BAZAAR Bride: Ksenia and Samuel's Intimate Italian Adventure
BAZAAR Bride: Ksenia and Samuel's Intimate Italian Adventure.Photo: BAZAAR Bride: Ksenia and Samuel's Intimate Italian AdventureSee inside real bride Ksenia's stunning wedding ceremony at a private estate in Lucca, Tuscany.Provided by Bauer Media Pty Ltd. Pictures may be protected by copyright.
See inside real bride Ksenia's stunning wedding ceremony at a private estate in Lucca, Tuscany.
At BAZAAR , we're all about finding wedding inspiration wherever it may come from. And that often comes from you, our readers. Overwhelmed by the sheer quantity (and quality) of stylish weddings that are submitted for the Real Brides section of our annual BAZAAR Bride issue, we're taking things online so these stunning celebrations each get their moment to shine. Today, we're showcasing the wedding of Ksenia and Samuel. Ksenia, a professional model and wedding planner, married Los Angeles-based wedding photographer Samuel in small yet extravagant ceremony at a private estate in the historic Italian city of Lucca. Given the bride and groom's areas of expertise, they planned the stunning event themselves, from the ceremony, set in a grove of cypress trees, to the stunning, light-filled photography and authentic, fresh Italian menu. The Bride's Little Black Book Dress: Michael Costello Bridesmaid dresses: Jenny Yoo Wedding shoes: Badgley Mishka Groom's suit: Evan DeLaney Groom's Shoes: Jimmy Choo Hair: Alexandre Deslauriers Makeup: Alexandre Deslauriers Jewellery: Rings by Susie Saltzman, cufflinks by Tatossian Flowers: Puscina Flowers Ceremony and reception location: Private Residence, Lucca, Tuscany, Italy Catering/Rentals: Galateo Wedding planner: Ksenia Lippke Invitations: Copper Willow Calligraphy: Jill Velez Photography: Samuel Lippke Studios, Matthew Land, Ira Lippke Entertainment: Fabio Mdj Susannah Guthrie BAZAAR Bride: Ksenia and Samuel's Intimate Italian Adventure On how they met: We met in Miami during Swim Week. Samuel was photographing a bikini campaign and I was in town walking runway shows. We met at a photoshoot and then parted ways. I went back to Toronto (where I was living at the time) and Samuel went back to Los Angeles. I already had plans to move to Los Angeles in a few months. We kept in touch and both knew there was something very special but didn't want to get ahead of ourselves. A few months later, when I moved to L.A., we became inseparable. On the proposal: Samuel proposed to me in Tulum, Mexico on September 7, 2018. We were on a trip with our friends. Samuel told me that the light was so beautiful outside and i should get into a pretty flow dress and we should get a few beautiful photos on the beach. It felt very natural, we do so many of these quick amazing shoots all the time. At some point, Samuel said he wanted to take a self-timer photo of us (fair enough, we do that sometimes because we rarely get photos of us together). I agreed and didn't suspect anything. I even started posing for a photo when Samuel set up the phone (little did I know he started video). All of a sudden he dropped on one knee with a stunning ring asking to marry him. It was a complete surprise. I dropped on both of my knees in complete shock, happy crying and unable to even say 'yes' because it was an obvious 'absolutely 100000% yes!'. I said 'YES' 100 yards from the place where we went together 4 years earlier. This special moment followed with a bottle of ice cold champagne that Samuel hid earlier in the bushes, tequila shots that our friends delivered to congratulate us and a very intimate surf & turf candle lit dinner on the beach just two of us. On the vision for the day: Samuel has been photographing some of the most beautiful weddings around the world for 15 years and I have been in the industry for six years. When Samuel proposed, we immediately knew that we wanted to have an intimate wedding. We want to get married in Italy surrounded by Tuscan hills where wine would flow, our favorite people, friends and family will be with us to share and celebrate love. On the rehearsal dinner: We also wanted to have our guests experience the nearby town of Lucca which was built in180 BC. It is said it is the most overlooked town in Italy and it is truly a hidden gem. So, we organised to have our rehearsal dinner in town in the main square which was a complete opposite experience to the wedding. On her arrival and exit from the ceremony: We got ready at the villa where the wedding celebrations took place. It was very interesting that the master bedroom where I was getting her hair and make up done was right above the room where Samuel was getting ready and it had a Juliet balcony overlooking the aisle and the tree/altar where I would later walk down to get married. After the ceremony, we walked back to the cocktail hour area where our guests surprised us by showering us with rose petals. On finding the dress: When we got engaged, I instantly knew that I want my friend Michael Costello design my dream wedding gown. He and I met in New York when I walked for him at NYFW in 2015. Since then we have worked together numerous