Lara & Patrick’s Fairytale Wedding in Italy

Lara and Patrick share their dream wedding story with us…

Something about each of us:

Patrick and I are both from Pretoria. Went to school at Pretoria Boys/Girls High same year however we did not know each other back in school. I went to the Univestiry of the Freestate and Patrick went to TUKS. I have a degree in corporate communications and Patrick is a Charted accountant working as a succesful financial director at Mafadi Property Management. We are both extroverts and love entertaining people, goign away with friends or organising our next trip. We have a close bond with our families and love to spend time on a Sunday with a big feats, champagne in hand sharing and rememberign fun memories.

How we met:

Patrick and I met each other at Deloitte Johannesburg where we both worked. In the canteen one afternoon of all places while having lunch with friends. We went for drinks shortly after that and we really liked each other. Little did I know a few days after that meeting Patrick moved to the US for 6 months. 40 000 whatsapps later (yes they were counted, automatically) we went on our first date the weekend he was back. The rest is literally history. We dated from that day onwards and have now all in all know each other for four years.

The proposal:

Patrick is a man of many talents and amazing ideas. He planned the engagement for months and finally decided. Lara had done some of her own planning for Patrick’s big 30, totally oblivious to the fact that the big question was coming her way. They set off together, for the Big Apple! Family and a couple of friends had lost finger nails and grown grey hair, from their departure to the actual day of the big question.

Miraculously, the engagement remained a well-kept secret, until Patrick went down on one knee and asked …”Will you spend the rest of your life with me?”
Lara was so overwhelmed it took a few seconds for any words to come out of her mouth. In the meanwhile, Patrick was experiencing knee problems while anxiously awaiting for a response.
Lara eventually reacted to the situation and said… “Yes, yes, yes,” until it echoed into the skyline.
She focused her attention on securing the glittering solitaire on her finger. The man himself had chosen, designed and secretly secured it in his luggage, for the trip to New York.
Later, Lara mulled over the incredible feat. Keeping the secret was no mean task. There had been signs, but she hadn’t joined the dots. Patrick unpacking his suitcase on arrival, for the first time EVER, should have been a giveaway. Patrick’s panic about the biltong in the bag, was a red flag.
“What if we get searched?” he’d screeched.
“We will be, if you carry on like a maniac,” Lara had muttered through clenched teeth, unaware of the precious little box hidden in Patrick’s hand luggage.

So the engagement was a once in a lifetime experience! Patrick had set the bar so high, his friends had a zero chance of beating it. In fact, some of them are only just beginning to forgive him!
So now what? How does one top such a mind-blowingly romantic experience? Could the wedding match it…?

The idea for our Italian destination wedding:

My husband and I wanted something small and different, Italy for four days of celebrations sounded daunting but worth it. We had 58 guests for four days in Italy. We wanted to submerge ourselves in the town and culture as well as celebrate us as best we could. Day one consisted of lawn games and gin bars a meet and greet, followed by an authentic pasta evening served by a local caterer. Day two consisted of a 48km bike ride with guides taking us through the history of three magnificent small ancient historic towns in the area. The evening was ended off with an authentic pizza evening served and prepared by the one and only oldest pizza restaurant in town. Day three we were all off to Verona for the day via public transport to eat speak and experience the culture. The evening ended off at an Agri Turismo a self sufficient farm where everything they serve is grown on the actual farm. This was a taste bud experience like no other. Day four was wedding day all black formal. The wedding was hosted at the actual villa and catering was done by a world class caterer in a neighboring town.

The idea for the wedding came about as a combination of fairy tales. Lara and Patrick had been invited to and attended 19 weddings together. They wanted something completely different, unique to them and simply, a longer celebration. And so the idea was born.
The couple’s closest family and friends will gather at a villa in the small town of Bartolomeo, south of Verona and in the heart of the Lombardy wine fields. The wedding will be reminiscent of “the good old days.” Celebrations, sightseeing, Romeo & Juliet’s balcony, being serenaded on a Venetian gondola…and finally the wedding reception.

The proceedings will be translated from Afrikaans to English and then to Italian, as the couple’s guests hail from South Africa, England, Canada and America. The ancient villa provides the perfect backdrop for the ceremony and a local chef and his team have concocted a spectacular menu, taking tastes and requests into account. The various activities leading up to and including the special day, will be arranged and led by hand-picked guests from the wedding party. Italian wines will enhance the celebrations and all that is left to do is celebrate the couple’s union, friends and family, traditions, excitement, different cultures, joy, beauty and love. Here’s to making meaningful memories, during Patrick and Lara’s idyllic destination wedding adventure!

Special touches:

The whole wedding was a team effort, every guest had a task on the day and this made for lots of fun unity and a very special day. From the table decor, the lawn games and gin bar all set up and prepared by our guests.

Having a small wedding and being able to mingle with everyone comes highly recommended and adds a special intimate touch. We also celebrated our wedding over four days which made sure all our guests were like family by the time the big day rolled in.

What our wedding meant to us:

I had a vision and a lot people were skeptical. Patrick and I pulled off not only an incredible fairytale wedding we created an experience that made memories for a lifetime. Our wedding could not have been more perfect. The wedding was filled with laughter, happy tears and lots of love and that was what we wanted it to mean not only to us but to everyone who attended.


Suggested Vendors include the following

Venue: Villa Milla

Photographer: Hanri Human

Planner/ Coordinator: Bride

Hair & Makeup: Bridesmaids MAC makeup Cecile Bester / Tamzyn Claasen

Dress: Pronovias

Catering & food: Pergola

Cake: Pergola

Décor: Bride’s Mom, Sunette Krogh

Flowers: From the venue’s garden, done by bride’s Mom, Sunette Krogh

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