Inside a fairytale garden wedding in Italy


Lucie Clark has dedicated to SugarEvents an article on Vogue Australia. Here you can find the story of Hannah and Andrea’s wedding, a lovely couple who lived a wonderful fairytale. They got married on the 1st of July at Villa Castelbarco, a beautiful estate just outside Milan. They had an amazing Jewish wedding with more than 300 guests. The SugarEvents team are proud to have been involved in creating such a memorable day. 

Lucie Clark – Australian Vogue

“Hannah, I’ve just met your husband,” was the fateful phone call Hannah Grossberg, designer and artist of resort wear brand Hannah Art Wear, received from her best friend in 2017. And in just two short years those words would come true when Hannah and the gentleman in question, chief financial officer of an Italian company, Andrea Kraus, tied the knot in an elegant fairytale wedding at the Villa Castelbarco estate just outside Milan, Italy.

Back in 2017 Andrea had recently moved from Milan to Sydney and happened to be at the same dinner at a newly-opened Italian restaurant in Double Bay in Sydney as Hannah’s best friend. Hannah’s best friend played cupid and Hannah says the couple’s relationship blossomed seamlessly from there: “A few negronis later, a couple of beach swims, tuna salads at Camp Cove, WhatsApps using Google Translate, hustling through the day in the Hannah Art Wear pop-up, midnight kisses in the Volvo [and] days become weeks and [then] months.”

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Hannah says she almost immediately knew Andrea was the “the one” because of how she felt around Andrea and the way he connected with her family. “I knew he was the one as I almost immediately felt the best version of myself around Andrea. There was an instant understanding and openness. I also loved the way he connected to my family and could feel how much they adored him too.”

Andrea also felt their connection straight away and in true fairytale style fell in love with Hannah at first sight. “I fell in love with Hannah at first sight. Her brightness, happiness for life and sunshine completed my days and made me realise how important it is to have someone next to you with this type of energy.”

Fast forward to September 17, 2018 and Hannah found herself on an “exquisite” beach in Italy with Andrea, where her now-husband overcame his pre-proposal nerves and surprised Hannah by popping the question. “We had arrived at the most exquisite beach I have ever seen in my entire life called San Fruttuoso,” Hannah reflected. Adding: “A tiny beach with a castle that melts into the sea. The only problem was that Andrea felt nauseous (which I later realised was nervousness) and it was raining, but nevertheless it was so romantic. We had a swim in the rain and as we sat down I found a box in my chair! It was absolutely out of the blue, the best surprise ever. And still to this day we reminisce about how beautiful it was.”

With such a fairytale love story and romantic proposal the couple’s wedding was always going to follow this narrative with special romantic meaning and touches throughout, starting with their wedding date. The couple selected a particular date that had special meaning to Andrea. Hannah says her groom “always wanted to marry the week of his bar mitzvah” and they selected July 1 (in 2019) for that reason.

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The venue was next, with the couple landing on an old estate set in extensive grounds, Villa Castelbarco, just outside Milan (where a number of the other weekend wedding events were being held). “Villa Castelbarco is an old estate with magnificent gardens and a sense of huge volume and space,” Hannah says. Adding: “We fell in love with the place where the actual ceremony was: a 100-metre long aisle with green trees, flowers and birds, it took our breath away.”

The theme and style of the couple’s wedding — “an elegant fairytale” — reflected the beautiful location as well as the couple, incorporating elements into the wedding that called on Hannah’s artistic talents. “The style and theme of our wedding was a reflection of not only the place but also me and Andrea,” Hannah shared, adding, “we wanted it to be an elegant fairytale, to also connect with the place and the Italian culture. I also created all of the textiles, paper stationary and bridesmaids dresses in India where my brand is all made. Hand-beading, embroidery, wood-block print and natural dyes were the processes that crafted all the details of our special day.”

Planning a wedding in Italy from Australia wasn’t without challenges but Hannah said their wedding planner, Daniela Galimberti from SugarEvents, made the process go smoothly along with help from Andrea’s family, who “scouted” the area and found their perfect venue, Villa Castelbarco.

Hannah further shared that her designer’s aesthetic came into play when planning the theme and styling for the day. “As a designer I’m always inspired by aesthetics around me and I knew exactly what I wanted which made decision making very easy. Hannah Art Wear is crafted in Rajasthan and so I sourced a lot of my ideas when working there. You can plan and choose but never actually see how it’s going to look in the end. The lights, candles, flowers, textiles, and place settings all came together so beautifully, a fairytale!!”

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As for her dress, Hannah confessed that she didn’t have an idea beforehand of what kind of dress she would want, only that she wanted to be a “classic bride”. The dress she ended up choosing — a romantic Elie Saab gown via Helen Rodrigues Bridal — was only the second dress she tried on, but knew it was “the one”. “I had no idea what dress I would wear to my wedding but I always knew I wanted to be a classic bride. My dress was the second dress I ever tried on and like most things with me, I knew straight away! The construction of an Elie Saab bridal dress was beyond anything I’ve experienced, it was as if I was part of the dress! I felt the best I have ever felt and at the same time felt true to myself.”

On the day, Hannah and her 11 bridesmaids got ready together, which Hannah says was so special and she also had a memorable moment with her parents just before walking down the aisle: “The morning of my wedding was a lot of make-up artists, hairdressers, hugs, kisses and so much support and love!! To have the most beautiful women in my life supporting me was absolutely divine, a real honour. Moments before walking down was the most spiritual moment for me, my mother and father to stop and take in the most incredible moment that was all about to happen!”

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Reflecting on the day, Hannah says that walk down the aisle will forever be in her heart: “It was an experience that you can’t explain or anticipate. I have it in my heart forever.” She also noted that an unexpected thunderstorm moments before she took that memorable walk down the aisle, not only cooled everything down but added to the entire fairytale “Disney movie feeling” of the day.

Along with the wedding ceremony itself the couple had a number of other wedding events for the weekend, which Hannah says set the tone for their special day. “We had Friday night Shabbat and Saturday morning synagogue. These events were really important as they set the tone and traditions that grounded our special day.” The couple honeymooned in the Maldives on their way home from Europe.

Scroll on to see more of Hannah and Andrea’s magical day.

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Hannah shares a moment with her bridesmaids, who wore designs from her label, Hannah Art Wear.

Hannah’s bridal hair and make-up were both by Joanna Luhrs.

The bride has a happy moment pre-wedding.

The bride and groom in the beautiful gardens of the villa. The couple’s rings were from Jeff Einstein Jewellery.

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The bride and her guests enjoy a fun moment at the wedding reception.

The flowers were by Paolo Muciaccia and the catering (and cake) were from Spagnuolo.

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The groom wore a custom-made suit from a tailor Hannah says he will never name, in keeping with an “An Italian tradition to keep your tailor a secret!”

The beautiful reception venue in the grounds of the estate.

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Fireworks and cake to celebrate the day. The bride and groom take in the spectacular fireworks display.

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Click here to read the article on Vogue Australia.