When Lee Sieradzki, co-founder of Stay Beyond, and Gaia Sieradzki, a community manager for WeWork, decided on a destination wedding in Tuscany, they hired Design Anarchy by Chic Weddings to help plan an upscale circus-themed event. The pair chose Il Borro, a luxury resort owned by the Ferragamo family, to host their three-day party.
We’re chatting with the two co-founders of the Italian wedding design and production company to find out what went into planning a unique, over the top event like this, from the start to finish.
How did the couple choose the wedding venue?
“We accompanied the couple on the initial journey of the site visit, and it was love at first sight. They wanted to celebrate in Italy, where their friends and family from the U.K., The Netherlands, Israel, America and Australia could meet and travel easily.”
What were some unique, special details that really made this wedding stand out?
“We loved the pre-wedding party, which was called, ‘La Piazza del Circo,’ the Circus’s square. Guests were invited to a street festival party with a unique invitation from Shh My Darling. The concept came to life with market stalls from all around the world and street artists and performers—something similar to a music festival. With the help of two professional florists, from Tuscany Flowers, guests were invited to customize their own flower crown. We had a palm reading tent, which was beautifully decorated, with a mystical reader, who interacted with guests through the night.
A big balloon stall was created around the DJ booth, and then suddenly, a group of musicians and clown performers came out from an expected corner and started to play their drums, trumpets, tambourines etc . . . encouraging everyone to dance! Later on, while the DJ was spinning, extra performers entered; these were the highlight of the night, as they wore beautiful costumes: a big rabbit, an elf, and a snail. Everyone loved taking pictures with them.”
Please describe the wedding ceremony decor and aesthetic.
“The wedding was a traditional Jewish ceremony under a chuppah, with the rabbi and the signing of the Ketubah. To match the theme of the wedding, we wanted to represent a garden in its full form so the chuppah was decorated with lots of greenery, beautiful flowers, and majestic tassels, which were hanging and dancing around the couple with the breeze. We lined the aisle with bright colorful flowers and pampas grass, which created anticipation of what was coming next.”
And the reception?
“The reception was done in the Italian garden of Tenuta Ferragamo overlooking the Tuscan hills. Full greenery already existed, but we added colorful touches with custom cushions around the main fountain, designed in the color of the palette of the event. Rattan lounge furniture accentuated the feel of the garden, and small flower bouquets on each table completed the look. An Italian quintet, a roaming band, entertained guests during the aperitifs and then escorted all the guests into the wedding dinner area. We used four different spaces of the venue—unlike many other events hosted there—and each time, the space was different than the one seen before. We love to surprise guests.”
How was the dinner tabletop designed and sourced?
“Guests were seated at long imperial tables, while the bridal table was only for 12 guests. On the bridal table, we worked with a builder to construct a frame that could hold two real peacocks. Those were displayed at the top of the structure and on the lower side, for a bold impact that wowed guests. We incorporated glass bells which contained butterflies and flowers. Small birds and butterflies were also displayed together with the flowers, so the overall design had a cohesive meaning. Plates for the bridal table showed peacocks, which provided a beautiful contrast to the plates on the rest of the tables which were a bit simpler. Everything was sourced from our partners and from our private collection, curated over our years designing and traveling the world.”
What was served?
“The food was typical Italian, catered by Galateo Ricevimenti, with rustic ingredients and simple flavors. Some family-style entrees were served in the middle of the table for the guests to nibble: olives, olive oil, Italian focaccia. And then for dinner, a feast of ravioli, risotto, and Italian beef was served with Chianti wine sauce.”
Was there dancing and entertainment?
“The entertainment was central to this celebration. We opted for a British band of 12 artists, called Muzika, who could sing contemporary tunes and play traditional Hebrew songs. The couple entered after all the guests were seated, and immediately, the crowd filled up the dance floor with high energy, which lasted for around 30 minutes. The dances continued throughout dinner and well into the night—all captured on video by Francisco Montoro.
After midnight, we had some artists projecting fluorescent light shows alongside a trumpet musician and a sax player, who were escorted to the after-party area, where the party continued until four in the morning. Guests were given LED flashing balloons to carry with them, so the light effect during the procession was anticipating the mood of the party to follow. At their arrival, they found a magic space decorated with gigantic mirror balls, illuminating thousands of small lights all around the ballroom. In the center, hung a life-size baby elephant, covered with small mirror pieces which glistened as the structure turned slowly, with the help of our audio and lighting partner Kaleydo. The elephant was the highlight of the night, as no one was expecting such an unusual element on top of the dance floor!
The DJ booth was framed with real greenery, and in the middle, a large-scale video projector showed birds and butterflies flying for that whimsical feeling. We used live plants throughout the after-party space to maintain the garden aesthetic. Guests were delighted when a pair of artists, from Huma Show Entertainment, dressed like beautiful white birds, appeared in elegant cages as they performed acrobatics. Gaia and Lee, who had seen the space empty before, could not believe their eyes.”