Letterpress real wedding: Patricia & Richard – Pollenzo, Italy – Empire design

The wedding of Patricia & Richard // in Pollenzo, Bra, Italy (a very small town in Piemonte Italy and home to the Slow Food University) // Empire letterpress wedding invitation in emerald green

Our client coordinator Andrea handled the coordination of the save the dates, invitations, and reception pieces for this gorgeous destination wedding. Andrea writes: “Patricia has been one of my biggest joys here at Bella Figura. Since our first contact, each morning I looked forward to sharing snippets of Italian in our emails and learning more about her beautiful wedding in Pollenzo, Italy. Her proposal story is one that I have shared and shared again (I’m sure other Bella staff could retell it better than me at this point) and upon seeing photos of her wedding I teared up. There is no more rewarding feeling than to grow fond of someone while helping them during one of their happiest times, and then finally seeing who they are and getting to peek at such a marvelous day. Words simply cannot express the joy that working here brings.” We talked with Patricia more about her incredible celebration….

What was your inspiration for your wedding?
Rick and I are both of Italian heritage. During the years that we dated, we sometimes talked about a ‘little wedding’ in a hilltop town in Italy somewhere. We traveled together to Milan and Torino, visiting the Lakes Region and Piemonte and fell in love with the region, the food and wine and most importantly the people. We knew it would be a memorable trip for our family and dearest friends.

Real Weddings - Patricia & Richard - Bella Figura

What was your favorite moment?
There were so many. “Saying Si…..instead of I do” ! Sitting with Rick at our little table during the reception while our children toasted our happiness and long life together, my son making his toast without notes, completely in Italian! Watching Rick toast his guests, handsome and so happy. Listening to our guests marvel at the view from Cascina Langhe, a restaurant at the top of the Langhe with 360 degree views of the world! Walking through the garden on the arms of my sons and seeing Rick and my daughters waiting for me. Watching my grandson licking the chocolate from the sides of the wedding cake. Watching Rick dance as an Italian band played Elvis “Burnin’ Love”!

Tell us about the proposal!
Real Weddings - Patricia & Richard - Bella Figura

Several months after returning home from a trip to England, Rick told me that we had been invited to a surprise birthday party, given by an English friend for his new wife. Several more months went by and Rick happily announced that the party was to be in Paris at the Plaza Athenee Hotel during the month of April. We planned our trip, he rented a little apartment for the week and we departed Philadelphia the day after Easter. Our children are grown and I was happy that they had all made their own plans for Easter, each visiting another relative or staying at school. We arrived in Paris early in the morning, met the car and driver who took us to our little apartment. We quickly unpacked, Rick wanted to go to the top of the towers at Notre Dame and we knew the lines would be long. A quick Metro ride and we were faced with a sizable line, Rick quickly deciding not to wait but rather to take a walk. We wandered into the garden next to the cathedral filled with visitors admiring the flowers in bloom and enjoying the gorgeous sunny day. Rick and I were admiring the view of the cathedral when he got down on one knee, reached into his pocket for the ring and asked me to be his wife. The real secret was that Rick had arranged for all of our children to be in Paris at the same time, my son was in the garden taking photos of the proposal! I didn’t see him however, and wouldn’t realize the kids (we have 7 between us) were in Paris until we went to dinner that night and was surprised as the waiter ushered us to a private dining room full of family! Astonishing!!

How did your invitation capture the mood of your wedding?
My dress was embellished with beautiful ruched silk ribboning applied in a continuous florentine pattern. We looked for a simple, elegant invitation, one that would evoke the feeling of the only design element we had at the time and appropriate for a second wedding. The colors of the Italian countryside in early autumn were the inspiration for the color of the ink and the envelope liners. The light at this time of year is soft and the vineyards are still green.

Real Weddings - Patricia & Richard - Bella Figura

Did your wedding have a theme?
Being in Italy in autumn at the foot of the Alps and the Dolomites is theme enough! We took classes in the Italian language, took our vows in Italian and requested the mayor to conduct the ceremony completely in Italian. We planned a typical menu from the Piemonte region of Italy, using all of the local customs, food and wide that we could incorporate.

Three adjectives that describe your big day are:
Elegant, Loving, Astonishing

What was your favourite wedding detail?
The Italian traditions and ceremony.

Favorite design element of your big day
The beautiful swirling of the Empire invitation was repeated throughout other design elements of the wedding.

What did you love about working with Bella Figura?
Every single person at Bella Figura is talented, professional and extremely creative. Each question I asked was thoughtfully answered, each design idea presented in a timely, thorough manner and I always felt as though they cared about our wedding. Some days it was the excitement of the Bella Figura staff that saw me through the stressful moments!

What advice would you give to someone planning their wedding?
Make it YOUR wedding and be careful not to get caught up in the ‘spend, spend, spend’ trap that seems to follow every part of a wedding plan. We worked hard to keep our wedding about our families and friends, to show them places and introduce them to new experiences instead of spending a lot of money on things that wouldn’t be important after the ceremony was over.

What’s next for you as a couple?
A B & B in the Piemonte region of Italy. This region is so spectacular and relatively un-touristed. It is possible to visit little towns and cities and be completely immersed in the Italian culture, yet get to the coast, the mountains, and eat some of the most spectacular food while drinking equally spectacular wine!


Photographer: Sora DeVore Photography, Washington DC. // Wedding Dress and Brides Outfit for dinner the night before: Oscar de la Renta // Bridesmaids dresses: Oscar de la Renta, Carmen Marc Valvo, Moschino // Shoes: Manolo Blahnik and Stuart Weitzman // Wedding Consultant: Valentina Lombardi, SposiamoVi, Torino Italy // Wedding Venue: Albergo Dell Agenzia, Pollenzo, Italy // Rehearsal Dinner: Cascina Langhe, La Morra, Italy // Florist: Gemma Florist, Asti, Italy // Accomodations: Villa Sampaguita, Asti, Italy, // Ca D’Olga: La Morra, Italy, Grand Hotel Sitea, Torino, Italy // Wedding website: // Wedding rings: Bernie Robbins, St. Davids, PA // Wedding jewelry: Van Cleef and Arpels // Wedding cufflinks for the groom: Mikimoto // Wedding cufflinks for the groom: Antique opal and gold from Torino, Italy // Grooms suit: Boyds, Philadelphia, PA ( I forget the designer…Armani maybe) // Band: Attack Boogie, Genova, Italy