Kathy and Sebastian crossed paths through work in London back in 2017. Two years later, they got engaged at a private clifftop villa in Anacapri overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Sebastian came up with a plan to ask Kathy to join him in the garden at sunset for a golden hour proposal, which came as a complete surprise to her. Luckily, there was a photographer hiding in the bushes ready to capture the big moment—and those feelings of shock quickly turned to joy.
On one of the first few trips the couple took together, they stumbled upon their future wedding venue, Villa Cimbrone in Ravello, Italy. On a day trip to the Amalfi Coast city from Positano, they noticed a trail of tourists making their way through narrow cobblestone alleyways towards the villa. “We followed suit to see what the commotion was about and were incomplete awe from the moment we walked through the front gates of the property,” Kathy says. “The wisteria along the main garden path was in full bloom at the time and the entire venue was just oozing with rustic charm.”
The ocean views from the clifftop sealed the deal—Kathy and Sebastian always knew this was where they would tie the knot. Once they were engaged, the couple reached out to Federica Beni, a local planner in Italy, to help them pull off all the details, making sure to highlight the venue’s architectural character and stunning setting.
Though the couple’s celebration was originally supposed to be in 2020, they had to postpone their date twice due to the pandemic. “The hardest part was the uncertainty—in particular for us residing in Hong Kong, which saw some of the toughest pandemic and travel restrictions in the world,” Kathy says. In the end, the pair was elated to host a destination wedding weekend, starting with A Midsummer Night’s Dream-themed welcome party with an all-white dress code for guests, followed by a highly customized wedding day on August 6, 2022. Keep reading to see all the details, photographed by Oliver Fly.
The color palette for Kathy and Sebastian’s wedding day incorporated dusty rose, peach, and beige tones, all of which were included in their invitation suite. The notes, designed by Shh My Darling, featured custom illustrations of the venue, as well as the florals seen in the eventual décor.
Kathy and Sebastian invited guests to a welcome party on Friday evening, complete with a Shakespearian garden party theme. They asked loved ones to wear white; Kathy stood out in a red gown with sparkly red heels from Rene Caovilla and earrings from Van Cleef & Arpels. Sebastian wore a custom blue linen suit paired with Rubinacci loafers.
The fact that we had family and friends from over 38 countries across the world fly into this little town in Italy to celebrate with us—we were in tears.
“The fact that we had family and friends from over 38 countries across the world fly into this little town in Italy to celebrate with us—we were in tears when we saw everyone for the first time at the welcome party, all dressed in white,” Kathy reflects.
At the welcome party, attendees enjoyed live music and a custom limoncello bar embellished with flowers. Since their now-shared last name is Leman, the couple used a play on words for the neon sign above the bar.
Kathy’s ceremony wedding gown was a long sleeved lace Monique Lhullier number with a cathedral-length train and open back. “I always knew I wanted a more traditional and romantic dress with an exaggerated train for the main bridal gown, so when I tried on this classic piece from Monique Lhuillier, I knew it was the one,” she says. “I loved how regal and sculptural the gown looked, yet it had a modern twist with the V-neckline.”
She accessorized with crystal embellished Christian Louboutin flats and custom designed emerald-cut diamond earrings that were a gift from her parents. She went with a classic low bun and a natural makeup look, but changed it up later for the reception. Kathy wore Penhaligon’s Heartless Helen fragrance for the big day. “I wanted to associate the weekend with a particular scent so that it will bring back the memories every time I smell it,” she says. Her medium-sized bridal bouquet, with peonies and roses, was wrapped in cinnamon and champagne-hued dyed silk ribbons.
Sebastian chose a bespoke tailored tuxedo by Camilo Escudero paired with a Cartier tank which was a gift from Kathy years prior. He also wore a Penhaligon fragrance (he chose William Penhaligon) on the big day.
Kathy and Sebastian shared a first look before the ceremony to have a private moment together before walking down the aisle. “To be frank, this was also so that we weren’t too emotional or nervous for the big moment,” Kathy says.
The bridesmaids chose their own dress style, but matched in similar fabrics and shades of champagne; their gowns were designed and made by Rania Hatoum. The groomsmen were handsome in classic tuxedos with single white rose boutonnières. Sebastian didn’t want them to match too closely, so they chose their own attire.
White folding iron chairs were set up in the villa’s garden for the outdoor ceremony. “The venue has an ancient cloister and stone arches sprinkled across different parts of the garden, which made it feel like you are being transported back in time,” the bride says. The arches and aisle were decorated with floral arrangements in the wedding color scheme of ivory, peach, and dusty rose. Guests found foldable floral print fans and cones with flower petals at their seats.
The couple hired a harpist to play alongside a string quartet for the processional. When the ceremony began, the flower girls made their way down the aisle wearing pink dresses and flower crowns while tossing petals from their baskets. Kathy’s father then escorted her down the aisle towards the altar, where the couple’s best friend took over; as he officiated their union, he created a balance of heartfelt and funny moments.
After the ceremony, guests enjoyed more music from the harpist and string quartet as they sipped on cocktails and noshed on appetizers.
The couple’s reception took place in the open-air crypt, where the ceiling and arches were embellished with greenery, crystal baubles with tea light candles inside, and florals in the wedding color palette. Long and round tables were topped with floor-length white linens to create a sophisticated vibe throughout the space. The custom menus, place cards, and table numbers were designed by Shh My Darling to match the invitation suite.
For dinner, Kathy changed into a sheer corset with matching silk high-waisted pants with a train by Ghalia Lahav paired with pearl and diamond drop earrings and white sheer Christian Dior pumps. “It was basically an excuse to wear another bridal piece!” she says. They served traditional Italian classics for dinner, including Cannelloni pasta filled with Genovese with cacao e Pepe sauce and desserts like Amalfi lemon parfait with caramelized pineapple, salt, and vanilla.
There are noise restrictions at Villa Cimbrone, so the couple decided to keep the party going with a silent disco after-party. For this portion of the event, Kathy changed into her third and final look of the night—a hand-crafted sequin gown with pearlescent embellishments by KYHA Studios. The couple shared a choreographed first dance to “Waltz No. 2” by Dmitri Shostakovich. “We had taken ballroom dancing classes for two months prior just to prepare for this!” Kathy says. As for the end of their perfect evening? At midnight, they cut into a custom wild berries millefoglie surrounded by cold fireworks.