Italian classic, Aperol Spritz, or a nod to Rebecca’s British heritage, a Pimm’s Cup. “Our guests felt like they stepped into a very elegant impressionist painting,” the bride adds.

We wanted our guests to feel that they’ve been swept up and transported to a special world for the evening.

Rebecca’s desire for an alfresco dinner party was fully realized that evening as well. For the reception, guests sat at long tables flanked by cypress trees. Crystal chandeliers hung from greenery to create an invisible “ceiling” and urns filled with overflowing blooms enhanced the magical garden atmosphere. 

Table-wide runners added texture to the ivory linens and the menus were printed on fabric for each place setting. White and blue taper candles accented the low arrangements of roses, greenery, and fruit. It could all easily be a set for a Shakespearean performance. 

An impressive roster of botanicals accented the day, including various types of roses, snapdragons, delphinium, hydrangea, oxypetalum, jasmine branches, sage, and magnolia leaves, plus the very Impressionist-esque bowls of apricots and other fruits. 

“Each course at dinner was selected to represent our favorite dishes we’d had on our trip to Italy,” Rebecca says of the meal, which featured ricotta ravioli in a butter and sage sauce, a beef fillet in a Chianti Classico reduction, and a traditional Italian wedding millefouglie.

“Music was a huge part of the experience, and we wanted to create different atmospheres as the evening’s events unfolded,” Rebecca explains. “We found a singer on Instagram named Cecilia Stallone, who has a spectacular voice. She blew people away.”

The celebration continued in the villa’s limonaia, which the planners had turned into a club-like atmosphere with chandeliers, lounges of vintage furniture, and sweet treats. Before the party and an outfit change by the newlyweds, Rebecca and Greg took their first spin on the dance floor as husband and wife. The song? “River” by Leon Bridges, who happened to be the headliner of the first concert they attended as a couple.

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