When she was a little girl, Julianna Conenna stood outside the ancient Cefalù cathedral where her grandparents were married in 1959 and told her grandmother, “One day, I will get married here.” On September 2, 2022, Julianna did just that when she wed Michael Chiandussi, whom she met on Raya in 2019. (Her grandmother, now 93, sat in attendance.) “Being first generation, our Italian traditions and heritage mean the world to us,” Julianna says. “Starting our forever in this town with so much rich family history was top on our list.”
Following the ceremony, the newlyweds followed Italian tradition by traipsing through town, photographer in tow. “All of the local people were cheering and clapping on the sides of the narrow streets, saying ‘auguri!’ and ‘bellissima!’” Upon their arrival at Tenuta Spinola, a villa venue overlooking the Mediterranean, the journey began: Antipasti hour featured Sicilian street food vendors serving fresh bocconcini and burrata made right before guests’ eyes. A four-course meal was served over a few hours, with a live saxophonist coaxing guests onto the dance floor between courses. “Dinner at an Italian wedding is an all-night affair,” Julianna says.
The plates finally cleared, the newlyweds cut into their cake; then a slew of signature cocktails and espresso martini shots fueled an epic dance party. “From the moment we entered the venue until 3AM, we didn’t stop dancing—and our friends and family followed suit,” Julianna says. “At one point, Michael was dancing on a table, and our friends lifted both of us up on chairs. It was the best day of our lives.”
“I do,” the newlyweds paraded through the narrow streets in Italian tradition as onlookers cheered them on.
Guests grabbed gold-tasseled Champagne flutes on their way into the reception.
The alfresco reception space.
Gold-rimmed glass chargers and flatware accented the natural wood sweetheart table.
Venue Tenuta Spinola, instagram.com/tenutaspinolacefalu
Wedding Planner Valentina Nicchi, Dragonfly Wedding, dragonflyweddingcefalu.com
Groom’s Suit custom, Tom James, tomjames.com
Florals Floridea di Rosaria Ilardo, facebook.com/floridea85
Invitations LBrown Design & Paperie, lbrowndesignpaperie.com
Day-of Stationery Maria Giuliana Duca, instagram.com/mariaduca_ designer
Cake Tatiana Melfa Bakery, tatianamelfabakery.com
Beverages BarKit, barkit.it
Lighting Licciardi Group
Favors Al Confetto, instagram.com/alconfetto
Videographer Salvatore Cimino, instagram.com/salvatoreciminosc
Photography by: Salvatore Cimino