When your weeklong wedding festivities kick off with a wedding party road trip through the Swiss Alps and culminates in a rehearsal dinner on a yacht in Switzerland followed by a wedding overlooking Lake Como, you know you’re in for one magical, exceptional ride. This bohemian couple met when they were just kids, hid crushes for years and ultimately had their first date over a long weekend at Coachella. So, it only makes sense that the bride, who co-owns Daughters of Simone with her sister, would want to create an epic, festival-like event for her own wedding celebration.
We recently got the entire backstory from boho bride Ashley about the creative ideas behind her gorgeous fête, including the fashion runway inspired wedding ceremony and the attire she and her groom designed for all the festivities. If you’re a dreamer, a hustler, a Stevie Nicks fan, a vintage collector or travel enthusiast, you’ll want to read on in the jump below for all the details behind this epic wedding celebration.
Photography by Elisabetta Redaelli
First things first, can you tell us about yourself and Daughters of Simone?
I’ve been living in San Francisco for the past 10 years. I’m a big dreamer, vintage fashion enthusiast and love to celebrate anything and everything. I’m the Co-Owner of Daughters of Simone, a bohemian and vintage inspired bridal line. Along with my sister Brittany, we create wedding gowns for brides looking for something non-traditional and unique. I predominantly run the wholesale side of our business, but more recently transitioned into design for our 7th Bridal Collection, 2019’s Day Dream Collection set to launch this Fall. This collection is inspired by my wedding and wedding gown.
On the next important detail, your husband and relationship! What is your story?
My husband and I are from the same hometown, Fresno, California. We went to the same schools growing up together. I may have even had a crush on him at the young age of 11. We didn’t have mutual friends or really know much of each other but reconnected 8+ years ago while living in San Francisco. Our first date was a 12-hour car ride from San Francisco to Indio for the Coachella Music Festival in 2010. Our mutual love of music must’ve been pretty strong because we’ve been inseparable ever since.
The summer we started dating, Terrence had plans to work at a kids summer program in Lugano, Switzerland, and I was heading to Milan, Italy for a fashion internship. We decided to stay in touch - spending our first few months getting to know each other in Europe, taking 45-minute train rides to see each other. Our romance grew abroad, which lead us to returning back to San Francisco... together.
How did you decide on Lake Como, Italy for the location?
Ever since our first summer in Europe together, where our love story truly began, I had envisioned getting married in Lugano, Switzerland. So, once Terrence proposed, I was determined to make it happen. We made a few trips to Europe to seek out our wedding venue and found a beautiful villa on Lake Como, Italy which was only 45 minutes from Lugano. We combined our love for Lugano and the epic venue in Lake Como to host wedding festivities in both countries, Switzerland and Italy.
What was your design inspiration for the wedding?
We knew that whatever wedding theme we would decide on would be unique and non-traditional. Most of the creativity evolved over time but we knew one of the main things we wanted to highlight was our shared love of fashion. We asked our guests to dress in their finest “runway attire,” I put a link to the Met Gala coverage for inspiration. We even set our ceremony up as though the guests were seated for a runway show and had our bridal parties walk down the aisle one-by-one so they could have their individual runway moment.
I designed many pieces for the wedding with “the runway show” in mind. I had a fantasy of my bridesmaids donning gold crowns, long pearled capes and lucious silks with flowing trains. I don’t know if it was from obsessing over too many Elie Saab runway shows or binging on Game of Thrones, but these were looks I pulled together, and they looked marvelous.
My husband, Terrence, kept the fashion forward theme going by designing dark burgundy embroidered tuxedos. He was inspired by a Valentino collection a few years back and incorporated his inspiration with nature inspired details and south western symbols. He's always had a unique sense of style and the tuxes complimented him and his crew beautifully.
To top it all off, our florist went above and beyond to create an abundant floral display and what she described as “the ultimate Fleetwood Mac fairytale wedding.” We were married on top of a mountain in a historic garden looking over Lake Como and the mountains.
And there was a moment of awe as I walked up the steps to our reception area. The pool had been completely converted into a midsummers night dream land. We had gone for a non-conventional seating arrangement by having only lounge areas comprised of vintage furniture along with a few tables smattered about. Everywhere you looked were larger-than-life florals, sparkling string lights and drippy candles. One of the greatest features was a stairway that led up to the garden which had ivy growing over it, our florist had lined the stairway with vintage gold candelabras and an additional variety of lit candles.
You had your rehearsal dinner on a yacht in Switzerland, and then the next day got married in Italy overlooking the water. Can you breakdown your wedding week itinerary and why you designed it the way you did?
We definitely went above and beyond. And simply put, it was totally worth it.
Keep in mind that since our friends and family had traveled so far for our wedding, we really wanted to make it extra special for them. Our main priorities, aside from creating our dream wedding, were to have lots of bonding time with our bridal parties as well as to host a couple events prior to the wedding so we could really spend quality time with the people we love.
What is your favorite moment from the week?
It was warm, right in the middle of the heat wave that hit central Europe, so the running joke throughout the week was that someone would jump in the pool the night of the wedding. That someone was me! After dinner and speeches concluded, and the disco dances started to catch momentum, I jumped in the pool fully clothed in my reception dress. I think once the guests got word that “the bride has jumped in the pool in her dress,” hordes of people, right and left began corralling over. Everytime I’d look up another one of my girlfriends was leaping in the air in her formal gown and a guy friend was making a splash in his finest tuxedo. The swim dance party soon turned into a conga line of 60 or so roaring celebrants chanting and howling to “Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting.” It was quite epic.
Florals + Wedding Design: Christine Cater | Photography: Elisabetta Redaelli | Ceremony Location: Giardino del Merlo | Reception Location: Villa Camilla | Catering: Citron Pavot | Bartenders/Craft Cocktails: Barman at Work | Wedding Planning: Laura Dova Weddings | Furniture Rentals: Sofi Rent Design, Narkisso | Tableware Rentals: Tableset Luxury Rentals | Decor & Furniture Rentals: Rosso di Sera | DJ Music: Dance Police | Wedding Dress: Daughters of Simone | Bride and Bridesmaids Jewelry: A.B.Ellie x Daughters of Simone | Bridesmaids Dresses + Pearled Capes: Leave Her Wilder x Daughters of Simone, Daughters of Simone | Groomsmen Embroidery: El Patcha Embroidery - Jackie Haug | Bride Ring: Rebecca Overmann Jewelry | Groom Ring: Fiat Lux SF | Invitation Design: Carolyn Yocum | Invitation Calligraphy: Inkpush Co | Invitation Printing Press: Lighthouse Bridal | Hair & Make-Up: Sinem Yavasner, Juliana Taraca