times and remained friends. Michael is an amazing designer. He is down to earth despite working with celebrities, extremely hard working, talented and he really understands the essence of a woman. All I knew is that I want to have sleeves and a flowy skirt but I trusted Michael and wanted to give him the freedom of design. Michael has an extremely busy schedule and I travel a lot as well, so when my friends and family found out i still didn't have my dress a month before the wedding everyone was freaking out. I remained calm because Michael is a true magician. On finding the dress: A week before we travelled to Italy we finally met up and Michael instantly knew what he wanted to do for the dress. He created an exquisite couture gown with a hint of blush (I never imagined my dress being blush but it was so perfect!). The bodice was created with delicate French lace. The skirt had a high slit which was only visible when I walked, it made me feel very sexy. In addition, the dress had gorgeous off the shoulder bishop sleeves that I removed after the ceremony. On the makeup and hair: We had had a high-end makeup artist and hair stylist, Alexandre Deslauriers, fly in from Montreal to work his magic. I didn't want a typical wedding makeup artist. I have worked with Alexandre numerous times at the photoshoots and i trusted that he will create an elevated fashion look on me. My biggest nightmare is when a bride looks like she's wearing a ton of make up. Alexandre really prepped my skin and used very light products which made me look glowy and fresh. He did a little smokey eye with shades of brown and golds and individual eyelashes to accentuate my blue eyes. For my hair, I wanted to have it down and have a soft natural wave. On the accessories: I didn't want to take away from my dress by wearing too many accessories. I wore earrings that were given to me by Michael to complete my look. My engagement ring (which I am obsessed with) and a little gold ring on my pinky which was passed in our family. I had a little purse in a shape of a seashell by Emm Kuo designs (NYC-based accessories designer). On the bridesmaids' looks: My bridesmaids are based in Toronto, so they did a few salon visits and dress hunting on their own to figure out what style made them feel beautiful and complimented their bodies. I gave them a choice of a couple of different colours. My maid of honour chose icy blue and my other bridesmaid opted for light peach. Together with my blush wedding gown, the dresses looked so magical and fit the perfect backdrops of Tuscany. On the groom's look: Samuel wanted a classic, timeless black tie look. He wore a custom bespoke black suit by Colorado Springs based Bespoke Evan Delaney, a crisp white dress shirt with french cuffs and a black bow tie. He wore black "Thame" Jimmy Choo Slippers to complete the look. On the groomsmen's looks: Samuel asked his groomsmen to wear black suits, a white shirt with a hand-tied bowtie and loafers. He loved the idea of the groomsmen looking classic and timeless. On the location: For our wedding day we were looking for a place in Tuscany in Italy that wouldn't be a typical wedding venue. We had a few options and narrowed it down to this incredible private residence high in the hills of Lucca, Tuscany. The owner was very sweet and accommodating, the photos of the place were beautiful but when we visited it in the spring we were blown away. It was even more perfect in real life! On the significance of the location: The way everything came together feels like it was meant to be. Lucca is an absolutely magical town that none of our guests ever visited before. We don't know anyone who got married there, so it feels like it is our spot. We are planning on coming back there as often as we possibly can. We can't wait to go back to the villa where we got married with our children one day. Was there anything the groom was particularly keen on including in the wedding? Samuel was very hands on when it came to planning the wedding which made it more fun to work together as a team and bring OUR vision to life. Since his proposal, Samuel's Mom was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and passed away in December. We were really hoping she would be there in Italy celebrating with us. So it was extremely important for Samuel that we 'welcome Mom to the ceremony' with us. After he walked down the aisle, first thing he did was light a candle next to a photo of her to make sure she was with us in spirit. On the style of the reception: We wanted to have a sit-down formal dinner and indulge into fine Italian cuisine and wines while enjoying the views of the Tuscan hills and that perfect summer breeze. During the reception, we only planned to have our best man and maid of honour doing the speeches. It was a complete sweetest surprise to us that so many more of our friends and family wanted to speak, share their stories about us, say the kindest words and give us their blessings and best wishes. We couldn't stop crying happy tears and laughing at the same time. It was incredible. Was there an outfit change for the reception? I wanted to wear my wedding gown for as long as I possibly could. So, I decided not to change into a 'party dress'. Instead, Michael made my bishop sleeves easily removable. So I took them off after the ceremony and it totally transformed the look. On the guests: We were very selective when inviting people. We thought 'who are our friends, who do we want to have in our lives and share these intimate moment and build incredible memories with?'