We're used to certain visions of Italy; the iconic images of Positano and the Amalfi Coast, the stunning rolling hills of Tuscan with it's picturesque villages or the little fishing villages of Southern Italy and Sicily, so it's nice to see something a little different coming from this adored country. Captured by VALENTINA OPRANDI this shoot took place in Lake Como set amongst some ruins.

"The coming back to one’s own origins is overwhelming during the most important moments in our lives. Mei has always heard to stories about her homeland from her grandparents, since she was a little girl. Her grandmother always told her about the value of traditional clothes, about how important the choice of the right fabric is and its symbolic meaning. She always told her how nature, in Japan, merged into a whole with the traditional houses and how the relation with nature gave an absolute peace to someone’s soul. But Mei was born and raised in America, and she could just imagine those Japanese traditions. Both she and Collin dreamt of having their wedding in Italy.

They wanted a place in where nature could have embraced them in a hug; and Lake of Como, with its hills, the mist and the blue of the water that highlights everything, let her think about what her grandmother used to tell her in her stories which was hugely satisfying..

Before the wedding Mei wore her mother’s Kimono and she refreshed herself in the crystal clear Lake’s water. The first encounter between Mei and Collin was among the ruins of the Island, a few steps away from the location chosen for the ceremony; set inside the crypt, a semicircle created by greenery and flowers, candles and light blue silk. A semicircle around the newlywed symbolising a hug around them.

The reception tables were set up inside the ruins. It was tried to create an elegant, but at the same time new, style. It was chosen a light and long tablecloth that glided over the stones, a mise – en –place with pewter dishes and glasses decorated of “Bottega di Corte”, placeholder on fabric hand-painted calligraphy by Poetycalligraphy, hand-dyed napkins, all decorated with many candlesticks and lighted candles.

Florist CHIARA SPERTI created a stunning centerpiece over flowing with blooms in pastel tones. Complementing this the bridal bouquet followed suit and featured a mixture of dried and fresh flowers. The bride wears a dress by ELISABETTA DOLOGU, a dress full of details (flowers and beads) on the bodice, and a skirt that falls smooth and with simplicity, following the body’s lines.

For the stationery a grey stone paper, transparent tissue and white cotton paper were used; there also were some elements coming from nature, hand – painted with grey ink. The “Save the Date” consists of two sheets: the first in cotton paper with the painting of the location with watercolours, with the upper part in vellum paper with a grey calligraphy."