Ashley Castaños, 30, married Terrence Brown, 31, at Villa Camilla in Santa Maria Rezzonico on Lake Como on 2nd August 2018. She says:
We knew our wedding would be rather unique and non-traditional. Most of the creative elements of the day evolved over time, but we knew one of the 'main themes' would be our shared love of fashion. Much of what we curated was originally imagined with 'runway show' in mind. We asked our guests to dress in their finest FROW attire. We even set our ceremony up as though the guests were seated for a runway show and our bridesmaids and groomsmen walked down the aisle one by one, so they each had their moment in the spotlight.
Of course, as I already design bridal gowns for my brand Daughters of Simone, I was always going to make my own. I’m a sucker for vintage silk pieces, so I decided early on that that would be the fabric of choice. My mother wore an off-the-shoulder dress on her wedding day and I envisioned doing the same, but mine would have long, billowing sleeves and floral embroidery. I scoured lots of fabric markets and eventually found a vintage embroidered trim which I then customised. You can spot delicate hints of it all over the dress and along its train. My sister made a beautifully simple, very long veil to go with it. I wanted to feel like I was floating even while stood still, and what I wore achieved exactly that.
I had a fantasy that my bridesmaids would don silky slips, gold crowns and pearled capes with flowing trains. I don’t know if this came from obsessing over too many Elie Saab catwalks or binging on Game of Thrones, but this was the look I pulled together for them. I was fortunate enough to collaborate with New Zealand designers Greer and Chelsea, of Leave Her Wilder, to create each of my bridesmaids' outfits. My favourite aspect of each look was the long robe. After many revisions, I settled on sheer, pearl-embroidered and long-trained capes – connecting at the front with tasseled strings. After all, there's only so many opportunities any of us'll get to wear a train.
For the finishing touch, the entire bridal party needed to be adorned with bold jewellery and crowns. I reached out to A. B. Ellie designer Ashley, who was keen to collaborate and design a collection of headpieces, necklaces and earrings for us. Ashley and I created a golden gem-encrusted headpiece for me to wear. It looked like vines and wildflowers were entwined through my hair and looked perfect with my veil. I laid out the other pieces we'd made for my maids and invited them to deck themselves out with whatever they liked. I hoped this would feel like a princess moment for them. It was a way of thanking them for everything they'd done for me.
Terrence embraced the fashion-forward theme just as much. He chose burgundy tuxedos for himself and his groomsmen, which were covered in bespoke embroidery by El Patcha Embroidery. He wanted to emulate a Valentino collection he'd admired a few years back and chose to incorporate intricate details and southwestern symbols into each man's suit. Terrence has a distinct fashion sense and these custom-made tuxes complemented his style (and his crew) brilliantly.
Photographs by Lilly Red