grazia + stephan rw - featured image

A Lake Maggiore Wedding of Dreams


May 26, 2023
Words by Jessie Allen
Photos courtesy of Matteo Rossi Fotografia

Maria Grazia and Stéphan’s story began when they were in their twenties. Grazia, half Italian (and born and raised by Lake Maggiore), had just moved to Middiddelburg, Netherlands from Brussels, Belgium.

“It sounds like a cliche,” the bride says, “but it was love at first sight. I thought Stéphan was the most handsome man I had ever seen and Stéphan was determined to end up with me.”

As their love blossomed, they decided not to rush into marriage. However, in August 2021, after 11 years together, Stéphan finally proposed to Grazia on Isola Bella, with the breathtaking view of Isola dell’Amore on Lake Maggiore, Italy. Grazia had been eagerly anticipating this moment for a long time, and when he proposed, she was overwhelmed with joy. Unable to contain their excitement, they immediately called their family and friends from the garden of Isola Bella. Grazia discovered that Stephan had gone about everything in the proper way, seeking her mother’s blessing before proposing. Her mother had known all along and managed to keep it a secret.

When it came time to plan their wedding, they had no doubt about the perfect location: Lake Maggiore. For the ceremony, they chose the Basilica di San Vittore.

“I used to go to school behind this church before we moved to Varese. I hold so many childhood memories in Intra,” Grazia says. “I was only five years old when I watched the video of my parents getting married in the Basilica, since then I have dreamt of walking down that isle.”

The reception would take place in the Villa Rusconi-Clerici, somewhere the couple visited a year before getting engaged and had fallen in love with. Its typical Italian villa look and prime location directly by the lake made the venue a no-brainer decision.

Assisting the couple throughout the planning process was Rose from Wanderlust Wedding & Events. Grazia was already a follower of Rose on social media and admired her style. When they needed a wedding planner, they knew Rose would be the perfect match.

“We selected a wedding planner whose style matched ours, and since Stéphan is Dutch and he wanted to take part in the planning process we wanted a planner who could also communicate with him,” Grazia says.

With Wanderlust Events on board, the bride’s vision of a traditional Italian wedding with a modern twist came to life. Grazia wore a white tulle dress by Nicole Milano, adorned with an embroidered bustier. Stéphan, on the other hand, looked dashing in a tailored tuxedo by the artisans at Michael & Giso.

“If we would have gotten married in the Netherlands, we had invited way more people. However, now we only invited people very close to us which made the wedding very intimate and special,” the bride explains.

Following the ceremony, Grazia and Stéphan took some time for themselves and arrived at the venue by boat. The atmosphere became even more enchanting during the al fresco dinner, catered by Le Muse Banqueting. Fiori Quotidiani meticulously crafted timeless and elegant flower arrangements that perfectly complemented the venue and the church.

What made this wedding truly personal was the intentional connection to the couple’s story. Every choice they made, from the lakeside villa to the church and even the wedding date (which coincided with the proposal date), was a reflection of their deeper memories, creating an everlasting experience.

“Take your time,” the couple advises, “we planned our wedding a year in advance which was perfect according to us. In addition, getting married will cost you some money – but you will enjoy the nice memories days and years afterward. And, this is priceless.”

Vendors: Photographer: Matteo Rossi Fotografia; Wedding Planner: Wanderlust Wedding & Events; Ceremony Site: Basilica di San Vittore; Reception Site: Villa Rusconi Clerici; Florist: Fiori Quotidiani; Stationery: Stijlvolle Trouwkaarten; Cake: Le Muse Banqueting; Hair & Makeup: Dick Igounet Salon Igounet; Gown: Nicole Milano & BruidsPaleis; Groom’s Clothing Designer: Michael & Giso; Videography: LV Production; Catering:  Le Muse Banqueting

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