. Planning a wedding was an interesting experience because it showed us who our true friends are. We had 48 guests and six kids come to our wedding. Everyone travelled from all over the world: California, New York, Texas, Washington, Canada, Russia and Saudi Arabia. It was so humbling to have so many of our friends and family make an effort and travel across the world wanting to celebrate love and our union. Every single person who attended our wedding was so special, it is impossible to choose 'a favourite'. However, Ksenia's 80-year-old grandma from Russia who wore a fascinator, delivered a speech in English and danced the night away definitely stole the hearts. On the drinks: We wanted to make sure that upon arrival guests have a glass of champagne that they could sip on during the ceremony. Aperitif started off with Aperol Spritzers and more sparkling wine. During the dinner, each course was paired with fine Italian wine that we chose during our tasting. In addition, our friend Joseph Wagner owner of Copper Cane winery in St. Helena CA, surprised us with a Jeroboam bottle of their red wine, Belle Glos with 'Ksenia & Samuel Lippke, Lucca Italy June 6th 2019' engraved onto the 5L bottle. We didn't have any 'signature cocktails' but guests enjoyed champagne, wine, beer and spirits during dancing. We love tequila, so it wasn't a surprise to have tequila shots flowing throughout the dance party. On the food: One of the best things we have done during the planning process was visit Italy in advance and do menu tasting. For the first course, we had an arugula salad with pachino tomatoes, beets and shaved parmigiano cheese. We figured everyone will be eating a lot of pasta while in Italy, so we chose to serve risotto with fresh pecorino mushrooms and black truffle. For main course, we had champagne and lemon sea bass fillet on a bed of vegetables filange. For dessert, we chose to have Tiramisu. Every single guest was raving about food and said that this is the best meal they have ever had at a wedding. On the first dance song: We chose 'Perfect' by Ed Sheeran for our first dance, we absolutely love the lyrics and the sound of the song. Throughout the song, we welcomed all of our friends and family to join us on the dance floor. On the photography: Photos were the most important thing to us and being that Samuel has been in the industry for 15 years we knew exactly what we wanted. One of Samuel's childhood friends has photographed weddings with Samuel numerous times and we loved the idea of having him with us to document and capture all of our important moments during the week. Ira Lippke, Samuel's brother and Best Man is also a world renowned fine art wedding photographer. He had his camera on hand and directed the shoot of us in the most beautiful scenes. On the most memorable moment of the day: Samuel—"Right after the ceremony one of my groomsmen put an Aperol Spritz in my hand, our friends and family surrounded Ksenia and I and showered us with rose petals. It was such a fun surprise. So many hugs and kisses and love from our guests ushered us into the cocktail hour. Another favourite moment was watching Ksenia come down the aisle for our ceremony, I kept telling myself to hold it together and not start ugly crying, I held it together for the most part and soaked up every second of that moment seeing her coming down the aisle to me. My best men speeches from each of my brothers was such a highlight and makes me tear up just thinking back about it." On the most memorable moment of the day: Ksenia—"It is extremely hard to choose the most memorable moment of the day. I absolutely loved exchanging our vows. Our ceremony was very heartfelt, not a dry eye in sight. Also, it was absolutely incredible when we walked in for our dinner and sat down at the table. I remember looking around and starting to tear again, just realising how lucky and loved we are to have our favourite people here with us at one table in Italy." On her advice for future brides: Enjoy being engaged. Don't rush into planning your wedding. Your entire life you have either a boyfriend or a husband, enjoy calling each other 'fiance', it is so romantic. Find the things that are important to you (i.e. photography, food, music). You want to have a good team behind your back that you trust. Planning your wedding can be very stressful, everyone is asking questions, lots of people tell you what to do, the costs add up and there are a lot of decisions to be made. Try to have fun with it, take breaks when it feels overwhelming. During stressful times, love on each other, open a bottle of wine, put on some beautiful music and remind yourself why you are getting married and planning a wedding.